While living in downtown Chicago does have some advantages (great restaurants, cultural events and close-by public transportation) there are some negatives (high taxes, crime, grime and rodents). In the case of the Slayton Solutions Ltd. Universal Headquarters compound, my house is quite small and can present challenges when trying to test security equipment for this column and for my training classes.

Now that my daughter has left for college (sweet scholarship to IIT) I can pile even more network cameras and equipment onto her desk.

I recently received a new network switch from Interlogix/IFS, the ES2402-8P-2C. While this network switch performs in a similar manner to others, there are some unique features that can make this switch quite useful for medium-sized IP surveillance and security networks.

The switch provides eight 10/100 Ethernet sockets, each of which can deliver PoE power to connected devices. Technicians can select to either use all eight as 802.3af (12.95 Watt PoE) or four ports of 802.3at (25 Watt PoE), with a maximum PoE budget of 125 watts from all ports simultaneously. Along with the robust PoE connectivity, there is an LED meter on the front of the switch, which indicates the amount of PoE being deployed at a particular time.

To provide uplink capabilities, the ES2402 has two 1,000 Mbps Gigabit RJ-45 sockets for UTP Category cables, or SFP modules can be inserted into the appropriate slots on the switch to provide uplink via fiber optics.

This is a truly managed switch with a Web browser interface. By accessing the switch’s programming, technicians can set bandwidth limits per port, set up VLANs between compatible remote network switches, prioritize packet handling (UDP and TCP), as well as other high-end switch functions. Probably the handiest capability is to be able to connect to the switch and cycle PoE power feeds. On occasion IP devices will “lock up” and must have their power reset. It is much easier to do it from the switch end than it is to climb a ladder and unplug a bulky IP camera.

With a 5.6 Gbps switch fabric, this IFS product is perfectly capable of handling high-bandwidth IP cameras and other security devices. This switch is built for rack-mount or standalone usage, and the box includes the rack mount tabs if required.

Security integrators are increasingly installing separate networks for surveillance and security IP devices. Separating the electronic security devices from enterprise network traffic greatly increases the cyber protection of the security network, while eliminating data and bandwidth conflict issues with the client’s network devices. The ES2402 switch family includes the 16-port/220-Watt PoE and 24-port/380-Watt PoE versions to accommodate larger numbers of connected devices, while all of these switches can be uplink connected to perform as one single network. With professional IT control features, the IFS ES2402 group of network switches is certainly worthy of consideration when planning an IP network installation.

More information is available at www.interlogix.com.