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3 questions to determine if smart switches are right for your business.

By Doug Hyde, Global Product Line Manager, HP Networking


dh.jpgFor seven consecutive quarters, HP has been the #1 vendor in smart web-managed switching.  In its February market share report covering data gathered through Q4 2011, the analyst firm Dell’Oro reported HP with 31% worldwide share in this category.

 

Smart web-managed switches defined


Wikipedia defines these as managed switches “with a limited set of management features … in a market niche between unmanaged and [fully] managed ...”  I would add that they are switches where the web-based user interface is the primary recommended way of managing these devices.  Many have no Command Line Interface (CLI).  Because of their friendly web screens—and even more because of their appealing price points—smart web-managed switches are often sought-after by smaller businesses.

 

 

Is a smart switch right for you?


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 Here are three questions to consider in determining if smart switches are right for your business:

1. Is your network operating primarily at Layer 2?
Smart managed switches are well suited for L2 networks, or where there is just some light routing.  If you are running dynamic routing protocols such as Router Information Protocol (RIP) or Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), you’ll need a higher-end switch.

 

2. Is your network fairly static?
A web interface for management is great for setup and occasional tweaking.  It is intuitive, so you can return to the switch after weeks and figure out how to proceed.  If, however, you are regularly adjusting switch settings, then you’ll be more efficient with an enterprise switch and CLI and ability to bulk change from a central platform.

 

3. Do you manage your own network?
If your network is self-contained and you manage it, then smart switches may make sense. However, if your devices must fit into a much larger active management domain, then stepping up to enterprise switches will make central management more seamless.

 

Where HP 1910 Switch Series takes the lead with smaller businesses

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HP Networking’s lead offering in the smart managed category is the HP 1910 Switch Series, an advanced line of gigabit switches made specifically for small-to-midsized business customers looking for a balance of configurable features and appealing pricing.  Here is a quick compilation of HP 1910 features:

 

Wirespeed Gigabit performance with 20-, 28- and 52-port models having 10/100/1000 ports as well as four "true" SFP ports for optional fiber connectivity.

 

Layer 2 switching with Layer 3 static routing, giving flexibility of deployment where basic routing may be desired. Routing done locally in a workgroup can improve performance over sending packets to a central router.

 

Two Power over Ethernet models, both 28-port. Choose the "365 Watt" model if you are looking for full PoE power across most of the unit's copper ports. Choose the "170 Watt" model where the PoE requirement is not so intense.

 

"Auto Voice VLAN", a popular feature for those using the HP 1910 to run a converged voice/data-ready network for smaller businesses.

 

A full range of Spanning Tree, Rapid Spanning Tree and Multiple Spanning Tree options. Layers of security including 802.1X network login capabilities, Access Control Lists, Denial of Service attack prevention and secure encrypted management.

 

Innovations in energy efficiency to make it one of the more energy stingy gigabit switches in the market.
Here is what Miercom said about this aspect of the product.

 

Management features including its intuitive web interface for configuration and control, and SNMP for discovery from a central site. These are also fully supported by the HP Intelligent Management Center (IMC).

 

 

As a leading smart switch, the HP 1910 is a great solution.  You have other choices too, of course.  HP Networking offers a complete range of switches, from small office switches up to enterprise-capable large chassis solutions.  Around the HP 1910, we have switch series with fewer capabilities and others with more advanced capabilities with different pricing to match your requirements and budget precisely. At HP Networking, we strive to give product choices that balance functionality and value to meet your business and technology needs.

 

Warranty—another reason to consider the HP 1910


In 2011, HP brought Lifetime Warranty† to the HP 1910 Switch Series with comprehensive coverage and no hidden charges.  Lifetime warranty is designed to give you total peace of mind.  It covers the unit and its power supply and fan or fans. Phone support and software updates are included at no extra cost for as long as you own the product. In contrast to HP 1910 Lifetime Warranty, other vendors’ offerings in the space exclude PSUs and fans, or only offer phone support for a limited period.

 

The HP 1910 came together after listening to our smaller business customers to find the right balance of functionality and value, while trying not to over-engineer or over-complicate the product yet still provide operation simplicity. You, our customers, have spoken with your wallets to make the HP 1910 the major contributor to HP’s leadership in smart web-managed switch sales. 

 

If a smart-managed switch sounds right for your own network, I encourage you to consider the HP 1910 for your next switch deployment. 

 

   >> Learn more about HP Networking products and solutions.

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† HP warranty includes repair or replacement of hardware for as long as you own the product, with next business day advance replacement (available in most countries). The disk drive included with HP AllianceOne Advanced Services and Services zl Modules, HP Threat Management Services zl Module, HP AllianceOne Extended zl Module with Riverbed Steelhead, HP MSM765zl Mobility Controller and HP Survivable Branch Communication zl Module powered by Microsoft Lync has a five-year hardware warranty. For details, refer to the Software license and hardware warranty statements at www.hp.com/networking/warranty.

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