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Industry Trends: The Future is Power over Ethernet
19 October 2015
Power over Ethernet or PoE is becoming more wide spread as a means to combine networking and electrical power into one cable. It allows a single data cable, CAT5e, CAT6 or CAT6A, to provide both data connection and electrical power to devices.

In a system, a power signalling device (PSE) communicates with a powered device (PD). The IEEE standards provide for signalling between the PSE and PD. This signalling allows the presence of a conformant device to be detected by the power source and allows the device and source to negotiate the amount of power required.

Deploying Power over Ethernet brings many advantages to an installation:

Flexibility – Without being tethered to an electrical outlet, devices such as IP cameras and wireless access points can be located wherever they are required. 

Safety – POE is set-up to deliver protection for networking equipment, saving it from overload or incorrect installation. 

Reliability – PoE is a fully integrated solution with the availability to link an uninterruptible power supply, or controlled to easily disable or reset devices.

Power over Ethernet provides a fully adaptable system, reducing the time and expense of having electrical power cabling installed. The range of PoE powered devices continues to increase with Wireless Access Points, IP/Network Cameras, Access Control Points, Badge Readers and more. The potential to upgrade systems to become PoE compatible is fully scalable.

A particular area of interest for PoE is the market for IP Security and Surveillance, which will grow by $4281 billion by 2019. IP Video revenues surpassed analogue in 2014 cementing the future of PoE applications, as it simplified IP camera deployment. The system is popular amongst government, military and transportation bodies.

Deploying PoE, gives network designers and administrators greater flexibility. It removes the dependency on AC outlets, drastically reducing installation costs and enabling devices in remote locations to be easily powered.

Power over Ethernet also gives networking professionals additional control utilising SNMP. Individuals are able to monitor and control powered devices, including resetting or shut-off. This added layer of functionality ensures greater control and increased security, enabling powering down of devices preventing unauthorized access. 

The solution enables users to work from a centralised power source, with management capabilities increased across the network. In a power outage, devices like VoIP phones and IP security cameras will become redundant unless a UPS system is deployed. With PoE, a centrally manage UPS can be used to supply back-up power to your PSE equipment. 

Using Power over Ethernet offers clear benefits over traditional network infrastructure. The solution enhances network planning and design. PoE removes the constraints of having additional AC power outlets within a network. The solution also allows adds, moves and changes to happen faster, with PoE-enabled switches and networking devices.