Layer 2 network switches and media converters can be used, provided they support Fast Ethernet (100Base-TX) connections (dSNAKE is Ethernet 802.3 IEEE Layer 2 compliant).
Typical applications include parallel connection of multiple ME-1 mixers, conversion of dSNAKE to fibre optic for longer cable runs, integration within an existing network infrastructure in a building.
Layer 3 & 4 protocols including Spanning Tree, Tagged Egress Packets, and Broadcast Storm Protection can cause interruption to audio data or audible clicks.
Smart / managed switches may allow turning off Layer 3 or 4 functions, but to avoid any issue we recommend using Layer 2 devices only.
Note that no other network device should be plugged into a switch carrying ACE or dSNAKE data unless a dedicated VLAN is set up.
When using an Ethernet switch or media converter, we suggest you check for errors and test for functionality and reliability before putting your system into service.
Smart / managed switch - a switch with features that can be configured to perform network management functions.
These functions can be as simple as setting the link speed of a port or disabling it entirely, or more complex like limiting bandwidth or grouping devices into VLANs.
Layer 2 Ethernet device – a Layer 2 device is hardware-based. It operates at the Data Link layer, which handles physical addressing.
It looks only at the MAC address and LLC portions of an Ethernet frame and forwards data packets accordingly.
Layer 3 Ethernet device – these devices operate at the Network Layer, which provides network path determination and logical addressing functions.
In most cases, this means that Layer 3 switches handle packets based on their IP address.
Common functions of a Layer 3 or 4 switch (also referred to as multilayer switch) include QoS and IP multicast.