When I unboxed my MicroServer several weeks ago, I was surprised to find an unexpected second box inside. The surprise turns out to be an HP PS1810 8-port gigabit switch to compliment my Proliant MicroServer. The PS1810-8G is specifically manufactured to sit perfectly on top of the Proliant MicroServer Gen8. Its the epitome of “made for each other.” Its kind of like butter and popcorn.
But don’t mistake this as style over substance – the PS1810-8G is a very capable switch in its own right. With 16Gbps of throughout, this unit features 8 RJ45 Gigabit copper Ethernet ports. It is web managed and supports VLANs, link aggregation trunking, Spanning Tree (STP), flow control and can be optionally powered by an upstream PoE switch. The wide feature set ensures that the switch can be used as part of a growing infrastructure or fit into an existing infrastructure seamlessly. While many small businesses rely on unmanaged switches for their needs, there is an increasing need for advanced features as systems converge.
The PS1810-8G also includes a number of green features, including Energy Efficient Ethernet settings. Administrators can configure low-power idle on ports, auto port power down and cable length detection all to save power. It can be configured to turn off LED lights on ports based on a specific schedule. All of these features are intended to save power, but I’m not sure how much impact it really makes over the course of a year.
Based out of the 3COM lineage, the PS1810-8G uses a web management interface which is intuitive and easy to use. The web management interface makes a lot of sense for a small business who probably has very little in-house networking expertise, but the PS1810-8G will provide any IT pro with the necessary features to get the job done. The PS1810-8G switch also includes an automatic Proliant discovery interface which senses and registers Proliant servers onto a page so that the admin can quick-launch into the iLO interface. This provides the end-user and end-administrator with a quick management interface to see all the Proliants connected – not just MicroServers. While the discovery is nifty, its not a very deep integration at this point, but it does show potential. In addition to the Proliant server discovery, the switch also features Link Layer Discover Protocol (LLDP). This discovered my third party remote management interface on a whitebox server.
In terms of security, by default, management is only enabled for HTTP and not HTTPS. Options are available within the switch to upload a custom certificate or generate a self-signed certificate and enable HTTPS. There is also only a single password for the switch and it is not a username and password combination – just a single password.
All in all, this is a solid home office or small office switch. 8 ports will accommodate a number of offices and use cases. The switch comes with many of the necessary enterprise features that would come in handy in a small office. Priced at $185 direct from HP and generally available for around $160 elsewhere, the PS1810-8G is an affordable managed switch option.
Disclaimer: HP provided me with both the HP Proliant MicroServer Gen8 and the HP PS1810-8G for review at no charge. The opinions and views of the hardware written here are entirely my own and HP had no say in what I choose to write. The hardware came with no strings attached.