A smart switch offers the best of both managed switches and unmanaged switches. It combines many of the managed switch management/security features you may be looking for with a simple, easy to use interface all at a very reasonable price.

Device Detection & Network Visualization

The network management system (NMS) should make life easier, not harder. Look for an NMS that can automatically discover all devices on your network and visually layout network links. Larger applications hosting hardware from numerous network and machine vendors would benefit the most from an NMS that can automatically characterize all devices connected on the network by saving time with the initial setup. If the NMS cannot automatically populate details of a connected device, you should still be able to add and customize the device visualization within the NMS manually. It’s also common for machines and devices to speak multiple languages. Therefore, the ability to discover devices using different protocols will also be essential. In addition, with more connected devices in your smart factory, visualizing your network devices and connections in an actual plant floor layout is also important for you to manage any operational risks. Being able to identify the exact point of where a network outage occurs will significantly reduce the downtime of your operations.

When preparing for future growth with limited networking resources utilizing a smart switch for network management is your best option. They offer access to switch management features such as IGMP SNOOPING, SNMP, VLANs, RSTP with simple web management. The availability of these specific features tailored to industrial networking needs is critical because they address many of the concerns for growing factories.

Reducing Networking Issues

When a factory network is using multicast to communicate to an unmanaged switch, it creates broadcast traffic, which can cause delays in HMI response, PLC time outs, and can even freeze an entire factory network. These issues are typical in Ethernet/IP networks that lack multicast traffic filters like IGMP snooping capabilities found in a fully managed switch. With IGMP Snooping, the switch can filter out the unnecessary multicast traffic, preventing latency and jitter by blocking multicast packets from flooding your network while conserving bandwidth. SDS series of switches can also have their configuration files backed up and saved for fast and easy restoration in the event of misconfiguration or catastrophic events*.

Physical Port Security

Traditionally the thought process of a cybersecurity threat is that a hacker from a remote location gains access to your factory network and compromises your systems. Unfortunately, the majority of security breaches are internal. A lack of local access control features like the ability to disable open ports leaves your panels vulnerable for unauthorized personnel to gain access to your network. To prevent this threat, having port lock on your smart switches gives you the capability to shut down any open ports.

Lack of Networking Knowledge

Factories that are beginning to expand may not have employees with the knowledge or background to configure and maintain managed switches. Even skilled engineers find the setup process of a managed switch cumbersome and time-consuming. This is one of the main reasons why smart switches make sense. They are a perfect balance between the simplicity of an unmanaged switch and the management and security features of a managed switch. At Moxa, we took the simplicity of configuring our smart switch one-step further by creating a 1-click setup. Through a 1-click setup, users can configure their switch no matter the industrial protocol profile, reducing hour-long setup times to just seconds. Having visibility into your network is key in being able to keep your mission critical networks running smoothly. The SDS series of smart switches support many network visualization features: Topology View (network topology), & Traffic View (network traffic stats & traffic visualization).

*These features are supported by the specific Moxa devices and may require MXview and a valid MXview license to fully take advantage of these features. A free trial version of MXview can be downloaded using the form below. Contact us or your local Moxa partner for exact pricing and additional information on MXview.

Smart Switches:

SDS-3008 / SDS-3016

Features and Benefits

  1. Compact and flexible housing design to fit into confined spaces
  2. Web-based GUI for easy device configuration and management
  3. EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, and Modbus TCP industrial protocols supported for easy integration and monitoring in automation HMI/SCADA systems
  4. Multi-language web GUI: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, German, and French
  5. Supports RSTP/STP for network redundancy
  6. Security features based on IEC 62443

SDS-3008: 8x Fast Ethernet ports
Download Datasheet

SDS-3016: 14x Fast Ethernet ports + 2x G-port
Download Datasheet

Can your switches keep up with the change and demands of your factory? If any of the above challenges apply to you and your applications, you may consider using a smart switch. Fill out our form to get your FREE consultation.

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