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What is an Industrial Ethernet Switch? How to choose?
Jun 21 , 2024 127

Industrial Ethernet switch is a network device specially designed for use in industrial environments to provide stable and reliable network connectivity under harsh conditions. It is mainly used in intelligent manufacturing, rail transportation and industrial automation systems. With the increasing degree of industrial automation, the functional requirements for industrial Ethernet switches are getting higher and higher.

Industrial Ethernet Switch.png

Industrial Ethernet is characterized by high durability, multiple interface designs, redundancy functions, etc. It can work in harsh environments and temperatures (usually between -40°C and 75°C). It has strong anti-electromagnetic interference capability and is suitable for industrial sites with complex electromagnetic environments. In addition, it supports a variety of network interface types, such as 5. RJ45 ports, fiber optic ports, and SFP slots, etc., as a way to adapt to different network connection needs.

Industrial Ethernet switches are mainly applied in manufacturing, energy field, petroleum and chemical industry, coal mining field, transportation, intelligent building, smart city, medical industry and other fields. These application scenarios show the flexibility and versatility of industrial Ethernet switches in various fields, providing a reliable technical guarantee for the development of industrial Internet.

From the perspective of future development, industrial Ethernet switches will appear in the industrial field with more important functions, such as the need to support more network virtualization to improve its flexibility; achieve self-diagnosis and network optimization capabilities through real-time monitoring and analysis of network data; ensure the safety and stability of the network through the support of more security technologies and protocols; and achieve more efficient and intelligent industrial automation systems through the support of more emerging technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), 5G technology, and blockchain technology. 5G technology, blockchain technology, etc. to realize a more efficient, secure and intelligent industrial automation system.

So, how to choose the right industrial Ethernet switch in different industrial environments? We will conduct in-depth research and analysis from the following aspects:

Environmental Adaptability: Industrial grade switches must be able to adapt to your specific industrial environment. Consider factors such as operating temperature range, humidity, vibration and electromagnetic interference. If your equipment will be used in extreme environments, such as high temperature, low temperature, or high humidity locations, make sure the switch can operate stably under these conditions.

Redundancy and Reliability: High reliability is an important requirement for industrial networks. Selecting switches that support redundancy features, such as redundant power supplies and ring network protocols (e.g., RSTP, MRP), allows for quick recovery in the event of a failure and ensures continuous network operation.

Number and type of interfaces: Select the number and type of interfaces of the switch according to the actual requirements. Industrial grade switches usually provide a variety of port combinations, including RJ45 Ethernet ports, fiber optic ports and SFP module slots. Select the appropriate port configuration according to the device connection requirements.

Bandwidth and Transmission Rates: Large amounts of data transmission may be required in an industrial network, ensuring that the switch you choose has sufficient bandwidth and transmission rates. Gigabit Ethernet is a common choice today, and 10 Gigabit Ethernet may be required for higher data transfer needs in some applications.

Security: Industrial network security is critical. Choose a switch with advanced security features such as VLANs, access control lists (ACLs), port security, network storm control, and 802.1X authentication to protect the network from unauthorized access and cyber attacks.

Brand and after-sales service: Choose industrial grade switches from well-known brands to ensure product quality and technical support. Well-known brands usually provide longer warranty period and reliable after-sales service, which helps to reduce the cost and risk of maintenance in the later stage.

From the current market point of view, Cisco and Huawei, as the leading brands in the IT market level, they also have excellent series and models for industrial Ethernet switches. The following is a comparison of the characteristics of Cisco and Huawei series products, you can choose the right product for you according to your own situation.




Huawei  S57351-H8T4S2XN-V2


Ruggedized: designed for use in harsh industrial environments with a high protection rating housing.

Wide Temperature Operation: Supports an operating temperature range of -40°C to 70°C.

Multiple Interfaces: Provides multiple Ethernet ports and serial ports for a wide range of industrial equipment connections.

Security: Supports VPN, ACL and firewall functions to ensure network security.

Cisco IE 2000 Series Features

1.Reliability: Supports redundant power inputs and enhanced Power over Ethernet (PoE+) functionality.

2.Flexibility: Provides multiple port combinations to support Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet.

3.Management functions: support SNMP, Web GUI and CLI management, easy to configure and monitor.

4.Industrial certification: comply with a variety of industrial standards, suitable for harsh industrial environments.

Industrial Ethernet Switche


Huawei  S57351-H24U8S4XE-QA-V2


High performance: supports Gigabit Ethernet to provide high bandwidth network connectivity.

Energy-efficient design: Adopts innovative energy-saving technology to reduce power consumption.

Rich features: Supports rich L2 and L3 functions for various network applications.

High reliability: Supports redundant protocols such as STP, RSTP and MSTP to ensure network stability.

Cisco IE 4000 Series Features

1. High performance: Supports Gigabit Ethernet, providing high bandwidth and low-latency network connectivity.

2. Expandability: Modularized design, support multiple interface modules, flexible response to different needs.

3. High Reliability: Supports multiple redundancy protocols, such as RSTP, PRP, HSR, etc., ensuring high network availability.

4. Security: Integrated advanced security features, such as 802.1X, Access Control Lists (ACL) and encrypted communication.

Industrial Ethernet Switches


Huawei  S57351-H24U8S4XE-QA-V2


High bandwidth: Supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet, suitable for application scenarios with high bandwidth demand.

Intelligent Management: Supports iStack technology to realize switch stacking and improve network scalability and management efficiency.

High Security: Supports rich security features such as IP Source Guard, ARP detection and anti-attack function.

Flexible Deployment: Modularized design provides a variety of interface module options to meet different network requirements.

Cisco IE 5000 Series Features

1. High bandwidth: Supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet for applications requiring high bandwidth.

2. Advanced QoS: Provides multilevel Quality of Service (QoS) features to ensure priority transmission of mission-critical data.

3. High Reliability: Supports extensive redundancy mechanisms to ensure rapid network recovery in the event of failure.

4. Management and Monitoring: Supports Cisco Prime and Cisco DNA Center for centralized management and monitoring.

Industrial Ethernet Switches

As you can see from the above table, Cisco and Huawei's industrial Ethernet switches have their own distinctive features, with Cisco known for its high reliability and powerful management features, and Huawei for its ruggedness and flexible interface configurations. When choosing a specific model, comprehensive consideration should be made based on actual network requirements, environmental conditions and budget.

Overall, choosing the right industrial Ethernet switch not only improves the reliability and stability of your network, but also ensures long-term trouble-free operation in demanding industrial environments. By comprehensively considering factors such as environmental adaptability, redundancy, interface configuration, bandwidth, security, management features, and brand service, you can find the industrial Ethernet switch that best suits your needs and ensures the efficient operation of your industrial network.

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