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This is an article that I wrote as a contribuitor for the Aruba blog. Read the full article.

A network switch works at Layer 2 (in the ISO/OSI model) and potentially does not need any configuration because it can learn about the network topology and how to forward properly the Ethernet frames using its internal MAC address or port table.

This is different in other types of devices. For example, Fibre Channel (FC) switches used in some storage area networks (SANs) need a proper and manual configuration (zoning) to define who can talk with who.

In the SMB segment or the entry-level models, there are managed or unmanaged network switches.

Read the rest of the post at: