Different Types of Network Switches

In this era of computer based communication systems, networking via physical media and wireless has become an inevitable affair. A network switch is an integral part of a computer communication network. It is a class of computer networking devices that is used to link network devices or network segments to make communication possible. The term is commonly used for a multiple port network bridge that is used to process and route data within the second layer of the popular OSI model known as the data link layer. A special class of network switches known as multi layer switches is used for processing data at the network layer level.

Different computer networks need to be managed by the use of different network switches. In fact, this type of a switch exists for different types of networks like, Asynchronous Transfer Mode, Fiber Channel, Ethernet, InfiniBand, and others. The four main types of network switches are classified as managed switches, smart switches, unmanaged switches and enterprise managed switches. All of these are available for sale on online shopping portals and are delivered right at the customer’s doorstep. The two leading manufacturers of these networking devices are D Link and Netgear. They are the best in the market and are renowned for the quality and reliability of their products.

Popular D-Link network switches include models like the D-Link DES-1008A 8-Port 10/100M Unmanaged Standalone Switch, Netgear Prosafe 16-Port 10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet Switch JFS516GE, D-Link DES-1016A 16-Port 10/100M Unmanaged Standalone Switch and many others. Catering to mass orders from businesses spanning over various domains, the online portals offer excellent deals for the purchase of these switches. There is also an option of free shipping of the ordered goods to any place within India.

Every specific type of network switch has its own set of strengths and weaknesses which make it suitable for a particular networking purpose or for a specific network layer. The D-Link DES-1008A 8-Port 10/100M Unmanaged Standalone Switch is a popular choice in the market and has the following features:

• It is a fast Ethernet switch solution for SOHO/home and is very inexpensive too.
• It has 8 extremely fast Ethernet ports which are capable of speeds as high as 10/100 Mbps.
• All the ports have Auto MDI/MDIX crossovers.
• The switching scheme involved is store and forward.
• The communication for Ethernet or Fast Ethernet speeds is full or half duplex.
• The flow control is based on IEEE 802.3x standard.
• It is RoHS compliant.
• It can be plugged and played.
• The product comes with a three year guarantee.

These days it is also possible to have a network that is managed by multiple switches. Such switching circuits are constructed by the combination of various types of network switches each of which operate at different speeds over the same network. The selection of a network switch is extremely crucial for the proper and optimum performance of a network. The online shopping site helps customers to select the right switch and also provides expert advice for the same. This makes their purchase a smooth task.

Guide To Network Marketing

Effective network marketing is a must for success in virtually all industries requiring an extensive network of professional and personal contacts. But building your own extensive network of contacts can be such a challenge especially in an ultra-competitive industry or in a situation where ultra-successful individuals are involved. Fortunately, becoming a great networker is possible! Just keep in mind these steps and you are well on your way to becoming a whiz at network and business marketing.

Have Goals, Have Fun

Before going to an appointment or attending a networking event, you must have a goal in mind. You will then be able to keep your interactions meaningful and fruitful despite the time constraints. Your goal can be any one of the following:

• Introduction – You want to be introduced to a certain person, which will open the doors for further network marketing opportunities in the future.

• Advice – You want to learn from the individual on general or specific matters, which can be of a personal or professional nature.

• Offer of skills – You want to offer your products and services including your skills to the individual.

Keep in mind that most individuals on your networking list lead busy lives so being aware of your networking goals can facilitate your interactions. You can go directly to the point after making a few social pleasantries. But don’t let your agenda come in the way of having fun in the company of others especially as nobody likes a bore, a pushover, and a jackass. Keep in mind that your potential clients or contacts are individuals first and businessmen, celebrities, or politicians second; earn their trust as individuals first and you will have an easier time persuading them to take the desired action.

Stick to Quality, Stick to a Schedule

Many naïve networkers consider network marketing and business marketing as an activity where quantity matters more than quality. This is not so because you will be wasting your time, effort and money on contacts that are least likely to pan out, so to speak, instead of focusing on contacts that are most likely to bring in business. The bottom line: Always choose quality over quantity in choosing your possible contacts. You should always do your research on the individual before approaching him/her so that you will know what makes him/her tick; in so doing, you are more likely to persuade him/her to take the desired action.

But quantity in quality prospects also matter. You should then stick to a schedule for your networking activities. Keep in mind that effective network marketing requires sustained efforts instead of just sporadic efforts to establish, maintain, and expand your network of contacts. Tip: Set certain hours of the day for networking activities, which can be face-to-face interactions, online chats, and phone calls as well as setting up appointments, asking for references, and updating your contact lists. Set a goal for attendance in networking events, say, three per month.

Honor Your Word, Stop Making Excuses

Being a trustworthy networker is a must in the business for obvious reasons. Stick to your word by delivering on your promised goods and services at the right time, in the right manner and to the right individuals. You are more likely to establish a solid network when you are perceived as reliable, trustworthy and honest. But human as you are, you will make mistakes along the way. In these cases, your best course of action is to take full responsibility. You have to stop making excuses for yourself and blaming others for the mistakes. You should instead make amends by delivering on the promised products and services the second time around.

Be Interesting, Be Interested

Your potential contacts will want to listen to your proposition when you have an interesting personality. You have no excuse in this aspect because being an interesting person can be learned – read books, keep abreast of current events, and loosen up, among others. But just as you have an interesting personality, you must also be interested in others. The best professionals in network marketing and business marketing are those who are willing to shut up and listen! You must show genuine interest in your prospects because it is their opinion that matters to your business, not the other way around.

Help Others, Let Them Help You

To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, it’s not what your network can do for you but what you can do for the people in your network. Help your contacts achieve their goals so that you can also achieve yours. You and your contacts should ideally have a symbiotic relationship where each one benefits from the presence of the other.

And in the age of social media, you are well-advised to tap into social networking and social media sites to expand your network. Let others help you in your network marketing by being part of your online circle

Should I Choose CCNA or Network+ Certification?

Many network specialists are faced with the dilemma as to which industry certification to take, especially in the very beginning of their career. The choice usually boils down to the 2 leading certifications: Cisco’s CCNA Routing and Switching and CompTIA’s Network+.

Let’s take a closer look at them to answer the question: CCNA or Network+? Is it worth having both? If yes, then why and in which order? But first, what’s the difference between the two?

Scope
CompTIA Network+ Certification: demonstrates one’s knowledge of networking features and functions, including network technologies, installation and configuration, media and topologies, management, and security.

Cisco’s CCNA Routing and Switching Certification: validates the candidate’s ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks.

Not to jump to any conclusions just yet, but the descriptions suggest Network+ being a fundamental certification, with CCNA R&S validating more advanced knowledge and proven hands-on experience.

Vendor Relationship
The biggest difference between these certifications is the fact that Network+ has been developed as a vendor neutral certification. It provides candidates with knowledge and understanding of networking in general, and you can apply this knowledge to most networks.

CCNA, on the other hand, was specifically designed for Cisco’s networking technology and products. Although the program does cover other networking topics too, the difference and the focus are obvious.

Exam Difficulty
Many network specialists tend to choose Network+ certification because it’s said to be easier to pass. In truth, it does provide more basic knowledge and understanding of concepts compared to CCNA. Similarly, those who have passed Network+ with flying colors may be seriously disappointed if they expect the same level of difficulty from CCNA.

Let’s face it: CCNA isn’t a joke. It is hard. This is why it is so valued by employers. Even though it is an ‘entry level’ test, you should have 1-3 years of networking experience to attempt it. CCNA requires lots of studying, as well as practical experience (and you should really get your hands on some Cisco routers and switchers, even if those low end ones – to have some experience with their technology. It’s not something to get away with looking up a few articles online). In contrast, many users share their experience of passing Network+ after ‘reading a book or two’.

Yet, don’t be fooled into thinking that Network+ is a no-brainer, because it isn’t. CompTIA recommend having an A+ certification and nine months networking experience before trying to pass Network+ certification. But it’s always good to know that at least somebody didn’t have much trouble with it, right?

Keeping Your Experience in Mind
If you don’t have much networking experience and want an entry level yet professionally recognized certification, Network+ is a smart way to go. It is a very well-organized and structured program that aims to fill the knowledge gaps most people have in the beginning of their networking career.

Network+ teaches you what networking technology is. It may be a good foundation for Cisco’s CCNA (or Microsoft, or other vendor specific certifications for that matter), which teaches you to configure and troubleshoot this technology. So, if you are a beginner, don’t look in the CCNA direction for now. Your time will come.

For those who have a few years’ networking experience and understanding, CCNA may be a very logical and career boosting way to go. It is a very in depth study of networking as a whole, including routing, protocols, network design and more. Even companies that don’t use Cisco equipment value the CCNA for the depth and complexity of the certification. It is nearly impossible to achieve a CCNA without hands on lab experience, and this practical experience, combined with advanced knowledge, is extremely valuable.

Industry Penetration
As the Network+ is vendor-neutral, it is recognized by almost all companies. Many of them, including Dell, HP, Ricoh, Sharp and Xerox require it.

Highly valuable as they are, Cisco’s certifications occasionally cause some frustration. ‘What if I invest in my certification, and my next employer does not use Cisco technology?’ some candidates think. While this is a valid point for any vendor-based approach, Cisco have made a name for themselves – not only in terms of their technology, but with regards to the quality and level of their certifications, too. Last but not least, with well over 50% of market penetration of Cisco technologies, chances are that your next employer will use it.

Conclusion
Whichever certification you opt for, you need to start with evaluating your career goals, as well as the current level of experience and knowledge. Even those who have years of experience under their belt should remember to clear their schedule for lots of studying time, since the exams are tough. Yet, hard as it all may be, your effort will definitely pay off, whether you choose the foundational Network+, or CCNA certification as a more advanced option.