A network switch connects devices on a network by using packet switching to receive, process and forward data to a destination device. Using a switch targets data to a specific device rather than broadcasting out of all ports. A "managed" switch allows you to configure what data gets priority on your mission-critical LAN. These switches also give you the capacity to monitor LAN traffic, build in redundancy and control who has access to make changes.
Managed switches are usually to deliver the most comprehensive functions for a network. Due to their diverse and rich features such as VLAN, CLI, SNMP, IP routing, QoS, etc., managed switches are often used in the core layer in a network, especially in large and complex data centers. However, in order to meet different size of networks demands, there are some lightly managed switches in the market, which is also known as smart switches. These switches only have part capabilities of managed switches. When users have limited costs and do not need all the features of fully managed switch, smart switch offers them an optimal alternative.