Campus LAN: Know the Main Benefits of GPON in Education Environment

Campus LAN: Know the Main Benefits of GPON in Education Environment

In this article, we’ll get to know Campus LAN, what they are, what their importance is on communication systems, where they are applied and how we can change the concept of Campus LAN through the use of fiber optic networks with GPON technology.

What is Campus LAN?

Campus LAN or CAN are larger networks than LAN and smaller than WAN.

To understand what local area networks and the fiber local area networks we call FiberLAN are, please refer to the article: FiberLAN in Enterprise: Alternative to an Ethernet-based Market

By definition, Campuses are groups of buildings in a given area with a common purpose, usually associated with universities. Campus LANs are networks that aggregate several LANs on that campus, connected together via fiber optics.

Each building on that Campus has its own local network, traditionally an Ethernet network in CAT5 or CAT6 copper pairs, with an aggregator and entrance rack and, if the building is large enough, may have other distribution racks spread across the various floors. Typically we talk about routers and switches that are installed in cabinets, in rooms, or technical spaces, usually with a refrigerated atmosphere, battery systems (UPS's) and security systems against intruders.

The Campus LAN will provide internet access for students and teachers and also enable the continuous share of information within the network. If the network is closed, data does not leave the network and the users experience low latency but if the network is open and the access is made through the internet, data will take longer to reach the users and the users of the networks will have to rely on a third party intervenient, that is the ISP (Network Operator).

What are the Main Benefits of a Fiber Network in a Campus LAN?

Fiber has been around for many years now. In the beginning, fiber optics were used for backbone communications, as it was expensive and rather difficult to work with. With the expansion of the networks of cable operators and the continuous demand for bandwidth, the operators had to find ways to cope with the demand and fiber was the solution, so fiber became a standard for access networks.

Being that the demand continues to grow and fiber networks have proven reliable and very cost-effective, why not bring the fiber networks closer to the final user?

Of course, in FTTH, as the name says, the fiber goes up to the Home, where the final residential user is. But for the business, or for the university, the final user is only at the end of a very complex subnetwork of switches and CAT6 cables, and the fiber only stays at the door… Why not bring it in?

The concept of FiberLAN is perfectly applied in a Campus LAN. A FiberLAN is a passive fiber optic Local Area Network with the following main characteristics that apply to this scope:

  • Fiber Optic networks can cover a radius of more than 20Km, not being limited to the 90m of a CAT6 cable. Being so, the single LAN's present in each building can be replaced by a single greater LAN that covers many of the buildings of the Campus, if not all.
  • The whole network of the Campus is internal, the bandwidth can be determined and directed to where it is needed. There are not constraints on bandwidth, as it does not depend on the ISP availability.
  • Even though the network is much simpler and centralized, there can be multiple accesses to the internet. The external network is independent of the internal network. Same model as the traditional Campus LAN.
  • The whole fiber optics network is centralized and simplified, allowing the complete management of the network from a single point (if designed as so), reducing the costs with specialized personnel, reducing the quantity of equipment needed to run the network.
  • The simplification of the network and consequent reduction of equipment will drastically reduce the energy consumption and the space occupied. We are talking here of a reduction of above 70% in both cases.

More detailed information on FiberLAN’s in the article: What is GPON and How Does It Work?

Where can I get Campus LAN Solutions?

If you are a systems manager and you are struggling with problems in your LAN or CAN (Campus LAN) you have to make some calculations and check what can compensate to do: either repair and upgrade what you have or move to a new and complete solution in Fiber Optics using GPON solution.

If your pains are bandwidth or network complexity and whatever you do it does not improve, maybe the only solution will be to replace the equipment you have or improve the network itself, to other superior categories. If that is the case, it would compensate immediately to opt for a FiberLAN solution.

One of the main reasons that systems managers are reluctant to change to fiber optic solutions is because they think fiber optics is still a technology too far ahead and too complex to implement in-house. It is not! Nowadays it is very easy to train oneself to work with fiber optics and there is a lot of information on the internet that may help. As the operators already have the networks working outside, there is plenty of companies who can service you in your local area, if that is the case.

Another reason why system managers are reluctant to approve these fiber networks is because they feel afraid of losing relevance within their organization. If is put some thinking into this matter, the systems manager will have much less work in the network itself, because it will have significantly less maintenance work to do, it is true. But, on the other hand, he will specialize himself in a new and different technology, and also will have more time to improve other things in the network systems and decrease the need to focus on the network.

If you identify with the statements above, look for a company that operates in the fiber optics field and ask for a solution for a fiber optics network using GPON technology and explain very well what your problems are. Read and research a little bit about the subject and only accept the solution that will solve your problem completely. It doesn’t have to be expensive to be good. You have to focus on what you can improve in performance and what you can save in terms of operational costs.

Final Considerations

Fiber optic networks are here to stay and there’s no other technology, currently, that is better than fiber optics for telecommunication networks. If you have to invest in your local network, always think of the future and what you can use that exists actually that can help you improve and not be more of the same.

This is how Yelco positions itself in the market, by bringing new solutions, creating value and helping people and companies to reach their “telecommunication” goals.

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