Infrastructural Devices – Active
When CnetLabs assists customers decide what type of switch/router they should consider, we weigh a variety of factors. From routing requirements and port speeds to manufacturer support. Careful planning before making a switch/router purchase will ensure a cost effective initial purchase . Further, the ability to expand the hardware’s capabilities as requirements change and grow is necessary. Decision points to consider are:
Routing requirements are a good place to start. Since this usually dictate the series or line of hardware to be explored thus affecting price dramatically.
Port Speeds and Types
When specifying needs with more detail primary ports, uplinks and POE become critical. In addition, when exploring POE, it’s important to use the manufacturer’s POE planning guide for the hardware models under consideration. Many switches will not support full POE/POE+ on all ports. For areas with high-power needs for PTZ cameras or wireless APs, we evaluate the maximum power draw per device and the estimated number of devices.
Environmental and Physical
Environmental and physical specifications may affect selection of a particular switch/router model. In areas with unique environmental needs, and in tight spaces or older racks, the newer deep switch models may be precluded.
Support & Support
This cannot be stressed too much. We help clients ponder support levels for each device. Maintenance agreements which prepare and anticipate the worst possible scenario, without overkill. Consider the switch’s position in the network, and keep in mind that more critical systems will warrant more extensive support. Manufacturers such as Cisco are offering more advanced support options, including lifetime support and software updates.