Based on our decades-long knowledge, MA has developed a network solution with convincing performance and reliability, giving users total control over the network – the MA Network Switch.
The MA Network Switch offers a simple solution for all types of networks. It uses all the entertainment industry protocols and makes the network management easier for users without deeper networking knowledge. The MA Network Switch is perfect for complex networks as well as for permanent installations and temporary projects.
Thanks to an intuitive web browser interface all setups can be easily achieved. It is also possible to set the MA Network Switch up via a grandMA2 console or the grandMA2 onPC software. This way, the grandMA2 user has control of the whole network.
By grouping ports it is possible to separate different data streams in the network. The MA Network Switch offers six groups for applications like lighting, sound and video. Via the management group it is possible to access the web interface of the switch.
A port configured as trunk combines all groups without mixing the data streams and connects a switch to one or more switches. Otherwise there would be a connection from switch to switch in each group necessary.
With filters it is possible to significantly enhance the network communication, because you only send a fixture the data it actually needs. Superfluous data is filtered and not used. Additionally custom filters can be added or filters can be combined and saved as presets in the MA Network Switch, which simplifies and accelerates the workflow.
Filters and presets can be used to send only the data of the selected filter or to block defined data. The MA Network Switch comes with a standard set of filters and presets installed ex works for example the grandMA2 preset offers all protocols of the grandMA2 (like MA-Net2, sACN, Art-Net, CITP, Midi Show Control etc.)
The MA Network Switch is compatible with IEEE 802.3ab Gigabit Ethernet and can be integrated into existing Ethernet networks. Experienced system technicians have access to functions like VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network), IGMP (Internet Group Management Protocol) and RSTP (Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol).
Avoiding loops with the Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP)
RSTP is a protocol which eliminates redundant links. If two MA Network Switches are connected via two links, RSTP eliminates the improper loop. This mechanism is therefore needed to identify and delete this loops. This offers users the chance to connect switches with two links to have one as backup. If one link fails, due to a damaged cable, there is still another link available. RSTP discovers the doubled data stream while the network is setup, deactivates one and keeps it available for backup.
Link aggregation for more safety and bandwidth
The bundling of links is known as link aggregation. It was originally intended to raise the bandwidth (four links with 1GBit/s allow 4GBits/s data bandwidth). But the link aggregation also balances the data traffic to the links and thereby increases the availability. The switch bundles physical ports to one logical port. If one link fails, the data stream keeps flowing using the remaining links.
The advantage of link aggregation versus RSTP
When connecting two MA Network Switches with a dual link the link aggregation uses both links (with the benefits mentioned above) while RSTP deactivates one link. The web interface displays the status of each link being “active” or “blocked”. Additionally it is highly recommended to check redundant links before each use, to ensure the correct status of each link.
Port Mirroring is a function to mirror any port of the MA Network Switch to another free port of the switch. This mirrored port can be used for fault diagnosis, to discover and solve errors in the network or in the communication with a connected device.