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10GBASE-T and training

Springtime in Las Vegas may not have the panache of Paris, but that was of little concern to the thousands of networking and structured cabling professionals who traveled to Nevada for the simultaneou...


May 1, 2005  


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Springtime in Las Vegas may not have the panache of Paris, but that was of little concern to the thousands of networking and structured cabling professionals who traveled to Nevada for the simultaneous running of Interop and the BICSI Spring Conference in early May.

There was certainly a lot to absorb and digest.

“The network stands in service of the application and like DNA, is threaded throughout the entire IT infrastructure, including security, storage, data centres and wireless,” wrote Interop general manager Lenny Heymann in the show guide.

“Now that the promise of convergence has become a market reality, making all those pieces work in concert to drive business value is where most of you live. And that means interoperability has never been more important.”

Interoperability is one reason why 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10GBASE-T) is having such an impact.

In his standards update column on p. 24, Paul Kish writes that 10GBASE-T is an application that truly tests the limits of copper and like the processing power of personal computers, all this power is available in a small package at an affordable price.

It is projected that the technology will provide 10 times the speed at three times the price of 1000BASE-T ports.

According to The Siemon Company, the technology is creating an environment where Internet Protocol and the delivery of advanced IP services such as Voice over IP, videoconferencing and IP-based security are becoming common applications.

“Increasingly, voice, data and video networks are being converged onto a single infrastructure and the demand for reliability has never been greater,” the company says. That IP convergence has arrived is evident in this issue’s cover story written by Grant Buckler; however, it also raises the bar when it comes to the quality of work from a structured cabling installer perspective.

The stakes have increased considerably, the complexity has never been greater and so too, notes Siemon on its Web site, is the demand for reliability and Quality of Service (QoS).

If that is the case, there appears to be a definite disconnect when it comes to the training of installers on both sides of the border. In Ontario, for example, the network cabling apprenticeship program is going nowhere.

Installer Training Blues on p. 14 reveals how courses have and are being cancelled due to declining enrolment. Two years ago, the Ontario ministry of training, colleges and universities announced the availability of the Network Cabling Specialist Certificate of Qualification.

Before writing an exam that consists of 100 questions on topics ranging from the planning and preparing of an installation to the splicing of cables, candidates must have 4,500 hours of on-the-job training and letters of references from employers or unions.

It sounds impressive enough, but clearly it has been a colossal failure. Everyone except the instructors is walking away.

Since some sort of open dialogue needs to take place on the subject, CNS is planning to post a readership poll on our site next month and we urge you to take a few moments to answer the questions.

We want to hear from the installers and end-users alike to determine what, if any changes need to be made by an industry that appears curiously lax when it comes to licensing the trade.