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Myths about Power Over Ethernet

? May 28, 2009 Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) technology integrates power and data across standard
Cat5/5e/6 network cabling and provides more flexibility in today?s workplace. PoE enables power to
be supplied to network devices, such as IP phones, network cameras, and wireless access points
through a single, most often existing, network cable. When combined with an uninterruptable power
supply (UPS) a PoE network delivers continuous operation and minimizes business downtime by
eliminating most power interruptions. With the ability to install endpoints in any location PoE
technology provides a scalable and flexible networking infrastructure geared for growth and
efficiency. ?? PoE Switches can provide all the power I need or will need. Today most switches are
merely PoE-enabled. This means the majority rely on power management to share available power
across the switch ports. The switches are designed with a smaller power supply that is typically
capable of powering the switch itself and providing the required 15.4 watts of power over a limited
number of ports. For example: A 24-port PoE Switch with power management typically has a 195watt power supply. After the 40 watts needed to power the switch, you have approximately 155
watts remaining. If 12 of the 24 ports are used to connect end devices using 11.5 watts each, you
would only have 17 watts remaining to provide power on the last 12 ports. The math doesn?t match
the ports: 195W ? 40W (switch) ? 138 (12 devices @ 11.5W/ea) = 17W left for power on 12 ports
Myth Busted : A PoE Switch is often not the best and most cost effective solution. ?? ?? A midspan
and a PoE switch are the same. A PoE Midspan is not a switch. A Midspan is an additional PoE
power source that can be used to offer full power to all endpoint devices. PoE Midspans (Power Hub
or Power Injector) pass data from a switch and ?inject? safe power acting as a patch panel of sorts.
Midspans are commonly used with either a non-PoE switch, an existing PoE switch, or a new PoE
switch in a network. In addition to offering full power across all available ports, midspans costs
substantially less per port and overall than a new PoE enabled switch. Myth Busted : Midspans do
not switch ? they make use of existing best-in-class switches. They inject safe power across all ports
and cost less than PoE switches. . ?? ?? Only a switch that has PoE built in should be used to power
devices like IP Phones, Access Points, and IP Security Cameras. Switches were designed to, well,
switch. PoE Switches are designed with power management and have to distribute different power
as required to ports but there is often not enough power for all devices plus the power required to
complete the primary task - switching. Networks that have multiple devices like IP phones, IP
cameras, wireless access points quickly go beyond the limited capacity of managed power PoE
switches. As more PoE devices continue to grow in capabilities and market share this managed
power limitation will become more and more evident. Midspans, in contrast to switches, were
designed to provide full power on every port and deliver safe and reliable power based on the
industry standards (IEEE802.3af/at). Myth Busted : Rather than relying on power management in a
switch use a midspan that can deliver full power (15.4W) to every port for all PoE-enabled devices
now and in the future. ?? ?? Ethernet devices not PoE-enabled (non 802.3af/at compliant) cannot be
powered using PoE technology. Many devices do not directly accept Power-over-Ethernet but can
still use PoE technology. If the device uses less than 12.5 watts (802.3af) or less than 50 watts
(802.3at+) and connects to an IP Ethernet network you can use a PoE splitter. PoE splitters enable
you to accept PoE power from any IEEE 802.3af/at compliant switch or midspan then separates the
data and power on to two seprate cables. The data is connected to the end device through a
standard RJ45 plug while the power is connected using a standard 5.5 x 2.1 x 12mm Adapter Plug.
Splitters can also convert the input voltage to the required voltage for a non-PoE device. Splitters
are traditionally used with older network products which only accept power through their (DC) jack
and data through their RJ-45 jack. Myth Busted : PoE splitters can be used in conjunction with PoE
midspans and switches to provide both the data connectivity and power required by most endpoint
devices. ?? ?? I need/will need additional PoE switch ports to power my IP cameras and high-power

pan, tilt, and zoom (PTZ) cameras. Today, many devices have evolved into more advanced solutions
with higher power requirements. The traditional approach was to endure a ?forklift upgrade?. This
meant buying new PoE switches at considerable cost and physically swapping out the existing
switches to meet higher power requirements or add more powered ports. There is an easy and more
cost-effective way ? separate the data and power in the wiring closet (IBF). It is more efficient and
costs less to separate your data and power allowing you to keep your best-in-class business switch
for your IP needs and supplement it where required with best-in-class midspan technology to power
the endpoints. Myth Busted : A PoE Switch is often not the best and most cost effective solution. ??
?? All midspans are created equal . . . they are all the same. Always select a best-in-class midspan. If
you wanted to enhance your switched network wouldn?t use a best-in-class network switch? Of
course you would. A midspan designed and manufactured by a leading power supply company that
understands power, power requirements, and one that delivers enterprise-level solutions. Select a
midspan manufacturer that has multiple members on the IEEE (PoE) committee helping to define
safe, new PoE standards. This ensures that every midspan is designed to meet current and future
IEEE specifications for Power-over-Ethernet. Select a midspan manufacturer that designs,
manufactures, and tests its own product rather than outsourcing these tasks across the globe to cut
costs. Select a midspan that has a high-speed, common interface to access the management console.
A USB port is not as cheap as a serial port (RS-232) but is faster, more user-friendly, and more
common on high quality midspans. Myth Busted : Although there are many midspan manufacturers
out there, few have the power supply experience, quality controls, and manufacturing capability to
produce best-in-class midspans. All midspans are NOT created equal. ?? ?? ?2009 midspans.com.
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