Benefits of a managed switch?



  • Can some of you networking experts out there give me some reasons of wat a managed switch is used for and why its beneficial to my network?

    I havent messed with one before so really dont know what i can do with it to help make my network better. Just got given a manages switch and am interested in knowing what i can do with it to assist in network stability and or security.. vlan's is something i have heard of but unsure how to use or what they are good for.

    Thanks in advance



  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_LAN

    quote from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Managed_switch:

    Typical switch management features

    Turn particular port range on or off
        Link bandwidth and duplex settings
        Priority settings for ports
        IP Management by IP Clustering.
        MAC filtering and other types of "port security" features which prevent MAC flooding
        Use of Spanning Tree Protocol
        SNMP monitoring of device and link health
        Port mirroring (also known as: port monitoring, spanning port, SPAN port, roving analysis port or link mode port)
        Link aggregation (also known as bonding, trunking or teaming)
        VLAN settings
        802.1X network access control
        IGMP snooping

    Link aggregation allows the use of multiple ports for the same connection achieving higher data transfer rates. Creating VLANs can serve security and performance goals by reducing the size of the broadcast domain.


  • Rebel Alliance Global Moderator

    What environment?  In a home setup with a handful of machines its unlikely a managed or smart switch would be of much use.

    They come in handy for troubleshooting, looking for specific macs, span or mirror ports can be very useful in sniffing the traffic on your network for issues, etc.

    Is this a home or work network?  If home - it would be more of learning/play sort of thing vs a requirement.  There are some pretty cheap decent smart switches that are perfect for that home networking geek ;)  My main (core) switch is smart, and love the ability to span ports for sniffing and igmp snooping keeps down some of the noise you normally see - since not using any multicast on home network, etc.

    Why would you not want more features and abilities is the question ;)


  • Netgate Administrator

    @johnpoz:

    Why would you not want more features and abilities is the question ;)

    Exactly.  :)
    Since you aren't familiar with managed switches you now have a great learning opportunity. In fact I would think you could use some of the security/separation features that you get in your WISP environment.
    About the only reason not to use a managed switch is that they normally consume more power. In some cases a lot more.

    Steve



  • You can use a managed switch for VLANs and various "enterprise" security features.

    I'd start with experimenting with one of the virtual switches.



  • @johnpoz:

    What environment?  In a home setup with a handful of machines its unlikely a managed or smart switch would be of much use.

    They come in handy for troubleshooting, looking for specific macs, span or mirror ports can be very useful in sniffing the traffic on your network for issues, etc.

    Is this a home or work network?  If home - it would be more of learning/play sort of thing vs a requirement.   There are some pretty cheap decent smart switches that are perfect for that home networking geek ;)  My main (core) switch is smart, and love the ability to span ports for sniffing and igmp snooping keeps down some of the noise you normally see - since not using any multicast on home network, etc.

    Why would you not want more features and abilities is the question ;)

    Thanks for replying.  I have a WiSP with a few hundred users and growing.  I have always been more a server admin rather than a network admin so i don't really know much about VLANs or using a managed switch to help me.  I just know that it can do alot of stuff that i havent even thought of or know how to do.. hence the question to you guys, as i know alot of you are networking specialists.

    The switch that i have just been given is a Cisco SG 300-20



  • @stephenw10:

    @johnpoz:

    Why would you not want more features and abilities is the question ;)

    Exactly.  :)
    Since you aren't familiar with managed switches you now have a great learning opportunity. In fact I would think you could use some of the security/separation features that you get in your WISP environment.
    About the only reason not to use a managed switch is that they normally consume more power. In some cases a lot more.

    Steve

    Exactly, am looking forward to learning all about this stuff. What is the security/separation that you mentioned?  Sorry for a simple question i guess, just not sure what you meant.  VLAN's i have heard alot about but dont really understand still or know how they may assist me at all, will need to learn about that


Locked