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Posted by: Michael Salvador on August 21, 2014

While interest has been growing in powering data centers with renewable energy sources, a recent controversial paper by economist Charles Frank argues that using solar and wind energy is the most expensive alternative to carbon-based electricity generation. The paper essentially cites that nuclear power’s efficiency and ability to operate non-stop offers nearly four times the savings on carbon emissions per megawatt capacity compared to intermittent sources like wind and solar.

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Tags: Data Center

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: Heather MacKenzie on August 20, 2014

Many businesses in industrial settings – including food and beverage, energy, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and more – are feeling pressure to trim costs and improve margins. As a result, we’ve seen an explosion in connected systems that automate processes and increase productivity. While these systems have been a boon for many businesses, the extreme and hazardous conditions of many industrial environments present significant new challenges for reliability and maintenance.

The high-intensity shock and vibrations, extreme temperatures and powerful chemical agents of many industrial settings can wreak havoc on the cord sets and cabling components used to enable connected, automated systems – leading to increased maintenance costs, or worse, unplanned downtime.

That’s where wash-down cord sets – an emerging category of ruggedized cables and connectors – can help. Wash-down cord sets are designed to withstand the harshest industrial conditions, helping to protect against unplanned system downtime while driving down maintenance and repair costs.

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Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: Dwayne Crawford on August 14, 2014

Ever wonder what the difference is between ultra physical contact (UPC) and angled physical contact (APC) singlemode fiber connectors and which one to use? As usual, the answer is, “It depends.”

Let’s take a closer look.

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Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Heather MacKenzie on August 13, 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: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on August 12, 2014

About ten years ago, I was attending a talk given by the famous cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Deer Hunter, Heaven's Gate, Deliverance and on and on). He was recently voted one of the Ten Most Influential Cinematographers in history by the International Cinematographers Guild.

Someone asked him when he would switch from film to video. His response was direct: "When 8K video arrives." This might be the first time I ever heard the term '8K' mentioned in public. I barely knew what he was talking about. But now we're almost there. We're working hard on 4K, and 8K is next up to bat. At a standard TV viewing distance, the resolution of 8K is better than the human eye, so this might be a good place to stop for a while and allow the rest of the world to catch up. However, we're deep into getting to 4K first.

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Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: Paul Kish on August 07, 2014

As a follow up to last week’s blog on Bonded-Pair patch cords from guest blogger Greg Deitz, there is another issue of concern surrounding patch cords.

With some vendors touting smaller diameter patch cords with 28 AWG conductors as enabling easier cable management, optimum airflow, reduced pathway fill and potentially lower operating costs, some are questioning whether these smaller diameter cords are acceptable.

It’s time to set the record straight.

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: Heather MacKenzie on August 06, 2014

From subsea drilling 6,000 feet below the surface to pipelines that cross many landscapes to intense refining processes, the range of conditions for oil and gas installations is very broad. As a design engineer, you may be involved with many types of projects with very different requirements. How then do you approach selecting the right cable for an oil and gas application?

The good news is that despite the broad range of oil and gas applications many of them share common cable requirements. In this article we take away the voodoo and spell out the 3 easy steps to selecting the right cable.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on August 05, 2014

This week's blog is about the past. It occurred to me that a lot of time, and a lot of blogs, have gone by that you might not know. I've been doing this for over two years now and as I rapidly approach my 100th blog, a lot of people come up to me at tradeshows or seminars or engineering gatherings to talk to me about subjects I have blogged about. Some of the more popular blogs can pass 8,000 views. It certainly wasn't like that at the beginning. A few hundred was a very popular blog. So it occurred to me that you might be interested in the subjects from yesteryear.

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