Tag Archives: managed switch

Core Switch & Edge Switch: How to Make a Decision?

When considering buying a new switch for your small business, you need to ask yourself a few questions: How many devices will the switch need to support? What kinds of devices will I be connecting? Has our network grown to the point where we need a switch with more advanced management capabilities? And here is an important decision you are going to make: whether core or edge for your network.

What Is A Core Switch?

A core switch, is also known as a backbone switch. It is a high-capacity switch generally positioned within the backbone or physical core of a network. Core switches serve as the gateway to a wide area network (WAN) or the Internet—they provide the final aggregation point for the network and allow multiple aggregation modules to work together. You use it to connect to servers, your Internet service provider (ISP) via a router, and to aggregate all switches that your company uses to connect crucial pieces of equipment that your company can’t afford to lose to downtime. As a result, your core switch should always be a fast, full-featured managed switch.

48 ports managed switch

What Is An Edge Switch?

An edge switch also is called an access node or a service node. It is a switch located at the meeting point of two networks. These switches connect end-user local area networks (LANs) to Internet service provider (ISP) networks. Edge switches can be routers, routing switches, integrated access devices (IADs), multiplexers and a variety of MAN and WAN devices that provide entry points into enterprise or service provider core networks. Edge switches can directly connect client devices, such as laptops, desktops, security cameras, and wireless access points, to your network.

what is edge switch

Core Switch vs. Edge Switch

Generally speaking, a core switch would have more up-market features such as higher backplane speed, layer 3 including routing protocols such as OSPF, and physical redundancy features such as removable PSUs. They might not have any copper presentation at all. A core switch will typically have deeper buffers, such that multiple connections can be experiencing congestion.

Edge switches are what your desktops and phones plug directly into (at the “edge of the network”). Typically they are lighter on features and more about copper port count and some form of fibre interface into the backbone / core.

How Should I Make A Choice?

A small company with fewer than 100 employees should function well with one core switch. However, as your business—and your network—grow, you might need to expand the number of core switches to two or more. In this case, you might want to consider stackable switches, which further simplify management.

Edge switches generally are considered less crucial than core switches to a network’s smooth operation. If there are areas of the office such as a conference room where you don’t need the features of a fully managed switch, your company can save some money by installing smart switches. But if you can’t tolerate any downtime whatsoever, want to maintain tight security throughout your office, or have the infrastructure to be able to add multiple different types of applications in the future, you should consider outfitting your entire network with managed switches.

Conclusion

Fortunately, managed switches are no longer out of reach for small businesses. Not long ago the price gap between managed and smart switches was as much as 40 percent. Today, though, that difference has shrunk to 10-20 percent. If you’re unsure which switch will meet your business’s needs, FS.COM, a manufacturer specializing in networking can help you choose the product that’s just right for you. Besides, we also offer other network related optic products like fiber optic transceivers, copper wires, fiber patch cable and so on. For more details, please visit www.fs.com.

Why Should Choose Managed Switch Over Unmanged Switch?

Before we talk about managed and unmanaged switch, we should first and foremost figure out what a switch is. Switches are boxes that connect a number of other devices together on a Local Area Network (LAN) and utilize what is called packet switching to effectively forward data to and from connections. Generally, There are two types of switch—managed and unmanaged switch. Here we will discuss the differences between the two types and why managed switch is recommended.

What Is the Difference Between Manged Switch and Unmanaged Switch?

An unmanaged switch on the other hand behaves like a “plug and play” device. It cannot be configured and simply allows the devices to communicate with one another. They tend to be less expensive than managed switches, as they have lower capacity and less flexibility. Generally, they don’t see much use outside of smaller and less intensive networking environments. Managed switches are fully configurable, and can be monitored and adjusted at your discretion. Although the management method and degree of configuration varies, they are typically more expensive than unmanaged switches, but offer much greater flexibility.

difference between managed switch and unmanaged switch

Why Should Choose Managed Switch Over Unmanged Switch?

There are several reasons why a managed switch is recommended.

48 Ports Managed Business Gigabit PoE+ Switch

Remote Access/Control

Managed switches give you better control over your LAN traffic and offer advanced features to control the traffic. Managed switches have all the features of an unmanaged switch and additionally have the ability to configure, manage, and monitor your LAN. So this helps you to monitor and decide who should have access to your network and gives you greater control over data flow through your network.

Security

With a managed switch you can secure your network connections and also protect any unused ports on your switch. For example, if there is an unused port on your managed switch, you can disable that port or even apply MAC address filtering so as not to allow unauthorised users or devices to access the network by just plugging in. Managed switches also require additional authentication through password protection of the network.

Redundancy

Redundancy means to provide an alternate data path to network traffic to safeguard a network in case a connection or cable fails. Managed switches incorporate Spanning Tree Protocol or STP to provide path redundancy in the network. This provides redundant paths but prevents loops that are created by multiple active paths between switches. STP allows one active path at a time between two network devices, prevents loops, and establishes redundant links as backups so that there is lesser downtime. This makes job for a network administrator easier and also proves more profitable for a business.

Quality of Service (QoS)

The Quality of Service (QoS) feature of a managed switch also allows you to prioritize your network traffic by assigning a higher priority to the critical traffic. This helps to improve network performance and helps in better transmission of delay-sensitive data such as real-time voice. So by assigning highest priority to voice data you can ensure the voice packets don’t get dropped or delayed and mangled during transmission and you can hear crystal clear voice during a conversation.

Port Mirroring

Port mirroring is a feature used on managed switches which helps to diagnose network problems. A Managed Switch allows you to configure Port Mirroring to send copies of traffic to a single port on the same switch for analysis by a network analyser. The network analyser then allows you to diagnose and fix problems without taking the network out of service, reducing downtime.

Conclusion

A managed switch is more intelligent and offers more control, flexibility, and features, some you may not even know you need. So if you are still undecided between an unmanaged and a managed switch, then please do not hesitate in getting in touch with FS.COM. We will be more than happy to help with your networking needs.