Why You Should Consider Outsourcing your PON-Based Converged Network

Why Work with a Fully Managed PON Service for your OT Converged Network

Finding a cost-effective and reliable converged network solution is vital for real estate owners and operators of multi-building portfolios. To do this, the OT team must decide on the type of technology to use, as well as which deployment option to go with.

A recent webinar by Nexus Labs on The Buyer’s Guide to the Network Layer highlighted three deployment options a buyer must decide when implementing a converged, secure and reliable base building network: Do it all yourself, a hybrid option of products and services, and a fully outsourced option to a network management service provider.

Image credit: Nexus Labs

There are various technologies available for deploying a base building network, and in a previous article, we highlighted the benefits of Passive Optical Network (PON) technology vs traditional active ethernet technology. In this article, we will go one step further into the world of PON-based in-building converged networks and highlight the advantages of working with a managed PON service provider.

Enhanced Network Security with Built-In Network Access Control

There are numerous benefits to using PON as the foundation for the base building network vs active ethernet. Notably, this solution offers a lower total cost of ownership that aligns perfectly with the financial models of real estate companies. However, it’s important to acknowledge that many IT professionals in the real estate sector may not possess the necessary expertise to effectively manage a PON-based converged network. To take advantage of the full potential of PON for use in smart buildings, it is crucial to understand its unique characteristics as tailored for the built environment.

One of the inherent advantages of PON networks is their built-in network access control. By default, all ports on the network are disabled and must be specifically configured for the device it is communicating with.  This means you cannot simply unplug a cable and connect a laptop to the network, as is possible on traditional enterprise IT networks. With each port tied exclusively to a single device, it minimizes the risk of unauthorized access.  While this means that every time a new device is added, an OT network manager must configure this on the system, this security feature ensures a high level of network control for the converged network.

With a managed PON service, every device that needs to be brought into the building is properly enumerated and added to the network. Documentation is then created and maintained to keep a record of all devices connected.

What to Look for in a Managed PON Service Provider

The primary role of building operation managers is to ensure the smooth functioning of the building’s infrastructure, including the PON network.  A managed PON service provider allows your building operations staff to focus on the property and its tenants instead of the technology.   Here are some key aspects of what an effective managed network service provider should do:

  • 24/7 Network Monitoring – The service provider should operate a 24/7 Network Operations Center (NOC) equipped with advanced monitoring systems. These systems continuously watch over the network, promptly alerting technicians if any deviations from predetermined network norms occur. This includes issues such as port or Optical Network Terminal (ONT) outages, which can disrupt connectivity to the site.
  • Port Management and Troubleshooting – In cases where a port goes down, technicians should be able to remotely reset it to assess if the device reconnects. If the issue persists, they may escalate the problem to the responsible vendor, further streamlining issue resolution.
  • Software Patching for Security – Security is a paramount concern in network management. The managed service provider should be actively patching the software running on the network to maintain optimal security levels, protecting against potential vulnerabilities.
  • MACD (Move, Add, Change, Delete) Management – The PON managed service provider facilitates the seamless integration of new devices onto the network and the removal or replacement of existing ones. The network is meticulously configured for each specific device, enhancing security and preventing unauthorized access.

Contact Us for the Efficient Management of your OT Converged Network

Managing PON networks for OT building systems requires a specialized approach. With Andorix, we understand the unique characteristics and requirements of a PON-based converged network to ensure the efficient operation within modern buildings. Contact us to learn more about our managed PON for the built world.