Smile… You’re on Camera!


Later this month, Teresa Hoffman, Berk-Tek’s Fiber Optic Product Business Manager, will be delivering a webinar about our OneReach™ solution. OneReach is a PoE extender system that combines optical fiber for long-distance gigabit transmission and copper conductors in a single system. The result? The ability to take PoE and PoE+ to distances that were previously unreachable – 3,600 ft and 2,400 ft respectively.

Yes, you read that correctly. You can take PoE more than 3,000 feet!

But more on that later. First, funny videos!

One of the most popular applications for our OneReach solution is security. In the spirit of short attention spans and good-natured distraction, check out these examples of surveillance videos gone bad. Or, should I say, surveillance videos gone hilariously right!

Pizza Delivery Fail. Do you know where your pizza’s been?

Kissing Gone Wrong. They probably should’ve used their own car for cover.

Rocking Out. He was too hardcore for his car!

Okay, okay… back to OneReach!

OneReach is a game-changing solution for a lot of different applications. Think about security phones on a college campus, for example. Most of these now have cameras installed on them, so they require both data and power connections. Traditionally, mid-span equipment would need to be installed within 100m of the cameras. And since you can’t risk them losing power, if they’re run with local power, redundancy needs to built in.

With OneReach, these types of devices can be connected and powered by one length of composite cable that contains both fiber for long-distance data transmission and copper for PoE.  And since all power comes from the equipment room, UPS back-up is easy – required in only one central location to ensure uninterrupted power to all remote sites.

Or how about those wireless access points you want to in the ceiling of your auditorium? How can you cost-effectively connect and power those? OneReach could be your answer.

The list of installation challenges that OneReach could solve is extensive. In addition to WAPs in auditoriums and blue light phones, it’s been used for things like security along walking trails, card readers in warehouses, cameras  parking garages, and more.

Register for Teresa’s webinar to learn more about how this unique technology could solve some of your toughest installation challenges.

So easy, it’s almost scary.

By: Susan Larson, Marketing Communications Manager


I love marketing. I love everything about it – the logos, the catchy headlines, the psychology behind figuring out what people need and what they’ll respond to. I especially love when I come across a TV commercial that’s not only marketing brilliance, but it also converges with IT! Lo and behold, this month I came across one that coincides with a new product Berk-Tek is launching. What are the odds?! Continue reading

Your Network May Be Aging Faster than You Are: How to Keep Your Backbone Strong

By: Susan Larson, Marketing Communications Manager

Doctor operating CT scanner in hospitalConfession: I have a bad back. At the ripe old age of 41, I have a degenerated disc in my lower back that causes some really annoying pain anytime it rains or, to be honest, when I dance too much at a wedding.

Part of my treatment involves getting periodic X-rays to assess the dysfunctional disc and make sure it’s not getting worse. Every year, I make an appointment with my Orthopedist. The appointment starts with the X-Ray. After that, I walk to the other side of the building to meet with the doctor and review my X-rays. Continue reading

An Inadvertent Crash Course in PoE: The Top 4 Things You Need to Know

training roomAs I sat down to write this month’s post about Power over Ethernet, my mind immediately flashed back to my Berk-Tek job interview. Since it was a marketing position, my manager wisely constructed the interview process to include the creation of a mock marketing plan, and – gulp – a marketing presentation. Gotta prove you can do the job, right?

Continue reading

Balancing Your Migration Plan Budget (Part 1)

By: Teresa Hoffman, Fiber Optic Product Business Manager

Hardware and Codes

Let’s face it. Data center upgrades are expensive and risky. There are countless factors to consider, and more than a few mildly terrifying things that go sideways if you make the wrong move. In some ways, you have to be a fortune-teller. You need to be sure that the infrastructure you install will be able to support not only current needs, but also your next generation of equipment and ever-increasing bandwidth requirements. The last thing you want to do is install a cabling plant today that you’ll have to rip out and reinstall three years from now.

I’m not going to attempt to cover all of factors that play into a data center upgrade. There are entire books, websites and even college courses devoted to that. But if we boil it all down, we’re really talking about two main considerations – budget and performance.

In the data center world, there’s more than one type of budget to consider.

Financial budget

Of course, there’s always a financial budget to keep in mind. We all want to have “the best” system/product/solution, but financial realities demand that we carefully examine what we need, prioritize the requirements, and choose solutions that provide the best return on our investment.

For example, looking just at cabling, traditional cable plants have used OM3 multimode fiber. Going to OM4 – or OM4+ – is more of an investment, but worth it because the added bandwidth might be needed to overcome insertion loss. Another example is single-mode vs. multimode. Single-mode is the least expensive cable, but with higher connectivity and optics costs, single-mode as a solution can be up to three times more expensive than multi-mode.

Link budget

Financials are important. But they’re not the only budget you need to think about your migration path. What good is saving money on a system that doesn’t work? It’s critical to understand whether or not your cabling will support your protocol. To do that, you need to know your link budget – or power budget – and understand what you can do to maximize it.

In theory this is simple. Your system either works or it doesn’t, right? Not exactly. With the number of PMD options constantly increasing, it’s get difficult to keep track of all of the variables.  A PMD is the Physical Media Dependent form factor for the transceiver connection.  Each PMD has a set of conditions – fiber type, connector type, bandwidth support and cabling insertion loss – that are needed in order for it to operate correctly.

IEEE defines worst case conditions to ensure interoperability, but these limits can be very restrictive. As an alternative, many network managers take advantage of engineered links to improve performance.  An engineered link is one where one or more performance attributes are specified to be better than the standard. The better performance can come from any number of different attributes. It could be from higher bandwidth fiber, or lower loss connectivity, or better performing transmitters and receivers. With the number of potential options available, the number of possible solutions seems infinite.

So now that you’ve factored in all of your financial and link loss requirements, how do you go about determining the best migration plan – one that balances your budget with your desired network performance objectives? Part 2 of this series will discuss several approaches to this challenge.