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What is a Managed Switch
A network switch is a device that businesses use today to allow employees to connect to computers, servers, printers, and other network devices. One type of this device is a managed switch. In this article, we will give you the basic information you need to know to understand what a managed switch is, including its benefits to businesses and why it is the wiser option in comparison with an unmanaged switch.
What is a Managed Switch?
A managed switch is a device that businesses can use to allow connection between multiple network devices to a Local Area Network (LAN). It is commonly used in a core layer of a business IT network. With a managed switch, network users will have an efficient way of securely exchanging information with other departments or business units. This also enables IT network administrators to more effectively manage LAN traffic and detect IT issues that the network may encounter.
Aside from managed switches, another type of a network switch is unmanaged switches. Here are the key differences between the two of them:
What is a Managed Switch: Its Key Differences to an Unmanaged Switch
What is a Managed Switch – Difference No. 1: Control and Configuration
Unlike managed switches, unmanaged switches do not provide its users advanced features to control LAN traffic in your network. With unmanaged switches, network devices (computers, servers, printers, etc.) are only allowed to communicate with each other. Unmanaged switches also come with fixed configurations that users cannot change.
What is a Managed Switch – Difference No. 2: Security Standards
Another difference between them are their security standards. An unmanaged switch is less secure compared to a managed switch. Unmanaged switches do not have any built-in security other than a lockable port cover. In contrast, managed switches can provide their users a way to efficiently protect data, control and management planes.
What is a Managed Switch – Difference No. 3: Cost-Efficiency
Despite being less expensive than managed switches, unmanaged switches do not come with features like VLAN, Port Mirroring, Dynamic ARP Inspection, etc. These additional features help the business IT networks to have better network control and configuration. With that, even though managed switches will initially cost you more, it will be more advantageous in the long run.
Here are some of the key advantages of using a managed switch.
What is a Managed Switch: The Advantages of Using It
What is a Managed Switch – Advantage No. 1: It Reduces Risks of Network Downtime
Using managed switches can reduce the risk of network downtime occurring in a business IT network. This is because they allow for failover links in the network. A failover link leads a user to a standby computer system when the primary system fails to load due to a system failure. Reduced risks of network downtime can happen due to the protocols that a managed switch uses. One of these protocols is the A-Ring that enables failover links to be activated at around 30 milliseconds upon a network link failure.
What is a Managed Switch – Advantage No. 3: It Allows Remote Network Management
Using managed switches also enable businesses to lower their operational expenditure in terms of IT systems management. With managed switches, businesses will be enabled to monitor their networks even from a remote location. This is because managed switches allow remote connections to take place.
With this, your IT staff will also have the ability to access and control all network devices remotely. This allows them to make changes over those devices and troubleshoot issues once one is detected, even when they are not physically in front of the device that is experiencing issues.
What is a Managed Switch – Advantage No. 3: It Increases Network Security
Managed switches are packed with more advanced security features that can significantly improve your business IT network’s endpoint security. It even has a feature that can limit network access to only trusted devices. This helps you to prevent access from unauthorized users. Managed switches also allow you to view a MAC address table that contains all the devices that had connected with a certain network device.
What is a Managed Switch: Conclusion
A managed switch does not just provide businesses a secure way to connect network devices around their IT networks, but it also provides them a secure way to do it. With advanced features and security a managed switch provides you with the ability to minimize the risks of network downtime, drive operational costs savings and increase the endpoint security of your business IT network.