Get Smart With PoE

When designing an IP Surveillance network, here are ten reasons it makes smart sense to "step up" from an unmanaged PoE switch to a Smart PoE switch.

Reason #1: More Bang for the Buck.
When working with budget-conscious customers, many system integrators and network designers normally specify unmanaged PoE switches, due to their simplicity and low cost. However, upgrading to a Smart PoE switch can net big value. The cost increase is minimal, and yet the added capabilities, tools and benefits for the surveillance network (and administrators) can be compelling.

Reason #2: Easier Administration.
Smart PoE switches feature an easy-to-use, browser-based user interface and straightforward configuration. An administrator simply browses to the IP address of the switch. The administrator can then use an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) that becomes a simple vehicle for configuring and monitoring important elements and features in the network.

Reason #3: Remote Reboots and Power Control.
With smart switches, an administrator can remotely turn off and on the PoE power to each camera via the graphical user interface. This comes in especially handy when a camera needs to be rebooted. This action can be manually controlled at anytime from anywhere on the network, including over the Internet.

The administrator need not be at the camera's location, nor be in the same room as the PoE switch, which avoids truck rolls and saves time and money. PoE ports can be powered up/down one at a time, many ports at a time or all ports together.

Some Smart PoE switches, such as business-class solutions from D-Link, even support Time Based PoE—an option that allows administrators to set a time window that determines when each camera is powered on and off. This can be useful for networks that need to be shut down during certain times of the day, or for automatically scheduling IP camera reboots on a periodic (daily) basis with no manual intervention.

Reason #4: Real-Time Power Statistics and Power-Saving Features.
Under certain conditions, network administrators need to know the real-time power consumption for each switch port, including the overall PoE budget utilization. Capturing this data simply isn't possible with an unmanaged switch. A Smart PoE switch, however, can provide the following power consumption statistics in real time:

PoE power utilization per port, including Power (W), Current draw (mA) and Voltage levels (VDC)

Overall system power, including the total system PoE power budget, amount of PoE power currently being used and the remaining PoE power still available

Also, Smart PoE switches may often support power-saving features that are not found in unmanaged PoE switches. For example, when a Smart PoE switch senses that an RJ-45 port is link down, or the connected device (camera) is idle, has been disconnected or turned off, the signal power to that port will be reduced. By reducing signal power consumption, less heat is produced, resulting in extended product life and lower operating costs.

To read six more reasons and learn the basics of PoE switches, click here to read our full white paper.

To learn more about promotional opportunities for upgrading your existing PoE switch to a D-Link DGS-1100-08P or DGS-1210-10P Smart PoE switch, click here.

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