Efficient power, virtualization, high density, cooling, and high performance overall are required for efficient data center growth. The data center switches are the high-performance switches primarily used for large enterprises and by Cloud providers who profoundly rely on virtualization. This type of switch can be deployed all across the data center, or to anchor a two-tier/one-tier flat mesh/fabric architecture.
Contrasting the network switch for conventional three-tier hierarchical networks, the data center switches are specially designed to support data and storage for indispensable applications. Moreover, the hardware of these switches is equipped with extensive, high availability, and fault tolerance systems. Their software is designed to provide better uptime for indispensable applications. For high-bandwidth applications and the growth of data centers, you can get one of the best data center switches from here.
List of The Best Data Center Switches
Check out the thorough reviews of the best data center switches in 2023 below.
1. NETGEAR 26-Port PoE Gigabit Managed Switch (GS324TP)
Are you looking for a data center switch with plenty of ports as well as the ability to improve uptime, and advanced security features? If yes then the NETGEAR GS324TP is one of the best data center switches meeting these needs. It comes with a good quality/price ratio. One of its key facets is that it comes with a 52 Gbps internal switching capacity. It denotes the exceptional ability of the switch to handle traffic at once with plenty of bandwidth-intensive devices being connected. So, it can support IP cameras recording and streaming multiple 4K streams constantly.
Its GUI is impeccably usable with info and support available online if required. The recording is smooth, without glitches. Also, motion detection works smoothly. With the use of appropriate mounting hardware, the 4 front screws can perfectly hold this switch. Desktop or rackmount placement is supported.
- It features 24 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two 1G SFP ports.
- 24 PoE+ ports come with a 190W total power budget.
- This switch is installed with two Smart software that present an easy-to-use interface. So, they provide improved control for easy access, secure setup, and SNMP (NMS 300) management.
- Acoustic Noise Level @25C is -32.8 dBA.
- Advanced VLAN and QoS IGMP Link Aggregation are supported.
- Dimensions and weight: 8.1 x 13 x 1.7 inches; 5.93 pounds.
Pros and Cons
2. Cisco SG350 10-Port Gigabit Managed Switch
Cisco SG350 switch is recognized as a next-generation managed switch that provides rich and outstanding features, and ease of use. With the support for advanced security, routing, Layer 2 and 3 features, routing, and being implemented with energy-saving technology, it is extremely suitable for business applications.
In addition to customizable switching, the routing and wireless solutions are also customizable. So, this Cisco data center switch caters to all stages of business. Moreover, the extensive portfolio can handle your technical and budget requirements. Accessories packed in are an adapter, a mounting kit, a console cable, and a quick start guide.
- The Ethernet port configuration shows 8-port 10/100/1000 and two 1G uplinks (SFP) ports.
- 8 PoE ports come with a total power budget of 128W.
- List of features for configuration and control: WebUI, SNMP, CLI, Cisco FindIT Network Manager, Auto Smartports, auto-discovery, PnP, and zero-touch deployment.
- List of L2+/L3 layer features: QoS, Static routing, MSTP, voice/guest VLAN, time-based access control lists, IGMP snooping, Web-based Authentication, 802.1x, IP Source Guard, and IPv6 First Hop-Security.
- List of advanced network features: QoS, Static routing, Voice/Guest VLAN, MSTP, GVRP, IPv6, Time-based Access Control Lists.
- List of advanced security features: Web-based Authentication, Advanced 802.1x, Dynamic ARP Inspection, IP Source Guard, and IPv6 First Hop Security.
- Dimensions and weight: 22.64 x 12.6 x 3.94 inches; 4.1 pounds.
Pros and Cons
3. TP-Link TL-SG2428P 28-Port Gigabit Smart Switch
To benefit from high-speed connections, the TP-Link TL-SG2428P can be one of the best data center switches. This is because it contains 4 Gigabit SFP ports and 24 Gigabit PoE+ ports. Technically, this TL-SG2428P works just fine. It is easy to set up, and I have been super impressed with how seamless the use of the Omada/jetstream ecosystem is. SNMP also worked perfectly.
- All the twenty-four 802.3at/af-compliant PoE+ ports come with a total power budget of 250W.
- The switch comes with IPv6 support with dual IPv4/IPv6 stack, IPv6 neighbor discovery, and MLD snooping.
- List of robust security features: IP-MAC-Port Binding, Port Security, ACL, Storm control, DoS Defend, 802.1X, DHCP Snooping, Radius Authentication, and more.
- The Software Defined Networking (SDN) platform by Omada integrates network devices like switches, access points, and gateways. So, it offers 100% centralized cloud management via the Omada app and Cloud access.
- Other features integrated into Omada SDN are Zero-Touch Provisioning (ZTP) and Intelligent Monitoring.
- Features that optimize Voice and Video applications are QoS, IGMP Snooping, and L2/L3/L4 layer features.
- Dimensions and weight: 17.32 x 8.66 x 1.73 inches; 8.82 pounds.
Pros and Cons
4. QNAP QSW-M408-4C 10GbE Managed Switch
With the high-performance, desktop size, and user-friendly management functionalities, the QNAP QSW-M408-4C 10GbE switch lets you immediately upgrade to a hybrid high-speed network environment. This happens along with network bandwidth optimization and guaranteeing network maintenance security. You benefit from all these characteristics at a cost-effective price.
QNAP QSW-M408-4C supports Layer 2 switching and network management through a user-friendly web user interface. Therefore, it provides flexible deployment in hybrid high-speed network environments. Moreover, it offers an entry-level network management solution that comes in handy even to a non-IT professional. With this QNAP switch, you can connect different devices to multiple Gigabit ports and 10GbE SFP+ fiber ports. Consequently, you can benefit from your high-speed network.
- Four 10GbE SFP+/RJ45 combo ports and eight 1GbE ports are included.
- This managed switch is compatible with 10GbE and NBASE-T technologies which support up to five speed options. These options are namely 10G/ 5G/ 2.5G/ 1G/ 100M. So, higher transmission speeds are delivered with existing Cat 5e and 6a cables.
- The user-friendly web user interface presents an overview of dashboard, setup guide, and port management. So, the central network management becomes easy and intuitive.
- PWM double ball bearing is available in the fan.
- Dimensions and weight: 1.67 x 11.42 x 5 inches; 2.5 pounds.
Pros and Cons
5. Mikrotik CSS326-24G-2S+RM 24 Port Gigabit Ethernet switch
With the two SFP+ ports within a 1U rackmount case, this Mikrotik Ethernet switch offered wired speed connectivity with many latest switching features. You can access all the fundamental functionality of a managed switch and therefore it is also one of the best data center switches in our list.
You can administer port-to-port forwarding, configure VLANs, use MAC filter, mirror traffic, implement bandwidth limitations, and adapt a few MAC and IP header fields. If you have a big house or office, you can install this switch to expand the network as well as some wireless access points. In case you own a huge file server in the basement with more than 100TB of storage being used as a media and file server then you can install this Mikrotik switch.
Port isolation helps isolate your file server from an external network. The link aggregation allows the combination of multiple Ethernet links, port forwarding, SNMP, VLAN, and more. These benefits of Link Aggregation supported by this Mikrotik switch are possible in other Gigabit switches at twice the price.
- It comes with a non-blocking Layer 2 switching capacity and a 16K host table.
- IEEE 802.1Q VLAN can support up to 4K simultaneous VLANs.
- Other features are Port mirroring of ingress/egress traffic, Broadcast storm control,
- Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol, SNMP v1, and Access Control List.
- SFP cage supports 1.25 Gb SFP and 10 Gb SFP+ modules.
- Two 10G SFP+ ports can be added for more efficient control.
- Dimensions and weight: 17.32 x 5.67 x 1.73 inches; 2 pounds.
Pros and Cons
6. NETGEAR 48-Port 10G Ethernet Smart Switch (XS748T)
All the 48 ports in this NETGEAR XS748T switch offer powerful Gigabit connectivity suitable for mission-critical applications. It comes with smart software with an easy-to-use interface. This interface provides managed control for easy access, secure setup, and SNMP (NMS 300) management.
It allows desktop or rackmount placement. All required mounting hardware is included. Accessories in the pack are a rack-mounting kit, power cord, rubber footpads for tabletop installation, MIB files, quick-installation guide, detailed Hardware Installation Guide (HIG), Resource CD with Smart Control Center Utility (SCC) software, user manual, product datasheet, and links to the support website for downloading additional documentation.
- Forty-four 10G Ethernet ports and four 1G/10G SFP+ ports are included.
- The management layers are L2, L2+, and L3 Lite.
- IEEE 802.3x Flow Control is supported.
- List of advanced features: Advanced VLAN, IPv6, QoS, IGMP, Advanced Security, and Link Aggregation.
- Firmware Upgrade is possible via Smart Control Center (TFTP).
- Firmware download (to switch) and upload (to server) are possible via TFTP/HTTP.
- Configuration and Image Upload (to PC) takes place via HTTP
- Configuration Download (to Switch) and upload (to server) take place through TFTP/HTTP.
- The actuator type is a push button.
- The power consumption is 1W.
- Dimensions and weight: 12.2 x 17.3 x 1.7 inches; 13.78 pounds.
Pros and Cons
7. Cisco Business CBS250-24T-4G Smart Switch
Cisco CBS250-24T-4G is the next-generation cost-effective smart switch that combines security, powerful network performance, and reliability. It packs in an all-inclusive suite of network features required for a small business network.
The on-box U/I and Intuitive Cisco Business dashboard streamlines network operations and also automates lifecycle management.Also, the compact design is perfect for the installation exterior of wiring closets like classrooms, retail stores, and open-plan offices. A power cord or adapter, a quick start guide, and mounting hardware are included in package.
- Twenty-four (10/100/1000 Mbps) ports and four 1GE SFP ports are included.
- IEEE 802.1X port security is integrated to control access to your network.
- DoS attack prevention boosts network uptime when an attack occurs.
- Extensive Access Control Lists (ACLs) protect your network against unauthorized users and network attacks.
- List of network features: QoS, VLANs, Voice VLAN, MSTP, GVRP, and IGMP Snooping.
- List of Security features: 802.1X/RADIUS, SSH/SSL, and Access Control List.
- Dimensions and weight: 17.5 x 9.47 x 1.73 inches; 9.48 pounds.
Pros and Cons
How To Pick The Best Data Center Switches?
Stay away from confusion and end up picking one of the best data center switches by considering the following factors.
1. Data rate and throughput capacity
All data center switches are available in several variants and include different ports. It’s up to you to discern how many ports are required for now and in the future. Apart from the number of ports, you must determine whether you require 10 Gbps or 40 Gbps, or 100 Gbps connectivity. Depending on the speed requirement, make sure you end up buying the most suitable data center switch.
Throughput capacity is equally important. It is critical to evaluate your current and future data flow mappings as well as throughput requirements. Accordingly, you need to purchase the most appropriate size of data center switch with adequate backplane throughput capacity to prevent bottlenecks.
2. Network design
Two of the most common design options in terms of the setup of data center switches are desktop and rack mount options. Specifically, when you decide to go for rack mount supported data center switch, you have two options: Top-of-Rack (ToR) or End-of-Row (EoR).
If you have an end-of-row network cabling then it’s better to use the existing wiring and install a larger capacity EoR data center switch. On the other hand, if you intend to form a new data center or new cabling then it is better to use a ToR data center switch for the ToR network. This is because it provides enhanced flexibility in regards to physical port coverage over the data center.
3. Vendors of data center switches
The performance, support service, and price of data center switches vary from one vendor to the other. Aspects included in the support service are software upgrades and configuration, hardware replacement, troubleshooting assistance, etc. Because SDN is emerging, you can consider purchasing the switches from different vendors.
Unless you use a truly open SDN platform, purchasing from a single vendor is a smart choice because it’s future-proof. It is recommended to choose a data center switch vendor which provides the greatest premium features and services at an affordable price.
4. Built-in security
Security tools like encryption, threat intelligence, and access controls are no more optional for networks, they are critical. If your chosen data center switch lacks prominent security features, ascertain that it integrates with a wide range of cybersecurity software. A list of some key security features your data center switch should have to include Advanced 802.1x, Advanced VLAN, Link Aggregation, Dynamic ARP Inspection, IPv6 First Hop Security, and Web-Based Authentication.
FAQs When Picking The Best Data Center Switches
1. What are the key features of the best data center switches?
- They can handle north-south and east-west traffic flows.
- They support high-bandwidth interconnections through both SAN protocols and standard LAN Ethernet protocols.
- They are equipped with high availability and fault tolerance systems in software and hardware. Thus, they offer better uptime for critical applications.
- Every component of a distributed data center switch can be administered from a single management interface for simplicity of use.
2. When shall you substitute traditional switches with data center switches?
You shall replace traditional switches with data center switches in the following cases:
- Data center network virtualization
- The great rise in east-west traffic
- Converging LAN and SAN networks
Data center switches are emerging in form of a new class of switches because data center networking infrastructures turn out to be more disaggregated. The best data center switches in 2023 are famous for supporting high-bandwidth interconnections and providing improved uptime for critical applications. They can also route internal traffic for more efficient utilization of network resources.
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