PoE technology is a cost-effective way to expand IT networks. PoE simplifies management, enhances performance, and boosts overall efficiency for commercial businesses. Let’s look at the IT equipment required to build a PoE network in a commercial setting.  

What is Power over Ethernet (PoE)?

PoE technology allows power and data to be transmitted simultaneously via a single network cable. It enables powered devices installed in areas lacking electrical circuitry, eliminating the need to install new electrical outlets with every network change or upgrade.

The benefits of PoE for commercial networks include:

  • Streamlined installations: Delivering power and data in one package, PoE offers easy installation and scalability.
  • Flexibility: PoE provides location flexibility for devices because it allows for data and power reception in remote locations without electrical outlets.
  • Enhanced security and reliability: With centralized power control, PoE networks can be managed and monitored from the switch. Backup power supplies eliminate the risk of data loss.
  • Better aesthetics: A single PoE cable replaces excess wires running everywhere. This is not only aesthetically pleasing but safer.
  • Cost-effectiveness: PoE uses less energy than traditional power sources because it allocates power automatically wherever it’s needed. It also saves money on infrastructure alterations because it eliminates the need for additional electrical installation.

PoE Cable

PoE can power digital signage, interactive kiosks, and security systems in commercial networking infrastructures for an enhanced customer experience. For a use case like this, you would use powered sourcing equipment (PSE) to deliver power and data to powered devices (PDs) such as computers, VoIP phones, and security cameras.

Equipment Included in a Commercial IT Network 

Commercial IT networks may require a range of equipment based on their scale and specific requirements. Commonly used equipment includes:

Network Switches

A PoE switch is the brain of a network. Used to connect multiple devices within the network, it manages the flow of data. PoE switches can be unmanaged, managed, or smart (hybrid).

  • Unmanaged switches are a plug-and-play solution with fixed configurations. They are best for companies with fewer than ten computers and no dedicated IT department. An unmanaged switch may be adequate for less sensitive information.
  • Managed switches are more expensive but provide excellent security and numerous configuration options. They offer outstanding performance to more complex networks and remote troubleshooting. Managed switches are great for businesses with highly trained IT staff and those planning to expand over time.
  • Smart switches are also known as hybrid switches. Often used in simpler networks or at the edges of more extensive networks that rely on managed switches, smart switches cannot be monitored or assessed remotely and offer no troubleshooting capabilities. They provide a lighter version of network management, security, and quality of service (QoS). 

The best switch for a commercial setting will depend on the company’s size and specific security needs.

Wireless Access Points (WAPs)

Wireless access points broadcast Wi-Fi signals for device connectivity within a network. They should be installed in areas with the strongest signal strength.

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

A UPS provides backup power to the network in the event of a power outage. These devices can prevent downtime-related losses and offer peace of mind. 

Network Security Appliances

Network security appliances protect against online threats. Security devices include intrusion detection systems and intrusion prevention systems (IDS/IPS), VPN gateways, and content filters.

  • An IDS focuses on threat detection and notification. It provides valuable information for security analysis and incident response.
  • An IPS actively blocks and mitigates threats in real time. It stops attacks before they can cause damage.
  • VPN stands for virtual private network. A VPN gateway implements security protocols like encryption and authentication to prevent unauthorized access and protect data.
  • Content filters control and manage access to specific online content. Businesses use them to protect their networks from malware, phishing attacks, and other security threats. They are also used to enforce productivity and acceptable use policies.

Network security devices constantly monitor online traffic for signs of trouble and take action to keep the network safe.

Network Monitoring Equipment

Network monitoring equipment keeps a watchful eye on network performance. By analyzing data flowing through the network, monitoring equipment keeps tabs on devices like routers, switches, and servers while providing metrics, scanning the network for threats, and collecting and storing network data to analyze long-term trends and patterns. 

IP Cameras and Surveillance Equipment

Internet Protocol (IP) cameras and surveillance equipment are used for security monitoring and video surveillance. They transmit footage to remote locations for real-time viewing and archival playback.

Network Peripherals

Network peripherals include injectors, splitters, and extenders:

  • PoE injectors bridge the gap between non-PoE switches and PoE-powered devices. 
  • PoE splitters take power and data from a single cable and redistribute it to individual devices. Splitters divide the combined signal into two distinct paths; one for power and one for data. 
  • PoE extenders are signal boosters for the combined data and power flowing through network cables with PoE capability. Extenders optimize power delivery to overcome the limitations of distance in a PoE network.

Specific equipment and configuration of a commercial IT network will vary depending on the network’s needs, size, industry, and budget.

Build Your Commercial PoE Network With IT Equipment from Planet Technology

Planet Technology USA manufactures top-of-the-line equipment for commercial PoE networks. With free shipping in the continental US and 100% secure payment, you can have your network up and running in no time by going with Planet. We provide premium in-house tech support to our US customers and a 30-day from the date of invoice return policy.

Contact us today to learn more about our IT equipment options. Our custom PoE solutions can help your company become more energy efficient, build stronger cybersecurity, reduce resource consumption, create better resiliency, and save money.