Frequently asked questions about ethernet switches

LANCOM switches are the perfect extension to a professional network architecture for every size. Whether you get unmanaged access switches for simple network scenarios, fully managed access switches for complex scenarios or even aggregation switches for hierarchical switch infrastructures.

Common questions

What is the difference between a fully managed access, an unmanaged access, and an aggregation switch?

The main difference between these types of switches are the range of feature sets and the ways they can be configured. Fully managed access switches can be controlled via a user interface which, for example, allows the management of authentications, port prioritization, VLAN setup, or the monitoring and blocking of ports. These functions are often essential in professional environments as they can increase security levels, contribute to effective networking, and thus save costs. Fully managed access switches offer the additional option of network orchestration by the LANCOM Management Cloud, and CLI-based configuration. LANCOM fully managed access switches also have a serial interface and enable virtual stacking. Unmanaged switches cannot be configured and are simply low-cost distributors in scenarios where the functions mentioned above are not required. On the other hand, LANCOM aggregation switches enable high-performance and hierarchical switch infrastructures to be set up and serve as the distribution basis for networking subordinate access switches.

How are LANCOM switches integrated into the LANCOM Management Cloud?

All fully managed switches as of LCOS SX 3.0 are “cloud-ready” (look here for a detailed firmware overview). Integration into the LANCOM Management Cloud requires the serial number and a PIN, which are delivered with the device. Alternatively, you can generate an activation code via the user interface of the LANCOM Management Cloud. The device is then integrated into the Cloud with the help of LANconfig.

What are the benefits of managing a switch through the LANCOM Management Cloud?

The LANCOM Management Cloud handles the combined management and monitoring of the switches. This guarantees an excellent overview and maximum control over all of the switches on the network. Thanks to SD-LAN, you also benefit from radically simplified management that allows you to roll-out predefined configurations to any number of devices simply by mouse click. Using 1-click port profiles in the monitoring overview, switch ports can be customized and assigned to the networks—including the VLAN settings.

What do we understand by SD-LAN?

SD-LAN from the LANCOM Management Cloud orchestrates the port profiles for each switch and automatically assigns the network configuration, such as the required VLANs. At the click of a mouse, switch configurations that are fully customized for the access points and routers at each site are rolled-out or updated simultaneously.


Why do you need the Layer-3 Lite features of the 31xx series?

Large network structures are often complex and transport large amounts of traffic. The GS-31xx range of switches is ideal for handing the load and for intelligent management of these demanding installations.

These support the underlying layer-3 static routing function, which relocates routing tasks from the router to the switch. Predefined network routes through one or more network segments make data exchange faster, especially where internal data volumes are high, and they reduce the load on the router. Router capacities are freed up to handle the external data traffic. This makes the entire network more efficient.

Furthermore, the fully managed switches of the 315xx series are equipped with a DHCP server. The switch is able to independently and automatically assign IP addresses to clients. The LANCOM GS-31xx series supports this basic layer-3 function and handles the IP management of the network connected to it.

How do LANCOM switches contribute to virtual networking?

VLAN-capable LANCOM switches can be integrated into LANCOM Advanced Routing and Forwarding. This function creates an infrastructure of different independent subnets (VLANs) which are only accessible to authorized users. With a single infrastructure, different network participants (employees, customers) have access to separate subnets, which prevents them from accessing information on the other networks. These switches provide a clean-cut separation of Wi-Fi subnets (VLAN) for forwarding into the wireline network. Because switches can recognize VLANs, they form the link between wireless LANs and wireline networks and serve as a basis for professional network virtualization. Professional networking has numerous other benefits: Shared infrastructure helps to improve efficiency when using existing hardware, so saving considerable costs by avoiding new purchases.

How long does the manufacturer warranty on the devices last?

Every day, our customers rely on products manufactured in Germany to the highest standards of quality. These quality standards also include fast support, just in case things should go wrong. For this reason the unmanaged and websmart switches come with a 2-year warranty. LANCOM fully managed switches come with an optional 5-year warranty on all components. You can also further secure your network by purchasing a Warranty Advanced Option, which guarantees an advance replacement by the next business day over the entire 5-year warranty period.


Are the switches fit for the future?

Thanks to dual-stack implementation, the switches operate in pure IPv4, pure IPv6, or mixed networks. This means that it can be managed via both IP address standards, which makes it fully future-proof. The necessary level of security is provided by the IEEE 802.1X standard, which is used to manage network access rights. It handles the work leading up to the actual authentication at the network. In the simplest case, IEEE 802.11X requires the use of a managed “intelligent” network switch and a RADIUS server for authentication. Furthermore, LANCOM is a German company under German ownership and management, and as such it is not subject to the law or the influence of other states that demand the installation of backdoors or allow the capture of unencrypted data. This allows LANCOM to guarantee you a backdoor-free portfolio of products. LANCOM's own switch operating system LCOS SX comes with regular free updates and new features. It is programmed in the high-security environment at the LANCOM headquarters near Aachen, Germany.

When do I use which model of switch?

The LANCOM line of switches offers future-proof switch solutions at a fair price for sophisticated edge networks in small and medium-sized enterprises. All of our switches are ideal for environments outside of IT rooms due to their extremely quiet fans or fanless design.


Aggregation switches

LANCOM aggregation switches enable high-performance and hierarchical switch infrastructures to be set up and serve as the distribution basis for networking subordinate access switches. Equipped with future-proof fiber-optic and multi-Gigabit Ethernet (mGbE) ports as well as high-throughput uplink and stacking ports, they form the basis for efficient and fail-safe networks. Stacking allows network expansions, redundancy scenarios, and single IP management to be implemented.


Fully managed access switches

Companies that use network virtualization to save costs and optimize their capacities profit from intelligent fully managed switches because they support up to 256 active VLANs and feature port prioritization compliant with IEEE 802.1p or TOS/DiffServ. LANCOM managed switches come with 10 – 52 ports, some featuring PoE and even 10G uplinks. All in all, this series offers a versatile selection for small or home offices and large networks.

It supports SD-LAN for automatic switch configuration, 1-click port profiles, and comprehensive monitoring via the LANCOM Management Cloud for an extremely easy and efficient way of managing your infrastructure.


Unmanaged switches

The LANCOM GS-1108 and GS-1108P are unmanaged switches that offer 8 ports, optionally with or without PoE, as the perfectly coordinated and cost-effective basis for straightforward, smaller network environments such as offices, business premises or home offices.

Do the switches have redundancy mechanisms to increase operational reliability?

Yes. Managed and websmart switches from LANCOM support the rapid spanning tree protocol as defined in the IEEE 802.1w standard. This protocol initially prioritizes the fastest route in the network by deactivating slower redundant paths. If the prioritized route should fail the redundant paths are reactivated, providing data traffic with alternative routes and compensating seamlessly for the failure.


What is “virtual stacking” and what advantages does it offer?

Virtual stacking collects multiple devices under a single IP address, which is then used to manage all of the devices at once. Single-IP management of this type simplifies administration as multiple switches can be configured from a single login. The LANCOM virtual stacking management integrated into our managed switches supports up to 16 switches.


Can PoE devices from other vendors be connected to LANCOM switches?

LANCOM switches support all devices compliant with the IEEE 802.3af or IEEE 802.3at standards.




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Inside Sales International Team

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