2 - Unmanaged Ethernet Switches
Unmanaged switches are basic plug-and-play switches with no remote configuration, management, or monitoring options, although many can be locally monitored and configured via LED indicators and DIP switches. These inexpensive switches are typically used
in small networks or to add temporary workgroups to larger networks.
Unmanaged switches are plug and play devices without the need of a complex setup. These switches allow Ethernet devices to communicate with one another (such as a PC or
network printer) by providing a connection to the network and passing on information to where it needs to go. They come with a fixed configuration and do not allow any changes to this configuration, therefore, there is no need for prioritising the
packets. They can be desktop or rack mounted and are a less expensive option for connectivity switching needs.
One major setback within an industrial setting is that they don’t support IGMP and treat multicast traffic in the same
fashion as broadcast traffic, which can overwhelm a network when uncontrolled and lead to broadcast storms. This feature is particularly important on industrial networks because the protocol Ethernet/IP relies heavily on multicast traffic.
When and where to use?
Unmanaged switches are mostly used to connect edge devices on network spurs, or on a small stand-alone network with only a few components. It’s suitable for any business network that wants to simplify the installation of wireless access points and
IP-based surveillance cameras. They are also applicable for home use, SOHO, small businesses or to add temporary workgroups to larger networks.
Is it possible to configure a managed switch as unmanaged?
It is possible to run a managed switch and use it out of the box just like an unmanaged switch. By operating the managed switch in "Open Mode", having no configuration set up, means the device will be set up to the default VLAN where all ports are members
of the default VLAN. The conveniences of purchasing a managed switch is that if you later desire to change the config you can still do and start vlanning the section of your network you’d wish for your specific networking needs.
Potential Applications for Unmanaged Ethernet Switches
Maritime - Automation and monitoring
Allow for an Ethernet environment with fibre which offers reliable remote monitoring functionality and reduces the number of service calls needed.
Having remote access, control, and monitoring from anywhere, anytime.
Energy - Automation and monitoring
Fulfil the long-haul data transmission to large scale factories, making it easier to configure and support high-speed data transfer between machines or to the central control room.
Providing long distance fibre transmission for wind farm networks spread across vast distances.