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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.