Investing in a Fiber Optic Network for Your Business
In 2018, artificial intelligence is synonymous with Transformer-esque robots taking over the world. While the future of AI remains unclear, daily bots like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa won’t provoke Megatron to crash land in the middle of Times Square. Instead, it’s being used to revolutionize enterprise by automating large volumes of detailed data analysis.
This analysis is transforming the healthcare, financial, and civil engineering sectors with enterprise applications that rely on high-bandwidth internet connections. As artificial intelligence grows globally in the coming years, cloud computing and fiber optic networks will be essential due to the volume of data, scale and the speed required to analyze the information. The network is the only thing that touches all elements of the cloud and that makes it the ideal transport for both cloud and machine learning adoption.
For companies that have previously invested in network upgrades, the prospect of upgrading again is painful but necessary if they want to take advantage of artificial intelligence solutions. Fiber optics networks are essential to the rollout of emerging AI services. By making the investment now, you will ensure your network has the bandwidth, speed, and security required to support next-generation services.
Over long distances, the cost of installing fiber is competitive with Ethernet. However, there may be some ancillary hardware investment because all machines on the network would need to have their network interface cards replaced with optical fiber compatible cards.
Bandwidth and Speed
Ethernet can only support data transfer rates up to 10Gbps with the use of Cat 6 cables. Optical fiber has faster transmission speeds that can read 100 terabits per second. Since optical fiber strands are thinner than Ethernet copper cabling, more wire can be bundled together with fiber than with Ethernet. This means more can be carried over the same size wire. Optical fiber also delivers higher bandwidth – 1000 MHz over 100m rather than 600 MHz.
Security and Susceptibility to Interference
Ethernet is an electrical signal sent over copper wire, which makes it vulnerable to electromagnetic interference. Optical fiber cables transfer data with light and are ideal for locations with high voltage, frequent lightning, or explosive gases, because there is no electricity involved to create a spark and subsequent fire hazard. Because Ethernet transmits electrical impulses over copper cabling, it is more vulnerable to interception than fiber. The light transmitted over optical fiber can’t be read the same way as electrical impulses.
Ethernet and fiber networks each have advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to keep the needs of your business in mind when researching options and considering an upgrade. In addition to the differences between Ethernet and fiber, companies need to keep in mind the cost of devices needed to make the new network work, and the difference in the cost of the actual cable. If you define your upgrade needs but still aren’t sure whether Ethernet or fiber is the answer for you, then contact us to discuss which option will maximize your business’ potential.