Passive Optical LAN is a scalable, secure, future ready, enterprise-wide infrastructure that is economical and environmentally friendly. It uses Singlemode fibre optic cables in a point-to-point or point-to-multipoint configuration to securely transport a vast range of communications protocols in both physical or software defined networks.

For more than 40 years, copper-based connectivity has become synonymous with the Local Area Networks (LAN) and, while this might have worked well in the past, copper technology cannot keep pace with today’s needs. More and more people are demanding high speed connectivity with a multitude of new connected devices coming onto the market.

Current copper infrastructure will be unable to cope with the demands of the future and so we must look at replacing our copper cables in almost every part of our networks with new, high capacity fibre optics and one of the most popular solutions is a Passive Optical Network, which uses the same, mature technology that telco’s and Internet service providers use to deliver your broadband connection via Fibre to the Home; in the telco world, this is often referred to as GPON technology or FTTH.

This might sound like a lavish option but it could save thousands in capital and operational expenditure (Capex & Opex). Fiber optic networks can be cheaper to build and operate than existing copper networks as they are more compact, use fewer cables, consume less power and are faster to install. Add to this greater reliability, faster speeds and a future proof cabling system and you will begin to see some of the many benefits.

Basic components

At the one end, you have a device called an Optical Line Terminal (OLT). The OLT is an electrically powered device that acts like a control center and connects to the core network or Internet, it then uses software to manage the data flow. It converts the data to an optical signal and distributes it, through fibre optic cables, to another electrically powered device called an Optical Network Terminal (ONT).

The ONT is an Access Point (AP) and the distance between the OLT and the ONT can be up to 20 Km, so you don’t even need to have your OLT control center inside the same building as the ONT. The two devices can be joined by a single fibre optic cable, called point-to-point, or to a single cable that has been split along the way, into many points called point-to-multipoint.

The OLT control center can have many outlet ports and one single outlet port from the OLT can carry GB levels of data that can be distributed to connect lots of access points, usually around 32, to a single fibre. This is achieved using passive optical splitters; as the name suggests these require no power, and hence no cooling, and can be discretely installed at convenient points throughout the installation.

POLAN Flow Diagram

That could be 32 rooms in a hotel or 32 desks in an office or 32 cameras or Wi-Fi access points; usually it’s a mix of these. A single optical fibre can deliver multiple services up to 20 Km so there would be no more need for bundles of copper cables running to a telecoms room, no more 100m length restrictions as with copper cables and no more complicated and power hungry switches to manage.

The ONT is like the broadband hub in your home and is typically a low voltage device. It can come in many configurations but let’s consider a unit which has a four-port router and Wi-Fi. You could make either a physical or wireless access connection to your network or the Internet whilst the other ports can deliver voice, video, security, data and many other functions, as required.

Other access point ONT’s could have up to 24 RJ-45 Ethernet ports, can deliver Power-over-Ethernet while supporting VLAN, 802.1x and QoS. If your requirements change you don’t have to rip out all the cabling infrastructure, you just replace the ONT for one that will deliver the services you need.

Security

If you need a scalable, secure, future ready, enterprise wide infrastructure that is economical and environmentally friendly, Passive Optical LAN is the solution. GPON provides military-grade security with AES 128 encryption in the downstream, no crosstalk between fibers, no EMI/RFI transmission, no administration ports on the ONT’s, remote software upgrades and carrier-grade reliability.

POLAN Network Security
POLAN Network Management

Control

Network management systems define software networks, bandwidth management, device application, QoS and real time measurements using powerful web based GUI for easy configuration and provisioning. It is the centralized intelligence that controls and supports the passive optical network and associated devices allowing you to orchestrate consistent, repeatable, error-free IT policies and procedures.

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