What is the uLAN and why do I need it?

Part 1 in our 3-part uLAN series

uLAN-Logo-Selection_FINALLast week, Berk-Tek hosted a webinar on smart buildings and the way they are changing network infrastructure in the enterprise. As we were preparing for this webinar – and as we’ve been talking to customers about this topic over the last year or so – we’ve heard the same kind of feedback from most people.

They understand what smart buildings are. They understand the benefits. And usually they’re interested in learning more or even getting started on implementing the technologies. But they also almost always have a common concern: that these additional systems being connected to the IP network are going to cause a disruption to their core LAN operations – their workstations, phones and WiFi networks.

Many customers want to take advantage of all the cost savings and efficiency benefits a smart building would bring, but they don’t want to risk it getting in the way of their core network.

Berk-Tek is addressing this concern with the introduction of the uLANTM, which stands for Utility LAN. The uLAN is an emerging ecosystem of building applications that traditionally haven’t been IP-enabled but are now being connected and powered by the network. Think lighting, security, AV, HVAC, etc. –  systems that aren’t directly involved with business getting done but are critical to keeping the up and running, so that business can be conducted.

The way we see it, the uLAN is already happening. Many networks are already connecting non-core-LAN devices – IP security cameras, soundmasking equipment, access control devices, etc.  Your telecom room probably has two or three racks per floor with an assortment of Core LAN and uLAN devices connected into the same switches.

But moving forward, we see the TR having dedicated racks for the uLAN as the number of devices connected grows. A rack for Core LAN devices, and most likely, multiple racks for the uLAN. As more devices get connected to the IP network, your uLAN will continue to grow. You’ll probably see the uLAN racks outnumber the LAN racks in TR.

All of this and more was covered in our webinar last week. If you missed it, you’re in luck! You can watch the recorded version here.

You can also get some additional info on the uLAN on our website: www.berktek.us/ulan

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