In an era where wireless networking is dominant, the role of the network switch is often an afterthought. However, switch selection and configuration can make a big difference to overall performance. Here are five ways switching up your switch can help.
Switch picture from Shutterstock
1. Basic switch design encourages efficiency
Even the most rudimentary unmanaged network switch has an intelligence which a simple hub lacks: it intelligently routes data to the target device or devices, which improves transmission efficiency and reduces collisions compared to unintelligent basic hubs found in very small business networks.
2. Managed switches simplify administration
Management features may be overkill in a smaller network, but the flexibility of being able to monitor and modify your switch configuration is helpful. Unless you're fitting out a very small branch office and are confident , the extra expense is worth it.
3. Microsegmentation and VLANs can boost performance
If you need a high level of guaranteed connection for a particular device, assigning it to a dedicated switch port will ensure that you can meet that bandwidth requirement. Setting up a VLAN can help reduce unecessary traffic.
4. Bridging protocols can boost performance
Layer 2 switches offer a range of options for forwarding traffic, which let you balance error-checking with performance. If you adopt adaptive switching, you can alternate between the other three common methods (store and forward, cut through and fragment free) depending on performance needs.
5. Link aggregation can expand bandwidth
Bundling multiple connections in parallel can improve performance for particularly demanding applications.