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NetGear Adds PoE Stackable Switches to Line

Increasingly, small and medium businesses are using IP to collapse their voice and data networks. Rather than manage two autonomous networks, corporations can combine the two, which eases management functions, lowers costs, and increases efficiency. However, these new converged networks require additional capabilities, such as Power over Ethernet (PoE), so NetGear added that feature to its switches.Netgear introduced two new ProSafe Gigabit Smart Switches, the GS724TPS and the GS748TPS. The devices feature PoE capabilities on all ports and Auto Voice VLAN features, so businesses can more easily incorporate IP phones into their networks. In addition, four ports on each switch support PoE+, the IEEEs 802.3at draft standard, which provides power to energy eating devices, such as multi-channel wireless access points, pan-tilt-zoomed IP cameras, and touch-screen IP phones.

The switches have two dedicated HDMI ports delivering up to 20G bps of bandwidth on each switch. Customers can stack up to 6 switches or 288 ports together and manage them with a single IP address. The devices also include redundant and hot-swappable features. Pricing for the GS724TPS starts at $899.99, and $1,699.99 for the GS748TPS, which has twice as much capacity.

NetGear has proven to be a popular choice among small and medium businesses because the vendor has delivered functional, low cost switches. The latest models bundle a few desired features at attractive price points. Moving forward, the question becomes: Is the company, which generated about $750 million in 2008, large enough to survive long term? With various market sectors constricting, network equipment vendors have been trying to increase their mass , so they can spread out their operating costs. NetGear has expanded into new market segments, such as storage. Time will tell if it has what is needed to survive and thrive in the highly competitive, rapidly changing network equipment market.