Netgear pushes 10GB network gear for midsize businesses

Smart Switch is designed to support virtualization, video on demand, and other high-bandwidth tasks

Move over, gigabit Ethernet: 10GB is trickling down to small and medium-sized businesses. Netgear says its new ProSafe 52-Port Gigabit Stackable Smart Switch (GS752TXS) is the first in its class to ship with four 10GB uplinks (as opposed to the gigabit connections that have been the norm up to now).

Netgear's ProSafe line of smart switches bridges the gap between inexpensive consumer products that can't support the demands of today's small businesses, and pricey enterprise gear that already supports 10GB, but typically require the attentions of an IT pro with advanced network skills.

The ProSafe GS752TXS's boasts a web-based interface (no need to learn geeky command line stuff), and its increased bandwidth makes it a good fit for a growing number of scenarios that apply to small and mid-sized businesses as well as their better-heeled enterprise cousins.

Netgear officials cite as an example the trend to virtualization, which allows businesses to set up multiple servers on a single physical machine--for example, you could run both your web and e-mail servers on a single computer, which generally saves money on both equipment and operating costs. Virtualization also provides great flexibility since you can easily move a virtual server to a different physical machine as your business grows.

Another plus: You can stack (or connect) up to six ProSafe GS752TXS switches, to create a single large virtual switch that supports up to 288 network connections. Stackability means that you can configure all six connected machines simultaneously through the web interface--a big time-saver.

Finally, Netgear says the GS752TXS's MSRP of $2100 (which also pays for a lifetime warranty) is about half of what you'd pay for a fully-managed, comparably sized enterprise-level switch.

Note, however, that the benefits of 10GB switches don't apply only within the local area network since small businesses don't typically enjoy Internet connectivity that's speedy enough to profit from the increased bandwidth.

The Netgear ProSafe 52-Port Gigabit Stackable Smart Switch (GS752TXS) is available now, the company says.

This story, "Netgear pushes 10GB network gear for midsize businesses" was originally published by PCWorld.

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