<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://px.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=2975524&amp;fmt=gif">

Visibility Solutions

Garland Technology is committed to educating the benefits of having a strong foundation of network visibility and access. By providing this insight we protect the security of data across your network and beyond.


Garland Technology's resource library offers free use of white papers, eBooks, use cases, infographics, data sheets, video demos and more.


The TAP into Technology blog provides the latest news and insights on network access and visibility, including: network security, network monitoring and appliance connectivity and guest blogs from Industry experts and technology partners


Our extensive technology partnership ecosystem solves critical problems when it comes to network security, monitoring, application analysis, forensics and packet inspection.


Garland Technology is dedicated to high standards in quality and reliability, while delivering the greatest economical solutions for enterprise, service providers, and government agencies worldwide.


Whether you are ready to make a network TAP your foundation of visibility or just have questions, please contact us. Ask us about the Garland Difference!

Surprise—Copper Cables Still Dominate Industrial Networks

We’ve been talking a lot about the security implications of the Industrial Ethernet as traditionally closed networks adapt to demands for improved bandwidth and open connectivity.

However, cyber attacks aren’t the only things that can bring an industrial network down—you have to make sure you have the right approach to network connectivity as well.

Let’s take a look at why copper cabling is so popular for Industrial Ethernet and how network architects can best approach their connectivity options for deploying network visibility.

While fiber cables are on the rise, a recent Technavio study found that not only are copper cables more prevalent for Industrial Ethernet deployments—they dominate the space with 77% market share.

For Now, Copper Cabling Is Better Suited for Tough Industrial Environments

Two of fiber’s greatest advantages are its performance in terms of data transfer speeds and its ability to carry data over long distances (hundreds of meters and beyond). These are attractive benefits for the data center market, but are not the chief concerns for Industrial Ethernet designs.

Gigabit Ethernet is essential for today’s manufacturers and industrial networks to transmit real-time data, but not at the cost of robust connectors and cabling that can withstand the harsh conditions of the factory floor. According to Technavio, this is a key reason why copper cabling is so dominant in industrial settings.

The most popular copper cabling in the data center market is Cat5e because it supports gigabit speeds without the price tag of fiber alternatives. However, copper cabling isn’t dominating the Industrial Ethernet because of Cat5e—Technavio says the 77% market share is due in large part because of Cat6 and Cat6a cabling.

cat6 ca6a

The main benefit of Cat6 and Cat6a cabling (aside from the performance upgrade from Cat5e) is their support for more robust sheathing. Thicker cables and tighter twisted pairs make Cat6 and Cat6a copper more reliable than other Industrial Ethernet cabling options while also performing at speeds between 100MB and 1G to support modern operations.

Cat6 and Cat6a cables may not be able to span the distances that fiber counterparts can while transferring gigabit Ethernet, but on most factory floors it’s unlikely that they would have to. The main concern is eliminating errors and signal-to-noise ratios that can jeopardize critical infrastructure.

>> Download now: Learn how to secure your industrial network
[Free Whitepaper]

Two Types of Noise that Copper Addresses Best

There are plenty of valuable use cases for fiber (both in data centers and in industrial settings), but efficiency, cost, and reliability concerns mean Industrial Ethernet environments must continue to focus on copper.

From a reliability standpoint, Cat6 and Cat6a copper cabling help to reduce or eliminate noise in the form of near-end crosstalk (NeXT) and alien crosstalk (AXT):

  • Near-End Crosstalk: Data transfer errors occur when wires within a twisted pair are crushed, causing signals from two different conductors to interfere. The result is packet loss; which industrial Ethernet environments can’t afford.
  • Alien Crosstalk: This situation is similar to NeXT in that electromagnetic noise causes packet loss. However, AXT is when signals from separate cables interfere with one another.

Cat6 and Cat6a copper cables specifically address these crosstalk issues, making them ideal choices for network architects designing Industrial Ethernet environments.

Despite the industrial benefits of copper cabling, Technavio recognizes that the market for fiber optic cable is growing rapidly and fiber’s ability to withstand radio/electromagnetic interference is improving. We’re heading toward a fiber-centric future and even industrial networks must be ready.

Supporting Both Copper and Fiber Is a Necessity for Future-Proof Networks

For obvious reasons, industrial networks have always lagged behind data centers in terms of technology innovation. However, demands are increasing rapidly and even the most critical infrastructures have to be ready for Ethernet connectivity.

It’s unrealistic to think critical infrastructure networks can be overhauled from traditional copper to fiber optics all at once, so the new normal is a hybrid network. Supporting both copper and fiber interchangeably is essential—and having the right connectivity solutions in place is just as important. Garland’s media changing TAPs accommodate copper to fiber for 1G and 10G networks.

Looking to add copper TAPs to your next deployment, but not sure where to start? Join us for a brief network Design-IT consultation or demo. No obligation - it’s what we love to do.

Defending Industrial Ethernet Network Security Garland Technology

Written by Jerry Dillard

Jerry Dillard, CTO and Co-founder of Garland Technology, leverages over two decades in design and engineering to ensure maximum performance within today’s network environments. Dillard, the inventor of the Bypass TAP, continues to innovate network visibility solutions worldwide.



Sign Up for Blog Updates