Legacy Cabling: Solving the Network Conundrum

Re-Using Legacy Cabling for Ethernet Connectivity

Upgrading the cabling in an enterprise network can be a costly endeavour. In addition to the expense of purchasing new cable and paying for its installation, there is also the added cost of removing and disposing of the old cabling. This can make it tempting for enterprises to simply leave their legacy cabling in place, even if it is no longer suitable for their needs.

However, there are advantages to upgrading the cabling in an enterprise network. For example, newer cabling can provide faster and more reliable connections, allowing for improved network performance and increased productivity. Additionally, upgrading the cabling can also help to improve the overall security of the network, as older cabling may be more susceptible to tampering or other security threats.

In some cases, the old cabling may also be able to be re-used, potentially offsetting some of the costs associated with the upgrade. As an example, ethernet extenders from Transition Networks now Lantronix, allow you to extend your network or use existing cable assets to implement new devices, like IP cameras or wireless access points. Cables such as 2-wire cables, also known as phone cable or Cat 3/Cat 5 unshielded twisted pair (UTP), and coax cabling are especially susceptible to this.

Many enterprises have a significant amount of 2-wire cable installed in their buildings, as it was commonly used for older telephony systems. When an enterprise decides to upgrade to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phones, this old 2-wire cable can be repurposed and used to connect the new IP devices.

Coaxial cable, on the other hand, was commonly used in the past for connecting older IBM mainframes throughout a building, or by organizations that were early adopters of analog security cameras or videoconferencing systems. As these technologies have become less common, the coaxial cable that was used for them may no longer be needed. However, in some cases, it may still be possible to use this coaxial cable for other purposes, such as connecting newer IP-based security cameras or videoconferencing systems.

Can the Cable Be Re-Used?

Check the cable's condition first to make sure that it can be reused and has not degraded over time. Once the cable's condition has been verified, you can choose Ethernet Extenders to connect the cable to the new device. What can these devices allow you to do?

Lantronix has a family of Ethernet extenders for both 2-wire and coax cabling which make it possible to:

  • Extend Ethernet networks beyond the 100 meter Ethernet cable limitation over 2-wire cable or coaxial cabling using our SFP form factor extenders in any switch or media converter with a Gigabit SFP slot.
  • Provide PoE power along with data extension using our Ethernet over 2-Wire Extender with PoE+ to install high-end Wi-Fi access points or connect a work group LAN to a core switch in remote locations where power is not available.
  • Provide PoE power and data extension using our Ethernet over Coax Extender with PoE+ to replace older analog cameras with newer IP cameras in locations where it would be costly to add new power runs.

Ethernet extenders are available for commercial environments or in temperature and environmentally hardened versions that are ideal for outdoor or factory floor applications. A graphical user interface on the PoE Ethernet extenders makes them easy to install and configure, and offers advanced management features including power monitoring and auto power reset, which allows rebooting of the remote device without sending a truck or technician to the remote location.

Re-using legacy cabling can help enterprises, carriers, and other network providers save money on network upgrades. Using extenders, which are easy to install, can simplify network deployment and reduce the time and costs associated with upgrading to newer cabling or expanding an Ethernet network.

Need more information? Get in contact with us here.

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Ethernet over 2 Wire Extender with PoE+

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