Choose the Most Applicable Managed Ethernet Switches

Features of Hardened Managed Switches

With the ability to operate at extreme -40 to 75°C (-40 to 167°F) temperatures, hardened managed switches offer advanced Ethernet management features, plus the redundancy and security elements required for essential applications. For backbone and central network layers, Layer 3 hardened managed switches provide routing between sub-networks with support for static routes, RIP V1/2, and VRRP. Redundant input power (both AC and DC) options help ensure maximized uptime, while Power over Ethernet (PoE) enabled switches deliver steady power to remote devices directly through the data cable.

Managed Ethernet switches

Layer 2 Managed Switches - Industrial Ethernet Switches

Industrial Managed Ethernet Switches

With the ability to operate in temperatures from -10 to 60°C (-14 to 140°F), EtherWAN's industrial Ethernet switches offer advanced Ethernet management features, plus the redundancy and security elements required for essential applications. Redundant input power (both AC and DC) options help ensure maximized uptime. These switches support EtherWAN's Alpha-Ring self-healing technology, which ensures a fault recovery time of less than 15ms in instances of port failure.

Industrial Managed Switches

When should you use an Industrial Layer 3 switch?

Layer 3 routing protocol is becoming more and more important to industrial network topologies, such as intelligent transportation management and applications related to urban infrastructure. Industrial applications normally work with a variety of industrial devices within an isolated network, with few monitoring interfaces at the field site. However, as connectivity demands continue to grow in the IIoT era, the number of connected edge devices is continuing to grow, resulting in an increased need of network bandwidth and organization. This reveals new network management challenges, and also raises new issues in data security. To ensure flexible industrial application planning, Layer 3 devices have been introduced into advanced management, with a host of features that are quickly becoming “must haves”.

LAYER 3

Managed vs. Unmanaged

Managed switches provide extra value in a network by providing information about the status of the network. This includes things like high bandwidth consumption, unexpected port connections, and power supply failure. Additionally, a managed switch can implement redundancy, a critical feature when connectivity must be maintained at all times. Managed switches also enable administrators to configure, manage and monitor networks for full optimization.

Unmanaged switches are simpler, easy to use, and more economical. However, unmanaged switches do not provide any sort of monitoring, alerts or alarms. In simple applications where there are fewer devices, no VLANs, and basic connectivity is the main objective, they are often the best choice.

AttributeManaged SwitchesUnmanaged Switches
FeaturesVLAN, redundancy, DHCP, port mirroring, QoS, SNMP, etc.Few features. Mostly fixed configuration.
PerformanceHighly configurable, control network traffic based on user-defined parameters. Allow for remote troubleshooting.Plug and play. Some allow configuration of QoS settings.
SecuritySecurity protocols for the data, management, and control planes.Physical security only
CostHigher to purchase, install, and maintain.Less expensive
ApplicationsLarge networks with more than three nodes.Small Networks found in homes, small offices, laboratories, etc.

Frequently asked questions on Managed Ethernet Switches

VLAN

Generally speaking, managed Ethernet switches are used on larger networks, where their monitoring, security, and troubleshooting features are likely to be required. While they are powerful additions to local networks, they are also more expensive and require more knowledge to set up and utilize. Protocols such as SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol), and the ability to implement VLANs provide network traffic control and monitoring abilities not available on unmanaged switches. 

Managed Ethernet switches provide more security than unmanaged switches. Their ability to monitor and control network traffic increases the ability to detect a shutdown threats, and prevent unauthorized access to the network. Authentication protocols such as RADIUS and TACACS+ are secure and robust ways to set up and handle authorized users. 

The question of which kind of switch is “better” depends on the specific application. Unmanaged Ethernet switches are simpler, easy to use, and more economical. However, unmanaged switches do not provide any sort of monitoring, alerts or alarms. In simple applications where there are fewer devices, no VLANs, and basic connectivity is the main objective, they are often the best choice. As network size and complexity increases, Managed Ethernet switches will become the more attractive option. 

Managed switches deliver extra value in a network by providing information about the status of the network. This includes things like high bandwidth consumption, unexpected port connections, and power supply failure. Additionally, a managed switch can implement redundancy, a critical feature when connectivity must be maintained at all times. Managed switches also enable administrators to configure, manage and monitor networks for full optimization. A major feature on managed switches is the support of redundancy protocols that minimize downtime in the event of a device failure.

It can. Managed switches usually support Quality of service (QoS), which is the use of devices and technologies control network traffic prioritize the network performance of critical systems. 

Yes. Managed switches have a unique IP address that is used to access the switch via Telnet or web browser where supported. They ship with a default IP address, and that address is usually changed by the administrator when the switch is unboxed and set up. Unmanaged switches do not have an IP address. 

Yes. VLANs operate at Layer 2, and act as IP subnets, Layer 3 constructs. A one-to-one match often exists between VLANs and IP subnets, but it is still it is possible to have multiple subnets on one VLAN. 

vlan

Traditional Layer 2 logic sub netting faces practical and performance limitations when applied to topologies with a large number of devices. To ensure flexible industrial application planning, Layer 3 Ethernet switches have been introduced into advanced management, with a host of features that are quickly becoming more and more often necessary. 

See this article : When should you use an Industrial Layer 3 switch? 

Layer 3 Ethernet switches are powerful, but are also more expensive and difficult to configure. Layer 2 and unmanaged switches are more economical and easier to set up.