Network switch: What is the role of the switch?

by sogrow team

Network switch: What is the role of the switch?

When multiple workstations are networked within a computer park, a switch or network switch is typically used, which receives and distributes the various information on the company's computer network. This improves network performance by using less bandwidth. The switch also helps protect computer data and regulates access to information exchanged.

What is a switch or network switch?

In IT, a switch is a box with four to several hundred Ethernet ports used to network various elements of the computer system. In particular, it is possible to configure different connections within the same network,  receive information and send data to a specific recipient by transporting it through the corresponding port. The switch has several advantages when it comes to managing your IT equipment. It contributes to the security of the network and the protection of the data exchanged over the network. On the other hand,  more workstations can be connected to the same Ethernet network. Above all, the switch enables the "intelligent" distribution of information in the company. Control and protect your network as much as possible to prevent intruders. Once configured by an IT technician, the switch distributes information only to predefined users according to the type of employee (finance, management, marketing, etc.) and/or certain restrictions, thus improving the confidentiality of company data.

Do not confuse switch, hub, and router.

Switch and hub can be easily mixed. However, the network hubs do not filter the information received and send it indiscriminately to all the network stations. By choosing a switch instead of a hub, ordering your data can free up bandwidth and improve the performance of your computer network, especially if you have a large number of concurrent users. The role of the router is to connect the internal company network to the external Internet network and share the same Internet connection with different workstations.

Different types of switches

There are different types of switches and they work differently depending on the application in your company. The standard switch model operates in "lazy" mode, also known as "store and forward": that is, it stores network data to analyze and detect errors before sending it to different stations. Network switches, operating in "direct" or "direct cut" mode, simply read the destination address and transmit the data without parsing it. Fragments switches are a combination of these two methods: they perform simplified error detection that does not require data storage, improving transmission speed. Finally, the "adaptive cutoff" switch automatically selects one of the above modes depending on the errors observed.

How to select a suitable switch for your computer system?

Choosing the correct type of switch depends on the size of your corporate network and its usage. Before installing a switch, a detailed inventory and analysis of your IT infrastructure are required.

Non-configurable switches - This type of switch does not have a configuration interface. They simply connect to the corporate network to send the data to the different ports according to the initial configuration.

Layer 2 switches - These switches can be configured by an IT technician through a web interface or an internal interface.

Layer 2 + 3 switches: They are also configurable and allow the implementation of internal routing based on IP addresses and MAC addresses.

Cloud Switches - These switches just hit the market. They allow you to perform the same actions as the other switches, but their interface can be accessed remotely on all types of devices (tablet, smartphone, laptop, etc.). This switch works thanks to a secure system in the cloud.

If you want to install a switch in your company network, call a specialized technician. Our experts from the Now team analyze your infrastructure and offer you the most suitable switch for your needs and your application. In addition, we install and configure your network switch to improve the performance of your computer system.