Network Switch Speed: 1Gbe to 100Gbe
Choosing the correct networking switch is essential for the productivity of your business and team, as well as the connected devices. Whilst switches don't create speed, they are essential for accessing the high data transfer rates of any devices connected within your network. Without a high-speed port, your switch can't transfer data at the bandwidth at which your devices may be capable, resulting in a bottleneck and delay.
What is a Gigabit Switch?
Gigabit switches allow for fast and efficient data transfer rates between connected devices. They intelligently adjust the transfer rate they provide depending on the speed of the connected devices. Therefore, if you connect a device that allows a data transfer rate of up to 1000Mbps, the switch will adjust to meet this demand. Gigabit switches come in a range of speeds; as the speed increases, the data transfer rate that the switch can support also grows. It is important to consider this speed, as well as the requirements of your business and users when deciding which switch you need.
Bandwidth vs Speed
One thing to bear in mind when considering how fast your network switch will be is the difference between bandwidth and speed. Bandwidth, measure in megabits per second (Mbps) refers to how much data can be transferred at any one time. In comparison, speed is how quickly this data is transferred.
What can a 1Gbe Switch support?
A 1GbE switch is the entry-level Gigabit switch on the market. For many small businesses, a 1GbE switch is sufficient when transferring data. These devices support a bandwidth of up to 1000Mbps which is a drastic improvement on the 100Mbps of Fast Ethernet; a gigabit ethernet switch is capable of transferring ten times more data per second than Fast Ethernet switches.
Whilst gigabit switches do cost more (however this price has dropped significantly) than a 10/100Mbps switch, they support a significantly faster data transfer rate and so become a necessity for many businesses.
What is a 10GbE Switch?
10GbE switches provide enhanced data transfer rates to your network. With the capabilities to support a bandwidth of up to 10000Mbps, these devices offer exceptional speed to support a business's networking needs. 10GbE offers simple virtualization, decreasing the need for on-site servers and storage, therefore reducing the space and infrastructure needed for your IT equipment. This allows your business to function via virtualized network apps and distributed Storage Area Networks (SAN).
10GbE switches, on the other hand, can be expensive as your accompanying network infrastructure must be able to match the data transfer rate of the switch in order to make use of the higher speeds it can provide. For a 10GbE switch, a 10Gb capable network gateway, clients, and cables are needed to offer the data transfer rates that the switch is capable of supporting. With this in mind, it is worth considering if this is a necessity for your business.
This having been said, 10GbE switches help businesses adapt to the growing demand for data; with downloads, streaming, images, and videos becoming more and more data-heavy, a faster network switch is required to meet the requirement for many growing businesses. It is worth considering how many devices will be connected to your network, as well as how many users will interact with the system, when deciding if a 10GbE switch is necessary for your business.
You should also take into consideration the software used by your company; does your team need access to data-heavy applications or programs? Is frequent uploading and downloading a necessity for your business? If the answer is yes, it is worth considering investing in a 10GbE switch, as well as the accompanying infrastructure.
When do I need a 100GbE Switch?
100GbE switches are designed for enterprise-grade IT networks. Offering a bandwidth of up to 100000Mbps, 100GbE switches are capable of supporting the fastest data transfer rate currently on the market. The purchasing of these switches, as well as the infrastructure required to utilize this equipment, is expensive, however many large companies depend on the speed provided for the effective running of their offices, or the company as a whole.
These switches are used for a variety of uses, all of which require heavy-duty data transfer. 100GbE switches are used for switching, routing, and aggregation in data centers, high-performance computing, as well as internet exchange points and service provider peering ports.
100GbE switches are designed for networks that require an incredibly fast data transfer rate to avoid bottlenecks. They are well suited to large, enterprise-level networking solutions that support many devices and users, as well as data-heavy applications.
We have designed a networking switch selector to help you identify the best switch for your business needs. Whether you are looking for a 1, 10 or 100GbE networking solution, this tool makes identifying your ideal device easy by allowing you to set your individual requirements. For more information on network switches, read our "What is a Network Switch?" blog. Our experienced team are on hand to offer advice, recommendations and technical support on all of the equipment that we stock. Get in touch and let us know how we can help you.