Telephone cable

The Rise of LAN 2.0

LANs (local area networks) are everywhere. Instead of having to manage multiple disparate networks for each system, a LAN can serve as the platform that supports a variety of low-voltage building systems, from data sharing and internet access to all-purpose connectivity.

Today, we’re moving into what I like to call the “LAN 2.0.” Through the Ethernet network and its parent structured cabling infrastructure that form a LAN, enterprise IT systems can be centrally managed and ultimately more efficient. That is the promise of LAN 2.0.

Today, Ethernet over twisted pair cabling and WiFi are the most common connections in local area networks. But early LAN cabling was based on coaxial cable.

The LAN has come a long way since its creation. Take a look at the technology and systems coming together on one. These different applications are converging to create a ubiquitous LAN.

1.Voice and Data Networks. The merging of voice and data was the first movement we saw toward the ubiquitous LAN. The same cable and connectivity were used in the same rooms and pathways. With the advent of VoIP, voice and data truly merged at the networking level by transmitting voice data packets from one IP address to another over the internet.

2.Wireless Networks. Evolving from a standalone, ancillary service for conference rooms, lobbies, etc. to an integral part of an organization, wireless has also joined the LAN movement. This has allowed the LAN to not only connect mobile users and users stranded at their desks, but also to connect fixed devices like wireless access points, IP cameras and HD monitors. As of this year, WiFi, wireless, wired LAN and wireless LAN have become equal in terms of performance. Wireless LAN is now equal to wired LAN in terms of switch ports as well.

3.Building Management Systems. These systems are the most recent addition to the LAN.They control and monitor ventilation, lighting, power, fire and security systems-just to name a few. Becoming part of the LAN ties together the distinct devices and systems within a facility.

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