Upgrading network switches is a financial and technological commitment. To maximize your investment's potential, it's crucial to ensure your switches are highly reliable, easy to manage, and compatible with the latest technologies for the foreseeable future.
Operational expenses such as initial configuration, troubleshooting, security, hardware updates, and network management become recurrent and increase your total cost of ownership (TCO).
In this blog, you will learn the benefits of cloud-managed switches so you can make an informed decisions in the future.
Table of Contents:
What is a Cloud-Managed Network Switch?
Cloud-managed switches make it possible to configure large numbers of switch ports quickly and remotely from a single online interface without the need for an on-site IT presence; zero-touch provisioning. Users can instantly set up access devices, assign voice VLANs, control Power over Ethernet (PoE) capabilities, and more with just a few clicks.
What’s the Difference Between Cloud-Managed Switches & Traditional Unmanaged Switches?
Unmanaged switches are designed for simple plug-and-play applications and require little to no configuration. They feature auto-negotiated ports which automatically detect the optimal settings for data transfer rates and duplex mode, ensuring that the connection is running at its optimal performance level. These switches do not provide any support for virtual LANs (VLAN) and devices belong to the same broadcast domain.
Cloud-Managed switches provide a higher level of control over the network and the data flowing through it, allowing users to configure each port's settings precisely. This enables them to regulate access, monitor traffic in real-time, and detect any suspicious activity. By configuring access restrictions and security protocols, they can create a secure environment for all users.
Cloud-Managed network switches provide a convenient and secure way for administrators to manage, configure, and adjust various settings remotely. Through a console that is accessible via a web interface, administrators can make changes or adjustments from different physical locations without having to be present in-person. These consoles are designed with security in mind.
Benefits of Cloud-Managed Switches
Cloud-managed switches eliminate the need to physically go to each switch and configure it. Cloud management also gives you visibility into the performance of your network, so you can quickly identify potential issues and troubleshoot them from any location. With cloud-based software tools, you can monitor traffic patterns, identify potential threats, and take corrective action in real-time.
How Does Cloud-Managed Switches Save You Time?
Network Administration Made Easy
Managing a traditional network infrastructure can be a complex, time consuming, and expensive task, especially for small businesses that can’t afford a full-time IT team on-site.
However, cloud-based networking allows you to simplify management by providing a centralized platform that allows you to configure, administer, and troubleshoot your network through your computer or mobile app. This approach allows businesses to save time and effort for IT teams, allowing them to focus on more strategic tasks.
Increased Scalability & Flexibility
One of the key benefits of cloud-managed switches is increased scalability and flexibility. For example, Cisco Meraki’s cloud dashboard provides an unparalleled level of administrative power and control, offering deep visibility into the network and its usage across multiple sites.
Administrators can easily assess switch capacity levels and provision switch ports with comprehensive security measures, Quality of Service (QoS) protocols, and other customizable settings.
Automated Network Monitoring & Maintenance Cloud-Managed network switches are equipped with advanced networking & analytics capabilities. Your cloud-managed switches continuously collect and analyze network data to provide you with valuable insights into your network performance and any potential issues.
Your switches also provide real-time alerts and notifications if an issue is detected so you or your IT team can solve any issues promptly, allowing you to minimize downtime and boost productivity.
How Do Cloud-Managed Switches Save You Money?
One of the biggest benefits of cloud-managed switches is the cost-effectiveness provided by cloud networking technologies. Reduce hardware costs, lower maintenance and support fees, reductions in energy bills, and enhanced operations are some of the benefits you can expect when switching to the cloud.
Having a reliable system in place is essential to the success of any business. From automating mundane tasks to ensuring data accuracy, having the right processes and procedures can make all the difference. With the right setup, businesses can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and ultimately increase profits.
Reduced Hardware Costs:
Cloud-managed switches allow you to enjoy all the benefits of a reliable and scalable network infrastructure without the need of significant upfront investments in hardware infrastructure.
Just like BTI, some manufacturers offer bundled solutions to minimize upfront cost. Cisco Financing allows you to bundle software and hardware into easy monthly payments.
Lower Maintenance and Support Expenses
Having a cloud-based architecture eliminates the need to invest in hardware updates, software updates, installation, and troubleshooting. Managed switches allow you to unload these responsibilities to your provider, who takes care of the support and maintenance as part of your subscription package or direct from the manufacturer.
Cisco Meraki, for example, offers lifetime warranties on most of their managed network switches.
Reduced Energy Bills
Cloud-managed switches consume less energy in comparison to their traditional counterparts and at the same time, employ intelligent power management features that optimize energy usage based on your network’s demand.
This reduction in energy consumption allows you to significantly reduce energy costs while minimizing your organization’s environmental impact.
Cloud-Managed Switches FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) Asked By Our Clients
Are Cloud-Managed Network Switches Secure?
Yes, cloud-managed switches come with built-in measures like access control, network segmentation, and threat detection capabilities. In addition, your provider can also ensure switches are always up-to-date to prevent and mitigate any vulnerabilities.
Can Cloud-Managed Switches Integrate with Existing Network Infrastructure?
Absolutely, cloud-managed switches are compatible with various network protocols and standards. VLAN configuration, port assignment, security services, QoS (Quality of Service), and bandwidth are just some of the parameters that can be customized to meet your specific needs.
What is The Cost Structure for Cloud-Managed Network Switches?
Cloud-Managed switches work on a subscription-based model. The pricing fee is based on the number of switches and the features included in your subscription. Most of the time the pricing includes maintenance, support, software updates, access to the cloud-based management platform, and even hardware replacement.
What is a Cisco Meraki Switch?
If you are looking into cloud-managed switches, you probably stumbled upon Meraki Switches. Cisco Meraki Switches are the leading cloud-based switches in the market and one of the switches we recommend to our clients thanks to its flexibility, reliability, and integration capabilities.
If you’d like to know more about Cisco Meraki switches, visit our Cisco Meraki page or give us a call, we’ll gladly assist you in finding the right solution for your business.
BTI, The IT Products & Services Provider Near Me
Here at BTI we have more than 35+ years of experience in the field of IT, communications and physical security and we are here to help with all of your networking needs.
Contact us today to join the thousands of customers that trust BTI as their IT product and services provider!