Fiber-To-The-Office (FTTO) technology
Conception and implementation of an innovative building network for the construction of a new corporate headquarters. Area-wide use of glass fibre instead of copper.
Description of the solution
The solution was designed and implemented by a local planner, Cara Network Solutions, based on the Fiber To The Office technology of MICROSENS. The result: space-saving single mode optical fibers instead of copper cable harnesses with high space requirements and additional heat generation, two server rooms instead of six and a fast connection of all workstations. At CDE Globe, all video surveillance and access control systems as well as IP loudspeakers for alarms are connected to the network via the industrial switches.
„We were looking for an innovative, modern and future proof solution. We have opted for a concept which is unique – at least in Ireland. This commitment has paid off in any case. The MICROSENS components could be installed quickly and simply.“
Michael Morrow, Head of IT and Facilities at CDE Global.
MICROSENS GmbH & Co. KG
Phone: +49 2381/9452-0
info [at] microsens.de
euromicron subsidiary MICROSENS supplies FTTO network components for CDE Global
DE Global is one of the model enterprises of the Irish economy. Based on the permanent optimisation of products, procedures, and processes, the company was able to become the global market leader in the wet processing of sand and aggregates. A milestone was set at the end of 2018, when the company moved to its new corporate headquarters in Cookstown, Northern Ireland, setting optic and technical standards in the process. Minimalistically and clearly designed workplaces offer maximum flexibility. At the same time, a high-performance and very reliable network is available to all employees. This environment was configured and implemented by Cara Network Solutions on the basis of the Fiber To The Office-Technology of MICROSENS GmbH & Co. KG, a subsidiary of euromicron AG.
Innovation Requires Technology
In 2016, Michael Morrow took over the responsibility for the IT at CDE Global as the Head of IT and Facilities. From then on, the infrastructure of the company was subject to rapid development. Almost all hardware systems, IT architectures and processes were put to the test, and many things were replaced and renewed. His credo is: CDE Global stands for innovation and the latter requires an optimal, high-performance infrastructure based on state-of-the-art technology. When he was presented with the network plans for the new global headquarters of the company for the first time, Michael Morrow intervened directly: "The planner had intended to implement the complete cabling with copper. This was out of the question for us. We were looking for an innovative, modern and future proof solution."
Fiber Optic instead of Copper
Morrow found this solution with Cara Network Solutions at MICROSENS. The company develops very compact, high-performance Micro Switches which are installed in offices or - as in the case of CDE Global - at the workplaces. At the server end, the switches are connected by means of fiber optic. The end devices are connected simply and cost-effectively via their standard interfaces with copper cables to the switch. Thanks to a Power-over-Ethernet option, the end devices can be supplied with power if required. Length restrictions for the copper cabling do not apply. The result: Space-saving single mode optical fibers instead of copper cabling with high space requirements and additional heat development, two server rooms instead of six, and a fast connection of all workplaces.
Double Security with a Low Effort
As a special security aspect, CDE Global implemented a completely redundant network design. For this purpose, two core switches were put into operation, accommodated in separate server rooms and connected with two optical fibers each to the distribution switches. All Micro Switches only use four instead of five possible ports. Port five always serves to interconnect two Micro Switches via CAT6A cables with each other, which are connected via sub-distribution units to one of the two core switches. For Michael Morrow, this investment in security technology clearly pays off. He explains: "In principle, we merely have somewhat higher costs since we are directly using only four instead of five MICROSENS switches. In turn, we gain redundancy and, thus, security and reliability."
Robust Network Technology in the Outdoor Area
In general, CDE Global focusses on security: The complete corporate campus in Cookstown was networked by means of a blown fiber ring. Here again, the company opted for MICROSENS components: The industrial switches of the Profi Line Series were specially developed for applications in productive and outdoor environments. They are characterized by an extended temperature range and a robust design. They also support Power-over-Ethernet. At CDE Global, among other components, all video surveillance and access control systems, as well as IP speakers for alarms, are connected via industrial switches to the network.
Organisational Obstacles Mastered Successfully
In retrospective, Michael Morrow is very satisfied with the project process: "We have opted for a concept which is unique – at least in Ireland. For this reason, we had to overcome some organisational obstacles, such as the direct commissioning of the service providers, for instance. This commitment has paid off in any case. The MICROSENS components could be installed quickly and simply. The cooperation with Cara Network Solutions worked smoothly." Today, as many as 320 users are working with the FTTO solution in the offices, and the connection with the Profi Line switches in the outdoor area has already been transferred to the new production unit of CDE Global in Belfast, which was set up in parallel to the headquarters. Soon a new research centre will be opened on the campus in Cookstown. Here again, the decision-takers clearly rely on the FTTO concept.