IP is defined as ‘Internet Protocol’ and IP Convergence is a term few will describe with precision. The heavy use of the term in popular culture has raised IP convergence (aka ‘IP Everywhere’) to cultural icon status, leading managers on to ask the critical question, “So, what is our IP Convergence Strategy?”.
IP Convergence can be coined with the popular view that all information (including data files, voice calls, e-mails, video streams, etc.) can become bits and bytes transported in one consistent frame or packet like structure across networks around the world.
The information can be easily created, processed, digested and communicated further afield while being accessible from anywhere, at any time.
Questions are arising as to how IP Convergence will impact the Infrastructure Industry both in the near and long term future. With the convergence of data with voice networks, PCs and phones, IT and telecoms networks and wired and wireless networks, the growth of IP applications is clearly expanding.
This growth has created a somewhat myth within the Infrastructure market, that the prime benefit is the need for less cabling. With the emerge of IP Applications such as Voice and Video over IP, and IP taking the lead as the foundation for most wireless networks, predictions are that the number and variation of network devices will only increase.
The idea of introducing less cable is a possible upside saving at best, but poses as a potential dangerous diversion if the networks are found to lack the necessary infrastructure to support growing future demand.
Network managers need to be flexible in order to take full advantage of the IP benefits and investment opportunities and need to be aware that IP applications mean a ‘single type of cable’ but not necessarily a ‘single cable’ so they do not fall into the trap of limiting their network abilities.
At the forefront of IP technical issues, along with voice and video which require streaming, is quality and reliability.
Within the modern business world even an application that works up to 99% of the time would be deemed as unacceptable as it would mean close to two hours per week of network downtime. It is important to recognise that many businesses are putting tens of thousands of dollars into sales every hour over the network, so every second really does count!
Additionally, another serious concern is the Quality of Service (QoS) as networks need to be designed for real time communications such as voice. In this day and age people are used to having flawless telephone service networks. Static, fragmented sentences and dropped calls are unacceptable.
At CommScope we believe that good Quality of Service (QoS) needs a solid Quality of Connection (QoC). The cabling used to support the infrastructure needs to enable high performance, minimise delay and optimise throughput and uptime so that IP applications using high performance cabling can fuel the growth within networks, devices and users.
Education and training are the key ingredient to ensuring successful network deployments, and where better to learn about these technologies and how best to implement them via the CommScope Infrastructure Academy.