PoE Made Easy: Tips for Success

Read more about the RUCKUS® advantage in the PoE space, including their cutting-edge multi-gigabit technology and cost-effective solutions.

Are you looking to upgrade your network infrastructure and wondering what Power-over-internet (PoE) is all about?

In simple terms, Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology allows the transmission of power and data over a single network cable, providing both a data connection and electric power to powered devices (PD). Eliminating the need for additional cables, making it an efficient solution for delivering DC power to devices over copper Ethernet cabling.

In this blog post, we will explore everything you need to know about PoE, from its working principle to the devices that utilize it. We will also examine the RUCKUS® advantage in the PoE space, including their cutting-edge multi-gigabit technology and cost-effective solutions. Additionally, we will explore how RUCKUS offers flexibility and support for multimedia services and unrestricted firmware upgrades for enhanced security. By the end of this blog post, you'll know why RUCKUS is the go-to choice for all your PoE needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Power over Ethernet (PoE) allows for the transmission of both power and data over a single Ethernet cable, streamlining network installations and eliminating the need for separate power sources.
  • PoE supports and adheres to legacy and the IEEE 802.3 PoE standard, making it compatible with VOIP (voice over IP) phones, security cameras, and Wi-Fi access points.
  • RUCKUS Networks offers significant advantages in the PoE domain, boasting energy-efficient designs, support for next-gen devices with up to 90 watts per port, and up to 40% less power consumption[BR1] than competitors using dynamic power allocation.
  • Regular firmware upgrades are essential to maintain network security, optimize performance, and address vulnerabilities.
  • RUCKUS ICX® switches stand out due to their power efficiency, advanced PoE capabilities, and ease of deployment, making them a preferred choice for connecting PoE devices in diverse industries and applications.

POE, power over ethernet

Understanding Power over Ethernet

Power over Ethernet (PoE) makes it easier to set up a network. Since you only need one single cable for data and power, your installation will become quicker and simpler than before. You can put devices anywhere since you don't need an outlet near the device.

Power over Ethernet works with all kinds of devices because it follows a standard called IEEE 802.3af, created in 2003 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which has evolved to increase from 15 Watts on two pairs of copper cable initially to 90W today on all 4-pairs of the copper cable with IEEE802.3bt standard. POE allows you to power devices where an AC outlet is unavailable or desirable.

Ethernet technology can power VOIP phones, Wi-Fi® points, security cameras, and other low-power electrical devices in schools, stores, factories, or offices. Major networking companies like RUCKUS offer different types of PoE power solutions for different industries and applications. As technology has improved, the appropriate amount of power can be sent over Ethernet cables.

What is the Working Principle of PoE?

PoE technology allows power and data to be sent over a single Ethernet cable, reducing clutter in network installations. The Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE) supplies power to devices like wireless access points and IP cameras. It detects each device's power needs to provide the right voltage.

The PSE initially was a device known as a PoE injector that sat between a switch and a PoE-powered device and was a dumb device. With the prevalence of PoE end devices today, power injectors have been replaced by switches with PoE integrated into the switch. This allows for pooling power resources to optimize the allocation of power, visibility of the power status, and fault analysis integrated into our AI/ML RUCKUS One™ solution.

What Devices Utilize PoE?

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is utilized by a variety of devices, including wireless Access Points (APs), IP telephones, retail Point of Sale (PoS) terminals, building access terminals, Public Address (PA) systems, light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) terminals, and digital signage.

  • Wireless LAN Access Points (APs): PoE is commonly used to power wireless access points, making it easier to install these devices in optimal locations without worrying about the endpoint power.
  • Security Cameras: PoE can power security cameras, allowing for flexibility in placement and reducing installation costs.
  • Public Address (PA) Systems: PA systems in various settings can be powered using PoE.
  • Electronic Door Locks: PoE can power electronic door locks, simplifying installation and wiring.
  • IP Telephones: PoE can power VOIP phones, eliminating the need for separate power supplies or outlets near each phone.
  • Point of Sale (PoS) and Laptop Scanners: Retail outlets often use PoE to power their PoS scanners, reducing the need for additional power sources.
  • Badge Swipes: Building access systems like badge swipes can also be powered by PoE.

POE device, IOT POE network powered device

The RUCKUS Advantage

RUCKUS Networks designs power-efficient network switches, providing optimal power consumption for any given load. Their design process includes efficient, appropriately sized power supplies, support for maximum PoE devices per switch, redundant and/or additive PoE power supplies, and features for user-driven power reduction.

The RUCKUS ICX switch portfolio consumes up to 40% less power than similar products, reducing operating expenses and total cost of ownership. This also results in power distribution, cooling, and UPS provision savings. RUCKUS' advanced PoE capabilities support next-gen devices with up to 90 watts per port, ideal for wireless APs and internet security cameras. Even their entry-level switches deliver a 370-watt electrical power PoE budget.

Cutting-edge Multi-gigabit Technology

RUCKUS' multi-gigabit technology is designed to cater to high bandwidth demands in hotels, stadiums, and schools. It uses the latest Wi-Fi standards and offers multi-gigabit speeds. Key features include OFDMA technology for optimized channel use, a built-in Ethernet port connecting to multi-gigabit switches, and BeamFlex+® smart antenna technology for maximum signal coverage.

It also uses ChannelFly® technology to find the least congested channels, including a high-performance 6 GHz mesh networking feature. In essence, it provides fast, reliable Wi-Fi in high-density environments.

Multi-gigabit Ethernet speeds of 2.5Gbe, 5GbE, and 10GbE are available depending on the bandwidth and user connectivity needs of the AP and pair with high-speed uplinks of 10GbE, 25GbE, 40GbE or 100GbE to offer a quality user experience.

Cost-effectiveness of RUCKUS

RUCKUS PoE solutions are designed with cost-effectiveness in mind. Thanks to optimized components and energy-efficient design, they consume less power than similar products from other vendors. This reduces operating costs and leads to power distribution, cooling, and UPS provision savings.

Additionally, RUCKUS solutions are easy to manage and require less space for power and cooling infrastructure, further reducing costs.

In short, RUCKUS PoE solutions are cost-effective due to their lower power consumption, energy efficiency, easy management, and space/cooling-saving features.

Power over ethernet switch, POE switch

RUCKUS PoE Flexibility and Support for Multimedia Services

RUCKUS PoE switches, part of the RUCKUS ICX family, are designed with flexibility and multimedia support. Here's how:

  • Flexible Architecture: RUCKUS PoE switches offer the benefits of a chassis architecture with the flexibility of a stackable one. This means you can buy and deploy only what you need when needed. This flexibility also extends to upgrading - the switches are upgradeable from 1G to 100G.
  • Support for Multimedia Services: These switches support Power over Ethernet (PoE), up to 90W. This is enough to power most attached devices, including the new generations of wireless APs, surveillance cameras, video displays, and other devices. This makes them ideal for multimedia services that require high power and performance.
  • Unified Network Management: With RUCKUS One software and RUCKUS SmartZone™ controllers, you get a single pane of glass for deploying, managing, and troubleshooting ICX switches, RUCKUS access points, and wireless controllers. This simplifies and unifies end-to-end network management, making it easier to support various multimedia services.
  • Advanced PoE: The switches support next-generation PoE devices with PoE, PoE+, and 802.3bt standards, delivering up to 90 watts per port. This means they can power next-generation wireless APs and security cameras with less power loss, further enhancing their support for multimedia services.
  • Multigigabit Ethernet Technology: Select ICX switch models that support IEEE 802.3bz standard-based Multigigabit Ethernet. This is optimized for next-generation 802.11ac Wave 2 and future wireless AP deployment, increasing performance while reducing cost and protecting your investment for years.
  • Redundant Power Supplies: RUCKUS includes PoE switch models with dual, redundant power supplies to maximize uptime and availability for your business-critical PoE endpoints. Also provides additive power to increase PoE endpoints per switch.
  • Perpetual PoE: Available on most RUCKUS PoE switches, Perpetual PoE maintains constant, uninterrupted power to the PoE endpoints during a software reload or switch reboot.
  • Fast PoE: Fast PoE allows for the rapid restoration of power to the PoE endpoints following the shutdown and power cycle of the switch.
  • Dynamic Power Allocation: An easy, flexible alternative to statically allocating the wattage to PoE ports.
  • Silent operation: Select RUCKUS PoE switches are fanless to ensure silent operation when deployed inside classrooms, offices, meeting rooms, theatres, etc. Select RUCKUS 24 port and 48 port PoE switches, also available with fanless mode, where these switches can safely operate with the fans turned off for silent operation.

RUCKUS PoE Flexibility

Unrestricted Firmware Upgrades

RUCKUS provides unrestricted firmware upgrades, allowing you to easily update your device with the latest features and security enhancements. Download the new firmware from the RUCKUS support site to install it.

Always back up your existing configuration before an upgrade to ensure a quick recovery if needed. Regular firmware updates are critical to optimal device performance and security.

Why are Regular Firmware Upgrades Important?

Regular firmware upgrades play a crucial role in maintaining the security of any network or system. Here's why:

  • Addressing Vulnerabilities: Firmware upgrades often include patches for known security vulnerabilities. Regularly updating firmware protects systems against these known threats.
  • Enhancing Features: Firmware upgrades often come with improved features or new functionalities, some of which may enhance the system's security capabilities.
  • Compliance: Regular firmware updates can help your systems comply with the latest industry security standards and regulations.
  • Preventing Cyber Attacks: Many cyber-attacks exploit known vulnerabilities fixed in newer firmware versions. Regular updates can help prevent such attacks.
  • Optimizing Performance: Firmware updates not only address security issues but also fix bugs and improve the overall performance of the devices. This can indirectly contribute to better security by ensuring that security features and protocols function optimally.

Remember, it's not enough to install updates; they must be installed in a timely manner. The longer systems run outdated firmware, the longer they remain vulnerable to potential security threats.

Why Should You Choose RUCKUS for Your PoE Switching Needs?

Choosing RUCKUS for your PoE switches comes with several advantages gained over 25 years of continuous improvement in features, performance, and reliability.

Firstly, RUCKUS ICX switches support advanced Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) hardware and software features, including PoE, PoE+, and the upcoming 802.3bt standard. This allows you to power next-generation PoE devices, delivering up to 90W per port for next-generation wireless APs and security cameras. Even entry-level switches deliver a 370W PoE budget.

Secondly, RUCKUS ICX switches are designed with optimized power supplies that are efficient and appropriately sized for the device. This means that power consumption for a given configuration or load is not greater than necessary. The RUCKUS ICX switch portfolio can consume up to 40 percent less power than similar products from other vendors. This not only reduces your operating expenses but also has a positive impact on the total cost of ownership of your network.

Lastly, RUCKUS ICX switches are easy to deploy, provide higher speeds, and support more connections than competitive products. They also offer unified network management, control, and advanced stacking capabilities and are optimized for key use cases and applications.

In summary, RUCKUS ICX switches offer a combination of power efficiency, advanced PoE capabilities, and ease of deployment, making them an excellent choice for your network.


In conclusion, Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a transformative technology that simplifies network setup by delivering power and data through a single Ethernet cable. This technology is versatile, supporting a wide range of devices and adhering to the IEEE 802.3 standards. RUCKUS stands out in the PoE space, offering innovative multi-gigabit technology, cost-effective solutions, and enhanced security through unrestricted firmware upgrades. Whether you're powering phones, Wi-Fi points, or security cameras, RUCKUS provides a flexible and efficient PoE solution for various industries and applications.


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