SEGI Sales Blog

Based in Arizona? Let Us Help You with Leviton Network Solutions

Tony Page - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Doing business in The Grand Canyon State has its challenges, but your network shouldn't be one of them. When your network is set up to run smoothly, then your business will run smoothly, too. Business moves fast these days, and that often means rapid deployment for critical environments related to enterprise, service providers and data centers. It also means getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time. With Leviton network solutions and SEGI local experts in Arizona, you'll get it all.

Not All Network Solutions Are Alike

Your business is unlike anyone else's, and that means your network is unlike anyone else's. Whether you are building a network from scratch, moving a network or upgrading one, you need an individualized solution. Your needs may be copper system based or fiber driven, thus affecting your equipment decisions. Then there are a multitude of questions around cabling and network components. Do you need CAT 6A cable, laser optimized multimode or OS2 single mode fiber? What about ports and patch panels for your specific applications? The list is seemingly endless, but the experts at SEGI can help. Specializing in Leviton products, they can meet with you to determine the best network solution custom tailored to suit your business network infrastructure needs.

Why Use Leviton?

When it comes to your network, connectivity counts. You need durable and reliable components to keep your network running seamlessly. Leviton has a wide range of network solution products that are dependable, innovative and provide value for your infrastructure investment. Leviton is committed to its customers, offering lifetime-limited warranties, exceptional system performance and quality assurance. Their products are thoroughly engineered, tested and proudly produced in the USA.

Leviton Solutions and the SEGI Service Difference

When you use Leviton network solutions, you are getting high-quality products from their line, which includes copper and fiber optic systems, cable and cable management, cords and cable assemblies. They also specialize in cross-connects and patch panels, data and A/V connectors, enclosures, and PDUs. They even have tools and accessories as well as wallplates and housings. However, navigating this comprehensive product line to find the best solution for your business can be daunting. That's where SEGI can help.

Our sales and product specialists work closely with Leviton. We not only have an intimate knowledge of their product line, but we know how to help you select the best components for your specific needs. That's the SEGI service difference. And with local representatives throughout Arizona, we can provide immediate, personalized assistance.

Our Unique Product Perspective

As mentioned before, SEGI is familiar with Leviton's product line. In essence, we represent the manufacturer, thus providing you with the best products at the best possible price. However, we also have a unique product perspective. Dealing with clients all over the Arizona region, we have designed and upgraded a variety of networks. We have encountered and compared a variety of products and understand what works best. Let us help educate you about the specific benefits Leviton products have for your network.

Our Unique Experience and Expertise

In addition to our knowledge of Leviton network solutions, SEGI has a unique history of experience and expertise. Our founders have had distinguished careers with General Electric and Hoffman Enclosures. We have seen the industry grow, change and innovate along the way. So, we understand the changes and challenges that you, as an Arizona business, are faced with when it comes to your network. For the past 14 years, we have helped companies grow their networks and their businesses.

We have salespeople and product specialists located throughout the Arizona area to give you immediate, local assistance with product selection, installation and education as well as help you save tremendous amounts of money in construction and energy costs.

If you need assistance with Leviton network solutions, contact SEGI Sales Pro. We can help!

Network Cabling Solutions: Helpful Tips for Arizona Clients

Tony Page - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Whether it's a large data center project or a small business in Arizona, chances are you rely on your network to keep your business running smoothly. The best network is the one you never have to worry about. That means having your infrastructure set up the right way from day one. Network cabling is an important part of any network deployment project, but there are a few things you need to know.

Understand Your Needs

Setting up a network in Arizona can be a daunting task, but having a basic understanding of your needs can help. When working with a specialist, you'll likely be asked some of the following questions:

When is your due date? This refers to either your moving date or the date you plan to cutover or launch your network.

How many drops do you need? This refers to the number of voice and data connections. A “drop” is the cable that runs from the starting point (normally a server room) to the end point such as a workstation.

What is your space like? The construction of your space determines the layout and type of network cabling needed. Knowing if you have a regular ceiling or a drop ceiling, as well as any other unique features is helpful.

Having the answers to these questions can help a professional help you set up the right network. The next step is to find a service that can provide you with the best solution.

Seek Out Services

There are many contractors and vendors who claim they are experts, but beware. Some are simply handyman types who do a little network cabling on the side. You need to partner with someone who works with and represents manufacturers; someone who understands the latest innovations and can offer safe, reliable, cost-effective solutions.

If you're in the Arizona area, our specialists at SEGI can help. We represent a wide range of manufacturers and have the technical expertise to help you make the right choices for your network. Not only do we offer network-cabling installation solutions, we also have expertise in structured cabling, security systems, turnkey lightning protection and grounding installation. Our quality and customer service are unmatched in the industry.

Have a Choice of Products

Network cabling is more than just running cable through an office. A variety of peripherals is often needed to meet a network's functional and safety requirements, particularly in Arizona. Having a wide choice of network infrastructure products is helpful to meet your unique needs.

Whether your network requires PVC conduit, copper or fiber optic cable, cable pathway systems, testing and diagnostic equipment, power products or overall grounding protection, SEGI can help. We work with big names like Berk-Tech, Caddy Support and Pathway Systems, Chatsworth Products Inc., Fluke Networks. Leviton and Prime Conduit.

As a business, you shouldn't have to spend your time researching all these product choices and details. After all, you have a business to run. SEGI works directly with product manufacturers to help select the best products for your project, ensuring the best quality at the best price. We will save you time and money.

Work with a Local and Knowledgeable Vendor

When it comes to network cabling solutions, having someone nearby is important. Dealing with a vendor outside of your local area just isn't the same. You'll end up spending more time on the phone than getting your network set up.

When you work with SEGI, you'll be dealing with a local Arizona business. We understand what it takes to set up a network in the state. Whether it's navigating building codes and regulations or simply dealing with technology in The Grand Canyon State, we have plenty of expertise.

We have salespeople and product specialists located throughout the Arizona area to give you immediate, local assistance with product selection, installation and education as well as help you save tremendous amounts of money in construction and energy costs.

If you need assistance with network cabling solutions, contact SEGI Sales Pros. We can help!

Structured Cabling Solutions for Arizona Clients: What You Should Know

Tony Page - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Are you an Arizona business moving your location, building a new facility or dealing with a network upgrade? If so, you will probably face some challenges with structured cabling. Regardless of your network service provider, be it the telecom or cable company, there are always questions around structured cabling. You don't need to be a contractor or CIO, but having a few helpful tips can save you time, money and headaches.

Know Your Building

Whether your Arizona building is brand new, a new location or a renovation, having its blueprint is a huge help when it comes to structured cabling installation. Not only is it helpful for running actual cable, but also for determining locations for things like pathways, work area outlets, equipment rooms and telecommunication closets.

You may not realize it, but structured cabling is more than just running cable; it's configuring a network in your building. Structured cabling will obviously look a lot different in an old stucco building compared to a state-of-the-art environmentally-friendly "green" building.

Know Your Safety

Structured cabling is not one-size-fits-all. Aside from building specifications, there are also safety considerations. Depending on whether or not your cabling will be running alongside HVAC vents, determines if fire-rated plenum cable is needed. Cabling in spaces that provide air circulation must be plenum, which means they contain a special PVC coating in order to limit toxic fumes in the event of a fire.

Know Your Demarc

Knowing where your service provider's facilities end and where yours begins is essential. This is known as the demarcation or "demarc." Its location will help determine the configuration of the structured cabling needed to provide your computer network and telephone systems.

Know Your Configuration and Equipment

If you already have a business network up and running, knowing your current network configuration is helpful when you're looking to upgrade or move. Knowing what you have in the way of servers, routers and other equipment can make cabling determinations much easier.

Know Your Future Needs

You may not know what your future structured cable needs are, but you likely have an idea of what your future business needs will be. Keep them in mind when you meet with your installer. Let them know about that expansion office or conference room you're planning for next year. That way they can wire things up ahead of time, saving you time and money when you're ready to hook up that new room.

Know about Professional Services

Choosing and installing structured cable for your network shouldn't be difficult if you enlist the help of a professional. Take the hassle out of doing this work in-house. Our experts at SEGI can help you with structured cable installation and product selection to ensure you have the right solution. We understand the various challenges encountered with structured cabling and have local representatives available to meet with you to assess your needs. We can help you with your current needs and provide cabling and network suggestions for when your business grows.

Know about Products

As an Arizona business, it's helpful to know about available products for your telecom and computer cabling needs. However, rather than spend hours researching, let the team at SEGI save you the effort. We represent manufacturers with the latest and most innovative network infrastructure products. We can help provide copper or fiber optic cable, including connectivity, structural, thermal and power products, cable support and pathway systems, testing and diagnostic equipment, and PVC conduit and fittings. We also specialize in structural lightning protection and grounding specifically for Arizona businesses.

Know about Competitive Offerings

Many vendors specialize in competitive solutions for structured cabling and networks, but few have the knowledge and experience of the folks at SEGI. We have salespeople and product specialists located throughout the Arizona area to give you immediate, local assistance with product selection, installation and education as well as help you save tremendous amounts of money in construction and energy costs.

If you need assistance with structured cabling solutions, contact SEGI Sales Pros. We can help!

Network Cabling Tips for Extreme Work Conditions

Tony Page - Monday, September 01, 2014

Network cabling always has to be protected from the environment and the weather. Most of the time, network cabling is located in an office space where the climate is controlled, and this isn't a major obstacle. However, in some cases, network cabling is located in a plant, warehouse, or other harsh environment. In cases like these, the necessity of protecting the cabling is particularly essential and challenging.

Fortunately, there are many types of cabling available, including cabling that is intended for just these conditions. Plant cabling is designed for use outdoors and in harsh conditions. These types of cabling have special features, such as a thicker jacket or a layer of gel inside the jacket for added protection.

There are other steps that can be taken to protect cabling in harsh conditions, as well. Check out these network cabling tips for extreme work conditions.

Tips for Preparing Your Work Site in Extreme Conditions

Take some precautionary steps when you are prepping your work site. This will help to make the installation go more smoothly.

  1. Use a stud sensor to locate wall studs so that you know what space you have to work in. This will help you to avoid accidentally running into a stud.
  2. When cutting into the drop location in the wall, cut from the top down, not from the bottom up. This makes it easier to run the rods and wiring directly down the wall so you don't encounter any surprises behind the wall.
  3. When you are ready to cut the hole in the wall for the faceplate, be sure to move your wiring from behind the cut zone. You don't want to accidentally cut the wiring that you just ran.
  4. Consider installing a four-port faceplate instead of a two-port faceplate. If additional drops are added later on, you will already have the ports that you need, and it will minimize the amount of work that needs to be done later on.

Tips for Running Cable in Extreme Work Conditions

Once your work site is ready, you can start actually running cable. Use these tips to help you protect the cable in harsh workplace conditions, like warehouses and plants.

  1. Mount of a piece of conduit on the wall, from the ceiling all the way down, to protect the cabling. This way, you don't have to worry about someone or something bumping into the cabling or nicking it.
  2. Along with the conduit, attach an outlet box with housing for the network jacks and telephone jacks in the faceplate. This way, the jacks are protected as well as the cabling.
  3. Consider also running conduit along the entire length of actual network cabling from the server room. If the budget is a concern, remember that the ceiling area is usually less of a concern, as there is little activity near that area.
  4. Never run cable next to electrical lines. If you absolutely must run cable next to electrical lines, then the cable should be encased in conduit. The proximity of the cable to the electrical lines creates too much interference, which can result in the loss of signal. You certainly don't want to have to worry about losing signal every time a piece of equipment is started up.

These tips will help to make running cabling in harsh work environments a little bit easier. If you need cabling supplies, contact SEGI Sales Pros. We provide network cabling and data center solutions for all types of work environments.

Server Care Tips

Tony Page - Friday, August 29, 2014

Many organizations are leaving servers behind and making the switch to cloud-based services. However, it's important not to get caught up in that trend without seriously considering the options. An on-site server is still a great choice, and that will remain to be true in the years to come. Your server is the essential core of your network. It provides you with a collection of very important services, such as network and user security management and hosting for corporate databases and application servers. Your server plays a vital role in your network, which means that its reliability is essential for the success of your organization. It's important to make sure that your server is well-maintained so that it will continue to support your organization. Check out these top four server care tips.

  1. Only use top vendors. A server is not the place to scrimp or try out an off brand. When you are choosing a server, it is in your best interest to choose a well-known, trusted brand, like Dell, IBM, or HP. This way, you know that you are receiving high-quality components. A top vendors like these will also provide you with warranty support in the event of a problem. Trained technicians will be available to assist you and make sure that you get the parts that you need promptly. With this support, you can be assured of minimal network down time.
  2. Get the warranty. New serves typically come with a three year, on-site warranty. This often includes 24/7 immediate response, which is quite helpful if your business is open around the clock. If you are still using the same server after the three year warranty expires, it is a good idea to renew it each year while it is still in use.
  3. Update periodically. Server software is coming out with upgrades and newer versions of products all the time. It's not cost-effective to upgrade every single time that a new product comes out, but it is important to upgrade periodically so that your system doesn't get too far out of date. Microsoft Windows Server 2003 is over 11 years old, but it is still in use in many offices. New versions were released in 2008 and 2012. Windows Server 2003 may still be functional, but the newer versions have a lot more to offer. There are new, beneficial features, improved performance, enhanced security, and greater stability.
  4. Physically protect your server. A server is an expensive and sensitive piece of equipment. It is essential that the server is physically secure and protected so that it doesn't get damaged by accident. Store your server in a safe location where it won't get bumped, kicked, unplugged, spilled on, or used as a shelf.

These four server care tips will help your server to be functional and reliable for years to come. It's pretty simple. Choose a well-known, respected vendor; get a quality warranty for the duration of your possession of the server; update your server software regularly; and physically protect your server from accidental damage.

If you are looking to upgrade your server, get in touch with the network experts at SEGI Sales Pros. We provide network and data center solutions for all types of organizations and environments. We can help you select the best options so that you have a server that is supports your organization for many years. Contact SEGI Sales Pros to learn more about the options today.

Installing a new Network Rack

Tony Page - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

When you are installing a new network rack, it is important not to let technical details override your own common sense. Of course, you must comply with electrical codes and BICSI standards. You should also be considerate of the staff who will be using the new network rack; keep an open line of communication and make sure that everyone who will be affected is well informed of the plan. We don't want to overwhelm the client with too much information, either. After all, they have another job to do. With that in mind, though, remember that communication is always an important element of a successful installation.

Now that you have the basics, let's turn to some tips on how to install a new network rack.

  1. Choose the right location. In most cases, you will be using a closet or server room. It is important to have space for movement behind the rack. Instead of placing the rack up against the wall or in a corner, it is better to locate it in the center of the room, leaving space for the IT staff to move behind the rack. The location that you choose should also have plenty of studs that are strong enough to provide a solid anchor for your rack. Don't mount the rack into drywall. You never know when someone will set a heavy box or something on top of the rack, and you don't want the rack to pull out of the wall and tip over when that happens. It also helps to mount a back board on the wall to help distribute the weight of the rack. Attach a piece of plywood to the wall by drilling into the studs. Then you can use paddle bit drill mount holes to attach the rack, anchoring the rack to the back board with toggle bolts.
  2. When you run the new cable, give yourself a bit of extra length to work with. We know that nobody wants to waste cable. However, there is a happy middle ground between pulling the exact length that you need and pulling a big, sloppy mess of extra cable. Put a six foot service loop in the ceiling or mount it in the wall. This gives you a little extra space to work in the future. At some point, the network will expand. This extra loop of wiring will not go to waste; it will definitely come in handy at some point in the future. Leave some extra space at the workstation and jack areas, too; when it's time to service them, you'll be glad to have that extra bit of cable.
  3. Keep it clean. When you are finishing up the network rack installation, it is essential that you finish well by using cable management and installing a neat, organized rack. There are tons of cable management options that will make your rack easy to work with. When you are done, run certification reports on each wire that you have pulled. This gives the client peace of mind and shows that the new system is trustworthy and professional.

These three tips will help you to install a new network rack that is organized and reliable. To learn more about organizing a data center, get in touch with the pros at SEGI Sales Pros. We provide network cabling solutions, and we have all the products that you need to create the highest quality data center and network rack. Contact SEGI Sales Pros to learn more about the options today.

Link Loss Calculator FAQ

Tony Page - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Berk-Tek has released a great FAQ for Link Loss Calculator. Below you will find the FAQ as well as a link to download the PDF.

Download Link Loss Calculator PDF

How is the implementation of multimode fiber optics-based 40/100G Ethernet different from 10G Ethernet?

The biggest difference between 10G and 40/100G is that 40/100G uses parallel optics.  Rather than develop new components capable of sending data four or ten times faster than 10G (for 40G and 100G respectively), the IEEE determined that it would be more cost effective to simply have multiple lanes of 10G for 40G and 100G.

Another significant difference applies to the lasers used in the transceivers.  One characteristic of
the light that exits the transceiver is called spectral width. This is a measure of the range of
wavelengths emitted by the vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) used in modern
multimode fiber systems.  The maximum spectral width increased from 0.45nm to 0.65nm from
10G to 40/100G.

How do these changes impact my data center?

The use of parallel optics increases the number of fiber strands needed for each link, however, the reuse of existing 10G technology in the transceivers provides a flexible, lower‐cost solution compared to competing technologies, such as those based on single‐mode optics.  Berk‐Tek’s patented Micro Data Center Plenum (MDP) cable offers the highest density cabling solution in the industry.   

The link lengths defined by the 40/100G standard are significantly shorter than the 10G distance limitations. At 10G, the maximum link lengths for OM3 and OM4 are 300m and 400m respectively. For 40/100G, those lengths are 100m & 150m.  This reduction is largely due to the increased spectral width allowance. Some equipment manufacturers also sell 40G transceivers that exceed the 40G IEEE specifications and meet the 10GBASE‐SR specification.  This allows for 40G link lengths of 300m and 400m for OM3 and OM4.

How does using the Berk-Tek Link Loss Tool help me?

While achieving maximum link length is important, using shorter lengths with a higher number of connectors is often even more desirable. In the absence of an official link model from IEEE for 40/100G, Berk‐Tek has developed its own proprietary end‐to‐end model that allows data center designers to create flexible, high‐performance links.  This model was developed by Berk‐Tek’s Data Communications Competence Center and validated through extensive testing in real‐world scenarios.  Berk‐Tek’s model uses information about the VCSELs, connectors, fibers and receivers and allows designers to trade length and bandwidth for increased loss budgets.   This facilitates the
use of MPO/MTP based cassettes as part of a migration path from 10G to 40G for ease of use andLink Loss CalculatorFAQs July 2014 Page 2 LLC_FAQ21G14 network topologies with more than two connectors.  The Berk‐Tek Link Loss Tool is an easy‐to‐use interface to Berk‐Tek’s proprietary model.

What is GIGAliteTM-10XB grade fiber from Berk-Tek?

GIGAliteTM‐10XB fiber is an OM4+ product that features effective modal bandwidth at 850nm of 4900MHz•km or more and attenuation of 3.0dB/km or less.  When used in our MDP solution, the attenuation is 2.7dB/km or better.  This extra bandwidth and improved attenuation allow designers to create more flexible, higher performance cabling topologies to support the data rates of today and tomorrow.  For 40/100G, GIGAlite‐10XB enables maximum link lengths up to 300m  for 40GBASE‐SR4 and 100GBASE‐SR10.  For 40G transceivers that are compliant to the 10GBASE‐SR specification, GIGAlite‐10XB enables distances of 600m, the longest in the industry. 

SEGI Attends Security & Surveillance Seminar

Tony Page - Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Pictures from Security & Surveillance Seminar in Denver, presenting Berk-Tek's OneReach and Voice, Data & Power message. 

Jim Wheeler, RCDD - Cell 720-299-9947

How analyzing big data in the data center can boost your operations

Tony Page - Monday, August 04, 2014

For any medium-large sized company, or indeed, any company experiencing quick and substantial growth, data centers offer the best means of collecting, and organizing data that can later be analyzed and used to generate business strategies.

More than this, though, data centers can offer a whole host of good practices to businesses, as business owners seek to find the best ways to store and analyze data in pursuit of informing future decisions.

The key to such analysis lies in real-time visibility and transparency across the data center. In other words, finding practices that allow for analysis of both big data with ease of access made an absolute priority.

What's changed in the data center world?

Data centers are, much like the data they collect, an ever changing branch of any business.

As such, modern data centers bear little resemblance to their older counterparts, due in no small part to the sheer demands modern data centers must be built and optimized in order to deal with adequately, and efficiently.

These days, data center managers look for three primary things in their data centers:

  1. The ability to clearly see and observe the state of facilities in real time
  2. From these observations, the insight to make decisions based upon the optimization of the data center and IT infrastructure
  3. A clear means of identifying, analyzing and ultimately, assessing the efficacy of the actions resulting from those decisions

In short, data centers should not just be used as storage devices anymore - they should function as a key means of influencing future business and management decisions.

How, then, do you transform the purposes behind an old-style data center into this new set of criteria? The answer is simple, but the implementation less so. In the simplest terms, modern data center managers require a DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) Platform which will allow them to rapidly understand and assess information generated by the data center with the intent of using said information to generate business decisions.

The Benefits of Implementing a DCIM platform

  • Energy efficiency: A DCIM platform consolidates data, meaning it can be accessed and understood in one fell swoop, reducing the need for coordination of multiple platforms, thus saving time and energy.
  • Greater transparency: A platform that allows for real time inspection will also allow the data center manager to get immediate insight into the impact of any changes that said manager may decide to make, whether these be management, or infrastructure based.
  • Time efficiency: The more a manager understands about the impact of change on their business, the more they'll be able to make the right decision, and focus on other areas to drive growth.

Tips for Relocating Your Data Center

Tony Page - Monday, July 21, 2014

Relocating your data center is a major undertaking that presents many possible complications as well as large expenses. The single most important thing that you can do to make the relocation of your data center go smoothly is to prepare extensively. Extensive and detailed planning are essential for data center relocation success.

Method of Data Center Relocation

Relocating your data center presents multiple challenges. The move can be financially costly as well as risky. The down time involved can have a serious negative impact on the operation of the company, so streamlining the project is essential. Some of the aspects of preparation for a data center move are obvious – you have to schedule application down time, schedule technology refreshes, and label all of the equipment. In addition, the following components of preparation are key to the success of your relocation.

  1. Outline a detailed methodology for your data center relocation and stick with it. This plan should state clearly and in detail all of the steps that need to occur before, during, and after the data center relocation.
  2. A data center relocation needs strong support from the management in order to be successful. The IT team needs corporate backing in order to overcome financial and operational challenges.
  3. Filling your team with the right people is essential for a successful data center relocation. In order for the move to go smoothly, you need an experienced data center manager and a strong supporting team. You also need to connect key players in the move, including vendors, infrastructure teams, application owners, and end users.

Application Planning for Data Center Relocation

The actual, physical move of the data center involves many important details, like the actual hardware, the cabling, and the floor and rack design of the new facility. It can be easy to get caught up in these elements and forget about the application side of the relocation. In order for the data center relocation to have minimal impact on users, you must first examine how the move will impact applications that are in use and how they rely on their environment.

In terms of application planning for your data center relocation, there are two key points to consider.

  1. Devote plenty of time for planning to discover applications and their environments. You should employ both quantitative and qualitative work. Quantitative work involves using third-party tools for discovery, while qualitative work involves speaking directly to end users and application owners. These strategies will allow you to discover how dependent the system is on applications and their environments.
  2. Identify interdependent elements and bundle them. In your planning process, you will find that applications, databases, and infrastructure elements are interdependent. Usually, the move will go most smoothly if you bundle these elements together. We suggest using a bundling algorithm in order to track the individual elements and schedule them together.

Choosing a Migration Method

There are various methods to choose from when it comes to migrating your data and applications to the new data center facility. The options include virtual migration, which is the least disruptive; pick up and ship, which is the most disruptive; shut down and restore, which is best suited to physical servers with longer windows of down time; and application failover, which is used as an adjunct to another method.

Do you need help streamlining your data center relocation? Talk to the experts at SEGI Sales Pros. We provide all of the network cabling solutions that you need in order to make your data center relocation a success. Call the experts at SEGI Sales Pros for more information today.

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