Tactical Advice

Review: HP 2520-8G-PoE Switch Delivers Video

This Power over Ethernet switch proves well suited for voice, video and wireless deployment.
Review: HP 2520-8G-PoE Switch Delivers Video

HP targets its 2520-8G-PoE Switch for small to medium-sized organizations that need Power over Ethernet connectivity to support voice, video or wireless deployments. PoE increases the flexibility, simplicity and reliability of the network and reduces energy consumption.

Powered by a 266MHz Freescale PowerPC 8313 processor, the HP 2520-8G-PoE features a compact design. The switch sports two dual-personality Gigabit Ethernet ports that support either copper or fiber, eight RJ-45 auto-sensing 10/100 ports and one RJ-45 serial port. Administrators can manage the Layer 2 switch via the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), command line interface or a graphical user interface.

End-User Advantages

Many advantages will likely be transparent to end users. However, they will definitely notice that the switch is fairly quiet because there is no fan, and will see fewer cables becuase PoE eliminates the need for separate data and power cables to their devices.

The HP 2520-8G-PoE is ideal for a conference room setting to connect cameras or other devices that require 15 watts or less to power. The Gig-E support comes into play when bandwidth-intensive applications such as high-definition video conferencing are needed. Users will also appreciate the Kensington lock and the ability to mount the unit conveniently on a wall. Administrators can also rack-mount the device with hardware ears that are included.

Why It Works for IT

IT managers will love that they can set quality-of-service priorities on this switch so application performance won't suffer, nor will service degrade. Because the processor is fine-tuned for highly accurate clocking of data delivery, triple-play services of voice, video and data can be reliably introduced to the network — that is, provided that IT staff understand the power limits of connected devices and that they need to connect the switch to a good uninterruptible power supply.

The HP switch uses CAT 3 or CAT 5 Ethernet cables as does a standard network.

IT will also appreciate the greater flexibility that the switch delivers because they can place powered devices wherever they’re needed, regardless of whether there’s an AC power outlet.

3.7 pounds
Weight of the HP 2520-8G-PoE Switch

Network administrators can remotely manage power consumption and monitor the switch via SNMP, which allows effective energy management. For example, a network manager can schedule devices to drop into low-power or sleep modes during off-peak hours.

The HP standard warranty covers technical support and software updates for the life of the switch. Extended and more comprehensive technical-support packages are also available for purchase.


HP provides a significant amount of documentation, but it’s not specifically broken out by model number high enough in the website architecture to minimize the time spent sifting through numerous pages to get to the relevant data. Only warranty information was found on the FAQ page. However, the online manual provided answers to some questions.

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