Power Meets Responsibility in the SonicWall SWS12-10FPOE Switch
One of the wonders of modern networking is Power over Ethernet, or PoE. PoE devices get their power directly though the same Ethernet cables they use for networking. For IT professionals, that means not having to worry about running hundreds of power cables to every corner of the office. A single power cord going to a PoE hub can support whatever devices connect to it through their network cables.
The problem with PoE is that while it works great for low-power machines, some higher-functioning devices can get a little greedy. For example, a stationary webcam might only need a few watts of power to continually operate, but one that automatically adjusts, focuses and pivots around needs significantly more to drive its motors.
Because most PoE hubs only have one power cord, the amount of extra passthrough power that can be fed to connected devices is limited. And like the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. If you don’t manage your PoE, some devices are going to shut down or operate poorly due to inefficient or unreliable power.
The SonicWall SWS12 switch handles this problem by adding deep power management to the suite of standard networking configuration options.
The switch can provide up to 130 watts of power, spread out over 10 ports, and each port can supply up to 30 watts of power. So, you can’t run all ports at full power without shortchanging something.
There are different ways to manage PoE devices through the port settings on the switch. The easiest is to simply assign a priority level to each device, running from critical at the top all the way down through high, medium and low. The switch will try to keep critical devices powered at all times, reducing or stopping power to lower-priority devices as needed.
You can also regulate the power granted to individual ports by assigning them a maximum power limit between zero and 30 watts. That way, with just a little math, you can ensure that you will never exceed the 130-watt limit.
PoE is a wonderful tool, especially for small offices or places where running lots of wires is difficult or impractical. Thankfully, the SonicWall SWS12 can help keep the power flowing, whether you have a couple of PoE devices attached or one docked in every port.
SonicWall SWS12-10FPOE Switch
NUMBER OF PORTS: 12
POWER OVER ETHERNET BUDGET: 130 watts
RAM SIZE: 256MB
DIMENSIONS: 13×9.1xi.1 inches
WEIGHT: 5.51 pounds