There are a number of challenges when installing network devices in outdoor environments, like dust, rain, lighting, UV exposure, varying temperature swings, acid corrosion in ambient air, etc., which can deteriorate and even shut down your network over time. Nowadays, all kinds of applications require constant connection both inside and outside, such as expanding the reach of your home WiFi network into the great outdoors and installing security cameras in a parking lot or outside of a building.
However, most PoE or network switches are limited to residential or commercial use and are designed for well-conditioned settings only. And most of them can only deal with small networks with very little or no management required. Therefore, to simplify and optimize your network connection in outdoor environments, you’ll need a managed outdoor PoE switch to deliver consistent performance in whatever conditions are present.
What’s a Managed Outdoor PoE Switch?
The managed outdoor PoE switch is a managed PoE switch that is specially designed for use in outdoor or harsh environments. It’s an all-in-one outdoor solution to transmit both power and data to the PDs installed outdoors to eliminate the need for installing new AC outlets in remote places. Moreover, the managed outdoor PoE switch also allows you to manage, configure, and monitor your switch settings. It’s manufactured and tested to meet the industrial standards for operation even in applications that require the highest level of reliability like IP surveillance camera systems. With a rugged design, the managed outdoor PoE switch can provide a reliable network connection in outdoor environments and supply uninterruptible power from a centralized source to ensure the continuous operation of edge PoE devices. The waterproof enclosure and various mounting options (din-rail and wall-mounting) also help to facilitate fast installation in outdoor applications.
5 Reasons You Need a Managed Outdoor PoE Switch
It’s essential to choose the right PoE switch for your needs. Here, we’ve summarized 5 top reasons why you need a managed outdoor PoE switch for applications in harsh environments.
1. Increased Durability
Protected in a hardened enclosure of IP65 or a higher level of protection rating, they are designed to withstand wide temperature fluctuations and extreme weather conditions, shocks and vibrations, corrosive elements, etc. Each PoE port is armed with 6kV surge protection to protect the device from lightning strikes, unstable power input and electrical surges. They are regularly capable of working in intense temperatures from about -40°C to 75°C and can be well adapted to complex temperatures and humidity. They generally use better metal casing for faster heat dissipation. In addition, the managed outdoor PoE switches have higher reliability and longer service life. Commercial PoE switches usually have a life cycle of 3 to 5 years, while outdoor PoE switches can operate for 10 years or more.
2. Advanced Network Management
Managed outdoor PoE switches often have many advanced capabilities over commercial switches. They allow you to manage, configure and monitor the network in many ways to facilitate better traffic filtering and protection of data in transit. They help prioritize the traffic flow coming in and out of each port and create VLANs on the managed outdoor PoE switch to keep smaller groups of devices segregated. Monitoring traffic and performance is critical to preventing costly downtime. The managed outdoor PoE switches generally offer Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) to improve troubleshooting. They can monitor the status of the devices on the network and provide statics on traffic throughput, network errors and port status. And many other management features are also supported like QoS, STP, port mirroring, bandwidth control, etc.
3. Redundant Power Supply
The power supply is a very important part of PoE switches. Power failures account for more than 35% of network outages. Commercial PoE switches usually rely on a single power supply, while the managed outdoor PoE switches dual power inputs as backup power to avoid power failure and ensure stable and reliable operation. Each power supply has the ability to work independently, which ensures that even if one power supply fails, the other takes over. So there is no downtime at all, and the device will continue to operate normally. Redundant power inputs allow the switches quickly recover from power failures. This capability ensures maximum uptime and reliable operation in continuity-critical operations, avoiding the trouble of costly shutdowns and other disruptive events.
4. Fast Failover Recovery
The managed outdoor PoE switches also have the ability to create a fast failover link in order to build a resilient network for your business. Ethernet Ring Protection Switching (ERPS) is a standardized feature in managed PoE switches to add high-level redundancy and up-time protection to any network, regardless of size and traffic. It fosters faster recovery from failed data pathways, protects Ethernet traffic and maintains recovery times under 50 milliseconds. Such a network failover technology can help redirect traffic in the event of a link or node failure and can be configured on any data port of the switch, including the fiber ports. And it facilitates easier troubleshooting since it comes with minimal network topology changes. The simplicity of the ring structure makes it easy to locate points of failure.
5. Better Network Security
Another major advantage of using managed PoE switches is their high security. The unmanaged PoE switches are only able to provide basic security features like lockable port covers for small networks and temporary network workgroups, but the managed outdoor PoE switches can provide major security features to keep threats at bay and provide access to authorized devices and block unknown devices. With the 802.1X Port-Based Network Access Control (PNAC), the administrator can set up the level to access the switch. What’s more, VLANs can also be created to only allow temporary and limited access to your network.
Best Outdoor PoE Solutions for Your Business
Fastcabling has designed and produced a series of L2+ managed outdoor PoE switches to meet the challenges of harsh environments and deliver the most reliable, affordable, and safest network solution for a business’s outdoor installation needs.
4-Port L2+ Managed Outdoor PoE Switch with SFP
Housing in an IP67 waterproof and aluminum IK10 vandal-proof rugged metal casing, this 4-port L2+ managed outdoor PoE switch gives you an easy way to deploy outdoor devices over long distances while keeping your installation costs low. It also supports 6kv surge protection and a wide operating temperature of -40°C~60 °C, ideal for outdoor use. This 4-port managed outdoor PoE switch has 4*10/100/1000M PoE ports, 1*Gigabit dedicated RJ45 Ethernet port, and 2*Gigabit SFP ports. It can supply a maximum power of 30W per port with a total power budget of 75W. Moreover, it also supports the ERPS ring protocol to quickly recover from the failed data pathways with recovery times of less than 20 milliseconds. With the PD alive check, The PoE switch can be configured to monitor the real-time status of the powered devices by sending alive check packets to enhance network reliability.
8-Port L2+ Managed Outdoor PoE Switch with SFP
This 8-port L2+ managed outdoor PoE switch is specially designed for a small-and-midsize network in outdoor applications. IP67 waterproof enclosure and 6kV surge protection ensure your IP cameras and wireless APs operate safely outdoors. With four integrated SFP slots, it can reserve sufficient uplink bandwidth to ensure fast data transmission, and the distance can be extended to 10km between point A and point B. The 8-port managed outdoor PoE switch has a switching capacity of 24Gbps, which meets the demand for a high-speed network connection. Featuring a total power budget of 120W, the maximum power supply of each PoE port can reach 30W. As an L2+ managed PoE switch, it provides many advanced management capabilities like QoS, VLAN, SNMP, STP, ERPS, static routing, remote access, port aggregation, etc. To minimize network downtime and operational issues, this PoE switch also adopts dual power inputs to ensure stable and reliable operation of the system.