Core switch vs. satellite switch:
Each LINKcat library has an SCLS core network switch, normally located with other network equipment. A core network switch is a business-class piece of equipment that rarely fails. Unlike core network switches, satellite network switches are typically made for home or small business use. They are called ‘satellite’ switches by SCLS because they are at the periphery of the core network and other devices such as PCs and printers attach to them. SCLS will only use small business satellite switches which have network security capabilities (a key feature lacking in switches for home use).
Historically, satellite network switches were not permitted on the LINKcat network. The policy had been that each networked device must have its own network jack. This was to ensure network stability and enhanced network security. This policy is being modified to accommodate network convergence (non-LINK PCs moving to the SCLS network) and certain circumstances as they arise with existing building infrastructure.
PROS and CONS of satellite switches:
- Allows you to add networked devices even if your building’s infrastructure does not easily allow additional network cabling to be installed.
- Sometimes less expensive than network cabling.
- They can fail, causing all the devices connected to it to lose network/Internet access.
- They may complicate troubleshooting. While the cost of the switch may be appealing, give serious thought to network cabling if your are considering adding something to the network that is business-critical: circ desk PCs, self checks, print management software, financial applications that need Internet access, printers, etc...
SCLS Satellite Switch Support:
- Planning: Please contact the Network Administrator at least 1 month in advance of needing a satellite switch. This will allow time for discussing options, purchasing, configuring and documenting your specific network settings.
- Purchasing: Please purchase the switch through SCLS. Similar to PCs and other peripherals, this will decrease the ongoing support costs to the consortium.
- Spares pool: SCLS will keep a small spares pool on hand so that if your switch fails, a replacement can be configured specifically for your library.
- Down time: SCLS staff will endeavor to replace a failed switch as soon as possible but depending on staffing, it could take up to a day or two.