Copper has had a long life for data networking connections, but an all-optical data center is likely to be in the cards somewhere in the future. And it’s going to be glass, despite the temptation of other shiny toys like RF and LEDs.
Don’t get me wrong, I love copper wiring. With a little silicon magic, very good cable, and decent crimping, you can get 10 GigE connections for short runs without a lot of headaches. At longer distances, DSP processing and clever algorithms is squeezing out more speed from existing copper plant For people who already have copper in place and some certainty with cable quality, copper is great. Read more
The Internet2 conference this week was a smashing success. Reflecting on the audience’s comments and interest in our advanced development SDN (Software-Defined Networking) infrastructure testbed leads me to elaborate on it a bit further.
SDN was conceived as a method to control and virtualize elements inside data centers, not between them. But the testbed at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., stretches the old bounds of the concept. Read more
LTE-Advanced Release 10 is a major enhancement of the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). This new technology is targeting peak data rates up to 1Gbps and introduces new concepts with the ultimate goal of designing a system that is drastically enhanced in both cell capacity and coverage.
Today’s mobile backhaul network architectures will face additional challenges with LTE-Advanced on its way to being introduced by all major mobile network operators. Inter-cell interference coordination (ICIC) and coordinated multi-point transmission (CoMP) are two functions from the LTE-Advanced toolkit that target a better user-experience at the cell edge. ICIC limits cross-talk by coordinating spectrum allocation across multiple cells. CoMP allows multiple base stations to simultaneously serve a user device and increase the receive power level and therefore capacity. Read more
I’m excited about the potential of gigabit broadband services, but I also know it is unlikely my current broadband service provider will offer these kinds of speeds within this decade or perhaps even next. If I should be so lucky to have access to gigabit speeds (heck, I would be happy with 50Mbps) in the foreseeable future, it will likely be provided through my own city government in some form of a public-private partnership.
This decision will come about – not because they want to service the residential market – but driven primarily by economic development. And while they are running fiber rings about the city, why not extend those services to the consumers, who remain under-served by the incumbent. Read more
A couple of months ago a screenshot of the control panel of Doc Brown’s Delorean time machine in Back to the Future II circulated on the internet with the date of the day. Turns out it was a hoax, and a recurring one for that matter because the real date that Marty and Doc fly out to in that movie is October 21st, 2015.
Still, that got me thinking about the expectations that science-fiction movies and books have, in a way, implanted in us. A lot of people will talk about flying cars when asked what technology they expected as kids would be commonplace in the 21st century. But one of the most recurring tropes of science-fiction movie sets is video communications. Spies (1928) is the earliest I could find, but there are many more: Forbidden Planet (1956), A Space Odyssey (2001), Star Wars (1977), Blade Runner (1982), Total Recall (1990), Men in Black (1997), Minority Report (2002), Avatar (2009), etc. Read more