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Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: Mike Peterson on May 21, 2015

To achieve impressive thermal management efficiency levels, data center administrators can select from a range of options – from simple first steps to more complex measures. How do you know where to start, and what will provide the most efficient, reliable, and cost-effective thermal management strategy?

Let’s first define “thermal management.” You may hear the word “cooling” in thermal management conversations, but it doesn’t mean just supplying cold air (although that is one element of thermal management) it also includes rejecting the heat that is being created by the IT load – in fact, air-conditioning in a data center typically accounts for 35% of total operations costs. The goal is to ensure that hot and cold air don’t mix, and to reject hot air inside the data center by taking the hot exhaust from equipment and moving it outside the space.

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Tags: Data Center, Aisle Containment

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: Heather MacKenzie on May 20, 2015

Installing Ethernet on the factory floor is not new. What is changing is its adoption for controlling communications to power-hungry machines, often in areas regulated by the National Electrical Code (NEC).

High powered machinery in code-regulated environments requires higher voltage cable, making the use of 600V Ethernet cables more common. When Ethernet cable is used in such a 600-volt environment, electrical safety becomes a design consideration.

If you suspect that your 600V Ethernet application needs to conform to the NEC regulations, or if you simply want to understand 600V cable safety considerations, read on.

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Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Heather MacKenzie on May 13, 2015

When it comes to securing ICS and SCADA networks, firewalls (also called security appliances) play an important role. That may be stating the obvious, but are you familiar with the essential concepts that distinguish the types of industrial firewalls on the market?

A switch with Access Control Lists provides a different type of security than a stateful firewall, which in turn offers different benefits than a Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) firewall.

These differences are critically important for industrial networks. Most of them use specialized industrial communication protocols that were not designed with security in mind. Your security solution may require a DPI firewall, which may be something you have never encountered before.

Let’s take a look then at the essential concepts you need to know in order to make informed choices for firewalls on your automation network.

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Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: Paul Kish on May 07, 2015

Ethernet has taken the world by storm, from the early days of computers connected on shared networks operating at 10 Mb/s to dedicated high speed networks today operating at 10 Gb/s over copper and 100 Gb/s over optical fiber. Today these connections are not just between computers but all kinds of fixed and mobile devices sending and receiving all kinds of information, including high definition pictures and videos, large data transfers, tracking and positioning systems, 3D rendering, etc.

Ever-increasing bandwidth consumption and connectivity requirements mean that more businesses rely on Ethernet for improved speeds, availability and reliability. As Ethernet grows in breadth and complexity, the copper and fiber optic cabling systems required to support these networks are advancing as well.

Let’s walk through a brief history of recent Ethernet standards – and the cabling that supports it – to see just how far we’ve come.

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: Mike Miclot on May 06, 2015

It’s hard to imagine living our lives today without the Internet. From finding information to getting directions to learning things via YouTube, the Internet has become essential.

Now let’s try and think about how our lives will change because “things” are rapidly being connected to the Internet. It is estimated that the number of connected devices today is about equal to the world’s population, or seven billion. By 2020 that number is going to increase to about 28 billion.

The combination of IoT along with another important smart factory trend, the increasing use of industrial wireless, is transforming the plant floor. In today’s article I take a look at how current wireless network design is proving to be important in realizing benefits from the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

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Blog Category: Belden News

Posted by: Michelle Foster on May 05, 2015

facilities and manufacturing plants, providing the network infrastructure necessary to connect devices in order to automate processes, increase efficiencies and reduce costs. However, the projects we are proudest of are the ones that help those in need, specifically military veterans.

Recently, Belden used its IoT experience to support the construction of a smart home for Army veteran John Masson, who was severely injured while serving in Afghanistan.

Masson stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) while conducting Village Stability Operations in 2010. He lost an arm and both legs. Through the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E Program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) and Building for America’s Bravest, a partner program, Masson was selected to receive a specially adapted smart home.

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Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Heather MacKenzie on April 29, 2015

Many North American power utilities have large numbers of isolated electrical substations that operate well but are equipped with legacy devices running on proprietary protocols. Impossible to monitor without someone physically visiting them, such substations prevent utilities from delivering on the promise of the smart grid.

Imagine you run a utility with hundreds of legacy substations that you cannot connect to from a central location. The longer you have this problem the longer your network is going to be out-of-step with an important capability.

Now imagine there is an easy way to connect legacy substations to a central system. “Fantastic,” you think, “What is it?” And “Does it bring with it any new problems? (For example, security issues.) In today’s article, I look at a cost-effective solution for this dilemma that both connects substations to the smart grid and secures them.

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: Heather MacKenzie on April 22, 2015

Thirty years ago most industrial control systems (ICS) were hardwired. Often sensors and actuators came with long wires that weren’t even jacketed together. Those wires would be threaded through conduits and then wired into the system. This was a time-consuming process that required the services of an electrician, costing organizations significant time and money.

The Hannover Fair of 1985 changed all that. M12 connectors were introduced and a few years later they became the standard for ICS.

A system that is linked with M12 connectors makes assembling, testing and servicing ICS faster and less expensive. These advantages are further enhanced when a cord set is used instead of installing separate cables and connectors. Let’s take a close look at the advantages of M8 and M12 cord sets and the steps needed to select the right one.

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