The Cost Of Doing It Right!

Part of having good Managed Services network is to employ the right equipment. This goes beyond having a sophisticated router to protect your network and data. Having UPS (Uninterpretable Power Supplies) on you equipment is surely a MUST. But one thing so many people miss is all the additional hubs and switches we may have within our LAN(s). Once again, I see so many ‘consumer’ grade product out there that I shutter. These devices might be good for the home or home office, but, they can really do an injustice when mixed in a large LAN. They are like dead ends. Aside from them not being designed for ‘commercial’ use, they do nothing for helping your IT personnel in troubleshooting a problem.
Then answer is simple, Managed Switches. These are switches with a lot more brains. Let me step back and quickly define the difference between a hub and switch. A hub routes all traffic to all ports. Thus any data coming in to the hub is output on all ports. Whereas, a switch is a little smarter in that any incoming data is deciphered and the data is then placed on the proper output port. Thus, reducing the overall traffic flowing within the device. A Managed Switch is a switch that can be managed, or addressed. It has an IP similar to any other device on the LAN and can be probed for status and operation. Thus, an IT person can see if a router is up and running just like they can a workstation or server. There are many other features that can be found on a Managed Switch (Later Post), but the key is that it can be tested.
Last week countless hours were saved at one of my Managed Sites as I was able to within just a few minutes track down and resolve an issue where a number of workstations went offline. Although the device (Managed Switch) had not failed, I was able to determine that a wire was either out or bad. I ended up the former and the whole mess was cleaned up simply by pushing the the plug back in. All of this was done remotely, minimal downtime and a satisfied client who is happy I had him invest in Managed Switches.