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Netgear Enters The 10Gb Switch Market

Netgear has announced two new products, the ProSafe 24-port 10 GE Managed L2+ Switch (XSM7224S) 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch and the Netgear ProSafe Network Management System (NMS200). The NMS200 enables IT administrators to discover, configure, monitor, and manage all Netgear Layer 2 and Layer 3 switches through a consistent interface from one console. In the future, the NMS200 is expected to be able to manage other Netgear products and may be able to manage products from other vendors, as well.

Aron Smetana, chief information officer of Headlands Asset Management in San Rafael, Calif., currently uses Netgear equipment for its large storage arrays and will be looking at both the XSM7224S switch and the NMS200 network management system. While the 55-employee organization is not currently using 10GbE switches, Smetana says he plans to evaluate them. "As our business needs grow and we need to move more data, faster, it's definitely something that's on my radar." He also likes the price. "Compared to competitive products, it's a bargain." The network management system is attractive because the organization's nine IT staff members currently manage each device individually. "We don't need to get into things very often, but when we do, it can take a little while to find what we're looking for," he says. "A single console to manage all the devices would simplify our workload dramatically."

"While the XSM7224S, specifically, is not particularly technically innovative, many Netgear customers have been driving the company to provide that functionality," says Shane Buckley, senior vice president and general manager of Netgear.

The new products indicate that Netgear wants to move up-market compared to its traditional offerings, and is filling out its portfolio to help its channel partners, says Ray Boggs, vice president of SMB research for IDC. He is particularly interested in the NMS200, which he says is priced competitively and helps Netgear channel partners retain customers rather than have them go to a third party for software to manage equipment. In addition, by tying the product to the economy, organizations can improve productivity and empower existing employees rather than hire new employees, he says.

The XSM7224S is scheduled to ship within the next 60 days and costs $11,700, with a Layer 3 license upgrade of $2,900. The NMS200 is scheduled to ship within four weeks and starts with a 15-device license for $700 and scales up to 500 devices for $14,620.  There are also pricing options for 30, 50, and 100 devices.