Routing and switching are the core functions of any computer network. They are becoming more intelligent, with even lower-end models from the major manufacturers now including features once only available to enterprise data centers.
Network security is no longer an afterthought addressed with separate appliances or software. With regulatory compliance and the legal impact of information leakage, it’s important for an organization to know what’s traveling through the network.
Consider features that optimize traffic performance. Most clients employ video, voice or other rich media traffic in their enterprise. The core network devices should implement Quality of Service (QoS) features to prioritize desired traffic types or the ports channeling that traffic. Prioritization also prevents packet discard and delay which can disrupt rich media types. Bandwidth throttling and I/O queues allow devices to further control traffic and prevent network link saturation caused by busy applications or overused network segments.
Virtualization features are emerging on these devices. Network virtualization combines different LANs into a single network. It can also create multiple virtual LANs from a single physical network infrastructure. Successful network virtualization requires intelligent switches and routers that can execute virtualization software and provide superior interoperability between other virtualized devices.
Other advanced switch management features include 802.1(x) network access control, VLAN awareness and configuration, link aggregation, and SNMP monitoring of device and link health.
At Stablenet, our network professionals suggest selecting devices that generate standardized NetFlow data which can be assessed in detail using tools. Our engineers also back up all managed Cisco routers and switches daily.