Local-area network (LAN) switches are at the core of all networks, providing high-speed connectivity, applications, and communications systems. Today’s networks not only need to efficiently and securely transmit bandwidth-intensive data, voice, video, and wireless applications, they also need to provide for evolving traffic patterns, new services, and optimized application performance. To meet current and future network needs, all LAN switch designs must incorporate the following six attributes:

  • Application Intelligence: Recognition, prioritization and control of applications is referred to as application intelligence. Today’s networks must recognize many types of applications and understand the importance of securing and prioritizing applications running on the network to provide the best user experience.
  • Unified Network Services: Combine the best elements of wireless and wired networking to connect to any resource or person through any device with consistent, unified services. Switches can now apply and scale security or multicast services consistently across the network or use quality of service (QoS), 10 Gigabit Ethernet technology, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology to support new applications and devices.
  • Nonstop Communications: Existing features and capabilities that help ensure nonstop communications in LAN switches include: redundant hardware, non-stop forwarding and stateful switch over (NSF/SSO) technology, in-service software upgrades (ISSU) and software modularity.
  • Virtualization: To support dynamic resource and service utilization over a shared infrastructure, it is necessary for businesses to adopt new services on a common, virtualized network. This enables securing guest or contractor access to network resources, and provides department segregation for business compliance.
  • Integrated Security: Network security is essential. LAN switches provide the first line of defense against internal security attacks and also prevent unauthorized users from entering the network. Security services provided by LAN switches include Network Admission Control; Man-in-the-Middle attack mitigation; and integrated security service modules that provide virtual private networks, firewalls, intrusion prevention, intrusion detection, and many more security services.
  • Operational Manageability: To enhance ease of manageability, it is critical that IT staff be able to remotely configure and monitor network devices from a central location, automate responses via embedded event management and use real-time diagnostic management tools to troubleshoot and apply changes.

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