Cisco 500 Switch Series – Do you need it?

We are fans of the Cisco Small Business 500 series of switches, but does your small business need that much?

For the Cisco Small Business Series, there are four levels offered: 100, 200, 300 and 500. Between these, there are 52 variations. 24 of these have Fast Ethernet and 28 have Gigabit Ethernet (including four with Gigabit Ethernet with 10 Gigabit Ethernet Uplinks on the 500 series).
So, the choices can be a bit overwhelming.
This is how they break down:

100 Series
– Basic connectivity
– Ready to go out of the box with no configuration options
– Low power usage
– Quiet

200 Series
– Configuration options
– Layer 2 Smart switch, so it offers some features of a fully managed switch, but is still easy to configure
– Security, Qos, VLANs, etc

300 Series
– Fully managed with Layer 3

500 Series (Link takes you to the Maximum Midrange main site.)
-Fully managed and stackable so multiple switches appear as one

A very small office could make do with the 100 series, but anything beyond that and it’ll be time to upgrade and look at something else.

For a small to medium sized office with a few employees, the 200 series should suffice. However, if growth is anticipated, Layer 2 will limit the size of the network. With Layer 3, this is not a problem.

So, if you expect your network needs to grow in the future, then it’s time for the 300 series. At that point, the main concern would be whether or not your small business needs multiple switches to act as one. If so, the stackable 500 series is where you need to be.

If your switch is going in a rack with a server moving lots of data, the SG500X switches should be on your wish list as they have the 10 gigabit Ethernet SFP+ uplinks.

With the 52 switch flavors available in the small business line, it can be confusing. The good thing is that there should be something to fit most situations and budgets.

It’s almost impossible to put in one article all the likely scenarios, but Maximum Midrange has Cisco experts on staff and we offer free pre-sale consultation to help you narrow down what you need.

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