While it’s always easy to go for the simple and most affordable choice, it is worth taking time to consider the differences between switches carefully, says Luke Harley, Switching Market Development Manager EMEA at Zyxel.
As a developer and manufacturer of networking equipment, Zyxel tries to provide the best possible range of options to meet the needs of all our existing and potential customers. This is not as simple as it sounds, because every customer will have different requirements.
Some will need a switch that just does the basics and acts and a connection and relaying point for network traffic. Others will want the switch to have smart managed capabilities and be capable of recognising and adapting to the types of traffic moving across the network or providing support for PoE devices.
Even though the switch is a core building block of the network, and essentially does a fairly simple job, customer needs vary enormously. Even after they have taken on-board all the customer feedback that we constantly collect, it can be quite a challenge to find the right balance between performance, functionality, and cost to meet everyone’s needs. This is why we have quite an extensive range of switches.
Equally, even though they have rich array of options, it can be difficult for customers to choose exactly the right switch for their needs. On the face of it, many of our switches would seem to be very similar; looked at in more detail, they are entirely different.
The comparison between our GS1920 series and the GS2220 range is a good example. Sit them alongside each other and they look almost identical. Both are gigabit, smart managed switches and come with NebulaFlex options, so you can manage them in whatever way you wish – locally, via a dedicated controller, or in the cloud.
But look a little further and they are really quite distinct.
The GS1920 is one of our most popular switch ranges. Designed to be ultra-quiet, an LED display shows when the device is being managed through Nebula. Models are available with 8, 24 and 48 ports – with and without PoE.
The GS2220 line-up is similar in that it has the same fanless design that gives you whisper-quiet operation. The range of models is comparable too – with 10, 26 and 50 port variants; there are two additional dedicated SFP uplink ports on all the GS2220s.
But there are also two big differences with the GS2220. First it has Networked AV mode and the set-up can be tailored to provide optimum performance for multicast environments, where there is a need to push video content or digital signage out to multiple devices. This something a lot of hotels and retail organisations need.
The GS2220 also supports the Auto PD Recovery feature of Nebula, which means that if a connected device, such as a WiFi access point or an IP surveillance camera should stop functioning, the switch will instigate a re-start of the device to try and get it running again. There should be no need for an engineer to physically visit the device to re-set it.
The choice is yours
It also offers higher performance and costs a little more too. But clearly, if you need either or both of its distinct capabilities, the GS2220 is going to be the best choice for you. If you need something a little simpler and have less budget, the GS1920 may be more suitable.
The real point here though, is that you don’t need to compromise. Whatever your requirements, there will be Zyxel switch that is right for you. Making a choice that considers your current and future needs is important, so if you are unsure of your exact needs, we’d always recommend you speak to a Zyxel partner. We are, of course, always developing and updating our product ranges, so however your needs are changing you should be able to find a Zyxel switch that suits them.
To find our more, contact your nearest Zyxel office or your trusted Zyxel partner.