Why Use Managed Ethernet Switches in an Industrial Network

Network administrators for Industrial networks have a serious responsibility to ensure their network is up to date and is always running. For example a manufacturer requires that their industrial network be always on in order to maintain a steady production. Another example is the Ethernet network within a nuclear power plant. Without this reliable network the plant is unable to maintain the security and the monitoring of the reactors. This could cause a shutdown and result in power loss for those that depend on the electricity.

However many issues such as downtime can be reduced with a simple switchover from unmanaged to industrial managed Ethernet switch. The technologies available can give you the tools to be your eyes and ears over your entire network. While the cost of industrial managed Ethernet switch is greater we highly recommend our customers use managed switches if it falls within their budget. While the initial cost is higher the overall cost is reduced due to a great ROI and helps future proof your network.

Management Features

The true utility behind managed switches are the functions that are only available on them. Redundancy is an important feature especially for installations that truly mission critical. By using redundancy your network is able to quickly maintain communication without interruption. There are new proprietary redundant technologies that minimize costs while giving your network new ways to route data if a specific point of your network fails. By using these new technologies you can reduce cost of installations and reduce the need for unnecessary ports (redundant switches).

Another popular managed functionality that is utilized is QoS (Quality of Service). While an unmanaged Ethernet switch will simply pass information to where it needs to go a Managed switch with QoS setup can prioritize bandwidth for data subsets. An example of this is our network from the Nuclear power plant. Our security IP video data takes up a larger amount of bandwidth. QoS can be setup so that more bandwidth is allocated through the network to ensure IP video data comes in smoothly. By doing this we can still obtain the sensor data without an interruption simply because it utilizes minimal bandwidth.

One final feature found only on managed switches is the SNMP protocol. In conjunction with a network management software you can visualize and maintain your entire network remotely. Imagine your entire network mapped out in front of you providing you real-time data at every node. You view the status of each switch without having to go through a web console and also do mass upgrades to maintain the latest firmware for your devices. The network management software can also notify you via SMS or email if there are any particular events set to your criteria you would like to be notified about.

Regardless of your situation you want a properly designed network. While no network is bulletproof the combined with the technologies available on industrial managed Ethernet switch you can easily maintain your network while reducing maintenance costs. Networks can recover quicker and issues can be tracked and resolved sooner. Make the move to managed Ethernet switch your users will thank you.

Explore managed switches with these features here.

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