UNVEILING THE DEPTH OF INDUSTRIAL NETWORK SWITCH LAYERS
Network switches play a vital role in various layers of the OSI model, catering to diverse functionalities suitable for different industrial applications. In this article, we’ll delve into these layers, exploring their associated functionalities and guiding you to select the optimal network switch for your specific needs.
Teltonika Networks has recently announced a substantial reduction, averaging 30%, in the prices of its network switches starting January 2024. This strategic move underscores our commitment to expanding significantly in the global industrial network switch market.
This initiative involves multiple layers, aligning seamlessly with the layered approach of network switches. A switch typically operates in one of the seven layers of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model, each representing specific functionality within that layer.
However, experienced network engineers understand that categorization is not always straightforward. Switches commonly operate across five out of the seven layers, leaving Layers 5 and 6 untouched, with an additional concealed layer in between.
Indeed, switch layers resemble the layers of an onion, potentially causing confusion. To navigate this complexity, let’s explore these layers and their functionalities to guide your decision-making process.
Please note that as we ascend the layers, factors such as device sophistication, price, and performance scale accordingly. Higher-level switches offer enhanced security and intelligence but come with increased costs and complexity.
LAYER 1: PHYSICAL At the foundational level, Layer 1 comprises basic network switches, also known as unmanaged switches. These switches handle data transfer but lack traffic management capabilities. Layer 1 switches are suitable when a hub-like function without filtering or processing is sufficient.
The simplicity of Layer 1 switches makes them affordable and easy to deploy, ensuring data transmission at wire speed.
LAYER 2: DATA LINK Layer 2 switches, or managed switches, are the most common. They identify end devices, use Ethernet frames and MAC addresses for data processing, and offer VLAN tagging, traffic prioritization, and MAC address filtering. Each port on a Layer 2 switch is a separate collision domain, reducing the risk of network traffic collisions.
Layer 2 switches are ideal for quick and straightforward network data management.
LAYER 3: NETWORK Layer 3 managed switches combine switching and routing capabilities, supporting IP routing between configured VLANs and dynamic routing protocols. They enhance network segmentation, traffic management, and provide high throughput, low latency, and robust security features.
If your network switch needs basic routing capabilities beyond static routing, Layer 3 is the choice.
LAYER 4: TRANSPORT Layer 4 switches, also known as multi-layer switches, offer advanced network management. They identify application protocols, determine server routing based on loads, and manage TCP/UDP sessions. Layer 4 switches strike a balance between performance and functionality.
Choose Layer 4 switches when you require more control over network traffic than Layer 3 switches can provide.
LAYER 7: APPLICATION Layer 7 switches provide faster forwarding and routing decisions based on granular information, intelligently inspecting data within each packet. They recognize application-level transactions and use information like URLs, cookies, and HTTP headers for forwarding decisions.
Layer 7 switches are crucial in complex environments such as data centres, cloud services, and telecom services.
TELTONIKA NETWORKS INDUSTRIAL SWITCHES The TSW series of Teltonika Networks industrial switches presently operate on two layers. Our eight unmanaged switches function at Layer 2, providing simple data transference. While different products within this series offer varying values, such as port types and Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality, they are collectively suitable for straightforward networking solutions.
Additionally, we offer two managed switches operating at Layer 2, equipped with extended Layer 3 features. These switches support static routing, port control capabilities, advanced VLAN features, and key protocols like Profinet, SNMP, LLDP, and Ethernet/IP. Powered by WitchOS, our custom operating system for managed switches, these devices open doors to enhanced networking capabilities.
WITCHOS: ENHANCING NETWORK VALUE WitchOS, an operating system developed specifically for Teltonika Networks’ managed switches, introduces valuable features for networking solutions. While currently exclusive to Layer 2 switches, WitchOS promises to bring magic to higher layers in the future.
Benefits of WitchOS include support for Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) for seamless integration of end devices and quick issue resolution. Additionally, the inclusion of Profinet supports high-speed, deterministic data exchange crucial for industrial operations.
WitchOS also incorporates features from RutOS, Teltonika Networks’ router and gateway operating system, relevant to network switch use. This includes a user-friendly interface and specialized pages for efficient network control, ensuring you stay informed about your network’s status, performance, and operations.
SELECTING THE RIGHT LAYER FOR YOUR SOLUTION Choosing the appropriate switch layer for your networking solution requires consideration of network size, complexity, security, and routing needs. If uncertain, our sales representatives are ready to assist you. Click the button below to initiate a conversation and find the perfect Teltonika Networks industrial switch for your requirements.