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According to Larry Dignan of ZDNet, the 264% growth in sales of “Netbooks” over the same quarter last year demonstrates that these small, low-power, web-browsing-centric notebook computers are here to stay. Netbooks seem to match our insatiable desire for a borderless world. In a connect-on-the-go, anytime, anywhere kind of world, people want portable. They want quick and simple.

The connection between netbooks and Cisco’s Borderless Networks concept is even deeper than I once thought however. Take a look at the power requirements for most netbook models. They consume 30 watts of power. Heard of PoE Plus, the new standard of Power-over-Ethernet technology from Cisco that allows up to 30 watts per port for power-hungry devices? Heard of the Catalyst 4500, the first switch series to support this new standard? Light bulb!

Think of the possibilities of using small laptop computers with a universal PoE standard. No more horror stories from business travelers about needing different power adaptors in a myriad of foreign countries. As we continue to improve PoE and manufacturers make more devices compatible with the standard, the potential value of Borderless Networks grows that much more. After all, connecting anywhere at anytime requires power!

Imagine a smart building. Instead of separate power lines, the building uses a centralized PoE network. This is already happening to some extent with smaller devices like IP phones, wireless access points, and video surveillance technology. Centralized real-time power management through PoE and EnergyWise reduces complexity and ensures better energy utilization. The flexibility that comes with breaking down traditional power borders can also help you gain significant advantages in network design and deployments. You can easily and quickly install devices where you want them, when you want them, without having to coordinate power outlets with network gear.

After reading this blog, take a close look at the devices you use everyday. If they consume 30 watts or less, you shouldn’t be surprised if PoE comes knocking at your door one day. 

What do you think will be the next POE enabled device?

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2 Comments.


  1. go to any university library and virtually all you will see are netbooks.

       0 likes

  2. Most libraries are starting to go virtual. I wonder how things will change with the new iPad. The world is now at our finger tips

       0 likes

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