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In search of speed

In the home, in the data centre and more recently in the mountains of Whistler Blackcomb and 130 other Winter Olympic venues and support sites, the changing face of data networking has been on display. Jeff Seifert, chief technology officer for...


March 1, 2010  


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In the home, in the data centre and more recently in the mountains of Whistler Blackcomb and 130 other Winter Olympic venues and support sites, the changing face of data networking has been on display.

Jeff Seifert, chief technology officer for Cisco Systems Canada Co., points out in our cover story on the home market that a “ton of things” are happening in residential networking. “When you look across the spectrum from multi-dwelling units to new smart communities, from major population centres to remote locations, there isn’t one solution,” he says. “There is a while magnitude of them.”

The options are immense. As an example, he adds in the article that providers are looking at advances such as DOCSIS 3.0 for broadband over cable, long-term evolution or 4G as the next evolution of high speed packet access and gigabit Ethernet for multi-dwelling units.

According to Seifert, there are two areas to address when it comes to planning residential cabling: how to get bandwidth to the home and how to distribute content within it.

Meanwhile when it comes to pushing the envelope, network statistics released by an obviously relieved Bell Canada, the exclusive telecommunications partner to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, revealed just how vibrant an infrastructure needs to be today for an event of this magnitude.

Bell was able to successfully execute all network and communications services, which included enhanced high-speed wireless data and fiber broadband networking, broadcast support, Internet portal services and network security.

Upwards of 1 trillion packets of data travelled across the network as did 90 million minutes of mobile voice traffic and 30 million megabytes of mobile data.

In addition there were 1.2 million metres of Category 5 cabling installed to support 31,000 Ethernet ports, 65 million mobile text messages sent and received and 750,000 calls made from 6,500 landline VoIP phones.

The network itself also successfully delivered 24,000 hours of broadcast coverage to more than 3.5 billion viewers around the world, according to the International Olympic Committee.

Prior to the Games, Andrew Platten, vice president of technical infrastructure with VANOC, said “we have what we believe is the best wired mountain in the world to ski and as far as we know it is the only one with a redundant fiber loop that goes up both courses and down the other.”

Anyone planning to attend the 2010 BICSI Canadian Conference & Exhibition in early May in Montreal can learn more from Bell Canada’s Joe Madigin, who will discuss the planning that went behind the cabling infrastructure implementation.

Other speakers will include Todd Harpel, director of marketing at Berk-Tek, and Valerie Maguire, global sales engineer for The Siemon Company, who will provide a repeat of their presentation from the 2010 Winter Conference in Orlando on 40 Gbps over twisted pair cabling.

Projections reveal that 40GBASE-T will become a significant part of the server network market by 2017.

According to Berk-Tek, as computing and storage rates explode, data centres, server clusters and even LANs will benefit from Ethernet transmission speeds in excess of 10G sooner than anticipated: “The logical next step in Ethernet speed is 40G supported by copper twisted-pair cabling. In order to be able to provide a future solution, copper cabling and LAN equipment experts will begin project development.”

Coverage from Orlando appears on p. 6 and p. 8 of this issue.