While Ubiquiti Unifi line of products are robust and a cost-effective solution, choosing it as your core pieces of your network infrastructure may have a lot Ubiquiti IT Support teams shaking their heads no. Yes, Ubiquiti Unifi line of products are not a good fit for an enterprise class solution but this post is dedicated to small business Ubiquiti IT Support.
The Ubiquiti Unifi suite of router, switch, and WIFI access point hardware are the perfect fit for micro and some small businesses. Utilizing a Unify IT support team in a proactive manner for firmware issues, security flaws, and potential bottle necks in your network is recommended.
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Does your business pair well with Ubiquiti Unifi Network devices?
The question really becomes are you an incredibly secure Fort Knox like organization or more like a health care group, biotech startup, a law firm, architecture, etc who needs VLAN network segmentation for separating guest traffic from corporate traffic and require SNMP notifications to whatever systems or teams that are monitoring your network again rogue, unusual traffic or network down issues. The security and reliability are still there. You are simply not getting the level of security like Fort Knox from your Ubiquiti infrastructure.
The reality is most businesses do not require the Ferrari in their network hardware but they do need to maintain compliance that comes with business grade hardware such as Ubiquiti and an Ubiquiti IT Support team of professionals for implementing it.
The next question is, who is your Ubiquiti IT support team for monitoring all those failure logs notices that comes with state and federal mandates businesses must comply with. That can be down in-house with the right team or outsourced to a Managed IT services team. Event logs from a router, switch, and WiFi access point are typically ignored depending how big or small your IT budget and the competency level of in-house team. More importantly, is the Ubiquiti router, switch, and WiFi Access Point deployed properly configured to begin with?
What router do I purchase?
The Asus, Linksys, Netgear home office router is not going to keep you secure, does not scale well, reliability is poor, and those routers certainly does not notify you of bad activity going on in your network. So, the next level up is an Ubiquiti Dream Pro but some IT experts may quiver upon seeing this as a solution in your network.
This router has incredible bang for the buck but yes if it is not properly maintained by you or Ubiquiti IT Support individual, you will have some problems down the line. The same can be said about the next level in router hardware but yes, I understand why the “IT experts” may quiver quite a bit more with Ubiquiti.
What is the next level router hardware that will cost a bit more?
The Sonicwall TZ series, Watchguard, and Sophos XG come to mind for next level router. However, the Dream Machine Pro with a professional Ubiquiti IT support team should be more than sufficient for most micro businesses and some small businesses.
What Ubiquity Unifi switch do I purchase?
The Ubiquity Unifi 24 port or 48 port is ideal for most. For micro businesses, the Ubiquiti Dream Machine Pro already contains LAN ports on it but purchasing a 24 port switch is a critical additional piece. Please make sure the switch contains POE. The Power Over Ethernet (POE) provides power to your WiFi Access Point and the VoIP Phones. Otherwise, you need POE injectors for every single device. It’s not convenient or recommended. Please avoid switches that do not include POE or say “edge”.
What’s the next level switch?
The Cisco or HP Procurve should suffice but you are going to pay a pretty penny for it. These network switches are the type of the equipment you always see the closets and data centers of 100 plus user environments.
Ubiquiti is fine for 50 and under scenarios. We have run into them at clients and they work great in these scenarios. As soon as you go above that or the load you put on them increases, they seem to not cope. We recently replaced a major corporation SA’s head office entire Ubiquiti Wi-Fi infrastructure for this reason.
Cisco, has this small business range, but might still be a bit pricey, the difference being, their small business range handles up to a 1000 users on some of the products. To Cisco, anything under 1000 users is SMB.
I personally have used the 200, 300 and 500 range switches.
I see they now have a dashboard as well which I have not seen before, no idea how good it is.
Need a heavy data transfers switch for multimedia?
Cisco Catalyst 2960-S PoE+ 48 port Gigabit Switch (2960S-48FPS-L).
What are Edge Switches?
Edge (Carrier Class) switches are Edge devices. Here are two examples:
1) Building with 10 office suites. Use Edge Router and Edge Switch to carve up bandwidth for each suite. Not managing workstation or servers… just managing bandwidth.
2) You can also use these in commercial complex for trenching fiber from one building to another.
What Ubiquiti Unifi WiFi Access Point should I purchase?
This is a whole other blog post into itself. Check out Ubiquiti Wifi Access Point Support post.
Ubiquiti IT Support Summary
Decision makers can now make a better choice for their organization based on the foundational network device concepts laid out this post.