Netgear Unveils New 10GbE Network Switches for SMBs

Paul Mah

Netgear this week took the wraps off three new 10G Ethernet switches designed with the needs of small and mid-sized businesses in mind. The new device lineup consists of the 24-port ProSafe XSM7224, the 12-port ProSafe XS712T and the 8-port ProSafe XS708E. Compared to expensive enterprise-centric offerings, the Netgear switches are priced at an attractive $175 to $208 per port for the two lower-end models.

The 24-port ProSafe XSM7224 is part of Netgear's M7100 series and is fully managed. It also comes with four ports of SFP+ interfaces for 1GbE/10GbE fiber uplinks, useful for deployment in large compounds or campus-style offices where high-performance 10GbE aggregation is desired.

On its part, the 12-port ProSafe XS712T has two shared 10GbE fiber SFP+ ports with an array of features such as dynamic VLAN, QoS for advanced prioritization and advanced security. Finally, the lower-end 8-port ProSafe XS708E offers a shared 10G fiber SPF+ port for uplink, and simple Layer 2 functionality along with support for features such as VLAN, rate limiting and traffic monitoring.

10GbE deployments are still few and far between for many SMBs out there. With 10 times the amount of raw bandwidth compared to Gigabit Ethernet, however, it represents an easy way to quickly upgrade an organization’s core switching capacity. In that vein, the new Netgear devices represent a cost-efficient way for SMBs to obtain a steep performance boost with a comparatively small amount of capital investment.

Uses for 10Gbps Ethernet

There are many uses for implementing 10Gbps Ethernet, too. SMBs can deploy the 10GbE switches to complement servers and NAS (network-attached storage) appliances equipped with 10Gbps Ethernet adapters. This is especially pertinent as new servers are shipping with 10Gbps Ethernet on-board; most existing servers can also be upgraded relatively easily with 10GbE network adapters.

As reported last year, the EonNAS Pro and the EonNAS 1000 Series from storage solution provider Infortrend offers 10 Gigabit LAN ports on its top-end models, as with the StorCenter px12-450r NAS by Iomega. In addition, computer makers such as Dell have also launched PowerEdge servers with the option of 10GbE adapters from early 2012.

In addition, the ample network headroom offered by a 10GbE network core also helps with businesses considering rolling out 1Gbps Ethernet to the rest of the company. And unlike a company-wide deployment, wiring up the server closer with the necessary CAT6 cables for 10GbE is a relatively simple and cheap affair given the short cable that is required.

The 24-port XSM7224, 12-port XS712T and 8-port XS708E have an MSRP of $7,990, $2,500 and $1,400, respectively. Netgear says the XS712T will only be available in late Q1, though the other two switches are currently shipping.

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