Managed Switches - Is programming required before they will work?

Posted on 2007-08-03
Last Modified: 2010-03-18
I don't have any experience with managed switches but only with unmanaged switches.  I have to purchase some new switches and want to know (in general) if I purchase some managed switches will they work at least like an unmanaged switch straight out of the box or do they have to be programmed before they are usable?  My idea is to purchase some and install all but one of them and then to train myself on the extra one.  Then apply what I've learned to the ones already deployed.  Does this sound feasible?  
Question by:exNavyNuke
    LVL 7

    Accepted Solution

    Usually they have a default config which allows them to be used out of the box (i.e. all ports enabled and on a single VLAN), though require programming for things like port-security, VLAN assignment etc..

    The HP procurve range have always served me well, but the comparable cisco itsms will likely be as good...

    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    Managed switches are used for Layer3 connectivity like the use of VLANs. If your office does not requre segmentation of your network then dont buy them all you will be doing is wasting money. If your network has less than 500 nodes and is in one geograpic location, meaning the same building,  then it is a pretty sure bet that you dont need managed switches.

    Author Comment

    Thanks Dave and trath.  Trath gives good advice concerning whether I need to have managed switches or not, but Dave gave me the information I was looking for.  I know I will have to do a little more pre purchase research depending on what brand I buy.


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