A Non-Engineer’s Take on Wide Area Networks

Wide Area Network PortWide Area Networks (WANs) have been designed to address the specific needs of varying types of organizations, businesses and consumers. Business type, number of employees, data security level, geographical distance between sites, file transfer size and requirements, and user profile are just some of the factors that dictate what type of WAN technology will be the most cost-effective and efficient. Often, organizations may implement a hybrid combination of network solutions.

Five main types of Wide Area Networks exist:

  1. Domestic MPLS  (Multi-Protocol Label Switching)
  2. International MPLS
  3. Carrier (Switched) Ethernet
  4. Carrier (Private) Ethernet
  5. Optical Carrier Private Line

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16QAM, A Lesson in Physics

Physics ProfessorAs a high school student, I vividly remember my physics professor trying to explain the law of refraction. In its simplest form, “the bending of a ray of light.” More complex than that, the whole class suddenly glazed. Mr. Physics had to be speaking Swahili.  Ten years later, and it seems my physics lessons are paying off big time: 16QAM.

With the standardization of 100G by the Institute of Electrical Electronics Engineers (IEEE)1, the ever-expanding world of bandwidth capacity is pushing towards the deployment of bigger and better, 400G super channels. A technology which would not be possible without the use of QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation). Read more of this post

Differentiation. How to be in a Class All Your Own.

Sunesys Wine BottleI’m often asked what drives our business. Being philosophical about this question, the number one driver always begins with the human insatiable need to communicate. Humans by nature are a pack species, and do not fare well on their own. Thus, from the beginning of time, we’ve learned languages in order to communicate our wants and needs. And as nomadic groups expanded their horizons into new lands, we needed to find ways to communicate across countries as well as continents.

That’s all very well, but once we learned to communicate, we needed a way to differentiate. At the end of the day, what really differentiates one company from another? For us, it’s the brand and what that brand represents. Take for example when you open any bottle of wine made by legendary wine farmer, Giuseppe Quintarelli, you know what that name on the bottle will mean. You absolutely know for what it will stand. Every bottle is a masterpiece, a testament to the skill and passion of a master artisan. You simply cannot compare his wines to any other in the region, or for that matter, anywhere else in the world. They are in a class and a category all to their own. Read more of this post

Evolution of the Wide Area Network

Evolution of the WANWide area network solutions have dramatically evolved over the past decades, providing organizations and businesses alike a variety of options to connect their remote locations, international offices and/or data centers to their headquarters. Emerging technologies have pushed the growth of the WAN into a modern-day machine.

In the past, the local telephone company had a monopoly on the “last mile,” the final leg of a connection that runs from a company’s location back to the carrier network. In this case, technology significantly limited the access rate or bandwidth capacity for the solution. For the last 100 years, the local phone company has used a twisted pair of copper phone lines in an effort to increase bandwidth to the network. However, copper lines tend to be unreliable, highly susceptible to electromagnetic interference, and provide only limited access to the network. Read more of this post

Fiber: The Key To Manufacturing’s Future

Manufacturing PlantIn this modern age, we’ve seen the digitization of data and the growth of broadband connections to the Internet dramatically impact how we consume books, music and video media.  Many believe that the next industry to undergo transformative change, as a result of these technological advances, is manufacturing.  Every day, data is created during the design, production and distribution of manufactured products.  Today, the vast majority of this data is discarded.  Fast forward to the future and many manufacturing professionals are realizing that much of this data can be collected and turned into information for influencing decisions in regards to manufacturing process improvements, product performance and quality.

UI Labs, a non-profit organization based in Chicago, is building a digital manufacturing lab funded in part by the federal government to commercialize and demonstrate digital technologies in manufacturing.  Partnering with manufacturing companies, both large and small, it aims to reestablish the U.S. as the preeminent manufacturing economy in the world.  To accomplish this, a combination of research and development, demonstration facilities and consultants will take technologies out of the lab, so to speak, and apply them in meaningful ways to commercial production environments.  Read more of this post

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