By Sal Sepulveda, ConvergeSecure® Engineer
What does a switch do?
Switches are an essential part of any network environment. Switches enable us to tie multiple computers together and share information and peripherals such as printers. A switch receives data from each device on the network in the form of “packets”. It then decides where the data should be sent and forwards it to the correct destination.
Types of switches:
A managed switch can dramatically speed up a busy network, enterprise level switches have the capability to be programmed to mark certain types of traffic that may be less important than other types. These managed switches can have dedicated ports to specific users, or divide networks into virtual networks to increase speed and efficiency.
A hub or “dumb” switch is a type of switch that does not have the capabilities of a managed switch. When it receives data packets from one computer or device it broadcasts all of the data to all of the other devices on the network, whether they are the intended recipient or not. Since so many packets are being sent back and forth simultaneously, a huge strain is put on the network’s bandwidth. Ideally these types of switches should be avoided as much as possible.
Choosing the right switch:
When choosing a switch, another consideration is going to be the size of the switch. Most switches come in 5, 8 ,10, 12, 24, or 48 ports. Prices increase with the number of ports as well as the speed of those ports. When making a selection it is important to choose one that will accommodate your current needs and the possibility for future expansion.
Speed of your network is also a huge factor. If you have a gigabit Ethernet network, you would create blockages by purchasing a switch that only has 100 mbps ports. On the other hand, you would not need gigabit ports if you’re using the switch with a 100 mbps network.
There are many factors in choosing the best switches for your network and it may be best to leave it to the pros. Choosing the right switches and other components in your network infrastructure can provide businesses with efficiencies that often translate to real advantages. Working with an IT Partner who will design your network with your business objectives in mind for now and the future will maximize theses advantages and save time, money and headaches in the long run.
Learn more about Network Infrastructure and CCC’s approach at optimizing it for our partners.
As always If you have any questions please contact your CCC Technologies’ Representative or reach out to our 100% U.S.-based Customer Care Team at 1-866.347.3780 anytime, day or night.