Don't Fight Your Network, Switch

Monday Dec 19th 2005 by Dan Muse
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If your network is growing, Netgear's new line of smart switches features a stackable architecture and promises new levels of scalability and performance.

In a move to help small and medium-size businesses accommodate both their growing networks and the increasing variety of network-attached devices, Netgear today announced three additions to its ProSafe Smart Switch Family: the ProSafe 24Port 10/100 Stackable Smart Switch with 4 Gigabit Ports (FS728TS), ProSafe 48 Port 10/100 Stackable Smart Switch with 4 Gigabit Ports (FS752TS) and ProSafe 48 Port Stackable Smart Switch with 4 Gigabit Ports and PoE (FS752TPS)

"We're pushing the boundaries of what smart switches can do," Peter Newton, senior product line manager at Netgear, said. The stackable switches are designed to support the needs of growing small businesses, he said, by offering better performance and scalability through a 4Gbps, dual-ring, stacking architecture that allows you to mix and match to stack up to 192 10/100 ports.


Netgear ProSafe Smart Switch Family
Stack 'em up. The new Netgear ProSafe Smart Switch Family lets you stack and manage up to 109 ports under one IP address

The three ProSafe Smart Switches each feature four Gigabit Ethernet ports for connection to servers or the network backbone and two hot-swappable Small Form-factor Pluggable gigabit interface converter slots that provide fiber connectivity for greater distance and security.

At the top of the new line, the FS752TPS support up to 24 Power over Ethernet (PoE) devices. PoE products require only that you run one Ethernet Cat-5 cable to supply network devices with both power and data. With PoE, your electrical power source detects the presence of an appropriate device and injects applicable current into the data cable. The benefit is that devices such as IP-based surveillance cameras, Voice over IP phones, wireless access points can operate solely from the power received through the data cable.

The new switches offer small business "a single point" for network management, Newton said. "We realized the need to add more scalability into these switches to better meet our customers' expansion requirements. The addition of the stacking capability with the integration of more Gigabit Ethernet ports provides a new level of scalability and flexibility and will give them the ability to easily and affordably scale upward as their infrastructure demands increase."

Netgear first introduced the ProSafe Smart Switch family in 2003. As with those earlier products, the new line's management features are designed to provide performance monitoring, port configuration, virtual LAN for traffic control, port trunking for increased bandwidth and or traffic prioritization through either Simple Network Management Protocol or a browser-based graphical interface. The switches are also built to work seamlessly with Netgear's network monitoring and management software, ProSafe Network Management System.

The FS728TS (24 ports) and FS752TS (48 ports) are available immediately at list prices of $350 and $660, respectively. The FS752TPS (48 ports and PoE capability) will be available in January at a list price of $1,050.

Dan Muse is executive editor of internet.com's Small Business Channel, EarthWeb's Networking Channel and ServerWatch.

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