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Growing a business, small and medium businesses and enterprises (SMB/e) are continually: * Increasing the number of computers and workstations * Switching to faster servers and workstations * Using new and improved data-hungry applications All burden the LAN backbone, consuming its safeguard margins, and making it vulnerable to changes. Network components become more dependent on each other, and patching in one place may only be a temporary solution. Analyzing the performance of the network core is the first step. In many cases SMB/e customers must improve the speed and bandwidth of their core networks and increase its margins by upgrading the network infrastructure with a better, more efficient and robust backbone. Selecting the architecture for the network core has become more challenging than ever. The changing business environment, application demands, and technology forecasts make it difficult to choose solutions that address current needs whilst providing sufficient capacity and growth for unknown future requirements. There are several ways SMB/e can build a backbone; each has its strengths and weaknesses. * A Central Chassis with high concentration has a central location for easy management and maintenance. This solution, often called a collapsed backbone, has several drawbacks, in addition to being costly. Although a large chassis has many configuration options, it still has limited flexibility compared to a backbone built from diverse components that fit specific user requirements for connectivity, speed, performance and interfaces. Additionally, a central box makes the entire network vulnerable to single point failures: hardware, software, maintenance, and upgrades. Increasing chassis availability, is exponentially more costly compared to availability achieved in a distributed solution. * A Decentralized Backbone with multiple small-to-medium switches/routers that are distributed within the network, and are connected via various speed/distance/interfaces. This approach significantly increases the network's availability and reduces cost. However, it is also more difficult to manage components that are distributed. * A Stack is probably the best of both worlds in terms of cost/availability and manageability. This solution consists of multiple independent components that are connected together in one place to provide performance, redundancy, failover, efficient management, and low cost. At the core level, Ethernet became the most common interconnection between the collapsed backbone router or the distributed backbone and the rest of the network infrastructure. There are many options that can take the load off the router and optimize overall network bandwidth. With Fiber connectivity using Gigabit Ethernet, users can substantially increase bandwidth, distance, and redundancy where needed. Gigabit Ethernet is also available in copper interfaces. These options come with managed and unmanaged switches, and other features. SMB/e customers finally have the ability to combine and aggregate Ethernet ports for higher bandwidth and faster throughput (multi-port trunking) as they need. Nonblocking switching technology delivers wire-speed throughput to all network users, end-to-end. For future expansion, these scalable solutions fit perfectly into next generation technology of higher speed Ethernet and networking. Choosing the right backbone components that fit the user's needs for today and tomorrow while optimizing performance, availability, management, and cost is challenging. This formidable task can be made considerably easier with the right advice from experts like SMC and SMC integrators.

Solutions Description

SOLUTION SMC solutions are optimized for performance, future growth, and cost saving. A range of managed and unmanaged switches designed for SMB/e allows users to tailor the backbone to their actual needs. Supplemented with Broadband routers and wireless solutions, users can fine-tune to build the optimal network needed to support and grow with their business. SMC offers a complete line of EZSwitchTM, TigerSwitchesTM, TigerStackTM III switches, and BarricadeTM Broadband Routers targeted at SMB/e customers. These leading-edge products are designed to address the increasing requirement for: * High-density, non-blocking solutions that support high-speed traffic * Scalability, high availability, and wire-speed performance * Intelligent switching LAN backbone They can be installed in any environment - alone, stacked together, or connected through a high-performance, Gigabit network backbone. Available in managed and unmanaged versions, our switches are powerful enough to run your network's backbone, yet so easy they can be used in place of your desktop hubs. Complementing our switches and routers are our proven EZ Card and EZ Connect Wireless Cards. These adapters deliver same optimal performance, proven reliability, ease of use, and affordability as our switches right down to the desktop. All SMC products offer rapid deployment, true plug-and-play installation, increased speed and productivity around the office, and future-proof performance. Enterprise Backbone, Aggregation and Campus Connectivity Performance is essential for SMB/e customers with network-demanding applications such as Voice over IP (VoIP) and desktop video conferencing. SMC's family of TigerSwitchesTM and TigerStackTM III switches deliver wire-speed, non-blocking performance - including some models that support switched Layer 2 and Layer 3 infrastructures - and advanced features that demanding environments need. Since full bandwidth capability is achieved on each individual port, congestion problems are easily avoided. This leading-edge performance enables SMB/e customers to provide scalable, future-proof bandwidth that supports existing and new applications. Delivering unique port- and protocol-based switching, the ability to trunk ports, and the flexibility to allow for upgrades to even more features as they become available, customers can be confident that our EZSwitches, TigerSwitches, and TigerStack III switches can support existing and future network needs. Campus connectivity is a key requirement for many SMB/e customers who have distance connection requirements - such as schools, university campuses, and between buildings - that require network connectivity. The ability to build a transparent, Ethernet-based LAN infrastructure without complex WAN technologies is essential when considering overall operation and management of the infrastructure. By utilizing a common network transport for end-to-end connectivity, SMB/e customers can consolidate training resources and operational procedures. SMC's EZSwitches are designed to support distance connections, allowing connectivity between buildings within a campus at Gigabit speeds. With increased distance capabilities, a range of various high-speed uplink modules, aggregate bandwidth of 5.8 Gbps and faster, and advanced features that include store-and-forward architecture, Spanning Tree, and filtering and forwarding at full wire speed on all ports, EZSwitches provide an ideal solution for campus deployments. Gigabit Ethernet over Copper (GoC) Adoption The natural progression from 10/100 Ethernet is to Gigabit Ethernet over Copper (GoC). The adoption of GoC will fuel more real-time, bandwidth-intensive applications. Some SMB/e customers, including Entertainment and Medical, use high-definition digital image manipulation based on a data network infrastructure. These applications place increased bandwidth demand on end user network connections, requiring GoC to cope with user demands. Although GoC for end users is not a widely adopted technology, it is important to provide enough network bandwidth between user concentrations and network resources. For that requirement, Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) is the ideal technology. Taking advantage of fiber optic and Ethernet technologies, GbE becomes a logical extension to the existing investment in Ethernet technologies. SMC's EZSwitches and TigerSwitches deliver industry-leading Gigabit port densities. Coupled with support for jumbo frames, low latency, and the ability to trunk ports make the EZSwitches and TigerSwitches an ideal fit for Gigabit aggregation and core network solutions. Continuing with SMC's commitment to reliability and availability, support for Spanning Tree and Link Aggregation deliver sub-second fault recovery, along with hardware features including redundant, hot-swappable capabilities provide a fault-tolerant platform for GoC adoption.

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