Network switch management

A switch is a key building block in a network that connects multiple devices, such as computers, wireless access points, printers, and servers. A switch enables connected devices to share information and talk to each other.

Switches manage the flow of data across a network by transmitting a received network packet only to the one or more devices for which the packet is intended. Each networked device connected to a switch can be identified by its network address, allowing the switch to direct the flow of traffic, maximizing the security and efficiency of the network.

Unmanaged switches

Unmanaged network switches are designed so that you can simply plug them in and they work—no configuration required. Unmanaged switches are typically for basic connectivity.

Managed switches

Because managed switches can be configured to best fit your network, they are able to offer greater security, more features, and better flexibility. With this kind of control, you can better protect your network and improve the quality of service for those accessing your network.

Switch management tool

Any issue with your switches affects a significant proportion of your local area network (LAN) users. Implementing a proactive switch management approach will help you discover issues early and prevent potential problems. This helps with maintaining the optimal performance of the network.

In a hierarchical inter-networking environment, a network switch management is a priority. The core switch is the high-capacity physical backbone of a network. It handles routing and forwarding, and serves as the point of contact for a wide area network (WAN) or the internet.

The distribution switch links the core switch with the access switches. It acts as a subgroup for the core switches and is used for setting up distribution points in a large organization.

Access switches connect the majority of devices to the network with high-density ports. With a switch monitoring solution, you can discover all the switches in a network by discovering the core switch. You can also automatically discover and classify the rest of the interfaces mapped to the core switch.

Switch management software: OpManager

OpManager's switch monitoring feature automatically discovers switches in your network, categorizes them as switches, and keeps an inventory of all the switches discovered.

Using OpManager, network admins gain visibility into the status and availability of switch ports. OpManager actively monitors switch ports and quickly notifies operators whenever a switch port or the switch goes down.

Network admins can set up OpManager to monitor only critical ports, an industry best practice for switch management that prevents unnecessary alarms from being generated. OpManager shows which ports are blocked and which ones are forwarding by displaying their statuses on a spanning tree.

Switch availability monitoring

Switch availability monitoring is the process of continuously monitoring the availability of every switch in the network environment. OpManager uses SNMP Ping to monitor the availability of switches. OpManager sends a ping to the monitored switch every two minutes. If there is no response after two consecutive pings, then OpManager will consider the switch unavailable. The number of pings and their time interval can be configured based on your business' specific needs.

With OpManager, you can create business views (maps) to graphically visualize your entire LAN. OpManager can even automatically send alerts when a link goes down.

OpManager's reporting function provides you with a detailed availability report of your switches. You can use these reports to ensure that your service-level agreements (SLAs) are being met.

OpManager's reporting function provides you with a detailed availability report of your switches. You can use these reports to ensure that your service-level agreements (SLAs) are being met.

Switch Port Management Software - ManageEngine OpManager

Port-wise traffic monitoring

OpManager helps you monitor and troubleshoot switch ports for traffic, utilization, errors, and SLA verification. By presenting accurate information on port traffic and utilization, OpManager helps you identify total IN/OUT traffic using SNMP. OpManager also helps you:.

  • Monitor port utilization and traffic with threshold alerts.
  • Detect potential broadcast storms, and proactively prevent them from occurring in the future.
  • Identify over and underutilized ports.
  • Get alerts when ports start discarding packets

OpManager: Switch port management software

OpManager provides complete visibility on switch ports using its Switch Port Mapper add-on. OpManager's Switch Port Mapper tool helps network administrators identify the list of devices connected to each port of the managed switch. This eliminates the need to manually trace network cables.

Switch Port Mapper

Switch Port Mapper is a useful tool embedded in OpManager. It helps you to quickly discover the list of devices connected to switch ports.

Switch Port Mapper discovers the devices plugged in to each port of a specified switch. The tool is useful for system and network engineers to gain visibility into the IP, MAC, status, and availability of ports.

Since this discovery pulls real-time information, you can also view the operational status and port speed of each port. OpManager's network switch port management capabilities mainly consist of features such as:

  • Real-time mapping of devices plugged in to each switch port to gain visibility on:
    1. The IP/ MAC address details of the connected devices (workstations, IP phone, etc.)
    2. Virtual LANs (VLANs), port statuses (administrative and operational status and port speed), and switch port availability.
  • Historic switch port mapping to gain information on a particular switch port. This tool helps admins discover which devices are connected to a particular switch at a specified period of time.
  • Superior search options that let you find devices by searching for MAC, IP address, DNS name, or location of devices.
  • Switch grouping for easy identification and control: Switch Port Mapper lets you create different groups of switches based on the location or the building they're located in. Switches can be seamlessly moved within groups. Switches in different groups can be scheduled to scan connected devices at different times.
  • Notifications on switch port status changes (Transient/Available/Used) and notifications when a device connected to a port leaves and another takes its place.

STP Tool

Spanning tree protocol details for each port can be viewed using the STP Tool. This displays valuable information about the state of each port in a spanning tree, such as which ports are blocked and which ports are forwarding.

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