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Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: Dwayne Crawford on September 18, 2014

Ever wonder what the difference is between loose-tube (mini distribution) 250um fiber and tight-buffered 900um fiber?

Loose-tube 250um and tight-buffered 900um fiber cables actually start with the same 250um bare fibers that feature the same size fiber core (i.e., 50um for multimode and 9um for singlemode), 125um cladding and soft 250um coating.

The difference between the two is all in the cable construction.

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: Heather MacKenzie on September 17, 2014

Nowadays, the primary goals for many industrial engineers are maximum productivity and minimal downtime. However, some of the key components critical to reliable network communications are often overlooked. These components include cables, switches and connectors, items that are difficult and time-consuming to troubleshoot or replace.

In addition, disruptions in a cabling system are more common than you might expect. Plus, if a cabling system component or Ethernet switch fails, the repair and labor costs alone could be 15-20 times the cost of the component itself.

Investments in high-quality, rugged Ethernet infrastructure – designed specifically for use in harsh environments – can therefore provide tremendous peace of mind to network engineers and administrators. Let’s take a look at nine tests to determine if your industrial grade cable is secure and ruggedized.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on September 16, 2014

Broadcasting 20 years ago and now


I'm an ex-broadcast installer. I was taught how to solder on an XLR (original Cannon XLR) back in 1964. (Yes, I'm one of those Old Guys.) And when I arrived at Belden over twenty years ago, one of the first things I requested was the ability to manufacture finished assemblies. You can see I have lots of influence and no power, because my requests went nowhere. Part of the reason was that many of our channel partners, our distributors, also make assemblies. They do excellent work and we suggested them when anyone asked for cable assemblies.

And, twenty years ago, most broadcasters made their own cables, which was fine with us too. But broadcasters in general have gone through some pretty rough times. And one of the indications was that an AM or FM station, which might have had two or three engineers, now has one (or maybe even NONE). The gal or guy that is left sure doesn't have time to put connectors on cable. They're lucky just to keep the station on the air. And TV hasn't fared any better. Stations with dozens of engineers are now down to two or three. At the same time, signals have been going up in frequency (or video resolution), making cables more and more critical to station performance. We're still trying to deliver a cable that you can just slap a connector on and it will work, but 4K in video or networked audio are making this harder and harder to do. There is also increased demand for fiber assemblies, even SMPTE 311M or 304M assemblies for high-definition cameras. Not exactly something you can easily do in your spare time.

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Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Heather MacKenzie on September 15, 2014

The age of malware specifically targeting ICS systems began in 2010 when Stuxnet was revealed to be disrupting operations at one of Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities. Since that shock we have seen advanced malware such as Flame and Duqu target energy companies for espionage purposes and unsophisticated but highly effective malware massively infiltrate Saudi Aramco.

Today I am writing to let you know about a new malware, coined as coming from the “Dragonfly hacking group” by Symantec. What does this have to do with everyday ICS and SCADA security? Let’s take a look at the Dragonfly malware in more detail and see what we can learn from it.

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Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: Michael Salvador on September 11, 2014

Over the past couple of years, data center infrastructure management (DCIM) vendors have done a better job of delivering features that help reduce the complexity of the integration process.

When it comes to evaluating DCIM solutions, there are several capabilities to consider, but one of the most important to look for is mobility.

Why is mobility so critical to infrastructure management? Mobility is a key feature that goes a long way in easing deployment, enabling auditing and maintaining accuracy as the data center and the DCIM system evolves.

Let’s take a closer look.

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Tags: DCIM

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Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Heather MacKenzie on September 10, 2014

The End of Service (EOS) for Windows XP means it is going to be harder to keep existing industrial networks cyber secure and available.
Fortunately there is an easy fix for mitigating Windows XP risk now. It is as simple as installing industrial firewalls to protect your control networks from malware, whether introduced accidentally or maliciously.

Now, many vendors’ claim that using their products is “easy”. Just like programming a VCR was never as easy as it was cracked up to be, you might be suspicious of our assertion that installing industrial firewalls is easy.

Today one of my colleagues shows you just how easy it is

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Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: Paul Kish on September 04, 2014

Two important channel transmission parameters that most are familiar with for Category 6A cabling to support 10GBase-T applications include alien crosstalk and insertion loss (IL).

Alien crosstalk is a measure of the noise coupling between adjacent channels that are in close proximity (i.e., sharing the same pathway). Insertion loss is a measure of the received signal and is dependent on the length of channel (i.e., the longer the channel, the weaker the signal).

But did you know that other unmentioned parameters related to the pair balance of cables and connectors are also good indicators of noise immunity and hence support for 10GBase-T?

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: Heather MacKenzie on September 03, 2014

If your mailbox is filling up with information on mobile apps and tablet solutions but you don’t believe that industrial wireless technology is dependable enough, I have news for you. New advances in technology and standards mean that the number one concern about it – reliability – has been completely overcome.

Questions such as:
• Will it work in my noisy environment?
• Will it be robust enough to ensure my data makes it to its destination?
• Can it ever provide me with the assurance I need that it is stable enough?

can now all be answered with a resounding “Yes”.

Furthermore, there is an easy way to learn all about what’s new and even get hands-on experience using the latest wireless technologies. All you need to do is block out three to four days to attend an event we are holding this fall in Houston, Texas (Sept. 21-24).

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