How to Pick the Perfect Industrial Ethernet Switch
Industrial Ethernet technology is gaining an increasingly prominent place in networking all over the world. With this increase comes the addition of Industrial Ethernet Switches to your network applications. Choosing the right one is not always easy, but by keeping the following questions in mind when researching the right Industrial Ethernet switch for your application, we don’t think you’ll have any problems picking the perfect switch for your needs.
- What is the application environment like?
If it is a harsh environment, you might want to consider a temperature hardened industrial Ethernet switch
- How many copper ports are required?
- How many fiber ports are required?
- Will you need to expand your application in the future?
Make sure that you include enough ports from the previous two questions for this expansion. There is nothing worse than having to buy a whole new switch when your application expands.
- What speed do you need for both the copper and fiber ports?
Bear in mind, that while you might only have 10/100 devices plugging into the switch, you might need a 1000 Mbps copper or fiber backbone to carry all the traffic from switch to switch.
- If you need fiber ports:
- What type of fiber do you have installed?
Keep in mind that there are limitations to multi-mode fiber. The max distance for 100 Mbps is 2 km and the max distance for 1000 Mbps is 550 m.
- Determine the speed of your fiber.
You can’t negotiate speed like you can on copper, so you need to match the speed of the industrial Ethernet switch on both ends.
- If you have single mode fiber, determine the distance needed for your application.
The standard distance for 100 Mbps is 30 km and for 1000 Mbps is 10 km. However, options out to 120km are available.
- What power do you have available?
Most non-PoE switches have a wide ranging 12VDC to 48VDC redundant power input. Most PoE switches require 48VDC, but there are some that can work as low as 12VDCand still inject 48VDC (switches like these are indicated by a -24 at the end of the model name).
- Do you need management?
- Do you need power over Ethernet (PoE)?
- What type of mounting do you need?