The world of network switches can be hard to navigate with some switches seemingly made for obscenely specific purposes.
They can range from a few hundred to thousands of pounds and two models that belong to the same line or series can often fill entirely different roles.
This guide will help walk you through the different types of switches available, the price points they should hit and the requirements they should tick off as well as some helpful tips to help you ensure that you’re getting the best possible deal.
Small Businesses and Start-Ups
An entry-level switch will suffice for smaller businesses, with ever-improving features, cost-effective switches can offer surprising networking performance with additional features that have been added to ensure that running costs aren’t too high either.
Many of the more cost-effective switch models have been designed to be compact, easy to set up, and don’t require too much wiring or power.
You should always look for good security features in these switches, with a growth in malicious attacks you will want to keep your data safe and even entry-level switches can come equipped with fantastic security features.
Larger Computing Environments
Mid-market switches can be slightly more murky waters with improved features and often wildly varying prices.
A safe bet is always Juniper switches which are among the most popular due to their reliability and their great performance with easy-to-use features.
With these switches, it is important to consider a manageable line of command so that information and instructions can be distributed easily, ideally from one screen.
You will also want to consider some scalability with your switch as your business will have to take on large workloads if it grows.
Campus Scale Data Centres
If you are buying a switch for a data centre, performance is key. You need a reliable switch that can be tailored to your specific demands and your switch must remain versatile and cannot be caught out with any unexpected workloads.
You want to see enterprise-level software features, future-proofed operating services, and the ability to use an OS that works best for your business requirements.
Ideally, you will also want a switch that can perform at a high temperature with variable speed cooling fans so that you can keep running costs low.
Scalability is key with high-level switches and you want to run your switch in a 12-rack-unit to take on any workload with seamless performance and low latency.
It’s always an idea to consider refurbished models for switches, more often than not there isn’t a significant compromise in performance despite a notably lower price
Most retailers offer competitive warranties with refurbished models and also have them tested by a team of IT pros to make sure that everything is in great working order.
You are also more likely to get the best deal out of your switch with business policies like price match guarantees – if you can find a comparable product for less you can get your desired product at a reduced price.