A new industrial network switch from Rockwell Automation is said to close the gap between unmanaged and managed switches. Manufacturers that use unmanaged network switches but struggle with downtime or security concerns now have an alternative to using managed switches.
The Allen-Bradley Stratix 2500 lightly managed switch from Rockwell Automation provides the security, resiliency, segmentation and bandwidth-optimisation benefits of a managed switch without the need for extensive configuration, it is claimed. “Unmanaged switches deliver the network connectivity required for less complex industrial applications, but they can’t provide diagnostics, manage traffic or enhance security,” said Divya Venkataraman, the company’s global product manager. “Manufacturers need a more robust switch when issues like packet storms are bringing down their network, or if they want to protect against growing security threats. This is where a lightly managed option like the Stratix 2500 switch delivers exceptional value,” he added.
When installed straight out of the box, the Stratix 2500 industrial Ethernet switch can prioritise critical industrial network traffic. It also can be configured for application-specific needs. Manufacturers can use this flexibility to futureproof their operations by deploying the switch out of the box today and scaling it up to a lightly managed switch as their needs evolve. As a lightly managed switch, the Stratix 2500 switch exceeds the capabilities of an unmanaged switch by monitoring and optimising traffic flow and providing diagnostic information to help minimise downtime. It also can support up to 64 VLANs for logical segmentation, which helps reduce total cost of ownership. In addition, port security allows users to disable ports or control end-device connectivity based on the media access control address.
The device uses embedded Cisco technology and is part of the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture system. This helps ease network configuration, management and support while optimising integration with the enterprise network. “With embedded Cisco technology, the Stratix 2500 switch delivers the security and monitoring capabilities required by IT professionals while exposing an easy-to-use web interface for operations professionals,” said Samuel Pasquier, director of product management, IoT Platforms, Cisco.