Choosing the right Network Switch for your environment

Choosing the right Network Switch for your environment

Everyday new and exciting developments in technology like software-defined networking and the Internet of Things will effect your decision when it comes to choosing the best Ethernet switch for your environment.

First, you need to understand how many ports your switch needs to have. If you only have a handful of devices that require Ethernet connectivity, you might be able to get away with a five-port switch: that’s four wired devices and one connection to your router. If you’re a large factory, or distribution centre you will need a 24-port switch, or even a 16-port switch. But how do you know what you need?

In situations where there is a small office workforce, such as a warehouse for example, there may be a need for wireless connectivity around the storage area so that scanning equipment can be used. In this example there will unlikely be a requirement for VOIP services and other physically cabled connectivity. A switch which can allow for 6 or 8 access points that are high powered maybe ideal for the broadcast to cover the warehouse area, but generally no other services require physical connectivity, which can also make hardware management easier.

Likewise, that same warehouse might want IP surveillance instead, so they can see accidents happen with forklifts and in this case, 6 or 8 cameras would be enough to cover key spots in the warehouse.

A small switch in this instance with high powered cameras like PTZ might be perfect. There are not any data connections needed in the warehouse but it can be very useful to see what is happening. Also, some of the high quality cameras require a lot of power to run so a high powered switch with a low port count is definitely suitable. Such as xxx

Another good example is at D-Link HQ in London, which is a very typical office environment. We have around 60-80 people in the office on a typical day, so we can easily run with three or four high density access points in the area rather than putting some APs in each room such as conference rooms. This way we can walk around the open office floor and roam with our wireless regardless of where we go. The APs require some high power to work, but there are not many of them. We already have the infrastructure for VOIP but all of the ports are taken up because we have so many people on phones, so by adding a small dedicated switch for the wireless alone makes perfect business sense.

If you’re looking for more info on D-Link switches or need help trying to understand which one is best for you contact D-Link’s support team here