Hurricane Katrina - warning - warning - warning
Hurricane Katrina: Many Disaster Recovery Systems Were Outdated
Despite predictions and preventative measures, Katrina caught many businesses and people off guard. Asks adjunct Northwestern professor James Carlini, what disaster recovery plans do you really have in place for your business and your home and how updated are they?
While most of the news coverage has focused on the people and residential aspects, few reports have really taken into consideration the impact to the many businesses down in the South.
They already have said that the Mississippi casino business is in ruins. In addition, you start to wonder about everything else like refineries, shipping ports, facilities and all the other businesses located down on the Gulf Coast.
What about something like the Superdome? What about all the downtown businesses? What about the seafood industry and its future? If the water is now so toxic, how can they harvest shrimp around the coast? Has that been affected? Would you eat any?
Predicted, But Not Prepared
You can't say that the ramifications of a major hurricane were never discussed. They talked about it in the Times-Picayune in New Orleans. The articles go into great detail on what would take place in the aftermath of a major hurricane hitting New Orleans. The articles go back to 2002. This makes you believe that someone dropped the ball years ago.
Instead of placing blame on anyone at this time, let's discuss some lessons that should be learned from both a business and a residential perspective. I believe this event will affect us in the Midwest as much as, if not more than, 9/11 did four years ago.
The rebuilding and recovery is not tied to just the South. Gas shot up immediately nationwide and the excuse was Katrina.
Katrina provides a good excuse for anyone to raise their prices and be "justified" (or at least deemed as acceptable to the average consumer). Everyone became an economic "victim" to Hurricane Katrina. The worst is yet to come in the recovery, which will really be counted in months and years rather than days and months.
Disaster Recovery, Business Continuity
There are two ways to look at what to do after a manmade or natural disaster.
One is to look at disaster recovery, which from a traditional sense is to have an orderly shutdown of systems. This was how most organizations looked at their information technology systems in the 1980s and 1990s. Most consulting firms and those at larger organizations took this approach in designing a plan.
Unfortunately, many organizations that paid for disaster recovery plans never put them to the test and let them gather dust. When something did happen, people who pulled out the report and dusted it off found their plans to be inadequate and outdated. This happened after 9/11 when organizations found out they were ill equipped to handle many critical issues.
The newer idea from some consultants was to forget disaster recovery and look into business continuity. No matter what happens, the business should continue functioning. Business continuity means just that. Nothing stops because of a problem inside or outside the property and all mission-critical projects must go on.
In trying to keep a simple approach when looking at your materials, systems, facilities and human capital, you can come up with a fast and cheap assessment. While there are many approaches, you can split all systems and applications into levels of criticality. This is what I call the CAN-DO approach to maintain or build business. All applications and business functions are categorized into four levels of criticality:
For business continuity to work, you must understand what elements of your business fit into each one of these categories. You then start to develop backup systems and procedures for the critical ones. You don't worry too much about the ones that are optimal.
This approach ensures continuity and competitiveness. It provides a quick snapshot of applications and functions within the CAN-DO hierarchy.
Recovery May Revitalize Infrastructure
As I pointed out last week:
With the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, many cities in the South could make a giant leap into the future by adding fiber and other broadband capability as they rebuild bridges, roads and downtown areas. Out of disaster could come a great rebirth of a network infrastructure upgrade equivalent to the Tennessee Valley Authority project, which brought electricity and power to rural areas.
With the correct recovery procedures in place, an organization can actually upgrade obsolete parts of their business and move forward into being more competitive. In a future column, I will provide some insights on residential disaster recovery and avoidance.
Carlinism: This was said many years ago by someone in government: Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgment.
James Carlini is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University. He is also president of Carlini & Associates. Carlini can be reached at email@example.com or 773-370-1888.
Click here for Carlini's full biography.
Reprinted with permission from Jim Carlini
Hurricane Katrina - warning - warning - warning
The entire world has watched the tragedy unfold as the extent of hurricane Katrina's damage is revealed. Many highly emotional news stories have made this disaster up close and personal to the global community. We find ourselves asking, "What can I do to help?". There are many other questions that surface as we ask ourselves about the preparation or prevention plans to deal with disaster on any level.
There's plenty of blame to go around - the White House, Congress, federal agencies, local governments, police and even residents of the Gulf Coast who refused orders to evacuate. It wasn't a secret that levees built to keep New Orleans from flooding could not withstand a major hurricane. But all the finger pointing misses the point: Politicians and the people they lead too often ignore danger signs until a crisis hits.
On top of all this, Katrina is the worst and most costly natural disasters ever to hit the United States. The hurricane was the first major test of FEMA since it became part of the Homeland Security Department, and the best leaders running the most efficient agencies would have been sharply challenged.
Experts had predicted for years that a major hurricane would eventually hit New Orleans, swamping the levees and filling the bowl-shaped city with water. But for anybody living - or dying - in the devastated region, there are far too many villains to name.
Fortunately, disaster aid is showing up and donations are pouring into charities. Internet sites are being used to find relatives. Residents of far-off states are opening their homes to victims.
The community spirit is reminiscent of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. So is the second-guessing. It will happen again after the next crisis. You've heard the warnings: a cataclysmic California earthquake, another terrorist strike, a flu pandemic, a nuclear plant meltdown, a tsunami, - and on and on.
Will the public and its leaders be better prepared next time?
Communications are critical in a disaster scenario. We have witnessed the impact of a failed communications system in the Gulf Coast. Could we have designed an infrastructure or back-up system to provide some level of service in this type of situation?
We have all heard the old adage that "when you are up to your butt in alligators, is not the time to figure out that you should have drained the swamp first." Many of the businesses in the Gulf Coast are facing a daunting challenge to rebuild. Computer records (and back-up records) may provide a major benefit in the recovery process. Cabling records and drawings will likewise be very important in the recovery process. After all, the infrastructure system is like the nervous system in the body. The cabling infrastructure records are a blueprint for a business, hospital, school, or government facility.
How good are your cabling system records? We should all reevaluate our own records and the records of our clients. This is more than a wake-up call.
Remember: safety is too important to ignore.
But that's just my opinion.
"Heard On The Street" column
Note our NEW Address
Communication Planning Corporation
4949 Sunbeam Road, Suite 16
Jacksonville, FL 32257
BICSI sets up The Katrina Impact Zone Forum
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone impacted by Hurricane Katrina."
In the last three days, the Gulf coast of the United States has experienced perhaps the worst natural disaster to hit the United States. Hurricane Katrina is perhaps the worst storm in recent history. Hundreds of thousands are without power, water, and in many cases, have lost their homes and businesses. Among those citizens are almost 300 BICSI members, as well as hundreds of other fellow ITS professionals.
These BICSI members may well need the help of other members for everything from simply sharing stories of the storm to technical and professional advice on how best to start the restoration process required after Katrina. The first, and one of the most critical parts of this help, is a convenient method of reaching the BICSI membership at large.
For BICSI members, as with any close knit group, when times get tough, competition often turns to cooperation and everything becomes secondary to helping our neighbors in this hurricane disaster.
BICSI will be hosting a member forum on our Web site called Katrina Impact Zone. Any member may log in and seek advice, input, or simply share information with any other member. This forum will remain active as long as there is a need.
The Katrina Impact Zone Forum www.bicsi.org.
With Graybar, YOU ARE A WINNER
GMAC Insurance's Wayne Goede uses value-added services to finish new network and data center in record time
When GMAC Insurance accelerated its St. Louis, Mo., headquarters move from May 2005 to October 2004, Network Communications Manager Wayne Goede found himself in a race against the clock. His challenge: to design and build a new network infrastructure and data center in record time.
Goede's network design/build timeline shrunk from eleven months to three when favorable conditions caused an accelerated signing of the new headquarters lease in August 2004. To complicate matters further, he needed to downsize the data center from 6,000 sq. ft. to 3,700 sq. ft. to help provide more space in the new location for 1,100 employees, 450 of them in the call center.
"While we lowered our data center square footage substantially, it wasn't a great concern for us," Goede said. "There was an advantage in being able to start fresh with new technology."
Project Guideposts Prevent Panic
Fortunately, the GMAC Insurance Infrastructure Engineering Team had formulated predefined objectives that would guide the project and minimize the chaos that might have otherwise ensued under the extremely compressed timeline.
"There were a number of key design goals which would fit in with GMAC Insurance's overall infrastructure strategy," Goede explained. "The cable plant for the facility needed to be totally consolidated. All connections to the desktop locations would be Cat. 5e, and the cables would serve no specific purpose. They needed to cross-connect in the data center and wiring closets with standard patch cables to provide service for Ethernet - PCs or phones - digital phones, analog phones, and even KVM and extended video."
Additional goals included: installing infrastructure resources that could be "right-sized" and expanded as needed to address future requirements, minimizing the presence of cables in the data center's raised floor because of limited ceiling height, and powering the entire facility with a back-up generator in the event of complete power loss.
Calling On Dependable Resources
GMAC Insurance had gained other early advantages. They had started sketching plans mid-year when the space that the company ultimately chose first came into consideration, and had begun data center equipment research in April. One of Goede's staff's initial calls was to Graybar, a provider of supply-chain management services, and a leading North American distributor of high-quality components, equipment and materials for the electrical and telecommunications industries. The Graybar team provided Goede and his staff with easy access to UPS, HVAC, network infrastructure and project management solutions.
"By using Graybar as a central acquisition point, GMAC Insurance was able to acquire products from a variety of vendors, with coordinated delivery to the job site and storage of product until the time it was needed," Goede said.
Making Uninterruptible Power Supply Choices
For its UPS needs, GMAC Insurance considered both traditional UPS solutions and next generation options including the APC InfraStruXureTM solution. When they were ready to investigate the InfraStruXureTM solution further, they visited the O'Fallon, Mo., facilities of APC to see the equipment and learn more. After Goede had determined that the APC UPS solution was the right one for the new data center, his next step was to present the solution to project stakeholders, including the Vice President of Infrastructure Engineering, Brent Wall.
Just two years earlier, Graybar had assisted Wall by providing infrastructure and project management solutions for the company's new 12,000-sq.-ft. primary data center in its Winston-Salem, N.C., facility. Although progressive for its time, Goede said the data center utilized traditional liquid battery technology in its UPS, which including two redundant units so one could supply power while the other was offline for maintenance. In addition, it required a special environment built to specific OSHA requirements and specialized technicians to maintain the batteries. Realizing these drawbacks, Goede believed the simplicity and security of APC's modular battery design deserved serious consideration.
"The batteries in [the APC] system are, for lack of a better term, consumer-grade batteries," Goede explained. "They are sealed lead-acid batteries that can be safely shipped and handled. The InfraStruXure UPS allows you to pull out a battery module and replace it, with no special equipment and no need to take the UPS offline."
In order to give Wall an up-close look at an installed APC UPS system, APC and Graybar representatives joined him in Winston-Salem to tour the Reynolds American, Inc., data center. When Wall was satisfied with the solution, Goede decided to proceed with an integrated UPS, HVAC and enclosure system worth more than $500,000. Goede worked closely with APC engineers to design the data center system.
"The actual layout of the data center was done in-house," Goede said. "APC, coordinated through Graybar, helped considerably with getting that design finalized. We chose an all APC solution, with the exception of the open racking, for a variety of reasons - but the biggest [reason] is that theirs is an air, UPS, power distribution and enclosure system with all of the parts and pieces fitting together, which is very different from what anyone else offers."
More Than Just Back-Up Power
The integrated design included HVAC equipment and data center enclosures to complement the UPS. APC's NetworkAIRTM FM HVAC units contain variable-speed DC motors that speed up or slow down to maintain constant static pressure under the data center floor. In addition, the APC NetShelter® VX enclosures feature cable management that allows for organized overhead wiring without ladder racking. Goede said this was crucial for his data center, which had limited ceiling height in its new eighth-floor location.
Goede said that remote monitoring of the APC system was another significant benefit over traditional UPS and HVAC systems.
"One of the key things about the APC system, from a management perspective, is that all the parts and pieces are network attached, and when I say network, I'm talking Ethernet," Goede said. "They are devices on our data network. They can be monitored and controlled from anywhere on our network, including our Winston-Salem, N.C., help desk. We can see and control internal and external cabinet temperatures, humidity, power load, device status and alerts."
He added that APC was monitoring the system 24/7 and would dispatch a repair technician or immediately schedule delivery of a replacement part in the event of a component failure.
When designing his APC system, Goede said he used learning experiences from Winston-Salem, taking care not to underestimate his future power and connectivity requirements in terms of number and type of physical outlets and circuits.
"That, in many respects, led to a preference of the model that we've implemented here with the APC system," Goede explained. "If we were to have implemented a traditional system, sized for what we thought we might ultimately need, the cost would have been astronomically higher.
"What we put in was a very modular, expandable system, and what we currently have deployed [in the data center] is 20 to 30 percent of maximum capacity. It's modular and expandable, in terms of cooling, in terms of amount of UPS power available, in terms of the location as well as type and physical number of outlets, and the amount of cabinet space and racking installed. You just never know in this business what your needs are going to turn into. You could turn around six months from now and say, you know, this really doesn't make any sense anymore, we need something entirely different. And we haven't spent an extra million on infrastructure we won't use."
Throughout the APC system design process, Goede and APC engineers went through several sets of revisions. With plans finalized without much time to spare, Goede placed the order. Unforeseen building constraints in the new data center space, however, caused a few crucial changes at the last minute. With less than three weeks left before required delivery, APC was able to accommodate the necessary changes.
Selecting Network Infrastructure Solutions
While Goede was designing the APC system, the Graybar team was coordinating acquisition and delivery of the remaining network infrastructure components. For open racking, Goede had specified the Hubbell iFRAME Network Hardware Management System because its 24-inch footprint matched the 24-inch floor tiles in his compact data center.
"The size and shape of the data center didn't lend itself well to anything other than 24-inch footprint racks because without them, we couldn't get enough open racks in the right locations," Goede explained. "Going from a standard relay rack to a 24-inch iFRAME is the difference of three racks in the size of rows that we have in [the data center]. Three racks, in this case, was all the difference in the world."
With Goede's iFRAME preference as the driver towards an entire Hubbell connectivity solution, Graybar contacted Hubbell for assistance and to request a complete bill of material. The quote included 73 iFRAMEs, 140 patch panels and hundreds of wire management panels in various styles.
With Cat. 5e plenum cable as the only specific requirement, Goede relied on the Graybar team to select a structured cabling solution. Goede ultimately ordered a Graybar Verified Independently for Performance (VIP) 1000 Hubbell/General Cable channel solution, which included more than 600,000 ft. of cable from General Cable. This combination is one of many interoperable channel solutions independently tested for performance beyond industry standards through the Graybar VIP Testing program. Intertek ETL SEMKO, the largest independent testing laboratory in the world, conducts these tests on random product samples selected from Graybar's inventory on a quarterly basis.
While Cat. 5e was sufficient for the bulk of the infrastructure cabling, Goede specified Cat. 6 cabling from the data center to the wiring closets for backbone use, as well as a minimal fiber plant as part of a distributed voice switch installation.
Converting To Flat Panels
As part of the move, Goede decided to convert all 1,100 traditional monitors to flat panels, citing backup power requirements as a key driver toward this decision. After analyzing energy requirements, it was determined that the backup power needs for the entire space, with flat panels, would be supplied using one Cummins diesel 1,750kVA generator with a GE Zenith 3,000A bypass switch.
"If we would not have switched [to flat panels], we would have had to jump to the next size generator. The difference in generator cost more than offset the cost of the flat-panel monitors," Goede explained. "The overall effect of the monitors on power requirements in the building was the difference in generator size."
Installation Begins Just In Time
As soon as Goede's team had clearance to start the infrastructure build-out in August, contractor Lee Deering Communications started to receive shipments of material from Graybar when needed. This continued over a three-to-four-week period while APC was completing Goede's designs.
With the infrastructure in place throughout the five floors of offices and the eighth-floor data center, APC delivered the 51,742 pounds of enclosures, UPS and HVAC equipment in three United Van Lines tractor-trailers. The equipment consisted of:
Data center UPS - four separate APC InfraStruXure™ 80kVA each configured as 30KVA and N+1 redundancy, with three extended battery cabinets, and
Data center HVAC - three APC NetworkAIRTM FM 15-ton units, networked together with two operating full time and the third in a standby and load-share role, and 34 APC NetShelter® VX data center enclosures.
In order to accommodate the weight of the APC equipment, Goede said he needed to have the eighth-floor data center floor reinforced beyond normal requirements. This was due to structural limits encountered as a result of being on an upper floor rather than on the first floor or in the basement. While GMAC Insurance designed most of the data center in-house, Goede outsourced the construction and structural engineering to the Bick Group in St. Louis, a contractor that specializes in data center design-build work.
The first users moved into the new headquarters in late October, and the remaining users moved in by late November. Since everyone could not move overnight, Goede had to ensure that voice, data and the call center operated seamlessly for users in the old and new locations.
Over The Long Haul
For now, the company plans to stay in its new headquarters for the long term. However, Goede had the foresight to design his network and data center to accommodate change, planned or otherwise.
"We built everything with a minimum of ten years in mind, but you just never know," Goede cautioned. "We think that's a reasonable timeframe, and we have options to go beyond the ten."
When looking to the future, Goede said his company's future processing power requirements drove his need for a scalable UPS and HVAC system. While blade servers are the answer to squeezing more processing power into a compact space, he cautioned that they still draw as much power and produce as much heat as larger servers.
"So while you're physically contracting your data center space requirements, you're really not changing any of the other infrastructure requirements," Goede said. "It is critically important at that point that you have modular systems that are able to grow and handle the heat and power loads that high-density blade servers create."
Eventually, GMAC Insurance plans to replicate Winston-Salem's data in real time in the St. Louis data center. While the company would like to do this sooner rather than later, it's cost prohibitive right now.
To do that today, with the data transfer requirements, would be unjustifiably costly," Goede explained. "Our data needs would probably be on the order of an OC-12 between the campuses just to replicate the data, which is significantly larger than what we have in place today. While costs continue to drop, at today's prices the communication costs are simply not in line with the benefit.
"Historically, communications costs have been dropping at a very rapid pace and, at this point, I don't see any end in sight," Goede predicted. "[Telecommunications providers] keep putting more and more fiber in the ground, competition is definitely out there, and technology continues to advance."
"In the end," Goede said, "it was the cooperative relationship with our key vendors which allowed us to complete, very successfully, a complicated project in a compressed timeframe which was unattainable using only our in-house staff."
For more information on the Graybar VIP Program, visit http://www.graybar.com/vip.
For more information on the APC InfraStruXure™ solution, visit http://www.apc.com/products/infrastruxure/index.cfm.
For more information on the iFRAME Network Hardware Management System, visit http://www.hubbell-premise.com/iframefeatures.asp.
Graybar is one of the nation's largest distributors of electrical, telecommunications and networking products and related supply-chain management and logistics solutions. Through its network of 250 North American distribution facilities, Graybar delivers service solutions and products from thousands of manufacturers to hundreds and thousands of customers every day.
A Fortune 500 corporation and one of the largest-employee owned companies in North America, Graybar recently was named to Fortune Magazine's "Most Admired Companies" list for the fourth consecutive year.
The Graybar Verified Independently for Performance (VIP) Testing Program provides independent, third-party testing of channel solutions available through Graybar. This complimentary service gives users the flexibility to choose from single-vendor or open-architecture cabling and connectivity solutions that perform above industry standards*. Intertek ETL SEMKO, the largest independent testing organization in the world, conducts quarterly tests on products it randomly selects from Graybar's inventory to ensure real-world performanc
BOMA Resources in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina
In the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and all areas touched by the storm, BOMA International would like to assist members in finding ways to give help to those who are most in need. Through the BOMA International Foundation, 100% of all contributions that are received and earmarked for this tragic event will be used to aid local members in the affected areas with any support that they need. Please Click Here to learn more about the Foundation.
For those who wish to give in a more immediate and broad manner, BOMA International recommends contributing to a national and trusted relief group. The American Red Cross is accepting donations to their Hurricane 2005 Relief Fund both online and by calling 1-800- 435-7669. When attempting to make a contribution be patient, the site and phone line are running slow due to the volume of visitors. To contribute through another organization, please CLICK HERE to visit the Network for Good website to review a list of organizations who are accepting donations. Remember, if you are contacted directly to make a contribution - ask questions and pressure often is a sign of fraud and there are many who will take advantage of the hardship of others for their own gain.
We encourage you to organize and support local relief efforts. BOMA Fort Worth is collecting used clothing, and will collect donations at their upcoming luncheon and match those donations with another $2,000. BOMA Houston reports plans to host a city-wide food and clothing drive to assist the thousands of displaced families that have re-located to Houston. Please Click Here for information on the Houston fundraising effort. If your local is planning an event and would like to share the information with other member, please e-mail us the details so we can share with all.
For those members who wish to provide direct assitance to our collegues who have been affected, please send us an e-mail. We will be working to collect information, offers of support, details of local fundraisers and anything you wish to provide in assistance to deliver to those who may find it of use as soon as is possible.
This event also serves to remind us that information can never be in too great a supply. Members are encouraged to register with the Department of Homeland Security's Information Network and Critical Infrastructure alert system. If you are interested in learning more, please visit http://www.swern.gov.
For those who have found this page and are seeking information on obtaining assistance, please visit www.fema.gov to receive a full listing of assistance that is coming to your area.
Local Association Relief Efforts
Throughout the week, local BOMA Associations and many of their members have gone into action to aid the relief efforts not only in the states affected directly by Hurrican Katrina, but also at home and in the locations serving as new homes to the vicitms.
Members from Fort Worth, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas have reported in on clothing and food drives as well as direct work within the shelters that have been opened in their cities.
Please click on the links below for more information on the local efforts and how you can help, or contact Jennifer Harrell at BOMA International for more information on specific listings:
BOMA Houston is providing a number of resources for assiting those evacuees who have been brough to the area and those who will need assistance in the other areas affected by Katrina. Please visit their site for the most up to date information on their efforts by clicking here.
A member in Minneapolis has offered a rental home at no charge for a family seeking refuge. If you are aware of such a family that would be interested in taking this opportunity to restart, please contact Jennifer Harrell.
BOMA Columbus has pledged $500 to the BOMA Foundation to support victims of the hurricane.
A member in Chicago has informed BOMA International that they are looking into offering a temporary janitorial position and free housing to a displaced individual/family. They are looking to provide this position to someone who was working in this capacity and is now left without a position due to Katrina. Please contact Jennifer Harrell if you have any knowledge of a person/family who could benefit from this offer.
BOMA San Antonio
BOMA San Antonio is working with the San Antonio Office of Emergency Management to find additional housing for evacuees coming in from New Orleans. They are looking for vacant spaces where individuals can be housed on a long term basis in the area and plan on upping the effort as the true needs of the evacuees become better known. We will notify you when we know what assistance they need that others locals may be able to assist with.
BOMA Birmingham is asking members to help vicitms and will be providing information through their website. Please visit their site at http://www.bomabirmingham.org/.
The Houston Apartment Association
The Houston Apartment Association is compiling a listing of properties that have units available and are able to offer assistance to people in need of emergency housing in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Please visit the site here. http://www.boma.org/hurricanekatrina.htm
Rexel provides a solution that is Right in Time!
During a counter day on April 6th 2005 at Rexel North Wilkesboro, Dru Heldman, Connectis Area Manager for Rexel Western North Carolina was introduced to Scotty Lambert MCP, MCSA, Network Administrator of Wilkes Regional Medical Center, North Wilkesboro, NC. Their introduction was facilitated by North Wilkesboro branch Datacom Champion Darryl Church. While demonstrating test equipment from Ideal and reviewing the services and product lines that Rexel offers, they touched upon the subject of Datacenter. Mr. Lambert explained that he and his counterparts had just spent a long weekend running new Telco "Gigabit" cables and punching them down on Patch Panels. He commented that it was crucial to get it done over the weekend but that it took up a large portion of his weekend. Dru asked if he was familiar with the plug-and-play 25-pair systems that are available. Dru explained that using the 25-pair cable pre-terminated with 50-pin Telco connectors connecting to a 25-pair patch panel is fast, easy and you don't have to worry about color-codes or good punches. Fortunately Dru had a sample of the product in his car from Superior Modular Products. He showed Mr. Lambert SMP's new Gigabit Ethernet 24-port patch panel and plenum 25-pair C5e assembly. Additionally, the Superior Modular Products solution has the benefit of smaller cable bundles that results in improved airflow under the floor.
Dru explained that on a national average it takes about two hours to punch-down 24-ports on a 110 style panel, including proper cable management. He then held up the SMP patch panel, applied the cable assembly connector to the patch panel connector and pressed. "Ok I just terminated 6-ports. Of course you would need to add about 30 seconds to screw it secure". In all we can terminate 24-ports in about a minute. An additional benefit to this system, Dru explained, is that with a 180° (or TS as it's called) comes straight out of the panel and provides easy cable management to either side of the rack. The most important thing in using this product is to measure accurately because the cable assemblies are made to order.
Scotty could see right away that this would be a benefit to him and his installers. Dru scheduled a meeting with him later where the features and benefits for this system were explained in greater detail. During a visit to the hospital, Rexel and the hospital staff uncovered the potential use of many newer products and technologies that are available to make their jobs easier. MACs (Moves ,Adds, & Changes) have an impact on downtime. Rexel's SMP solution has much shorter installation times and definitely reduces downtime.
During July 2005 Rexel held a mini training, lunch and learn and brought in vendors of products that they expressed an interest in. We showed them additional Superior Modular Products, Hitachi Cable, Flex-tray, CSD-fire-stop and NiTek Video cameras that run on UTP. Steven Porach PE, RCDD Rep for Trans-media Group out of Asheville, NC put together the training and presentation and brought in factory reps creating a team of experts to answer questions.
SMP Quality System summarized (www.smpdata.com/smp/):
· ISO 9001:2000 registered firm by Underwriters laboratories
· 15 year Product Warranty on all components
· To date, they have never had to replace a patch panel due to after installation failure.
(Any contractor who has run into port failures in the middle of a project knows this pain.)
· ETL Verification of Component Compliance on all Category 6 Jacks Panels, Patch Cords, and IDC (Insulation Displacement Connection) Blocks.
· Third Party Verification of Compliance with IEC60603-7 Reliability Specifications
About a week later Rexel got their first order for SMP's 25-pair Gigabit Ethernet system of panels and cable assemblies. With several more projects coming, Scotty is planning to use this for connecting server cabinets together in several areas of the hospital. It's easy to order, factory tested and most importantly, it keeps his install time to a minimum so he can concentrate on all his other responsibilities.
Rexel is a worldwide distributor of electrical and datacom products http://www.rexelusa.com/
Hurricane Katrina's Impact on Rexel Branches and Its Employees
September 6, 2005
We appreciate the concern our many customers and vendors have expressed for Rexel employees affected by Hurricane Katrina. Rexel is also deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of our employees and is taking steps to help rebuild the lives of those affected. At the same time, we are committed to providing uninterrupted service to our customers wherever possible.
Rexel Southern in Gulfport, MS, and Rexel Southern in Harahan, LA, were seriously damaged by the hurricane. These two locations are closed at this time.
Open for business:
Some locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana are operating with limited telephone and/or computer service. However, all but the two branches in Gulfport and Harahan are open for business and are serving their customers' needs. Rexel is working to quickly move all locations to full functionality as soon as possible.
Concern for our employees:
Unfortunately, we have been unable to verify the condition of three employees associated with the Harahan branch. All other employees are accounted for and are safe.
Rexel is on the ball and ready to assist the consumer find the best solution. Don't go it alone. We anticipate that a number of our employees, particularly those in southern Louisiana and Mississippi, will require a great deal of assistance to rebuild their lives. To that end, Rexel Inc. has established a fund to assist employees in need. If you would like to make a donation to the Rexel Employee Relief Fund, you may do so by sending a check, made payable to: Rexel Inc. Mail it to: Rexel Inc. * 6606 LBJ Freeway, Suite 200 * Dallas, TX 75240 * Attention: Leslie Bell-Finch.
Graybar Announces Free 60-Day Trial of Graybar VIP Design Online
The First Web-based Multi-Vendor Structured Cabling Design and Budgeting Tool
Tool anticipated to provide a 25 percent or greater increase in productivity with fewer errors
Graybar, a leading North American distributor of electrical and telecommunications service solutions and products and related supply chain management and logistics services, today announced a 60-day free trial of the first multi-vendor Web-based design and budgeting tool for complex structured cabling projects - Graybar VIP Design Online.
The free trial is valued at more than $150 dollars. A one-year subscription to Design Online is $1,000, which is rebated with the specification or purchase of two Graybar Verified Independently for Performance (VIP) structured cabling projects during the 12-month subscription. For more information and to register for a free trial, visit http://www.graybar.com/DesignOnline/default.htm.
"We wanted to give structured cabling designers the opportunity to test-drive Design Online and experience its power firsthand," said Bob Weiland, national market manager - commercial market, Graybar. "Once they start using this tool, we believe they'll see the advantages of working this way instead of using their traditional design and budgeting methodology, which probably includes copying and pasting data into spreadsheets.
Design Online eliminates this tedious process, saving valuable time while significantly reducing the potential for mistakes."
Design Online's simple point-and-click interface provides users with the ability to save an estimated 25 percent, if not more, on the time it takes to design, configure and budget structured cabling projects while reducing errors. For the first time within a Web-based design and budgeting tool, users have access to a centralized repository of more than 8,000 data communications products and their prices.Included in the database are 15 interoperable cabling and connectivity product lines proven to exceed industry standards by the Graybar VIP testing program. Users have the ability to manage multiple projects through the interface.
Users estimate saving 25 percent or more on design time by:
1) Reducing the time-to-assemble material lists for a complex project by using ready-made templates and by eliminating the tedious clerical work of copying and pasting data into spreadsheets;
2) Decreasing configuration errors with built-in configuration rules;
3) Eliminating tedious phone, e-mail and fax communication by automatically generating budgets; and
4) Generating a robust, fully configured product graphic "on the fly" to give customers early visibility of a design.
TED Special Report: Katrina Update And NAED Message Board
NAED Establishes Industry Message Board To Communicate Needs of Members Affected By Katrina
"In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the National Association of Electrical Distributors shares in the sadness and concern that the entire nation feels over the devastation and perilous conditions in the Gulf Coast," expressed Tom Naber, NAED president. "Our hearts go out to the hundreds of thousands of Americans whose lives have been forever changed. Our thoughts are particularly with those NAED members who live and work in the area.
"We are reaching out to the NAED members and associate members in the Gulf Coast to determine their immediate and long-term needs, and will share those with you in the coming days. In many areas, communication and transportation systems are inoperable, and for many electrical distributors and their customers, business has been interrupted indefinitely, employees are unaccounted for, and buildings have been damaged or destroyed," said Naber.
Bill Elliott, chairman of NAED, and president of Elliott Electric Supply, Nacogdoches, Texas, has locations in Louisiana, and reported that while the company's locations escaped damage, the situation in the Gulf Coast is serious, and help is needed.
"Our stores were fortunate enough to escape Katrina," said Elliott. "What we are seeing now are thousands of refugees leaving the affected areas, especially the flooded city of New Orleans. Every facility in the area that can house these people is being filled to capacity. Even in Nacogdoches, four hours away, we are completely filled with people that have nothing to go home to.
"Our hearts and our attention go out to our friends and colleagues that, having dedicated their lives to this industry, now find themselves part of this displaced group," continued Elliott. "Through TED Magazine, NAED has set up a message board to track members that have been affected by this disaster. As reports of company conditions are reported, the page will be updated. If you have any information, please help us find our friends so that we can help them through this.
"In the meantime, at Elliott Electric Supply, we will dedicate our stores and our people, as I know many of you will, to the task of helping anyone who can contact us. We have locations that can assist in Louisiana, from Alexandria and points north, as well as in Houston and East Texas. I can be reached directly at (936)-569-1184, or by cell, at (936)-679-3187," he concluded.
NAED encourages any contribution you can make to the rescue and rehabilitation efforts. In particular, The Red Cross is in need of monetary donations at this time. In the coming days and weeks, the association will also monitor and report any localized efforts for distributor employees or the need for specific material donations, and report them at www.tedmag.com/messageboard.
NAED Members Feel The Affects of Katrina
At this time,TED Magazine is aware of the following news regarding the industry's impact from Hurricane Katrina:
Armstrong's Supply Company: Armstrong's Supply has locations in New Orleans and Mandeville, La. The company reported to NAED Chairman Bill Elliott that they saw images of their New Orleans store which is surrounded by water, but the images indicated that the roof is intact; the Mandeville location was not damaged. The distributor's web site coverage includes a company-wide effort to locate missing employees; at this time all but one employee is accounted for. A log is also being updated on Armstrong's web site as the company becomes aware of more information regarding conditions. Click here to view the site.
GE: Specific information regarding GE Consumer & Industrial Supply locations and their employees is unknown at this time. However, as a company, GE has donated $1 million to the Red Cross. Employees and retirees have donated more than $800,000 which will be matched by the GE Foundation. In addition, with GE's NBC station in New York City, more than $8 million was raised with a telethon and a national telethon will be aired tonight (Friday, Sept. 2). Hundreds of GE employees are assisting with relief efforts, and the company is working with the Red Cross and FEMA to assess what products and services can be donated. Click here to see more.
Hughes Supply: The company has accounted for nearly 200 of its employees in the affected area, but is continuing efforts to contact more. In addition, the company has donated $25,000 to The Red Cross, $25,000 to The Salvation Army for disaster relief efforts, and contributed $21,500 to its Family Fund to assist its own employees. In addition, the distributor has pledged $70,000 in supplies that will be delivered via Hughes trucks and employees are collecting emergency supplies at their headquarters on Church Street in Parramore (Orlando) to send to their coworkers.
Siemens: Siemens Energy and Automation issued a statement September 2,2005 noting it has launched a program to help its affected channel partners cope with the devastation by providing cash flow relief. The program will extend payment terms on existing accounts receivable balances and any replenishment stock orders from distributors in the impacted area. In addition, Siemens divisions are standing by with water clarification trailers to start purifying water and disinfect equipment; shipping generators to hospitals in the region; providing emergency phones, portable imaging equipment, heart monitors, and airlifted utility engineers. In addition, there are company employee relief funds and housing being provided through the Siemens Caring Hands program.
Summit Electric Supply: At this time, the company is unable to determine the status if its New Orleans (Harahan) location, but reports that its Broussard and Gonzales, La. locations are intact. In a report to Imark Group it was noted that one employee remains unaccounted for, and they have been denied permission to fly over the area at this time.
Wesco: Specific information regarding damage to branch locations, and employee whereabouts is unavailable at this time. However, the company is being praised by Entergy for helping ensure power needs for customers in Texas and Louisiana. Click here to see more.
Wholesale Electric Supply: This Houston-based distributor reports that the only damage to their operations was a loss of power, which has been restored, at its Baton Rouge, La. location.
NAED members with locations that received direct damage or possible related affects:
All-Phase Electric Supply (Gulfport, Miss. Location)
Argo International (New Orleans location)
Armstrong's Supply Company (New Orleans and Mandeville, La. locations)
Basin-River Electrical Supply (Plaquemine, La.)
CED (multiple locations in Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida)
Electrical Wholesalers (Baton Rouge, La.)
GE Consumer & Industrial Supply (multiple locations in Louisiana and Alabama)
General Machinery Supply (Mobile, Ala. location)
Graybar (multiple locations in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida)
Hughes Supply (multiple locations in Alabama and Florida)
Industrial Electronic Supply (New Orleans, Baton Rouge)
Interstate Supply (Thibodaux, La.)
Key Electrical Supply ( two locations in Panama City, Fla.)
Lighting & Lamp Corporation (multiple locations in Alabama and Florida)
Mayer Electric Supply (multiple locations in Alabama and Florida)
Mid-State Supply (Alexandria, La.)
Natchez Electric & Supply (Natchez, Miss.)
Nu-Lite Electrical Wholesalers (multiple locations in New Orleans and surrounding area)
Rexel (multiple locations in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida)
Robinson Electric Supply (multiple locations in Miss.)
Stuart C. Irby Company (multiple locations in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana)
Summit Electric Supply (New Orleans-- Harahan)
Teche Electric Supply (multiple locations in Louisiana and Mississippi)
TVESCO (multiple locations in Louisiana and Mississippi)
Wesco (multiple locations in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi)
Wholesale Electric Supply, (multiple locations in Louisiana)
Imark Member Reports
This afternoon, Imark Group, Oxon Hill, Md., provided an update to their members which included the following reports:
Bayou Electric, New Iberia, La.: No damage reported.
Clower Electric, Mobile, Ala.: The company is operational, but is using emergency generators.
Mathes Electric Supply, Pensacola, Fla.: The company's Daphne and Foley, Ala. locations are operating with emergency generators.
Monti Electric, Waveland, Miss.: Co-owner Katherine Monti reported that they were hit hard-- three of their locations are not operational, and they are in the process of gathering further damage assessment.
Nesco Electrical Distributors, Tupelo, Miss: No damage; two locations were without power for two days.
Robinson Electric Supply, Meridian, Miss.: Half of the headquarter location's roof is gone; power is restored, but computers are not working. The company has been unable to make contact with its Hattiesburg, Miss. location.
Sefco Electric Supply Company, Jackson, Miss.: Power is still out at the company's Jackson location but damage to locations was minimal. Sefco has offered to help other Imark members any way they can.
Spring Hill Lighting and Supply, Mobile, Ala. sustained no major damage.
Stanford Electric, Corinth, Miss. reports no damage.
United Lighting and Supply, Pensacola, Fla.: No damage reported.
If you know of the status of any distributor in the area, please share it with your peers online at www.tedmag.com/messageboard or contact Michael Martin, Editor at 888-791-2512 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hurricane Katrina Relief: How You Can Help
American Red Cross: 1-800-HELP-NOW or www.redcross.org
Salvation Army: 1-800-SAL-ARMY or www.salvationarmyusa.org
National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster: www.nvoad.org
America's Second Harvest: 1-800-344-8070 or www.secondharvest.org
Charity Navigator: www.charitynavigator.org
Information on various charities and ways to donate to the relief effort.
The Department of Homeland Security's Southwest Emergency Response Network (www.SWERN.gov) has been designated as the central repository for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. If you or your organization/agency/corporation have resources that may be made available to the response agencies, please list them in the Resource Registry located at https://www.swern.gov/emergency/.
HCM Introduces PremiumTM Category 6 Cable
Hitachi Cable Manchester (HCM) is now manufacturing a new Category 6 cable to meet the growing needs of its customers.
The new PremiumTM Category 6 cable provides yet another option for those seeking a Category 6 solution. PremiumTM Category 6 cables are designed to provide a cost effective, high performamce solution that will compliment our existing PlusTM and SupraTM cables. PremiumTM Category 6 cable is tested to 660 MHz and guarantees +4 dB of NEXT headroom, +4 dB of PSNEXT headroom, +6 dB of ELFEXT headroom and +6 dB of PSELFEXT headroom. Like all HCM Category 6 cables, PremiumTM Category 6 is manufactured with a star filler and is ROHS compliant.
"Although our PlusTM Category 6 cable exceeds the standards, we wanted to provide an additional option for those end users with very specific needs." said Steven Kenney, Strategic Marketing Manager for HCM.
PremiumTM Category 6 cable is available in multiple colors and can be packaged in 1,000-foot increments on reels or in Reelex boxes and Reel-in-a-Box.
A complete listing of all HCM cables can be found at the HCM website, www.hcm.hitachi.com. HCM can also be reached toll free at 800-772-0116.
Telecom Damage Tops $600 Million
BellSouth Says Repairs May Take Months
BellSouth (NYSE: BLS) Sept 6, 2005 announced updates on the impacts of Hurricane Katrina to its customers, network and employees. The company has also completed an assessment of restoration timelines as well as an initial estimate of the financial impact of the storm on its network operations. www.bellsouthcorp.com
"BellSouth is engaged in active dialogue with its customers and is working to re-establish and reroute communications capabilities according to their needs," said Bill Smith, BellSouth Chief Technology Officer. "On a priority basis, we continue to focus on restoration in support of public safety concerns, wireless services and relief activities. Our overall restoration activities are ongoing and we are making good progress daily."
Based on data from BellSouth's field survey teams, an estimated 810,000 lines remain impacted in the hardest-hit areas along the Gulf Coast in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. In this same area, BellSouth has 131 central offices, with all but 19 operating. These 19 central offices serve approximately 187,000 access lines, with 166,000 of these lines being in the New Orleans area. Restoration plans for these 19 offices are being developed.
"Restoration begins with our central offices and high-capacity trunk lines and the vast majority have been repaired. We are making steady progress as we gain access. Most customers will be restored within 30 days," noted Smith. "However, some communities may take longer to rebuild in certain cases depending on when residents and businesses are able to return to these most affected areas and the time it takes to rebuild needed local infrastructure. New Orleans is an atypical situation given the floodwaters and access issues, and because of this, we will track restoration activity in New Orleans separately."
As it gains more access to the most heavily impacted areas, BellSouth continues to assess the full impact on its network operations. It is too early to project the total magnitude of destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, but based on the information available today and without the opportunity to survey and physically assess the entire area, BellSouth's initial estimate is a cost of $400-600 million, including both capital and expense, for network restoration.
BellSouth has about 13,000 employees in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama - and approximately 6,500 of these are in the hardest hit areas affected by the storm. In order to help our employees continue to work in the face of this hardship, BellSouth has set up BellSouth "tent cities" in Baton Rouge and Covington, Louisiana; and Gulfport, Hattiesburg and Jackson, Mississippi. An additional location will be established this week in Kenner, Louisiana. These cities will provide BellSouth employees and their families with necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, financial support and employee assistance programs. The cities will also serve as deployment areas for BellSouth technicians and engineers that will be sent back into impacted areas to restore service for customers.
This information is accurate only as of the date and time of this release and is likely to change as power is restored, floodwaters recede and other developments occur. Although we will use commercially reasonable efforts to provide updated information on a regular basis, this information will not be updated in real-time.
NECA Convention & Conferences (Sept. 2005) in New Orleans CANCELLED
the Convention, the NECA Show, the Conference on Integrated Building Systems, and the Conference on Lighting Education will not be rescheduled or relocated for 2005
09-01-05 -- NECA 2005 New Orleans Cancellation Notice
On Wednesday, August 31, 2005, the NECA Executive Committee met by conference call and determined that it would not be possible to hold any of NECA programs scheduled in New Orleans Sept. 16-20, including the Convention, the NECA Show, the Conference on Integrated Building Systems, and the Conference on Lighting Education. This decision was made after consulting with numerous representatives and counsel and confirms what most you already assumed - that given the recent natural disaster, New Orleans will be unable to host NECA 2005 and its participants.
These programs will not be rescheduled or relocated for 2005.
This was not an easy decision to make, but based on the catastrophic condition of the city, the committee determined this was the responsible course of action.
Registrants for NECA 2005 New Orleans do not need to cancel meeting registrations or hotel reservations made through NECA's
convention housing service; this will be handled by NECA, and no charges will be assessed for any arrangements made through the housing service. Registrants should check with their airline for conditions regarding refunds for their New Orleans travel reservations.
NECA is in the process of establishing refund procedures for NECA 2005 New Orleans participants. However, this is an unprecedented situation for the association, and it will require complex accounting procedures to track refunds, rollovers and reallocations. Please know that we are committed to doing so in a timely, fair, efficient, and accurate manner.
Thank you for allowing us time to evaluate all the facts and weigh all the options.
Hurricane Katrina: Midwest Should Bid For Rebuilding IT Infrastructure
Carlini's Comments, ePrairie's oldest column, runs every Wednesday. Its mission is to offer the common man's view on business and technology issues while questioning the leadership and visions of "pseudo" experts
Hurricane Katrina was big news when it hit.
Everyone knew it was going to cause a lot of damage. The aftermath promises to create a lot of work to rebuild infrastructure. This could create more competition for Chicago and other Midwest cities if the politicians in the South become more aware of network connectivity and how it plays a role in global competitiveness.
With the task of rebuilding comes the golden opportunity to leapfrog the network infrastructure of many other cities. Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and all the other Midwest cities could be impacted by the millions of dollars spent on rebuilding the infrastructure of these coastal towns. The cities of the South could become better prepared to compete in the high-speed global economy.
Gaining a Global Perspective
While we are debating what speed should be considered "broadband" and whether or not municipalities should be given the ability to build their own networks, others around the world are fighting their own speed wars.
In an article in the Asia Times, the author writes about how some Koreans aren't satisfied with the speed of their connectivity and some companies are picking up the pace. The interesting issue is where they're already at in residential service and what they are planning to offer:
In South Korea, a country where more than 75 percent of homes have broadband Internet connections, the high-speed Internet is becoming as ubiquitous as electricity. Most household subscribers surf the Web at speeds of up to 5 megabits per second, which is considered blazingly fast in most of the world.
However, Powercomm, an unlisted unit of fixed-line telephone company Dacom Corp., plans to offer the ultra-fast high-speed Internet service with an announced connection speed of up to 100 megabits per second, based on its nationwide fiber-optic networks. The interesting fact in this article is that more than 75 percent of Korean homes have broadband Internet connections. The article didn't say they have the "ability" for broadband connectivity. They actually have it hooked up and in use. What are we doing? Still Trying to Understand Billing
While some of the world is debating how much they should offer the consumer, we are still fighting the battle of what's on the phone bill. It seems as though some of the phone companies are slipping in fees that are questionable as they continue to milk the consumer with fees that are starting to sound like an air-breathing fee, a ringing capability on each phone or a printing a bill on paper fee.
Sound ridiculous? According to a recent New York Times article, the last one is an actual fee used by MCI to cover the cost of printing the bill on paper. In this article, Ken Belson discusses the complexity of trying to figure out the add-on fees in order to provide some hidden profits for the phone companies:
[Some of the new add-ons include] the "property tax allotment," the "carrier cost recovery fee" and the "single bill fee". Others, like the "subscriber line charge," are growing as a portion of an average monthly bill.
Though surcharges have been around for a while, they have been growing. More consumers are complaining that such fees have become a back-door way for phone companies to raise prices while keeping advertised rates low.
The carriers might promote flat-rate phone plans for, say, $49.99 a month, but once the many indecipherable fees are larded into a bill, a customer may actually pay $10, $20 or more a month. "The proliferation of these charges is happening because the carriers are playing a shell game," said Thomas Allibone, an independent auditor and a former member of the consumer advisory committee at the FCC. "They'd rather weather a customer's complaint because they are making $20 or more in surcharges."
Unique Position to Rebuild the South
With the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, many cities in the South could make a giant leap into the future by adding fiber and other broadband capability as they rebuild bridges, roads and downtown areas. If they are going to spend the money any way, the incremental cost of adding fiber into the road or across a bridge that must be rebuilt is nominal.
Think of how that would reposition some of those cities into attracting and maintaining first-class companies by being able to say they have world-class infrastructure. Out of disaster could come a great rebirth of a network infrastructure upgrade that's equivalent to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) project, which brought electricity and power to rural areas. This new type of thinking has to be adopted by the politicians in the South. Their goal shouldn't be to "get the city back to the way it was" but to get their city "to the way it should be" in order to compete within the global economy of today and tomorrow.
In places like Mobile, Ala., New Orleans and many of the other coastal cities, the change in network infrastructure could catapult these cities into competitive powerhouses faster than what they ever could have dreamed.
Hopefully, their politicians see the opportunity to do something more than just get back to the status quo. This would be a great time to apply for grants and relief in the South. This is also a great time to build up new capabilities or at least subsidize rebuilding projects to include broadband connectivity as an element of the rebuilding process.
Carlinism: Out of a natural disaster, the need to rebuild infrastructure should take into consideration adding new infrastructure as part of a way to get things to better than they were before.
James Carlini is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University. He is also president of Carlini & Associates. Carlini can be reached at email@example.com or 773-370-1888.
Click here for Carlini's full biography.
Copyright 2005 Jim Carlini
New Interactive DVD on Fiber Optic Cables
The Light Brigade announces its new menu-based DVD titled Fiber Optic Cables, the fifth release in the company's new Staff Development series.
The DVD addresses a wide range of topics encompassing manufacturing, installation and cable preparation steps. The DVD uses on-site filming to show how loose tube and tight tube optical cables and their components are integrated, manufactured and tested. High-resolution animations illustrate features and details that can be hard to understand.
Chapters include cable applications, manufacturing, cable specifications, loose tube cables, tight tube cables, optical ground wire (OPGW), all dielectric self supporting (ADSS) cables and specialty cables. For installers, there are chapters with content on cable preparation, mid-entries, fan-out kits and cable attachment products.
Special features include student and instructor quizzes. Other highlights include:
· Understanding how to interpret cable specifications.
· How fibers are cabled from acceptance to final assembly.
· Cable manufacturing of loose and tight buffered cables.
· How to prepare a fiber optic cable for installation, splicing, or connectorization.
· How to attach a fan-out kit for loose tube cables.
· How to perform a mid-entry into loose and tight buffered cable structures.
· ADSS and OPGW cables for utility applications.
About The Light Brigade
Over 29,000 attendees have participated in The Light Brigade's instructor-led fiber optic training courses worldwide. In addition, The Light Brigade has a wide variety of fiber optic training videotapes, CD-ROMs, DVDs, and computer-based training available. More detailed information can be found at www.lightbrigade.com,
DuPont plant slammed by Katrina
Gulf Coast facility at 'ground zero' of storm
BY JEFF MONTGOMERY / The News Journal
A DuPont Co. pigment plant targeted in a $15.5 million pollution lawsuit award last week got socked with a different kind of environmental notice Monday as Hurricane Katrina savaged the Gulf Coast.
Company officials said Tuesday they still were evaluating damage and conditions at the DeLisle titanium dioxide plant, which stands just north of St. Louis Bay, between Gulfport, Miss., and New Orleans.
The DeLisle operation has some similarities to the company's Edge Moor plant northeast of Wilmington, now the focus of a dispute over hazardous waste disposal.
Mississippi emergency managers described the area around DeLisle as "ground zero" for wind, rain and storm surges accompanying Katrina's landfall.
"We had a team at the plant during the storm. They are safe," said DuPont spokesman Richard Straitman. "There was flooding at the site. The assessment of damage at the site has just begun."
Others have not been as fortunate. The death toll in Harrison County, the county in which the plant is located, was at least 100 on Tuesday and officials are worried it will go higher.
As the storm moved north of the area Tuesday, DuPont announced a $1 million cash donation to agencies supporting Hurricane Katrina relief and recovery efforts in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.
Five plants in danger zone
DeLisle was one of five Gulf area plants that DuPont closed and secured just ahead of the storm. Other company operations closed for the storm include the Burnside, La., sulfur products and sulfuric acid recycling plant; the Pontchartrain, La., plant, which makes synthetic rubber and intermediates used for Kevlar fabrics; an agricultural chemicals plant in Mobile, Ala.; and a plant in Pascagoula, Miss., that produces chemicals for the agricultural, polymer and rubber industries.
The money and donated foods and products will be focused on "particularly hard-hit communities, such as those surrounding the DuPont DeLisle and Pascagoula sites."
Kelli H. Kukura, public affairs team manager for DuPont Operations, said that conditions at the five plants may become clearer today.
"At this point, there's no information. There are no reports of injuries to employees or environmental incidents on the sites. We're still in the process of assessing damage to the five sites and it will vary site to site," Kukura said.
Pollution suit lost
Katrina arrived days after a state court jury found DuPont liable for $14 million in damages to a waterman who claimed that toxic pollution from the DeLisle plant caused his cancer. The same jury awarded the man's wife $1.5 million for her separate loss.
During the trial, witnesses said dusts and other wastes containing toxic compounds routinely escaped from the plant, waste lagoons and discharge pipes into surrounding air, water and soil.
Michael Berk, a member of the Sierra Club Mississippi Chapter's executive committee, said Katrina could only have worsened the problem.
"I'm sure people are going to be exposed to that. It would be hard to imagine that they could contain all of it when they haven't been able to contain it under normal circumstances," Berk said.
"Probably in the scheme of things, nobody's even looking at that or cares about it right now," said Berk, a Mississippi State University architecture professor whose home, miles inland, was without electricity Tuesday.
Appeal is planned
DuPont officials have denied claims that DeLisle wastes caused any harm or illnesses, and said they plan to appeal the verdict.
A separate punitive damage hearing is scheduled for Thursday in Laurel, Miss.
"It's bad for the environment and it's bad for people. DuPont needs to change their behavior down there," said attorney Allen M. Stewart, one of a group of lawyers who have lined up nearly 2,000 toxic injury claims against the company. "I don't know what their plans are. What I know right now is, an impartial jury took a look at the facts and found DuPont negligent. If DuPont wants to see that happen 2,000 more times, so be it."
Contact Jeff Montgomery at 678-4277 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
BICSI U.S. Southeast Region Meeting
Twin City Quarter - Marriott
425 North Cherry Street
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27101
Charles Wilson, RCDD/NTS/OSP Specialist, U.S. Southeast Region Director invites you to an educational Region Meeting in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on Friday, October 28, 2005, 7:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at Twin City Quarter - Marriott.
Five technical presentations and a "What's New, What's It Do" session are scheduled. Attend this meeting and earn BICSI continuing education credits (CECs) toward the renewal of the following BICSI designations: four (4) BICSI CECs for RCDD, one (1) BICSI CEC for RCDD/NTS Specialty, four (4) BICSI CECs for ITS Installer 2 and ITS Technician.
To view the invitation for details and agenda, click here or copy the following URL
Home Axcess Residential Enclosures Approved By Playa Vista
Superior Modular Products, a leading developer and manufacturer of high-speed cross-connect products for communication networks, is pleased to announce The Master Planned Community of Playa Vista on the west side of Los Angeles has approved the Home Axcess® Residential Enclosures and connectivity for installation under their Structured Wiring Guidelines. "We welcome Superior Modular Products to be a part of our new development and know their products meet the rigid guidelines for quality and performance required by Playa Vista" a spokesman for Playa Vista stated.
Playa Vista is the first new community to be established on Los Angeles' Westside in over fifty years. Planned to accommodate up to 15,000 residents, its homes include studios, lofts, apartment, condominiums and single family homes. Playa Vista offers the latest in electronics and broadband technology for connecting to the digital world. John Awad, Western Regional Manager for SMP was quoted as saying, "We are pleased to be approved for installation at Playa Vista. Our quality enclosures and connectivity products will help provide flawless structured cabling to connect the residents of Playa Vista to their broadband services."
The Home Axcess® Residential Enclosures product line offers a complete, cost-effective, structured wiring solution in three different sizes to help add value to the home while taking full advantage of the latest in electronic technology. It provides a convenient method for networking, customizing and distributing all of the electronic services in a home; voice, data, video, audio and security, all from one central location. All three of the Home Axcess® enclosures are made from rugged steel construction, offer standard 16" stud-wall construction, and are offered in an expandable format. www.smpdata.com
The Light Brigade Announces New FTTH Course For Installers and Planners
The Light Brigade Inc., the world's leading provider of fiber optic training courses and materials, has announced the latest addition to their offerings, the new FTTH/PON for Installers course. This course specifically addresses the needs of installers working on FTTH and Passive Optical Network installations using the ITU-T G.983 standard.
The course focuses on the knowledge and skills required for installers and technicians for FTTH installations, including:
· Proper installation of optical cables.
· Splicing for trunk, distribution and drop cables.
· The unique testing, documentation and troubleshooting requirements including OTDR, reflection and optical loss testing.
The course consists of both classroom and hands-on practices with the majority of the time dedicated to hands-on practices, products and disciplines required. www.lightbrigade.com
Mohawk Announces a Family of Rugged, Flexible Cell Tower Cables
Mohawk, a leading manufacturer of fiber optic and copper cable products, announces the release of a line of flexible, harsh environment cables designed specifically for cell and radio towers. In addition to voice applications, these cables provide high-speed broadband wireless Internet access, as well as weather collection for new PCS and mobile radio applications.
The compact, rugged design includes an inner jacket covering the twisted-pair conductors, an overall foil/braid shield with an overall jacket and meets electrical characteristics and TIA/EIA standards for Category 5/5e and 6. The solid bare copper conductors are insulated with polyethylene and then gel-filled to prevent migration of water through the cable, as well as corrosion of the conductors, which could severely affect the enclosed electronics. Both the inner and overall jackets are constructed of black polyethylene, making the cable impervious to water and UV stabilized for durability and long life.
"This compact design is more flexible than traditional armored cable, typically specified for these applications," states Greg Niemiera, RCDD, Manager of Technical Sales and Marketing for Mohawk. "In addition, the extensive shielding - 60% braid and 100% metallic foil tape - offers unbeatable EMI and RFI immunity, essential in a tower environment, where there may be interference from other services located on the same tower. The small compact design enables quick and easy field terminations," he further explains. The cables are constructed with Mohawk's patented "FlexWeb" construction, which isolates the cable pairs, to provide outstanding pair-to-pair balance for superior headroom and reduced crosstalk. http://www.mohawk-cdt.com
Corning Cable Systems Introduces Data Center Training Course
Corning Cable Systems, part of Corning Incorporated's Telecommunications segment, introduces its Data Center Optical Network Design and Installation Course. The new 3-day course covers all aspects of successful optical fiber data center design, including the requirements of TIA/EIA-942, Telecommunications Infrastructure Standards for Data Centers.
During the course, students will learn about the topology of the data center, along with the passive and active components that comprise the telecommunications infrastructure. Case studies will be presented in order to determine the data center layout and generating a bill of materials. Students will have the opportunity to handle optical hardware and cabling, as well as training including the testing and termination of ribbon backbone cable.
The curriculum for the Data Center Optical Network Design and Installation Course includes a data center market overview, standards requirements, optical sources (including LEDs, VCSELs and other lasers), laser-optimized fiber types for high-speed networks, fiber and cable selection for the data center, connector types for high-density applications, optical hardware and preterminated Plug & Play™ System cabling components, handling moves, adds and changes, networking protocols (i.e. Ethernet and Fibre Channel), polarity, and much more. As an added benefit, each student will receive an authorized copy of the TIA/EIA-942 data center standard, as well as other training material from Corning Cable Systems.
As with all Corning Cable Systems training classes, the Data Center Optical Network Design and Installation Course is authored and taught by experienced system engineers who work with consultants and customers daily to meet their optical network design requirements.
Corning Cable Systems customer training courses are offered throughout the year at Corning Cable Systems headquarters in Hickory, N.C., and at locations across the country. To register for a class or schedule a class at your location, call 800-743-2675 and ask for a training coordinator, or register online at www.corning.com/cablesystems. (www.corning.com)
1Nservice Announced the Appointment of Jo Miller as Director of Partner Relations
1Nservice announced the appointment of Jo Miller as Director of Partner Relations. Ms. Miller has overall responsibility for ensuring 1NService member companies receive maximum value for their investment by coordinating, promoting and facilitating quarterly conference meetings, monthly Special Interest Groups, and monthly newsletters. In addition, she will continue 1NService's initiative to grow membership and fully engage the North American service delivery model.
1NService members are focused on delivering technology-based business solutions with the leading manufacturers in the networking industry. To provide stronger solutions to 1NService members' client base, Ms. Miller will work with those manufacturers to optimize their program offerings.
"We are very excited to have Jo onboard with 1NService - she possesses a key understanding of all levels of supply chain management and has an innate knowledge of building long term partnerships between members and suppliers," said John Breakey, Chairman of 1NService.
Miller has over 25 years of relationship, procurement, and marketing experience with technology companies. Most recently, she served KGP Telecommunications as the Director of Strategic Relations. KGP is a national woman-owned tele/data communications manufacturer and distributor serving all markets with products from the "Ditch to the Desktop." Ms. Miller key function was the development and enhancement of supplier relationships to create revenue opportunities for the national field sales staff.
Jo Miller stated, "I am thrilled to join the 1NService team. I look forward to working with each member company to learn how I can best serve each one of them. 1NService has great momentum- this position within 1NService further promotes the company's commitment to fostering each member so they continually receive their greatest benefit."
1NService leverages the regional presence and strengths of individual technology solutions companies, enabling them to provide the highest quality technology solutions and services on a national scope. With annual revenue in excess of $120 million and over 8,000 customers in North America, 1NService is able to provide a broad range of technology solutions to a wide range of customers. For more information visit www.1nservice.com
Rexel Gears Up For Move With Williams' Promotion
Rexel Inc. has promoted Karl Williams to Director of Product Management at its Dallas headquarters - a newly created position.
Williams' background includes 14 years with Rexel-New Zealand, where he rose to the position of Marketing Manager. He moved to the U.S. in 1991. Since 2001, Williams has been Rexel's Product Manager for Lighting in the U.S.
"Our plan is to significantly improve our sales and margin, across all categories, by effectively managing our product offerings and prices," said John Kudlaceck, Rexel's Vice President for Marketing & Purchasing.
"We are excited to have Karl lead our Product Management Group as we accelerate these strategic activities." www.rexel.com
FCI-BURNDY Features The BURNDYWeldTM Grounding Solution
FCI-BURNDY®, a leading manufacturer and provider of connector solutions to the industrial, energy, application tooling and automotive industries, showcased the BURNDYWeldTM exothermic product offering at this year's BICSI Fall Conference, from August 22-25 in Nashville, TN. The BURNDYWeld, along with HYGROUND™ and the Mechanical Grounding line, provides the utility, telecom and CM&R markets with a complete grounding solutions package.
"We've expanded our portfolio of grounding products to now include exothermic. We believe that adding the exothermic BURNDYWeld line to BURNDY's product mix allows us to satisfy those customers that prefer this grounding technique. With the addition of the BURNDYWeld, we now have a comprehensive offering to satisfy all methods of grounding", said Rick Robicheau, Product Manager for FCI-BURNDY products.
FCI-BURNDY's BURNDYWeld provides a simple, portable, efficient method of welding copper to copper and other various materials without the use of an external power source. The resulting connection is a fusion or molecular weld of virtually pure copper.
The HYGROUND Irreversible Compression Grounding System is a safe, cost-effective and time-efficient grounding method. HYGROUND is a complete system consisting of connectors for cross grid connections, taps, splices, cable to ground rod, ground plates, and terminations.
FCI-BURNDY'S Mechanical Grounding and Power Connectors, ideal for direct burial applications in earth or embedment in concrete, are made of high copper content alloys and use a nut and bolt design to provide the means for connecting copper cable. To ensure maximum performance under the most extreme environmental conditions, FCI-BURNDY uses only the finest high copper alloys. www.fciconnect.com
NAED Offers Monthly Profit-Building Teleconference Series For Small Distributors
"Profit Talk 101" features lucrative business tips from industry, economic experts
(ST. LOUIS, MO)… The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) announces a new six-part teleconference series for electrical distributors, "Profit Talk 101 for the Small Shop with Big Plans," on every third Thursday of the month from Sept. - Feb. at 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. (CST). The interactive program will connect association members with the practical expertise of the industry's top business leaders on a wide range of profit-building strategies.
Facilitated by veteran channel consultants Joseph Sullivan, CFA, and John Heiman of Joseph Sullivan & Associates, participating companies will hear an in-depth interview with the guest speaker, complemented by interactive opportunities to ask questions throughout the session.
The "Profit Talk 101" schedule is as follows:
· September 15: "Structuring for Sales Growth";
· October 20: "Getting Suppliers' Attention";
· November 17: "Right-sizing My Inventory";
· December 15: "Credit Department as Profit Center";
· January 19: "Understanding Your Financials";
· February 16: "So You Don't Have and HR Department? Now What?"
"These topics are the foundation of a successful, lucrative distribution company, no matter how large or small," said Tom Isenberg, president of Western Extralite Co. in Kansas City, Mo. "With a firm grasp on these concepts, distributors can solve many of the issues that we face in our day-to-day operations. I encourage any distributor to attend these sessions. You can't help but benefit."
NAED members can participate in the teleconferences for $99 per session, or $499 for all six. The non-member price is $199 per teleconference. To register or for additional information, go to http://www.naedmembers.org/tele/ or contact Ed Orlet at 888-791-2512, email@example.com.
NAED is the trade association for the $70+ billion electrical distribution industry. Through networking, education, research, and benchmarking, NAED helps electrical distributors increase profitability and improve the channel. NAED's membership represents approximately 4,100 locations internationally. www.naed.org
Ortronics/Legrand Introduces New 2005/2006 Catalog
Ortronics/Legrand is pleased to announce the release of our new 2005/2006 High Performance Structured Cabling Products and Solutions catalog. The full-line catalog features nearly 200 pages of innovative solutions for high performance structured cabling systems that support today's demanding networks and emerging technologies.
The new catalog highlights many of the exciting new products recently introduced, such as Ortronics wireless solutions featuring the Wi-Jack wall outlet access point, the Clarity PoE patch panel, and the Mighty Mo 6 advanced cable management system designed specifically for high density applications. Other new products include Clarity 10G UTP and FTP solutions for 10 Gigabit Ethernet performance, as well as the new line of OptiMo fiber optic cabinets and related hardware that integrate seamlessly with the Mighty Mo 6 and are ideal for data center applications.
In addition, the 2005/2006 catalog also offers two entirely new sections, providing an even more comprehensive range of solutions for our customers. The first of the two new sections is the complete line of Homaco Building Entrance and Telecommunications Room products. In May 2005, the Homaco product range was incorporated into the Ortronics breadth of products and is now sold through Ortronics/Legrand sales and distribution channels. The other new section illustrates the ease of integration for Ortronics high performance connectivity with the extensive range of wire and cable management pathway solutions from sister company Wiremold/Legrand.
Order your copy today to learn more about Ortronics extensive range of industry-leading solutions - Clarity, the evolutionary line of enhanced Category 5e and 6 copper connectivity; OptiMo advanced fiber optic solutions; Mighty Mo complete cable management systems; Connect MDU/residential structured cabling systems; a wide array of tools and accessories to complete any installation; and much more! www.ortronics.com
NAED Task Force Addresses Special Pricing Authorization Concerns With Recommended Industry Vocabulary
Document Helps Distributors and Manufacturers Speak Same Language, Increase Efficiencies with Ship and Debit Requests
The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED)'s Task Force on Special Pricing Authorizations (SPA) Process Efficiencies announces a Recommended Industry Vocabulary designed to help standardize the terminology used by electrical industry manufacturers and distributors during the SPA filing process.
The Recommended Industry Vocabulary, accessible online at www.naed.org, was created following months of work by Task Force members with the goal of further streamlining the SPA process.
"The greatest challenge in developing the recommended vocabulary was identifying and ensuring all the terms used by both distributors and manufacturers were represented-and that both parties were satisfied with the specific definitions," said Annie Warren, a task force member and Southwest Area Pricing Manager for Rexel, Inc. in Riverside, Calif. "A great deal of time was spent discussing a variety of business perspectives and nuances between distribution and manufacturing. We hope all are clearly represented in the document."
Warren noted that an important characteristic of the list is that it is a "living" document that will continue to grow and change with the business needs of distributors and manufacturers.
A significant benefit of the Recommended Industry Vocabulary is it's ability to make the SPA process more efficient since manufacturers and distributors will be speaking the same language, according to another task force member,
"Manufacturers can much more quickly and accurately process distributors' ship and debit requests for those distributors who follow the defined process and use the SPA Vocabulary since it is clear how the numbers were generated and all terms are understood," said Bernie Westapher, group VP, global marketing implementation and eCommerce for Panduit Corp, of Tinley Park, Illinois. "Most importantly, however, with the process and vocabulary defined, additional IDEA eCommerce standards could be issued and were. So the process can be automated for the ultimate in speed and accuracy while reducing supply chain costs."
The initiative to improve SPA Process Efficiencies was created in response to distributor member feedback that SPAs are a considerable business challenge that needed examination. In May 2004, NAED organized distributor and manufacturer SPA Task Forces, involving 21 companies and led by distributor Tammy Miller of Border States Electric Supply and Fran Piscitelli of OSRAM Sylvania.
The Recommended Industry Vocabulary is one of three tools created by the SPA Task Force to help make SPA processes more efficient for the entire industry. Other SPA Process Efficiency Tools include: an Inventory Carrying Cost Calculator designed to provide NAED member distributors with a tool to better determine the costs associated with SPA-tied inventory and Recommended Best Practices for the SPA Claiming Process to help the industry become more efficient. In addition, the SPA Task Force endorses the Industry Data Standards developed by the IDEA Standards Committee as a best practice to automate the entire claiming process. The NAED Board of Directors recently endorsed all of the task forces' recommended tools, which was the first time in recent years.
For the industry to reap the benefits of improved SPA Process Efficiencies, NAED is encouraging its electrical distributor and manufacturer members to commit to implementing the task force's recommendations by Sept. 1, 2005. To take part in this effort, distributors and manufacturers are requested to go to www.naed.org/spa, download the "Count Me In" pledge form, fill it out, sign and fax back to NAED at (877) 312-9801. Once a company has registered its support, the company needs to designate a SPA Implementer within the company to follow through on the process internally and participate in the monthly Webinars on the second Monday of every month through 2005. Lastly, NAED requests that members advocate for the adoption of the SPA best practice tools within the industry, especially with software providers.
The SPA Recommended Industry Vocabulary, as well as other SPA Recommended Best Practice Tools, are available at no additional cost to NAED members. To download a copy of the Vocabulary, go to www.naed.org/vocabulary.pdf.
Fluke Networks offers VoIP management solution for the entire VoIP lifecycle
Monitoring and analysis solution helps IT professionals manage and maintain their network infrastructure for VoIP deployment and on-going management
Fluke Networks announces the availability of a comprehensive VoIP lifecycle management solution to help network managers deploy, monitor, troubleshoot and manage VoIP networks. Fluke Networks' VoIP lifecycle management solution takes a unique approach to this mission critical application by helping mange the VoIP infrastructure from pre-deployment to on-going monitoring to planning for future growth. This in turn provides the business benefits of reducing costs while boosting competitive advantage through the new productivity tools offered with a VoIP system.
End users expect IP phones to work as reliably as voice-dedicated land lines, so VoIP systems must meet exceptionally high quality and performance standards. The system must also perform flawlessly in the ever-changing network environment.
Changes to the network must not affect call quality, and growth of the VoIP system must not affect other mission-critical applications.
To minimize problems, Fluke Networks offers a VoIP lifecycle management solution. This lets IT managers verify before deployment that the infrastructure can support VoIP. It also allows the thorough examination of all system elements during deployment and management of the VoIP system proactively after deployment, including ongoing monitoring, troubleshooting, and planning for future growth.
"Fluke Networks recognizes the challenge IT managers face when deploying VoIP. Adding voice to the IP network adds a new level of complexity that current monitoring tools may not be equipped to handle. Our VoIP lifecycle management solution provides end-to-end management data. IT managers and front line support personnel now have complete vision into the network from edge to core with a solution that is comprised of the most-awarded network management products in the industry." said Lisa Schwartz, Solution Marketing Manager.
To help with these tasks, Fluke Networks offers a comprehensive solution that enables users to manage the complete VoIP lifecycle. The solution includes:
· NetToolTM VoIP, an easy-to-use, portable tool for testing communications between the IP phone and other elements of the VoIP network, and for troubleshooting problems at the network's edge.
· OptiView Protocol ExpertTM, a protocol analysis and monitoring solution that can quickly isolate and resolve problems such as network degradation and slow response times.
· OptiViewTM Link Analyzer, a hardware analyzer that provides full visibility into network traffic. Working with Protocol Expert Plus, it reports on network traffic and provides real-time packet capture and analysis, QoS metrics, and alerts.
· OptiViewTM Integrated Network Analyzer, a portable analyzer that captures and analyzes voice traffic, using advanced algorithms to determine the voice quality being delivered. It generates QoS assessments for each call without the need to perform detailed decoding.
· OptiViewTM WAN Analyzer, a multi-function analyzer that provides in-depth analysis of WAN interfaces, including the ability to combine all VoIP-related traffic together in a single group to provide a better understanding of the VoIP system's overall impact on business-critical WAN links.
· ReporterAnalyzerTM, a NetFlow-based monitoring and analysis solution that provides an enterprise-wide view into which applications are using bandwidth, who is using them, and when. With ReporterAnalyzer, the user can verify that VoIP calls are properly prioritized and see how VoIP flows and volumes are changing over time, allowing better planning for future growth.
This comprehensive, single-vendor solution offers unique benefits to the user, the foremost being that all products offer both network and VoIP specific analytics - an essential combination, since each has a potential impact on the other. QoS analytics isolate statistics by channel, a more powerful approach than single-call measurements because it isolates the direction of degradation. All products use real-time monitoring or packet analysis basing results on real traffic, not synthetic tests, which add troubleshooting steps and require end-point deployments throughout the organization.
Fluke Networks provides end-to-end VoIP lifecycle management with a differentiated measurement and analysis solution that helps manage and maintain the VoIP infrastructure. Additional information on VoIP lifecycle management can be found at www.flukenetworks.com/voip.
About Fluke Networks
Fluke Networks provides innovative solutions for the testing, monitoring and analysis of enterprise and telecommunications networks and the installation and certification of the fiber and copper forming the foundation for those networks. The company's comprehensive line of Network SuperVision solutionstm provide network installers, owners, and maintainers with superior vision, combining speed, accuracy and ease of use to optimize network performance. Headquartered in Everett, Washington, the company distributes its products in more than 50 countries. www.flukenetworks.com
Zero dB Joins Corning Total Access ProgramSM (TAP)
Program offers members, their customers access to FTTH deployment advantages
Corning Cable Systems, part of Corning Incorporated's (NYSE: GLW) Telecommunications segment, announces Zero dB as the newest member of the selective Corning Total Access ProgramSM (TAP).
Corning's TAP provides highly qualified design, engineering, furnishing and installation companies with the tools necessary to ensure successful fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) deployments. Certified TAP members receive all-inclusive access to Corning's innovative and reliable FTTH solution. After completing specialized training in the installation of optical access networks, TAP members are able to offer their customers up to a 10-year extended product warranty on complete Corning FTTH solutions (drop cables and assemblies carry a 3-year warranty).
Founded in 1994, Zero dB is an experienced engineering and consulting firm that creates network and facility solutions to meet the broad spectrum of voice, video and data needs of its clients. The company is committed to providing the engineering and consulting expertise required to support FTTH network projects and programs and is currently planning, engineering and implementing FTTH networks for municipalities, green field real estate developers and public utility districts around the globe.
"We have been behind the concept of the Total Access Program from the beginning," said Dana Bisaro, chief executive officer of Zero dB. "The program gives everyone involved an advantage. It gives us the specific training we need to deploy FTTH networks, and it is great for the client to know that Corning is prepared to stand behind their products like no one else."
Robert Whitman, Corning's manager of broadband market development, said "Zero dB's capabilities in designing and engineering FTTH networks, as well as their one-of-a- kind interoperability lab, make them an exciting addition to the Total Access Program."
Through its Evolant™ Solutions for Access Networks, Corning Cable Systems offers specialized portfolios of innovative products and services that enable customers to cost-effectively deploy fiber in the last mile. Evolant Solutions for Access Networks encompasses state-of-the-art products that reduce the cost of deployment and increase the networks efficiency and reliability. The Evolant Solution also contains Corning® NexCor® optical fiber, an SMF-28e® innovation, with industry-leading attributes that addresses the unique needs of FTTH networks, while maintaining total backward compatibility with legacy standard single-mode fibers. www.corning.com
NEBB Releases Design Phase Commissioning Handbook
NEBB announces the release of the First Edition (2005) Design Phase Commissioning Handbook. This 560 page manual is unique, with no other publication offering a comprehensive resource for design phase commissioning (DPC) information of this type. The handbook is intended to be used by the commissioning professional in reviewing building mechanical system design documents and determining their relevance and completeness to the total quality of the project. A prominent feature of the manual is over 60 separate, multiple page, review guidelines on HVAC equipment and systems used in building mechanical systems, including:
Smoke and Fire / Smoke Dampers
Hydronic Piping Systems
Condensate Drain Piping Systems
Steam Piping Systems
Steam Condensate Piping Systems
Gas and Fuel Oil Piping Systems
DX Refrigerant Piping Systems
Packaged Air Conditioning Unit
Heat Pump Unit
Water Cooled Condenser
Plate Heat Exchanger
Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger
Chilled Water Cooling Coil
Hot Water Heating Coil
Steam Heating Coil
Electric Heating Coil
DX Cooling Coil
Fin Tube Radiation
Hot Water Boiler
Chemical Treatment Systems
Air Handling Unit
Fan Coil Unit
Heating and Ventilating Unit
Makeup Air Unit
Evaporative Air Conditioning Unit
Unit Heater / Cabinet Unit Heater
Grilles, Registers and Diffusers
Relief and Intake Hoods
Control System Design
DDC GUI Software
DDC Global Panel
DDC VAV Controller
Variable Frequency Drive
Economizer Damper Controls
Sequence of Control
Pneumatic Control System Design
Pneumatic Control Devices
Pneumatic Control Compressors
Each review guideline provides comprehensive information on the review task. For example, a review guideline for a specific item, such as "Fans," contains the review tasks shown in the left column of the handbook, while the right column contains experienced based comments to guide the reviewer through the process.
Additionally, the appendices contain the NEBB Commissioning Matrix, Commissioning Process Matrix, and Commissioning Responsibility Matrix.
The Design Phase Commissioning Handbook is meant to be a guide to navigating the many aspects of the design phase commissioning process, which involves comparing each element of the design to the owner's performance requirements. The NEBB design phase commissioning process is not intended to be a peer review of the design professional's work or responsibilities, as these remain the responsibility of the design professional and the design team. Design phase commissioning is the process of evaluating each system and element of the design as it relates to commission ability, operability, maintainability and industry accepted best practices. The ultimate purpose of the handbook is to provide a point of reference that would trigger an evaluation question during the design phase commissioning process.
The handbook is designed for the use of NEBB Certified Firms and other interested parties. It is highly useful to the design professional as a comprehensive checklist of experience based parameters for HVAC systems. The information provides the rationale and reasons to avoid commonly encountered problems, which is especially useful to owners, contractors, commissioning administrations and engineers. The manual is also an excellent training tool.
The guidelines presented in the handbook are based on the knowledge and extensive field experience of the members of the NEBB Building Systems Commissioning Committee. That knowledge and experience stresses the primary focus of NEBB, that commissioning is a process where the commissioning administrators' technical knowledge, field experience and competence are paramount.
NEBB has been actively involved in the commissioning industry for over a decade. It was one of the first organizations to understand the role of commissioning on the design and construction process and the close relationship that exists between Testing, Adjusting and Balancing and Commissioning. Shortly after ASHRAE published Guideline 1 The HVAC Commissioning Process in 1989, NEBB created its Building Systems Commissioning (BSC) program and published the first edition of the Procedural Standard for Building Systems Commissioning in 1993. NEBB began certifying firms in BSC later that year. As commissioning continued to evolve during the 1990's, the focus of most guidelines and certification programs centered only on the "paperwork" process for construction phase activities.
NEBB has always viewed design phase commissioning as equally important as the commissioning of the construction phase. From its inception the NEBB BSC program stressed that commissioning is a technical process more than a paperwork process. With these objectives, NEBB has created this publication that solely addresses the requirements to successfully commission the design phase of a project. No other organization has attempted to identify the requirements for successful design phase commissioning. The information contained in the handbook is intended to help assure building owners and operators that they will receive properly commissioned building systems. www.nebb.org
$350 NEBB Firms
Communication Planning Corp. Enters Abandoned Cable Removal Arena
Communication Planning Corp. has jumped into the abandoned cable removal business.
The company, based in Jacksonville, FL, will help building owners and tenants navigate the cable removal process. Communication Planning Corp. (CPC; www.communicationplanning.com) has been providing consultation and installation services for cabling and related communication services since 1980. CPC President Frank Bisbee says the company has long viewed abandoned cable abatement as a value add service for its customers.
Abandoned-cable removal, mandated whenever any new cable is being installed per the 2002 edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC) is required within those jurisdictions that have adopted the 2002 NEC into law. Recently, many states and cities have adopted the NEC 2002 and or the NEC 2005. Bisbee says the enforcement of the abandoned cable removal outlined in these codes is gaining significant momentum. Now is the perfect time for his company to begin offering the service, he says.
"We feel that our service is a valuable offering to the commercial real estate market," says Bisbee. "Safety first and code compliance is our goal."
CPC's Abandoned Cable Removal Services will provide assessment services for identification of abandoned cable in office buildings. The company will then provide connections with local contractors who will remove the cable. These contractors will be referred by CPC through its contacts at the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA; www.neca.org), BICSI (www.bicsi.org), Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA; www.boma.org) and Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA; www.caba.org).
The packaged offering is available to building owners, property managers, tenants, and corporate network engineers.
"This is not a "cookie-cutter" solution," says Bisbee. "Our service area depends upon the type or extent of the service requested."
CPC joins a growing list of companies that are offering abandoned-cable services. Last spring, DuPont (www.dupont.com) launched DuPont Abandoned Cable Services, a program it says is designed to make compliance to changing building safety codes and cabling standards simple and affordable. Many contractors are likewise beginning to offer abandoned cable removal as part of their offerings.
Bisbee says the situation is confusing today as building owners and tenants come to grips with changes in building safety codes. If they fail to do so, there can be consequences. Bisbee notes that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) states that approximately 60 billion feet of communications cabling has been installed in the United States. Abandoned cable can affect a building's airflow and create a fire hazard because of the combustible materials within the cable.
Bisbee notes that there can also be legal consequences to ignoring abandoned cable.
"Who is ultimately responsible for code compliance? This is an issue requiring legal counsel," says Bisbee. "Failure to comply with codes requiring the removal of abandoned cable may result in fines and even the withholding of Certificates of Occupancy."
FSR Introduced Their New Wall Plate
FSR, the leading U.S. manufacturer of audio and video interfaces, introduced their new Wall Plate, the VWP-SVA. The VWP-SVA is a Composite, S-Video and Stereo Audio interface that fits in a single gang Decora style wall plate.
The VWP provides an attractive connection point for VCR's, DVD players, document cameras and much more. It is available in black, white or ivory. The VWP selects the active composite or S-Video input, converting composite signals to S-Video. The stereo audio is balanced to help prevent interference.
For a data sheet on the new VWP-SVA, or information on the complete line of FSR products, visit our website, www.fsrinc.com
Graybar Communications Reseller e-news
This on-line publication is packed with good information for the cabling contractor. The archive copies are available on-line. Graybar will also e-mail the issues directly to you if you sign up. http://www.imakenews.com/eletra/mod_archive_view.cfm?u=gray1
Checkout the new offer for the Design Online software through the VIP Program. This software service is too good to pass up.
The free trial is valued at more than $150 dollars. A one-year subscription to Design Online is $1,000, which is rebated with the specification or purchase of two Graybar Verified Independently for Performance (VIP) structured cabling projects during the 12-month subscription. For more information and to register for a free trial, visit http://www.graybar.com/DesignOnline/default.htm.
All twenty-nine Graybar New Orleans Branch Employees Are Well
All twenty-nine Graybar New Orleans Branch employees are well. Unfortunately, many have personal property damage, from a few missing roof shingles to homes completely lost. Many will not be able to return to their homes for an extended period of time.
These employees are now working at other Graybar locations, with most reporting to the Graybar Baton Rouge Branch and others reporting to Graybar locations in Lake Charles, Louisiana; Houston, Texas; Dallas, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee; Nashville, Tennessee; and Little Rock, Arkansas. Graybar is providing additional assistance by helping them find temporary housing, reimbursing them for mileage due to longer commutes, and providing breakfast and lunch for those working extra-long hours to aid in the recovery efforts. Concerned employees in these areas have offered to open their homes and provide clothing to their affected co-workers.
The hurricane did minimal damage to the Graybar New Orleans Branch; however, it destroyed surrounding buildings. To enhance delivery capabilities, employees drove two of the New Orleans Branch trucks to the Baton Rouge Branch. Graybar has been shipping material into New Orleans since the day after the hurricane.
Graybar sales directors in Dallas, Texas, are working with Graybar's key suppliers to order material for shipment to the appropriate locations. Supply shipments from the Graybar Stafford, Texas, zone warehouse to the Baton Rouge Branch are happening on a daily basis or as needed.
The Status of Electrical Distributors From TED Magazine
Special Report: Katrina Update, Part 2
Over the past week, much has been learned about the status of electrical distributors who found themselves in or near the path of Hurricane Katrina. The reports range from minor roof damage to flooded facilities, to lost homes. Sadly, there are still employees who are unaccounted for, but throughout the week the number has dropped. At the beginning of the week, an estimated 250 employees of electrical distributors were unaccounted for; today, less than 20 remain to be located. Fortunately, there have been no reports of deaths from within the electrical community thus far.
Throughout the week, as TED Magazine and NAED staff received updates from the affected area, messages have been posted at www.tedmag.com/messageboard. Additional messages noting the efforts from around the country of companies that are providing financial, labor, and materials support, have also been covered on the board.
Visit the website of TED Magazine for a recap of the news from throughout the week. Click on the headline to go to the individual reports as posted on the message board. http://www.tedmag.com/newsletter/katrina2.htm
Wireless Networks To The Rescue For Victims
As the operating telephone companies find their hardwired networks crippled by the damage from Hurricane Katrina, we are seeing new technology rising to the challenge. BellSouth estimates their damages at more than $600 million, and it will take a long time to make the repairs. The Internet is providing the information highway and wireless network technology is providing the access. Stories about this amazing communications development are reaching the mainstream media. We will certainly hear a lot more about wireless to the rescue in the future.
A band of volunteer techies who are stitching together wireless networks at shelters across northeastern Louisiana using radio transmitters mounted on such items as a grain silo and a water tower.
With few reliable communications systems in place, people and companies from around the country are converging on the region to create improvised networks that give survivors and emergency personnel ways to talk and coordinate efforts.
While local telephone and wireless networks are slowly coming back, they remain spotty or nonexistent in some places, and fire, police and other rescue personnel have complained about the lack of a unified emergency communications system. To meet the needs of evacuees in Jackson, Miss., Dulles-based America Online has parked an 18-wheel truck at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds, a major shelter, with a satellite dish on top and 20 computers with Internet access inside. At the Houston Astrodome, volunteers have obtained a Federal Communications Commission license to set up a low-power radio station and are now struggling to get permission from local officials to broadcast to evacuees inside the stadium.
F4W, a Lake Mary, Fla., company, is under government contract to provide Internet phones and online access to Coast Guard officers cleaning up oil spills, using a portable satellite dish and handsets often deployed in forest fires.
The network at Mangham Baptist Church was the brainchild of Mac Dearman, a wireless Internet service provider who was driving past the church last week when he saw a group of parked cars, realized they were people who had fled the hurricane and set about providing relief, including food, clothing and online access.
Dearman hooked up a radio transmitter near the church and linked that to a voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) telephone and a computer, and suddenly the dozens of people taking refuge at the church had the ability to reach out to the outside world.
Mostly, they are searching for loved ones and filling out Federal Emergency Management Agency forms to get disaster aid.
"They just call from shelter to shelter to shelter looking for their kids or for their daddies or their brothers because they got separated, and they are just finding each other in the last few days," Dearman said, adding that people were often overwhelmed when they connected.
Dearman is working entirely with donated labor and equipment. People from as far away as Nebraska, Missouri and Indiana are camped out in his house, coordinating equipment deliveries, searching for shelters that need service, and then sending out volunteers to climb towers to hook up radio antennas and set up the networks.
"We are basically completely bypassing the phone system," said Matt Larsen of Scottsbluff, Neb., who said he was perched on a bar stool with his laptop at Dearman's kitchen counter. Dearman estimated that he had run wireless links to about a dozen shelters near his home base of Rayville, La., but only about half were up and running because he had run out of equipment. He was expecting fresh donations of secondhand computers, VoIP phones and wireless equipment. Once he has those in hand, he said, he hopes to extend to shelters closer to New Orleans and to Mississippi's Gulf Coast.
"It's been a godsend," said the Rev. Rick Aultman, pastor of Mangham Baptist Church, where about four dozen people are staying. Wireless is really proving to deliver a high value as the disaster recovery application is being applied. This may give the wireless infrastructure a huge boost in the eyes of the marketplace.
What Affects The Chemical Industry May Have a Big Impact On The Cabling World…
"I've always had a concern ... on a gut level. I never trusted it," she said. "We are bombarded with thousands and thousands of chemicals that our ancestors never had to deal with, and then we wonder why our cancer rates keep going up."
Teflon Plant Neighbors Await Health Data
Aug 15, 2005 - Tonight, a University of Pennsylvania professor will release his federally-funded research showing whether DuPont's Teflon chemical has the potential to harm human health. Although 95% of Americans have this Teflon chemical in their blood, the Teflon plant neighbors have levels up to 80 times higher than the average person.
Related Article | Related News Coverage | Teflon Issue Page
High C8 chemical levels reported in Ohio
VINCENT, Ohio -- Researchers say people living near an Ohio River DuPont plant that makes Teflon have much higher-than-normal blood levels of a controversial chemical.
The plant's neighbors have up to 80 times as much C8 in their blood as most other Americans, probably from their drinking water, according to a University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine study issued Wednesday.
The federally funded study is one of the first independent scientific attempts to determine whether the chemical is harmful to humans, the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch reported Thursday.
Officials of the Little Hocking Water Association, which supplies water to most of the 326 southeastern Ohio people tested, told the Dispatch they hope to use the information to persuade DuPont to pay for a new system to bring in clean water.
But DuPont issued a statement Wednesday, saying: The company remains confident that its operations are safe for the community and the environment.
Health studies suggest most people's bodies have C8 levels of 5 parts per billion. The Pennsylvania school's study of four Ohio River communities around Vincent, Ohio, found median C8 blood levels ranging as high as 369 parts per billion.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Want to know more about how you can capture the business opportunities associated with integrated building systems? Mark your calendars for several key conferences and exhibitions.
AFCOM: April 17-21 Las Vegas www.afcom.com
BICSI SPRING: May 2-5 Las Vegas www.bicsi.org
BOMA: June 23-28 Anaheim http://s12.a2zinc.net/clients/Boma2004/Boma2005/
REALCOMM: June 27-28 Anaheim, CA www.realcomm.com/anaheim.htm
CONNECT 2005: June 28 Anaheim www.caba.org , www.ibfconferences.com
ACUTA: July 17 - 21 Gaylord Palms - Kissimmee, FL www.acuta.org/events/annual_conference/sce05.cfm
NECA: September 18-20, 2005 New Orleans www.necashow.org/
SFBF: Ft.Lauderdale, FL
BOMA Southern region conference. Memphis, Tenn
Data Center World (DCW): Las Vegas, NV
Broadband Wireless World: Las Vegas NV
Interop: Las Vegas, NV
2005 BICSI Spring Conference: Las Vegas NV
Green Design Solutions: Hospitals & Schools: Chicago, IL
13th National Conference on Building Commissioning: New York City, NY
Affordable Comfort 2005: Indianapolis, IN
VOIP: Beijing China
Sustainable Practices in Design and Construction: Maho Bay, St John U.S. V.I.
ACUTA Midwest Regional Workshop - "Strategic Tradeoffs in Campus Wireless Mobility": Chicago, IL - Hyatt Regency O'Hare
AIA National Convention & Design Expo: Las Vegas, NV
UTC Telecom: Long Beach CA
MAY 30-June 2
Broadband World Forum: Yokahama Japan
Greening the Heartland 2005:Cost, Practice & Policy: Chicago, IL
IEC: Chicago, IL
NFPA: Las Vegas, NV
Supercomm: Chicago, IL
Ecobuild America 2005: The Environmental Systems Techology Conference
The North American Commercial Real Estate Congress & The Office Building Show
BOMA: Anaheim, CA
Vicki Cummins 888-777-6956
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