Should I replace my ethernet Hubs with Switches?
The answer is 'probably', but let's see why first.
Hubs were overtaken by switches as the default for network inter-connection around 10 years ago. This is because hubs have a number of limitations that make them unsuitable for modern networks:
- 10Mbps data rate.
- As they operate only at half-duplex, they create large collision domains, meaning only one host on the whole hubbed network can transmit at one time. All other hosts must wait.
- This combination of rate and half-duplex means actual data rates are significantly less than the nominal 10Mbps - maybe as low as 2 Mbps.
- Hubs retransmit everything they receive to all other ports, creating additional network traffic and host port activity and processing.
For many networks, replacing each hub with an industrial ethernet unmanaged switch will transform the network's behaviour:
- No more collisions - with full duplex each host can receive and transmit simultaneously.
- No data rate limitation - with full 100Mbps or even Gigabit data rate simultaneously at every port, data frames are delivered virtually instantly. (Ensure your chosen switch has a 'non-blocking architecture', making sure that high loads on one port do not affect other ports. All Hirschmann switches provide this level of performance).
- Advanced unmanaged switches can offer functions like power supply redundancy and port based fault alarming to further increase network reliability and diagnostics. (Of course mission critical networks should consider a managed switch for enhanced diagnostics and network control).
Daanet can assist with these diagnoses, and also recommend an unmanaged or managed switch starting at just a few hundred dollars to significantly improve your network's performance.