In the Spider-man comic series, Peter gets this iconic message ‘With great power … comes great responsibility’ from his uncle Ben Parker. Unfortunately, Peter does not learn the importance of this lesson until it is too late. While this term is used in this blog for the pun with word power, this lesson is highly applicable to the use of power in the networking industry.
With the advent of 6 GHz, it is easy to get carried away when building a product. Of course, you want the ability to operate in the 2.4 GHz band so legacy clients can function. You need the 5 GHz band so mainstream clients can be supported and the brand-new 6 GHz spectrum so the latest clients can operate on a high-speed superhighway. You also want to get the best-in-class high-density functionality, so 4x4 functionality is a must. So far so good. It is also interesting to consider some flexibility, such as powering other devices off the Access Points. But you need to draw the line somewhere. If you make incorrect choices and provide too much flexibility, you will over-engineer your products for a vast majority of your users. In addition, the added flexibility will make the access point larger and consume more electricity than is necessary.
Introducing the Access Point 5010 from Extreme Networks - the first Enterprise access point to provide full 4x4 Wi-Fi functionality with across all three radios (2.4, 5 and 6 GHz) with 802.3at. The 5010 does not downgrade its Wi-Fi capabilities, as mentioned previously on our blog.
So, what are the benefits of lower power consumption?
By consuming ~20W less per device than other compatible 4x4 Wi-Fi 6E Access Points, the AP5010 is significantly green. Earth Day is coming up later this month, but AP5010 can make every day an energy-friendly day.
802.3bt switching infrastructure can cost upwards of 30% more than the corresponding 802.3at version. Why would you want to spend extra to provide your switches with unnecessary power if you can manage to get away with 802.3at per port.
While the exact price will change per provider of electricity and the agreements that you may have, the bottom-line is clear. Even when shutting off your Access Points overnight, you can save $10-20 per Access Point per year in power costs. Larger deployments with hundreds or thousands of access points could see a difference of thousands or tens of thousands of dollars per year lower in energy costs.
Of course, if you decide to hang another product off the Access Point to power it with PoE out, you will need to power the Access point with 802.3bt. But if you are like most people, this is a flexibility that you may never end up exercising. In that case, why spend more on power now and compromise functionality on the operating radios?
Kudos to the awesome product team – Rosalie Bibona, Robert Greenway, Dionis Hristov, David Zhang, Kevin Lin, Palani Karuppan, David Coleman, David van Schravendijk … for coming up with another incredible Wi-Fi 6E product.
This blog was originally authored by Jeevan Patil, Senior Director, Product Management