What is UPoE (Universal Power over Ethernet)?
Power over Ethernet is a commonly used technology for powering IP phones, Access Points, IP Cameras, etc using just the data cables. So, data and power are transmitted through the same Cat 5/6/7 twisted pair cables eliminating the need for a separate electrical network. The Universal Power over Ethernet takes takes this technology a couple of steps further and delivers a higher power output capacity of up to 60W per Ethernet port. Of course, this technology is proprietary to Cisco and it works only on certain Cisco Switches and their partner ecosystem devices right now.
The UPoE technology uses all the four pairs of cables within an Ethernet cable to transmit power along with data. UPoE technology is backward compatible with PoE devices.
What are the applications for UPoE (Universal Power over Ethernet)?
- You will be able to power certain Virtual Desktop Infrastructure devices like Zero Clients and monitors directly through the data cables.
- Power can be supplied to certain financial vertical specific devices like IP Turrets.
- Smaller (Cisco) Switches can be powered directly through UPoE.
- Certain building management & security devices can also be powered directly.
Of course, the scope is quite limited now but if this technology becomes a standard perhaps we can see even more applications for UPoE.
What could be the benefits of UPoE?
- If large scale desktop virtualization is deployed in companies, they could power all their DVI Clients directly from the switch. This can reduce the clutter and the hassle of running and managing different types of cables.
- Faster deployment of end-clients could be achieved in greenfield projects.
- Consolidates back-up power infrastructure into the wiring closet, saving cost on the long run and improving reliability.
Don’t you think its high time that this becomes a standard and a lot of devices start supporting this technology? If it becomes a standard, do you think it will be as popular as PoE? What other applications can you think of, that can utilize the UPoE technology?
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