Netvanta Switch Line Goes Green with Energy Saving Features

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print


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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.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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