Is this the flexible switch that every business needs?

Is this the flexible switch that every business needs?

With great Layer 2 functionality, the ultra-flexible management options of NebulaFlex Pro, silent operation, high powered PoE support, gigabit speeds and a striking new design, the new GS2220 Series of managed switches deliver everything you need for fast and versatile, high bandwidth performance across the network, says Luke Harley, Market Development Manager EMEA for Switching at Zyxel.

In the world of technology, designers are always trying to come up with a product that will have universal appeal. One that will tick all the boxes for most, if not every customer. While that’s an almost impossible task, in terms of meeting the needs of businesses that have networks and want to get the very best performance out of them, and give their users the very best experiences, the new Zyxel GS2220 Series of switches come pretty close to achieving that elusive goal.

It’s rare that a product comes along that is genuinely exciting (and that every much depends on your own personal definition of ‘exciting’ as well), but the GS2220 Series has really got us quite animated because – having had a chance to look at the early sample models for a little while – we believe they just about every customer will want to place these switches at the heart of their networks.

Now, if I am not careful this could end up being a rather long blog post, so I will try to summarise, in simple terms (and no particular order), why we think the GS2220 Series will be a big hit with customers and a great product for our partners to sell and support.

Great functionality

First of all, it offers great Layer 2 functionality, so it is excellent at managing and controlling network traffic. This is especially important for video, whether to support multicast streaming in a hotel for example, or a network of IP security cameras, or indeed for networks on which there are a lot of people making use of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, or other collaboration tools. It would also provide good support for secure remote connections.

Second, they come with support for NebulaFlex Pro, which means there are three ways to manage the switch: as a stand-alone device, through the local network (using SNMP), or remotely using our Nebula cloud platform. You can even change your mind at any time and switch between cloud and on-premises management, although in practice this rarely happens. Most customers, once they move to Nebula, continue to manage their devices that way.

Also, if you are using a lot of video on the network, with Nebula you get advanced reporting and analytics capability that will give you detailed information on traffic levels and usage of different channels. This allows you to reconfigure settings to deliver the best performance.

Whisper-quiet operation

Third, these switches are whisper-quiet. The 10-port and 28-port models are fan-less, so they really are silent. For smaller offices, where the switch is much more likely to be located in an open area, rather than in a cabinet, this is a welcome feature. The 50-port version has a ‘smart’ fan, in other words, it only turns on when it is needed and even then, it is incredibly quiet. Also, the 10-port versions have a very small footprint, which again is useful for smaller offices.

Fourth, excellent PoE options are available. All three models (10, 28, and 50 port) come in ‘HP’ (High Powered) PoE Plus variants that will support up to 30W per port. Even better, they will only deliver the power required by whatever device is connected, thus preserving energy wherever possible. LEDs on the front of the switch show you what levels of power is being used.

Exciting additions

Fifth, they provide Gigabit Ethernet uplinks, so they will keep up with the higher bandwidth demands now being placed on networks. Sixth, with their new stylish carbon black casings, they look fantastic. Seventh, they have been designed to make it easy to upgrade the memory, so they offer good future-proofing. For all these reasons, we believe the GS2220 Series will be even more successful as the preceding GS2210 Series. They have everything just about every business needs to support fast, reliable, versatile networking.

It’s the first time we’ve been able to offer the NebulaFlex Pro on this series, so this is a big plus and the excellent support for IP-based video and multicasting, with advanced reporting and analytics, is a particularly exciting addition.