Don’t forget the Network Switch!

A network switch is often forgotten about: stuffed under desks or behind filing cabinets but they come in handy when you want to optimise your communication traffic.

A managed and optimised switch structure can help improve network performance, assist with security and reduce network outages. SO you may want to think about blowing the dust off of your network switch!

Reasons why switches are important

No matter where your application runs from – locally or hosted – switching is needed as it is critical to access productivity tools. It can also be designed and specified to provide a failover system, enabling your users to seamlessly access critical offsite applications, even when the system is partially down.

A failover system should always be implemented: your core switch is a single point of failure regardless of whether your services are accessed via LAN or cloud-based resources.

Speed issues

Gigabit switch capacity is pretty much standard now and isn’t as expensive as it once was. You’re likely to find that the network card in your computer and servers are gigabit compatible too. Even gigabit Wi-Fi in theory is achievable (though in practice is somewhat short of that).

However some users may still grumble about speed and switch sharing so implementing a separate service for guests can help alleviate their complaints.

Guest Wi-Fi enables you to limit what resources guest users take up, meaning they won’t drain vital connections. You simply invest in a separate router, firewall and internet connection, providing a quick solution to isolating your guests from your network.

However, there are some issues with this. You have no control over what guests are doing on your network and even though it’s safe to assume that anyone connected for professional purposes will be using your network professionally, you can’t be sure that their hardware isn’t infected with viruses, bots or other baddies that they may not even know exists.

The solution is simple though. All you need is – you guessed it – a switch. One which is capable of a simple VLAN. This means that you can route all your guests’ activities via your own security measures to ensure that all victory activity adheres to the same policies as your own, protecting your network, staff, guests, and your reputation.

Maybe time to pull out the filing cabinet and find that switch?


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Communications Intelligence, IT Consultancy and Support, Brighton, Sussex