Understanding How To Choose The Right Network Switch & How It Affects Industrial Network Infrastructure

California, U.S.A., November 2019 – Ethernet Direct Corporation, a professional and primary provider of industrial networking and communication solutions shares insights on how to choose the right network switch for your industrial network infrastructure.

With the current cost of manufacturing and infrastructure, many companies are looking for a viable means of being able to supply their customer’s needs within a reasonable price structure. Most people compare switches by looking at the number of ports and marketing materials. However, what you do not see is equally important to understand the differences. There is a saying that “You get what you pay for” which is often true. The requirements of having advanced switching technologies and advanced security features would prevent risk in your network because network downtime costs more than network uptime.

Here are some points to consider:-

Physically Look the Same but Internally it is DIFFERENT

Throughput and Backplane Capacity

The backplane capacity would indicate how much bandwidth is available for data between the modules. This is one important aspect affecting the performance of the device. Throughput is described in terms of packets per second. It is the maximum rate at which the device can process the packets.

Proper CPU performance and Memory size

Costs can also be reduced by using less memory or a less powerful CPU in the switch.

CPU and memory limitations are why some switches cannot have lesser management features.

When use in high traffic or real time applications, it will cause the switch to be overloaded and problems may occur at these times. Processors may also reset in order to prevent a full lock-up and thus, switches may have intermittent drop-outs. Memory size affects the number of MAC addresses that a switch can remember. Not having enough memory can cause issues with the MAC and aging tables, and then cause issues. Some vendors, in an attempt to overcome small memory sizes, use “hashing algorithms”, assuming the MAC address would be spread out and can truncate or compress these numbers. This however has caused problems in industrial networks.

Environmentally Tough

The need for Industrial Switches is mostly defined by the environment they will be subjected to. The harsh environment with vibration, heat, humidity, dirt, vibration and electrical noise degrading the life of components is a major cause of these early failures. Temperature range is one of the important areas but not the only one. Industrial switches should be industrial and for this reason plastic cases that can break off of the DIN rail when cables are attached should be questionable. IP enclosure protection is also a concern to protect the switches against water drops, dust and other particles.

Redundant power inputs with wide voltage tolerance are also an important feature to consider. Power is one of the areas that most frequently will have an outage or fluctuation. Redundant power input design guarantees high availability where downtimes would have a highly detrimental effect. If one of the power supply units develops an internal fault or if the primary power supply fails, the second unit automatically takes over and supplies the load. A contact closure for a loss of signal or power is also very important when choosing industrial switch.

Software Management Features Affects Reliability

Advanced Software Features Offer Better Troubleshooting, Easy Configuration & Security

With the popularity of internet and LAN, every organization can increase the security posture of their network infrastructure by implementing a secured Layer 2 part of the network management which is sometimes overlooked or not fully executed. This can seriously affect the reliability of the network.

Advanced Cyber Security Features

Ethernet Direct switches are design using the most advanced technologies to ensure users with 100% cyber security.

User Privilege Levels Security

The ability to assign different user account with different authorization to prevent unauthorized account or person to interfere with an organization’s network security.

Switch Port Security

The simplest form of switch security is using port level security. When using port level security, the number of MAC addresses of the connected devices is controlled.

IP Source Guard

IP Source Guard permits IP traffic from certain IP addresses, dropping the rest of IP traffic in order to prevent a form of Layer 2 attack known as IP spoofing attack.

Address Resolution Protocol Inspection

A security feature that protects the ARP which is vulnerable to an attack like ARP poisoning.

Port & MAC Based Authentication (IEEE 802.1X)

A standard for port-based Network Access Control to provide an authentication mechanism to devices wishing to attach to a LAN or WLAN.


As with TACACS+, it follows a client/server model where the client initiates the requests to the server. RADIUS is the protocol of choice for network access AAA.

Access Control Lists (ACL)

ACL specifies which users or system processes are granted access to objects, as well as what operations are allowed on given objects. Each entry in a typical ACL specifies a subject and an operation.


HTTPS used to indicate a secure HTTP connection. SSL is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server & browser. SSH is designed for securing remote access & communications over an unsecured network by using login and password authentication.

Ring Redundancy & Trunk Redundancy

Imagine the enormous down-time costs in an industrial application due to a faulty network…...

Ethernet Direct switches support IEEE 802.1D STP , IEEE 802.1W RTSP, IEEE 802.1S MSTP, IEC 62439-2 MRP and ITU-T G.8032 Ethernet Ring Protection Switching.

Ethernet Direct proprietary rings Direct-Ring™ , Direct-Chain™ and Join-Ring™ repair the network in less than 10 milliseconds while others recovers in 300 milliseconds. The relay output feature quickly identifies the broken link.

IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol

IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol enables highly precise time synchronization over an Ethernet network over a packet-based network such as Ethernet. This protocol provides a very precise mechanism to correct for delays introduced in the network path from the master clock to the slave clocks. Mission critical applications need PTP to achieve accuracy designed to synchronize distributed and large systems over networks.

Support by the vendor

Support is a final area that may not be directly associated with the price of the switch but, clearly if you are searching for help, it can cost you time and, time is money. Be sure that if you have a question you can get a quick response from someone knowledgeable. There is no worse situation than to be passed around an organization and then finally being told the person who can help is out of the office, and can only return your call tomorrow. The time to respond to a problem if the individual is not resident on the plant floor will mean additional down time. During this time, the process or machinery may also be down awaiting resolution or replacement.

If you follow the guidelines above and become more knowledgeable about the subtle differences, you will become a more informed consumer.

Ethernet Direct believes that you do not have to pay a lot for quality Industrial switches.

To learn more about our Industrial network solutions, please e-mail sales@ethernetdirect-tw.com