Today’s Topics: Spring Vibes | WS-C3750G-24PS-S | Understanding the Basics of Network Switches | News to Start Your Day
February 25th is National Chili Day! There are so many ways to enjoy chili. Think you have the best recipe? Check out these 10 Top Chili Cook-offs and start stewing!!
Happy Thursday, friends. Man, this week has flown by. For you as well? I can feel spring in the air here in Georgia. I’ve had the windows open in the house some this week, I’m hearing birds chirp in the mornings, and the days are getting a bit longer. Yesterday felt like a nice, crisp early spring day. Our kids keep asking when they can swim. The 5-year-old even tried to convince me that she could swim in cold water, no problem. (She definitely has her dad’s desire and ability to influence a situation with the “gift of gab”.) Hopefully, just a few more weeks until we can enjoy some pool time.
Thinking just how close we are to warmer outdoor temps made me realize that it has been a whole year since the first murmurings of COVID. For us here in Georgia, our schools were closed in mid-March and about a week later we had a shelter-in-place order. What huge changes we’ve seen in just a year! On one hand, it is hard to believe it has been a whole year, yet on another, it almost feels like it has been longer than that.
How does your work and personal life look different today vs one year ago?
Thinking about change,
PS – don’t forget you’ll start seeing these emails come through as the CK Daily next week!
Product Spotlights and Updates:
The Cisco WS-C3750G-24PS-S is a Switch of many trades – it could be used in a small office environment or it could be used in a larger campus (you can stack 9 of them into one single logical unit!). The 3750G has 24 Gigabit PoE ports with a PoE budget of 370 Watts. It’s perfect for powering up IP Cameras, VoIP Phones, Access Points, and/or even certain Access Control devices, this switch is very versatile! It even includes 4 built-in SFP ports for your fiber needs as well as an RPS connector.
This switch is also built like a tank – fun fact – did you know this switch could still operate at temperatures as low as 23°F and as high as 113°F. If your network closet is at those temps, you have other problems… however, this switch will still be kicking. What we love about this Switch as well is that it’s affordable, reliable, multi-purpose, with Gigabit connectivity, and all the features you would need to get your network humming along. Purchase one… or even two today! They are definitely what we would call a great bang for your buck!
Understanding the Basics of Network Switches – CK Learning Center
Networking is a big topic. In fact, it’s too big for a single conversation. In order to distill such a massive concept into manageable bites, it’s best to look at one component of a network at a time. This time around, that bite is network switches. They come in many shapes and sizes, but you can navigate through the field of options pretty easily when you break switch features into three categories.
Managed vs Unmanaged
These two options have a simple trade-off. Unmanaged switches are much easier to deploy. They come with pre-configured networking protocols, security, and traffic management. They are typically plug-and-play devices that can make simple and fast additions to an existing network.
Managed switches are the opposite. They require manual configuration before they can be fully deployed. That component grants vastly superior control over security, resource distribution, and the overall functionality of the switch. The time and effort spent on deploying managed switches return a more secure, better-managed network (provided the network administrator does the job correctly).
Choosing between these configurations is not a matter of want. They serve separate roles in a robust network. Major nodes should be run by managed switches. They can do the heavy lifting. Where a network might need rapid changes, unmanaged switches shine. Since they are ultimately tied into the properly managed nodes anyway, the easy deployment makes them perfect for simple additions to the whole.
The point of a switch is to add ports to a network. When choosing, you have to consider three points. The first that comes to mind is speed. Everyone wants a fast network, and in enterprise networks, that want is more of a need. If a switch cannot match the bandwidth capacity of the greater network, then it creates a bottleneck. That isn’t always bad, but you absolutely need to consider the speed of the switch. It can range from 10/100 (fast Ethernet) to tens of Gigabits per second.
Your second consideration is the interface. Fast networks often have fiber optics carrying the workload, but fiber optic cables don’t come with a single connector type (unlike Ethernet). In a large enough network, there’s a good chance you’ll be working with a variety of connectors (ST, SC, and LC just for starters), and each switch needs to support all of the interfaces expected of it. Double-check your connectors before any purchase.
The third consideration only applies to Ethernet, but it’s widely important since most of your devices will tie into the network via Ethernet or WiFi. In particular, Power over Ethernet (PoE) adds a lot of versatility to any network switch. As the name implies, it can carry power for a device through the Ethernet line. This is ideal for endpoint devices that don’t thrive on battery power. Security cameras and WiFi repeaters are two devices that come to mind.
Switches have to be stored somewhere, and the housing design is going to have a lot of say in where you can put it. Mostly, the two varieties are stackable and standalone. Standalone switches are best when they are physically isolated. If you have a single switch working as a relay for a few devices, standalone is the way to go. Stackable is designed for networking closets and server-style housing. They can be organized more efficiently than standalones, and they can be configured in bulk. They’re a requirement for major nodes on a large network.
This covers the basics of switches. There are still plenty of additional considerations. We haven’t touched on routers, firewalls, signal repeaters, cables, or any of the other big topics, but with this overview, you should have a good feel for what you want out of your switches. When you know the ports you need, the housing style, and how a switch will be managed, the rest is just trying to get the most performance and features for your buck.
This article is from the CK Learning Center.
Today’s News to Start Your Day:
- As of this morning, in the US, there are 9,115,541 active COVID cases, 19,341,060 have recovered and there have been 518,372 deaths.
- After the descent stage safely delivered the Mars rover, it flew away from the landing site and realized its carefully planned destiny. Perseverance caught the crash on camera. NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover has provided a new image from the red planet, showing a plume of smoke from where its descent stage made surface impact with Mars. One of the rover’s Hazcams captured the image. You can check out a video of the rover being lowered from the descent stage onto the rocky planet here.
- Pfizer and BioNTech said they are testing a third dose of their Covid-19 vaccine to better understand the immune response against new variants of the coronavirus. They are also in talks with regulatory authorities about testing a vaccine modified to protect specifically against the new variant found in South Africa. The new vaccine is ready to be tested in an early-stage clinical trial to determine if it can be used as a booster shot against the highly transmissible strain.
- A rouge sheep found wandering in rural Victoria has been shorn of his heavily overgrown 35kg fleece. Nicknamed Baarack by his rescuers, the merino ram was taken to Edgar’s Mission farm sanctuary, where the fleece was removed to save his life. He was very underweight and, due to all of the wool around his face, could barely see. Watch this video of Baarack’s story here.
- The EU is still one of the worst-hit parts of the world by the coronavirus, with a number of nations still in lockdown or with strict social restrictions in place. The health emergency is particularly acute in the Czech Republic and parts of Latvia, Sweden, Spain, and Portugal. Give the health crisis, European leaders are not yet inclined to east travel restrictions.
- Netflix said it had 3.8 million paid subscribers in South Korea as of December 2020. In the last five years – from 2015 to 2020 – Netflix invested $700 million to expand its slate of Korean content and established two purpose-built production facilities in the country. The U.S. streaming giant also announced two new original films out of South Korea.