Netvanta Switch Line Goes Green with Energy Saving FeaturesBy Frank Ohlhorst | Posted 2008-11-19 Email Print
Adtran’s Netvanta switch line of switches incorporates technologies that help green the enterprise while reducing support burdens for solution providers.
The most recent Adtran Netvanta switches incorporate a couple of
features that should be of interest to solution providers looking to
help green their customers' environments and speed troubleshooting
tasks. The "green" features come as part of the POE (Power Over
Ethernet) option offered on some of Adtran's switches and focus on the
ability to shut down POE devices based upon a schedule. For example, a
business using POE IP Phones could program the switch to shut off those
phones during non-business hours. The same goes for POE-powered IP
cameras, wireless access points and so on.
Interestingly, the ability to schedule shutdowns goes beyond just power savings -- a security benefit can be realized also. Businesses could automatically shut down wireless access points to prevent squatters or hackers from attacking those devices in the off hours, preventing possible security breaches, along with saving a few watts of power.
What’s more, phones that are shut down can no longer be used in the off hours by unauthorized personnel, such as cleaning crews or building maintenance workers who perform their tasks in the off hours. The power scheduling capability could also be used automatically to turn on security cameras that use motion capture during the off hours. That capability would help to reduce unnecessary storage use for video, while saving as much as 60 watts per device when shut down.
With the power scheduling control integrated into the Netvanta switches, Adtran has created an opportunity to introduce "green" technology into the SME market, with the added benefit of improving network security by shutting down endpoint devices when they are not needed. Solution providers should be able to extrapolate that capability into other "green" technologies, while creating customer awareness for potential power savings and security improvements.
Adtran channel partners will also get a new feature for troubleshooting wiring problems. Integrated into the new Netvanta switches is support for Cable Diagnostics. Solution providers can access the switch management console and identify cable plant problems such as an open or a short in a twisted pair. The integrated diagnostics go many steps further, as well. Remote technicians can use the diagnostics to determine how far down the line a break is, or if cables not meeting cat5 standards are in use, or if a particular pair of wires is shorted. The ability to remotely diagnose cabling problems offers extensive savings to solution providers and their customers.
Using the integrated cable diagnostic utilities, solution providers may be able to reduce or limit on-site visits and may eliminate the need for expensive cable scanners, such as those from Fluke Networks. What’s more, cable validation and moves or adds become easier for on-site technicians. The switches' ability to identify problematic cables could also lead to additional service or rewiring opportunities for solution providers, by identifying cables that are marginal at best.
For some solution providers playing in the MSP arena, remote cable diagnostics could eliminate the need to send a technician out to a site, as long as the customer is willing to replace cables without needing onsite technical support.
Solution providers will find these features could be used to build additional opportunities and help simplify troubleshooting and some security tasks, while also helping customers to save money on support, energy and security add-ons. What’s more, the advanced diagnostics capabilities can ease the installation of IP phones and other devices that use POE or are wired directly to the switch.