Network Communications News (NCN) October 2016 - Page 27

switches & routers The people managing the network with smart switches do not necessarily need to be advanced IT staff. They can have minimal knowledge of IT yet be able to use the interface to control and manage the network, and configure the automation for the switch; by using the easy to use web interface and set up wizard. Not only does this support businesses that have limited IT resource in a given location but it also means that the time spent on routine network management is greatly reduced. Efficiencies can also be gained thanks to the ability to use smart switches to easily upgrade an existing business network. Using a smart switch, the network becomes more intelligent without major investment. During an office move for example, or when more switch capacity is needed, choosing a smart switch is a cost effective option that adds a layer of automation and network management, with the required capacity. Power over Ethernet Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a way of offering both data connectivity, and power to a connected device. So a device only needs one cable to get it up and running. This adds significant flexibility to the overall set up of an office space, new devices such as surveillance cameras, access points or IP phones can be installed, set up and running quickly without the need for an electrician to provide power, or the use of power adaptors and trailing extension leads. Furthermore, smart switches have the ability to intelligently understand if a device is PoE or not, and enable or disable power on the port accordingly, either by schedule or on reduced idle mode. This is particularly useful for temporary installations or a user base that is not in a fixed location – for example, remote workers visiting the office or ‘on the road’ employees that visit different branch offices. The switch can simply be used without requiring manual configuration. Choosing the right smart switch Smart switches are often specified by the number of ports they offer, this is the number of different directly connected devices they can support at any given time. Typically, this is 8, 10, 20, 24, or 48 Gigabit ports. Estimating the number of ports you require is straightforward and provides a useful first step to understanding which smart switch is best suited to your environment and application. You need to consider how many devices you have that need connectivity, and how many people connect to the network. On a typical desk, for example, you might have a phone, and a computer. Whether a phone is IP or not, it can still be operated through the switch. So this means each desk needs at least two ports. You then need to factor in ports for devices such as servers, desktop PCs, mobile devices, storage devices, video conferencing, IP surveillance, printers and point of sale systems. You should also be asking yourself a few other questions. Do you need PoE, now, or for future plans? Do people in your business work with large files that S P E C I A L F E AT U R E might need speeding to the file server via a 10 Gigabit connection? A H[B[[Y\[\X\[›܈]ܚ[Y\\Y[܈[ܙBܝˈ\H]ܚܚ]X[B\[\[ۜY\X\]\X\ܝ\X[X[[ܛۛX[ۋY[Y[[BH]ܚ[ۙH]Z[ \Y X[H\]YYH\ܚ[]\ˈ]H[HYق]Y[H[H[وZ[\O•][\Y[[HX\]Z[XYH܈ۙ\HZ[\[[[]\Hܛ[[\X\ۛXYH]ܚYYHۜY\Y\[ܙHۛXY]X\[\[HܚXH\š[]]XK[ܙX\[H[X[ۂ][XH][ܙX\Y\YHۈ[Y YX[HYY][]8&\]\[\[HY\ܝ[]Y][XK]H LYX]ۛX[ێ\\[]H\X[XH[]\HوH]ܚ܂^[[ۋ]\Y\\۸&]XB]8&\\[X[ZH\[\]Z\[Y[™܈H[[YYX]H]\H[X[ X\]\ZHH\BYY][H]Y[X[YY]\›ٙ\[\^]ܚX[Y[Y[[[ۜ]]\[\\\]Z\K[[X[YY]\Xٙ\]ܚX[Y[Y[[[ۜ˂][H[[Hو\X[]Y\X\›[ۚ]ܚ[ܝۻ Y\[[[][[ܚ]\][ۋ[XH[[Z]]BX[\XKXZHX\]\[YX[XH܈X[\[\\[\H[\\H][XHۂHX[\[KX\]\š]HHX[]B[[Y[B[\[YB]XH\H܈ ‚Lɔ8$ S[˚[ ‚ L ̌ M L΍M‚