TRENDnet, which most of you know from their consumer lineup of wireless routers, access points and network adapters also dabbles in the SMB networking market space. From the bottom up, TRENDnet offers a full range of unmanaged five to 24 port switches, in addition to Web Smart switches ranging from eight to 48 ports.
Today, we will be taking a look at one of TRENDnet's Layer 2 switches complete with 24 Gigabit Ethernet ports with an additional four GBIC ports.
First, Layer 2 switches have the ability to learn and build a table from the MAC addresses of your NICs. MAC addresses or Media Access Control address is a 48-bit hardware address burned into the NIC from the manufacturer, this means it does not change like an IP address.
Layer 2 switching is very efficient because its hardware based and thus provides broadcasts at wire speed with low latency.
Specifications, Pricing and Availability
Hardware specifications of the TRENDnet include many of the IEEE 802.x standards we are used to seeing in switches of this capacity. Some of these feature may sound familiar like 802.3ad or LACP in addition to 802.1Q VLAN tagging.
As far as the interface is concerned, we have 24 10/100/1000Mbps Auto-MDIX ports, along with 4 SFP Mini-GBIC ports that are shared with ports 21-24 on the switch. Cabling uses the standard Cat5, 5e or 6 twisted pair copper for distances up to 100 meters.
Another specification of note here is the switch capacity, listed at 48Gbps. When purchasing a switch, it's very important to take into account the fabric of the switch, especially in high network utilization situations. For the most part, the rule of thumb is P x I x 2, where P equals the number of ports times the interface speed which in our case would be 24 ports times 1Gbps equals 24Gbps, and since we account for Tx (Transfer) and Rx (Receive) packets we multiply by two to reach our 48Gbps switch fabric.
In addition to switch capacity, we have forwarding rate. Forwarding rate is measured in packets per second or in the case of most switches these days, Mpps or million packets per second. Forwarding capacity is the highest amount of traffic that can be put through the switch regardless of packet loss or load, and for this one it's 35.7Mpps.
Warranty of the TRENDnet TL2-G244 is listed at three years from date of purchase with pricing sitting at $289.99.