New Compact Multigigabit Switch Adds Big Boost for High-Performance Use Cases
Ruckus Networks (now part of CommScope via acquisition) just introduced a compact multigigabit switch, the ICX 7150-C10ZP. It’s a small form factor 10-port switch, all of which are multigigabit ports. The new multigigabit switch has two ports that support 1/2.5/5/10 GbE and the other 8 are 1/2.5 GbE ports. The switch also includes two 1/10 GbE SFP/SFP+ port for uplinks and stacking. Its Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) budget is double that of our 1 GbE compact switch – and can deliver up to 90 watts of PoE per port. The switch is fanless for silent operation, making it ideal for use in classrooms, offices or retail environments, as well as in a switch closet (with the optional rack-mount kit).
When I first heard about the new switch, I scratched my head, wondering why this switch might become popular. Upon further consideration of the requirements for multigigabit connections, I see now that this switch has some extremely interesting prospects.
Multigigabit connectivity, 2.5 GbE and 5 GbE over standard Cat 5E (or Cat 6/6A) Ethernet cables, is just now starting to gain interest and popularity. Some of the high-end Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and most of the new Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) wireless access points coming to market over the past year have multigigabit Ethernet ports.
While these new APs are capable of more than 1 Gbps throughput, this rate is generally only required when there are large numbers of data-intensive, or video-intensive, users. The top scenarios for this are in large public venues. We see high demand for Wi-Fi 6 access points and multigigabit switches in arenas, convention centers, auditoriums, ballrooms and stadiums. These customers have been early adopters for Wi-Fi 6 APs and our high-end multigigabit switches.
We’ve also seen a steady increase in sales of our multigigabit switches, although many customers and reselling partners are still on the fence as to whether it’s worth the investment to upgrade their infrastructure from the current standard 1 GbE switches to multigigabit. It’s particularly for this latter group of customers that our new compact multigigabit switch opens up some exciting opportunities:
Not sure if you really need multigigabit throughout your company or institution?
Want to try out Wi-Fi 6 without overhauling your infrastructure or breaking the bank?
Just want Wi-Fi 6 in a few select [high-density] areas?
Our new compact multigigabit switch allows customers to “try out” multigigabit connectivity for a nominal investment. It offers a couple of ports with 10 GbE and 8 ports of 2.5 GbE. It’s a great test bed to see if the promise of multigigabit ports will really make a difference in the network. This switch is part of our entry-level, ICX 7150 series and is far less expensive than almost every other enterprise-class multigigabit switch on the market.
Furthermore, the ICX 7150-C10ZP can stack with other ICX 7150 switches. So, customers can easily deploy Wi-Fi 5 APs throughout their organization, connected to 1 GbE ports on standard ICX 7150 switches and use this new compact switch to deploy a limited number of Wi-Fi 6 APs in high-density locations, such as auditoriums, conferences rooms, etc.
High-Performance Mobile Network, or ”Pop-up” Network
Just need Multigigabit connectivity for a specific event or for a short time?
The ICX 7150-C10ZP switch provides customers with a mobile infrastructure for high-performance connections – either to connect a few Wi-Fi 6 APs or a few high-performance workstations. Uplinks from the switch can be either over fiber optics or copper Ethernet cables (up to 100m with Cat 6A).
Imagine bringing in the switch to deploy a few Wi-Fi 6 APs in an auditorium or gymnasium to deliver high-performance, high-density Wi-Fi for a special event. Perhaps an eSports event where the participants require low-latency high-speed Wi-Fi or high-speed connections for gaming workstations -- all over existing Ethernet cabling. All without a complex, costly infrastructure overhaul.
Deliver the classroom of tomorrow, today
Network demands in schools are growing exponentially due to the growth of digital learning applications such as 4K video streaming and video collaboration, as well as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Further strain is placed on school networks by eSports league play, along with safety and wellness infrastructure such as CCTV cameras, smart locks and thermostats, as well as vaping and anti-bullying detection systems. The ICX 7150-C10ZP can deliver high-speed connectivity to support both digital learning and safety infrastructure. Moreover, the switch’s silent operation won’t be disruptive to the students. Last, but certainly not least, the Ethernet ports provide connections and high-power PoE for Wi-Fi 6 APs and high-end devices in the classroom such as workstations, VR stations, PTZ cameras and other devices.
These are just a few examples of new, cost-effective ways to deploy multigigabit technologies. How else could you see using this switch to save time and money? I’d love to hear your creative ideas.