When it comes to small business networking, one size doesn’t fit all. While your neighborhood flower shop likely has very basic needs, a small technology start-up or graphics firm can stress a consumer class network. Using technologies like cloud storage, mobile devices, IP voice and collaboration tools can overwhelm a basic network and leave it open to security threats. What’s needed instead is a business-grade network built to support a demanding, dynamic environment. The network must deliver performance, security and high availability.
Smart managed switches are a great option for advanced small business networks. They come with many advanced features to secure and optimize a network, they are easy to administer using web-based screens, and yet they are more economical than enterprise-class switches. One of the most advanced smart managed switches in the market today is the 10-Gigabit capable HPE OfficeConnect 1950 Switch Series. With this, you can build a high-availability network that is fast, reliable, and offers redundancy to minimize downtime; it’s a network that will keep your employees productive and connected at all times.
HPE OfficeConnect 1950 Switch Series
High availability means network uptime is maximized and your network is more reliable and resilient. In part, this is achieved through true stacking. Stacking lets you administer and treat multiple switch units as one single entity, making it easier to manage you network as it grows. For management, it will have a single IP address and look like one big device even if they are in different locations. Links can be shared across units to increase availability; instead of all traffic going through one device and at risk should that device have an issue, data can have two paths just in case.
The newest advanced smart managed switches bring 10-Gigabit to an affordable range putting network performance issues in the rear view mirror. 10-Gigabit provides increased bandwidth to support demanding voice and video applications or high bandwidth to on-premise servers and storage. Even if you don’t implement 10-Gigabit now, because it is backward compatible, your network will be ready in the future to reduce bottlenecks and keep pace with tomorrow’s bandwidth-intensive rich media applications.
Advanced smart switches can also bolster network security, so you are less likely to suffer downtime due to an attack or to lose your sensitive company information. Access Control Lists, or ACLs, let you control which users have access to what network resources. VLANs can keep separating the traffic of different users so that guests on your network cannot snoop your proprietary information. Advanced defense mechanisms such as Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) inspection, STP root guard, and Denial of Service (DoS) will discover, detect, and block deliberate network attacks.
These managed devices are highly flexible. They have Quality of Service features that let you optimize traffic flows and ensure that business critical applications always have the highest priority in the network. Layer 3 static routing can improve the performance of workgroups by keeping routing close and local rather than require it to be done centrally. Power over Ethernet, with the latest PoE+, can power downstream devices including wireless Access Points, security cameras, security doors, phones, and a host of other new age devices. Add redundancy to augment the PoE power budget as well as allow you to continue operating and powering downstream PoE devices even if your switch internal power supply fails.
Advanced smart managed switches offer a solid foundation for current applications while giving you room to expand as your business grows. 10-Gigabit is the new standard for interconnecting switches and servers, and it is affordable now for small businesses. Look for this and other future-proofing features like IPv6. Prepare your network for future growth.
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