Choosing the best campus switches for your network environment

Last updated:May 2017

Editor's note

Campus switches play a critical role in today's networked environments, providing end-to-end connectivity within the organization. But each network differs in terms of number of users, their locations and the types of applications they use. As a result, enterprises have to carefully determine the types and quantities of campus switches required to support their particular network designs.

There are many considerations for choosing campus LAN switches. Besides understanding the type of switch needed -- whether access, distribution or core -- it's imperative to determine network requirements, such as port speeds, and which port connection types will be most useful and cost-effective. Other criteria to consider include how much throughput and redundancy the network will likely need, whether these campus switches will be subjected to harsh conditions, if the organization requires advanced security and troubleshooting features, and expectations for vendor support.

With so many different campus switches to choose from and each addressing different parts of the networking puzzle, sorting through the various switches can be a massive task. This guide will help simplify the process by examining some common use cases for campus LAN switches, as well as explaining which switch types make the most sense based on network size and location.

To help narrow down the list of vendors and switch models, we'll examine and compare the features and capabilities of switches from eight leading campus LAN switch vendors. These vendors were selected by TechTarget editors after extensive research into the top market-share holders and seeing which firms best fit the presented buying criteria. We also provide in-depth descriptions of each vendor's products.

1Considerations for deploying campus switches

Do you need connectivity to a small or remote environment? When should you consider distribution switches? How much latency and throughput do your users demand? By examining the different scenarios provided here, you can determine whether or not you need campus switches, and if so, which types would work best for your network environment.

2What you need to know before evaluating campus switches

Numerous decisions need to be made prior to selecting a specific vendor and campus LAN switch model. Knowing which features and capabilities you should consider will help simplify the process.

3Examining what the leading campus LAN switch vendors offer

The campus LAN switch market offers a diverse range of vendors and platforms for buyers to consider. Read this in-depth comparison to learn what each leading campus LAN vendor offers.

4What the leading campus LAN switch vendors offer

Learn what features and functions the leading campus LAN switches offer.