6 Benefits for Shifting to Power over Ethernet
When systems integrators and their end-user clients discuss options for powering network-centric security and access control systems, they are both in agreement on the ultimate destination once the project is completed – minimum disruption, ease of implementation and value versus cost. Power over Ethernet (PoE) provides value for devices and networks that require power but also involve transmission of data. As the number of devices that are controlled remotely and transmit data expands, the critical nature of PoE technology for network infrastructure will only increase.
In the current landscape, PoE applications drive many security and communication applications. The ability to use PoE for IP security camera installs allows for rapid deployment and easy repositioning, and because of the myriad wireless access points along the network that are PoE compatible, remote RFID readers and wireless electronic access control systems are prime drivers. Although PoE was designed as a solution to power wireless access points and IP phones using Ethernet cable that transported data, the available power determines what types of devices can be used on your system.
How to Assess the Benefits:
So, as PoE becomes the de facto choice of security installers for delivering power to security and access control devices, what are the overriding benefits that are driving this rapid power-source migration beyond the obvious reduction of labor and installation costs by delivering power and data over a single cable?
The primary PoE advantage is the ability to transmit data and power over Cat5e or Cat6 Ethernet cable which saves the cost of bringing in an electrical contractor since a remote install is usually less expensive than running optical fiber. Another benefit is the ubiquitous nature of Ethernet cable that PoE requires since most of today’s commercial, industrial and residential buildings have it already installed; plus, remote networks can be boosted to increase coverage distances greater than 300 feet for a single device by deploying PoE extenders.
As you are putting together your PoE checklist, here are six top benefits to consider:
Improving data speeds: The use of Cat5e and Cat6 Ethernet cables allows PoE solutions to deliver data at up to 1 Gigabit per second up to 100 meters. With ever-increasing internet speeds, more cloud services and more intensive applications running on servers, networks can relay more data and permit 10 Gigabit Ethernet in the right locations helping to alleviate bottlenecks and give a perceived speed boost to the network.
- Ease of installation: This is a key benefit for installers and technicians, who just need to plug and play in most cases by locating the device and simply snapping the ethernet cable into the RJ45 socket. Both data and power are distributed along the same cable, so installers don’t have to tap into the main outlet, which is essential in the deployment of outdoor video surveillance cameras that are unlikely to be near AC outlets.
- PoE is adaptable: PoE devices can be deployed where they are needed without the necessity of electrical power outlets, which allows an installer to position security access control and communication system devices in remote locations and in locations without proximity to a primary power source like dome and PTZ ceiling video cameras.
- Reliability in a Power Outage: The critical nature of security and access control and communication systems requires consistent and reliable power. Downtime for access control and video systems puts organizations at risk. Without-backup generator power, doors won’t open and cameras are blind. Because most of these systems today are network-centric, they have the benefit of being supported by an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) that can keep the PoE network up and running. This would allow essential building systems like security and fire to still function.
- Maximizing power: While the initial investment in a PoE solution might add $5 to $10 (for 15.4W) or $10 to $15 (for 30W) to your bill of materials (BoM), the fact that your installers have the flexibility to place devices almost anywhere without worrying about running cable brings an immediate ROI. A PoE switch can also automatically monitor power consumption by PoE-powered devices and regulate the supply of required power. This ability to allocate power can minimize power waste and help businesses save money.
- Future Proof: The expanding IoT universe ensures the viability of PoE solutions as more advanced technology critical to building and human safety and security will continue to populate the network. Incorporating PoE switches into your network infrastructure ensures it is able to support the increasing number of devices optimized to leverage this technology.