Wireless connectivity and networking specialist Linksys launched a line of managed switches that are available in a 28- and 52-port rack mountable chassis, with and without Power over Ethernet (PoE) Plus functionality.
The switches feature port authentication and MAC-based port security, requiring clients to authenticate themselves before any data is passed, while advanced Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) snooping and IP-MAC-Port binding functions help ensure network integrity and work to prevent network attacks.
The PoE+ models support the latest IEEE 802.3at (PoE+) standard and provide up to a 30-watt power budget per Ethernet port while offering IEEE 802.3af (PoE) backward compatibility. For network designers and administrators, PoE simplifies the task of powering devices in remote locations.
In one key example, PoE changes the entire cost structure for deployment of voice over IP (VOIP) phones in an enterprise, where phones need to be placed in locations without dependency on AC outlets, Wayne Newton, director of channel sales for Linksys Business, told eWEEK.
Newton also noted the reliability of PoE, which has fewer wires, translating into less of a likelihood for an inadvertent power disruption. Also, with an uninterrupted power supply, power to the devices is assured during a power failure.
In addition, Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) and Storm Control features help control planned or inadvertent cable loops, so administrators can build a mesh of switches and expand the network to support an organization's growing workforce.
"We target businesses 99 seats and less. However, our sweet spot is 20 users and less. Because our switches were built specifically for SMBs … these switches … are targeted to environments from 10-99," Newton said. "While the port counts do go up to 52 ports, these switches are ideal for offices such as real estate, design firms, banks, doctor offices or even small businesses."
Other features include Gigabit or 10-Gigabit uplink SFP/SFP+ fiber-optic port expansions for servers and data centers and a host of quality of service (QoS) features so that traffic can be prioritized for improved user experiences for real-time applications like voice and video along with bandwidth-intensive graphics or video file uploads and downloads.
"Video is already an important tool for businesses today—everything from training, in house and externally—to education of customers and partners to video conferencing," Netwon said. "Businesses are also leveraging video to better communicate their company and services on their Websites and other marketing vehicles."
On the security front, the switches feature port authentication and MAC-based port security, requiring clients to authenticate themselves before any data is passed.
The Managed Gigabit Switches are currently available through major distributors and resellers. The 28-port Managed Gigabit Switch carries a suggested price of $549.99, while the 52-port model sells for $849.99.
The 28-port Managed PoE+ Gigabit Switch is available for $949.99, and the 52-port Managed PoE+ Gigabit Switch is on offer for $1,299.99.