Managed vs Unmanaged Switches
Posted on 2003-03-03
We currently have 3 seperate office locations connected by dedicated point-to-point T1 lines that do not use the public internet. Each office has an average of 25 nodes. I am currently using a mixture of hubs and small unmanaged switches as we have grown quickly. I want to replace all my hubs and switches with new, but cost is a large factor. Therefore, I cannot afford 3com or Cisco. I currently do not have anything routing packets across the T1's. Traffic just passes over a standard switch port and we use radio broadcast routers from Harris that give me an ethernet port. The routers do not manage.
My questions are this.
Do I really need managed switches to keep traffic clean or can I use unmanaged?
If I use managed, do I need to purchase software to manage the switches?
Do I need switches for the nodes and routers for each T1 termination in order to control traffic over the T1's or can the switches do this?
Money is a factor so I could only afford the cheapest managed switch.