LANs (local area networks) are everywhere. From voice and data networks to building management systems, they’re bringing traditionally separate, standalone systems together under one network. Instead of having to manage multiple disparate networks for each system, a LAN can serve as the platform that supports a variety of low-voltage building systems, from data sharing and internet access to all-purpose connectivity.
Today, we’re moving into what I like to call the “LAN 2.0.” Through the Ethernet network and its parent structured cabling infrastructure that form a LAN, enterprise IT systems can be centrally managed and ultimately more efficient. That is the promise of LAN 2.0.
Whether it’s over copper or fiber, LANs are becoming pervasive.
The first LANs were designed to allow computers to exchange data files. Networking and cabling infrastructure were used to allow millions of computers and users to communicate back and forth.
Today, Ethernet over twisted pair cabling and WiFi are the most common connections in local area networks. But early LAN cabling was based on coaxial cable. In 1984, the first IEEE 802.3 standard for Ethernet over twisted pair wiring (StarLAN) used Category 3 cable to illustrate the potential of simple unshielded twisted pairs. Shielded twisted pair was used in IBM’s token ring LAN implementation. This eventually led to 10Base-T and its successors, as well as structured cabling – the basis of today’s commercial LANs.
The LAN has come a long way since its creation. Take a look at the technology and systems coming together on one. These different applications are converging to create a ubiquitous LAN.
Now that we’ve covered the applications coming together on the LAN 2.0, stay tuned for another post soon that will cover cabling infrastructure required to support the LAN’s ever-expanding role.
If you have questions about what the future holds for the LAN, or how voice, data, wireless, AV, security and building management systems converge on one network, contact us at 800.BELDEN.1 or www.belden.com/contact-us
Also, be sure to check out our white paper, "How You Can Optimize Passive Optical LAN through Structured Cabling."
Throughout his career Stephane has worked in the telecommunications industry; in R&D, product management, training and marketing. Since 2014, Stephane as Director Technology and Applications is focusing on technology roadmap and ideation, networking applications and trends, and standards engagement.