Wondering how a network switch helps an enterprise network get ready for the latest technologies like Wi-Fi 6/6E and securely connects new endpoints and applications – all while keeping stretched IT teams sane?
Network switches, often referred to as Ethernet switches, are certainly not the new kids on the block. Recent product and technology innovations have brought big operational efficiency gains, resiliency with always on performance, visibility with built-in analytics, and enhanced security capabilities. And when combined with unified cloud management, network switches create a unified infrastructure that’s simpler to manage and ready for challenges that lie ahead.
Consider these five ways a network (or Ethernet) switch helps you do more with less:
- Eliminate silos of management with unified cloud management – Using multiple network management tools to deploy, manage, and troubleshoot different device type requires more of everything (except efficiency): more learning how to use each tool, more complexity and time to resolve issues as info needs to be correlated across the tools, and more cost for multiple software services or extra hardware. With unified network management, all your access switches, core switches, and data center switches can be managed alongside WLAN and SD branch devices, making network operations much simpler. Unified cloud management takes simplicity even further with the manage from anywhere approach.
- Simplify network security with automated dynamic segmentation – Securely onboarding wired and wireless users and IoT devices with the proper access to resources across an enterprise is complicated and critical. Traditional segmentation with VLANs, ACLs, and other static configurations works but often is manual, error-prone, and doesn’t easily scale. Ethernet switches that support dynamic segmentation capabilities where automation is used to set and enforce user- and device-based policies across an enterprise —simplifies and bolsters network security. Add in support for EVPN-VXLAN and you get a network fabric that extends layer 2 connectivity as a network overlay over an existing physical network, providing even more operational simplicity and security.
- Deliver a resilient and always-on network– With switches creating the foundation for network connectivity, it’s clear that downtime needs to be minimized. Data center and campus core switches designed for operational simplicity as well as hardware and software redundancy make this possible with features like live upgrade that allow non-disruptive software updates with just a few steps. Hot-swappable modules, power supplies, and fans ensure connectivity and deploying switches with redundant PoE (Power over Ethernet) provides more resiliency of key infrastructure devices like Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E access points.
- Automate troubleshooting with analytics built-in – Finding and fixing network issues is one of the most common, time-consuming activities for IT. Traditional approaches either involve a series of manual show commands and irregular network polling or using multiple third-party tools with conflicting diagnostics. Network switches supported by unified cloud management that have analytics built-in can instantly alert operators to potential problems, help identify trends, pre-empt future problems, and make smarter design decisions, ultimately reducing costs and improving user experiences.
- Eliminate network islands with single switch OS everywhere – With network operating systems, more is not merrier. When enterprise networks span branch offices, to large campuses, to data centers, IT often manages multiple network switch OSes, each with different design rules, licensing, and operations. Switch portfolios using a single OS from the smallest compact Layer 2 access switch to a enterprise core switch, can radically improve IT operations by providing a consistent operator experience, simplified network design, and unified management.