Different computer networks need to be managed by the use of different network switches. Understanding the types of network switches will help you will help you locate the correct arrangement that is worked for what’s to come. There are categories of switches as well as specific switch benefits to consider as you explore your options.
Ethernet network switches are extensively classified into two main categories – modular and fixed configuration. There are varieties to these kinds of network switches as switching is evolving, but the primary definitions remain the same.
Modular switches –
Modular switches let you add expansion modules into the switches depending on the situation, giving you flexibility if your network needs change. Examples of expansion modules are application-specific (such as firewall, wireless, or network analysis) and modules for additional interfaces, power supplies, or cooling fans.
Fixed configuration ethernet switches –
Fixed configuration switches are switches with a fixed number of ports and are typically not expandable. The fixed configuration switch category is further broken down into unmanaged switches, smart switches, and managed L2 and L3 switches.
Unmanaged switches –
An unmanaged switch is planned so you can basically connect them and they work, no configuration required. Unmanaged switches are normally for basic connectivity. You’ll frequently see them utilized in home networks or wherever a few more ports are needed, such as at your desk, in a lab, or in a conference room.
This category of switch is the most cost effective where only basic layer 2 switching and connectivity is required. For example, they fit well when you need a few extra ports on your desk, in a lab, in a conference room, or even at home.
Smart switches –
This class of switches is evolving. The overall guideline here is that these switches offer some management, QoS, and security, but they are “lighter” in capabilities and less scalable than managed switches. They can be a cost-effective alternative to managed switches. They can be deployed at the edge of a large network (with managed switches being used in the core), as the infrastructure for smaller networks, or for low complexity needs.
The abilities accessible for this smart switch class change broadly. All of these devices have an interface for management that is typically more simplified than what managed switches offer.
Fully managed L2 and L3 switches –
Managed switches are designed to deliver the most comprehensive set of features to provide the best application experience, the most elevated levels of security, the most precise control and management of the network, and offer the best versatility in the fixed configuration category of switches. As a result, managed switches are usually deployed as aggregation/access switches in very large networks or as core switches in relatively smaller networks. Managed switches should support both L2 switching and L3 IP routing though you’ll find some with only L2 switching support.
From a security viewpoint, managed switches provide protection of the data plane (User traffic being forwarded), control plane (traffic being communicated between networking devices to ensure user traffic goes to the right destination), and management plane (traffic used to manage the network or device itself). Managed switches also offer network storm control, denial-of-service protection, and much more.
Learn more about the different types of Cisco Network Switches Emarson Infotech for managing a network to a high standard.