July 6, 2016
According to Frost & Sullivan, Internet Protocol (IP) has evolved into the foundation of nearly all business applications and networks. Leveraging IP to enable access to network-based data and applications is by far the most popular use case; however, previously segregated solutions such as telephony services or security applications, are also converging on the IP network in most businesses.
A new white paper from the research firm titled, Deploying Innovative IP-based Solutions is Necessary to Support Innovation, shares insight on the barriers that businesses face in deploying next-generation, IP-based solutions over Ethernet, as well as effective alternatives to help overcome those challenges.
By leveraging IP, businesses can architect an infrastructure that delivers mission-critical applications, solutions and services, deployed in a location that best fits their needs, including locally on-premises, in remote corporate data centers and increasingly in the cloud, it said.
However, while IP allows for highly flexible infrastructure designs, the transport of data between applications, devices and users still requires a physical connection, most often based on Ethernet. It is this physical connection and its inherent limitations that remains an inhibitor to truly innovative business infrastructure designs, the firm added.
“In an ideal situation, business applications and solutions could be deployed in a so-called ‘greenfield’ environment. In such an environment, the physical infrastructure, the cabling and other components that connect devices to the business network, can be architected to balance the physical infrastructure requirements and current business needs,” states Frost & Sullivan Connected Work Industry Analyst Michael Brandenburg.
“However, the reality is that most businesses have to contend with existing buildings and the infrastructure already in place. Enabling a facility to support IP throughout can be an expensive proposition and at times become the largest cost item in IP migration projects.”
In response to these limitations, vendors such as NVT Phybridge have brought to market innovative networking products that overcome both the physical limitations of traditional Ethernet and the disruption to business that a cabling installation can cause.
“The most obvious benefit of these products is the ability to deploy IP-based networking with very little disruption to the business or its workforce,” notes Brandenburg. “The latest generation of these network switch solutions is even more compelling by offering support for Long Reach Ethernet (LRE), which allows businesses to connect devices at distances up to six times longer that CAT5 cabling, along with support from for Long Reach Power over Ethernet (LRPoE), thus supplying industry-standard power source across these extreme distances!”
The very nature of IP makes solutions like Long Reach Ethernet possible. As a high-level protocol, IP is agnostic to the physical transport of its data packets, making it the ideal choice to connect devices in the global Internet or as part of a unified business network. The reality for many businesses is that making use of their existing physical infrastructure is not only the most cost-effective approach, but could be the only choice available. Ultimately, with a wide range of solutions available on the market today, businesses can focus on leveraging technology to drive operational excellence and innovation.