Campus switches play a critical role in today's networked environments, providing end-to-end connectivity within the organization. But each network differs in terms of number of users, their locations and the types of applications they use. As a result, enterprises have to carefully determine the types and quantities of campus switches required to support their particular network designs.
There are many considerations for choosing campus LAN switches. Besides understanding the type of switch needed -- whether access, distribution or core -- it's imperative to determine network requirements, such as port speeds, and which port connection types will be most useful and cost-effective. Other criteria to consider include how much throughput and redundancy the network will likely need, whether these campus switches will be subjected to harsh conditions, if the organization requires advanced security and troubleshooting features, and expectations for vendor support.
With so many different campus switches to choose from and each addressing different parts of the networking puzzle, sorting through the various switches can be a massive task. This guide will help simplify the process by examining some common use cases for campus LAN switches, as well as explaining which switch types make the most sense based on network size and location.
To help narrow down the list of vendors and switch models, we'll examine and compare the features and capabilities of switches from eight leading campus LAN switch vendors. These vendors were selected by TechTarget editors after extensive research into the top market-share holders and seeing which firms best fit the presented buying criteria. We also provide in-depth descriptions of each vendor's products.
Deploying campus LAN switches as part of your network design
It's important to understand the three-tiered campus network hierarchy from a data-transport perspective, as well as where access, distribution and core switches fit into your network design.
Learn what roles each of the three tiers of a campus LAN network -- access, distribution and core -- plays from a data-transport perspective in network design and which layer is most likely to host particular network services. Continue Reading
2Do I need?-
Considerations for deploying campus switches
Do you need connectivity to a small or remote environment? When should you consider distribution switches? How much latency and throughput do your users demand? By examining the different scenarios provided here, you can determine whether or not you need campus switches, and if so, which types would work best for your network environment.
Learn what different types of switches are best suited for and how they could help you in the design of your campus network. Continue Reading
3How to buy-
What you need to know before evaluating campus switches
Numerous decisions need to be made prior to selecting a specific vendor and campus LAN switch model. Knowing which features and capabilities you should consider will help simplify the process.
There are many factors that will influence the type of campus LAN switch your organization should purchase, including what port speeds your network requires, what redundancy techniques you wish to use, and whether you need advanced features that offer security and troubleshooting. Continue Reading
4Which should I buy?-
Examining what the leading campus LAN switch vendors offer
The campus LAN switch market offers a diverse range of vendors and platforms for buyers to consider. Read this in-depth comparison to learn what each leading campus LAN vendor offers.
With so many vendors and switch models to choose from, narrowing down your choices can be difficult. But you can simplify the process by examining the purchasing scenarios presented here and applying them to your network requirements. Continue Reading
What the leading campus LAN switch vendors offer
Learn what features and functions the leading campus LAN switches offer.
Alcatel-Lucent provides a full line of campus LAN switches, including industrial-grade switches that can operate in extreme environments and SDN-capable switches. Continue Reading
Arista campus switches provide ultralow-latency transport of huge amounts of data using the company's Linux-based Extensible Operating System. Continue Reading
Cisco offers a variety of campus LAN switches that provide NBASE-T multigigabit support and connection to 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless access points. Continue Reading
Dell provides a variety of campus switches, including the Open Networking Z-Series switch line, which can grow to support large branch offices and campus environments. Continue Reading
Extreme Networks offers a number of campus switches, many of which use the ExtremeXOS operating system to run only the software features that are needed on an organization's network. Continue Reading
Hewlett Packard Enterprise offers a range of fixed-port and modular campus switches, including its traditional line, which extends from the access layer to the distribution, core and data center, and the Aruba line of access and distribution switches HPE acquired as part of its purchase of the Wi-Fi vendor in 2015. Continue Reading
Huawei offers more than 100 well-equipped and appropriately priced campus switches for large networking environments. Continue Reading
Juniper's Ethernet switches provide advanced features for high-performance networks in branch office, data center and campus environments. Continue Reading