HDBaseT to the Rescue!

Just in case full high-definition resolution isn’t enough, 4K is the next generation resolution that will deliver a whole new level of clarity at roughly four times the resolution of 1080p.   Despite limited 4K content currently available to consumers, Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic and others are already selling 4K TV sets and widespread adoption is eventually expected. An ABI Research report from last year expects 4K to surpass 10% of North American TV households by 2018.

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4K covers two formats that are both supported in the HDMI 1.4 specification – 3840p X 2160p and 4096p X 2160p. While HDMI 1.4 supports 4K resolution, adds an audio channel that enables upstream audio connections, and can deliver 100 Mbps IP-based applications with an added Ethernet channel, there are some cabling and connectivity challenges to consider that include distance limitations, installation and testing.   HDBaseT resolves these issues.

What is HDBaseT? Read more »

Think Fibre Can’t Handle Extreme Temperatures? Think Again.

Fiber InstallationIn the world of broadcasting, we generally think of two different environments:

The indoor studio with sets and control rooms and the outside location where actual sporting and other events take place.

Inside the broadcasting studio, fibre is used to connect broadcasting equipment such as cameras, storage equipment, editing appliances and playout devices.

While there are always concerns in the studio about fibre being subjected to flexing, twisting and abrasion as it is coiled up on the floor, handled by multiple users or dragged across the studio from one filming area to the next, today’s heavy-duty rugged fibre optic cable is specifically designed to withstand these environments. And when it comes to temperature, the studio is considered a controlled environment that normally stays in the 20˚C to 26 ˚C room temperature range. But happens when we move outside? Read more »

Fiber’s Dicey Future: The Long and the Short of IT

fibre-opticsWith an explosion of connected devices, there is no shortage of data being transmitted and stored via optical networking in the data center. However it’s not just the amount of data—it’s also how that data is being used. And that can be summed up with one word – sharing.   Ever-growing data sets are being shared across multiple vendor applications. In the massive high-density virtualized environments of cloud computing, this is driving more east-west server traffic. As the age of the “Internet of Things” come to fruition, the I/O portion of the equation will evolve like never before.   With all this change on the horizon, what does this mean for the cabling infrastructure inside the data center? Should it be all singlemode or is OM4 multimode the best bet? Read more »

7 Key Questions for Industrial Wireless Security, Part 2 of 2

Editor’s Note: This article was contributed by Julia Santogatta, Belden’s director responsible for wireless initiatives, with expertise from Daniel Wade, Chief Architect-Wireless Products and Jeffrey Caldwell, Chief Architect-Security.

In Part 1 of this article, I introduced the Golden Rule of Industrial Wireless Security – Deploy Securely, Monitor Regularly. Following this rule ensures that unwanted access to your wireless LAN and the rest of your network does not occur.
But, how do you deploy securely?

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While you may fear that industrial wireless is insecure, today’s reality is different.
By using current equipment and following our special Golden Rule, it is possible to design a robust and secure wireless application.

These days, most cyber security articles talk about using Defense in Depth, or a layered approach to securing industrial networks. This means using a variety of defenses at various points in the system to protect the network or contain threats. The idea of layering, and the resulting benefits, is no different in wireless applications.

By implementing measures to address these seven key questions you will be building layers of protection that contribute to the best practice of Defense in Depth. Let’s take a look at the questions in detail.

Read more »

Industrial Network Design for Physical Security Systems

Editor’s Note: This article was contributed by Mark Wylie, a Belden manager with many years of experience working in both the controls and IT domains. He is responsible for our Industrial Ethernet Infrastructure and Certified Industrial Network programs.

There are many reasons to update your network from an ad hoc design to an industrial Ethernet infrastructure. One of them is that it allows you to separate applications that generate high volumes of traffic, such as physical security systems, from other network applications such as control systems.

Good network segmentation groups devices used for a common purpose or with common cyber security requirements into segments, making network management and expansion easier.

Today, I am going to take a look at how to integrate physical security systems that include cameras, video servers, client viewing stations and other equipment into a well-designed industrial Ethernet network.

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Physical security systems often include numerous outdoor video cameras with high bandwidth transmission requirements.

Read more »

Customization Should Not be Overlooked

Icustomizationf you’ve ever bought a custom-tailored suit versus one off the rack at the local department store, you know just how incredible customization can be. The same can apply to your data center and LAN.

Whether you need lightning fast data center deployments, are faced with a unique or challenging application, or even just have your own preferences, choosing components from a vendor with the engineering and manufacturing expertise to deliver customized solutions can save you time and money – or even get you out of a jam.

At the Cabinet Level

I’ve blogged a lot about one of my passions – holistic data center design – and the benefit of using a standardized, modular approach with preconfigured cabinets for repeatable, predictable data center deployments. While anyone can take this approach by pre-designing their cabinets and components and implementing them the same way each time, how much better would it be if you could customize your cabinets with pre-installed components under a single part number? Read more »

Hydra Assemblies vs Patch Cords

hyrda-assemblies-vs-patch-cordsWith today’s stringent loss budgets and space constraints, some data centers choose to deploy MPO-to-LC hydra cable assemblies rather than LC duplex patch cords. However, there are some key factors to consider. Read more »

In Defense of Tinned Copper

Oxidized-Copper-Statue-of-LibertyI spend a lot of time in the fancy cable section of Belden. These are cables for high-frequency applications, such as digital video coax, or 10-gigabit data cables. These cables all use bare copper conductors. On the other hand, if you look at the Belden catalog from the 50,000 foot view, you will see a whole lot of cables we make use tinned copper. If you’re an ancient engineer or installer (like me) you came from a time when tinned copper conductors were pretty much everything. Products like 8451 and 9451 and almost any analog audio cables are all tinned copper. Go back to the coax cables from long ago, and many of them are tinned copper. So what happened? And why is Lampen bringing up this issue now? Very simple. Read more »

MaineGeneral Medical Center: Holistic Design at Work

MaineGeneralFor those of you that have read my past blogs or white papers, you know that holistic data center design is one of my passions.

In my holistic design white paper, I discuss the benefits of deploying a modular approach that allows for a standard and predictable space, ultimately providing better scalability, cost efficiency and ease of operation. Having standardized configurations for cabinets and spaces also eases installation by eliminating surprises.

While the idea of using a modular approach with standardized configurations is something to strive for during the design process, the greatest satisfaction comes when I actually see our customers putting it into practice. This is exactly what happened at the new MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta, Maine. Read more »

7 Key Questions for Industrial Wireless Security, Part 1 of 2

Editor’s Note: This article was contributed by Julia Santogatta, Belden’s director responsible for the wireless initiatives, with expertise from Daniel Wade, Chief Architect-Wireless Products and Jeffrey Caldwell, Chief Architect-Security.

What is the No. 1 concern when it comes to wireless solutions in the industrial world? While the answer might be debatable, if you’ve read some of my other blogs you know I feel passionately that it often comes down to one of two things – is it reliable enough and can I secure it?

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While you may fear that industrial wireless is insecure, today’s reality is different. By turning on the security features available in current equipment offerings and following our Wireless Golden Rule, it is possible to secure wireless applications.

At our recent Industrial Ethernet Infrastructure Design Seminar, Jeff Caldwell, chief architect for security at Belden, posed this question to the audience – is wireless more secure or less secure than a wired network? Crazy question, right?
But when you start thinking about it and boiling it down to the basics, maybe he has something here. Consider this:

  • Passwords generally aren’t needed to plug a wired PC into a router and access a network, but they are required to connect to a wireless network. You can lay down a hub, use Wireshark or the like and see all of your data streams.
  • Not the case with wireless, even if you’ve only set up the most basic and common place security, which 95% of the population does.

Thus while saying wireless is more secure than wired networking may be hard to grasp, comparing the reality of the two options can be helpful.
I know. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “I still worry. I hear about so many attacks these days.”

Well, today I’d like to introduce you to the 7 key questions to ask yourself when planning your WLAN. Shared medium or not, wireless can be secure. So let’s combine these questions with the “Golden Rule of Industrial Wireless Security” and calm your fears a bit.

Read more »

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