In many ways, this is the small gigabit switch version of my question about server RAM here. Basically, we have a few servers we want to connect through a gigabit switch (few = 4 at present, unlikely to grow at all; if it doubled I'd be truly shocked). When I was doing initial costings on the project, I found a variety of name-brand rackmount switches (such as this Cisco 48-port model) in the £200-500 range (ex-VAT). Our vendor is quoting us one for more than £2,000 (ex-VAT). They haven't given us the model number, but from what they have told us I suspect it's one of these, a "Cisco WS-C2960G-48TC-L - Catalyst 2960 48 10/100/1000, 4 T/SFP LAN Base Image" — for which their price is high, but not ridiculous.
This switch is to go into a rack that we will not grow our presence in, hooking into a network that the vendor is not in charge of (they're in charge of other networks in our deployment, but not this one, it's in a backup data centre). As far as I'm aware, there are no significant routing issues involved, the goal is simply that these four servers will talk fairly quickly to each other and the switch will have an upstream connection to the corporate net (not the internet); data that gets to the switch from the network at all need only be directed at the right server, not further clamped down, shaped, etc. I'm not even sure we need a managed switch.
I'm more a development guy than an admin guy, and I'm fairly aware of my limitations outside my area of expertise. (I definitely know a lot less about network switches than about RAM, vis-a-vis my other question.) Am I missing something? Is there a really solid justification for buying something so much larger and four times as expensive? Totally willing to believe it, but it seems worth asking the question. Naturally I'll be discussing it with the vendor, I just want to get some input from people who know more than I do first.
Edit And, of course, if you have a good experience with a particular brand or model for simple scenarios such as the above (must be rackmount), I'd love to hear them.