by August 15, 2006 0 comments



This managed switch from Netgear has 24 10/100 Mbps, Power over Ethernet (PoE)
ports and 4 gigabit ports with 2 Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP) GBIC slots.
Such features make it ideal for deploying Wireless Access Points, VoIP and IP
surveillance cameras. The SFP slots can be used for connecting the switches in a
stack. This arrangement allows up to six switches (connecting up to 192 devices)
to be accessed from a single IP address. The gigabit ports can provide support
for high speed WAN links and servers. The switch provides 801.x security, SNMP
v1,v2c and v3 support, logging, rate limiting and Layer3prioritization. Also two
of the four ports can provide fiber connectivity when used with optional GBIC
modules. Plus, it supports all standard L2 features such as VLAN, Spanning Tree,
etc.


Price:
Rs 19,200 (5 yr warranty)

Meant For:

Mid-sized businesses

Key Specs:

24 10/100 Mbps ports + 4 gigabit ports, QoS, Managed switch

Pros:

Class of Service, Storm Control

Cons:

Its Web console doesn’t support Mozilla

Contact:

Netgear Technologies, Delhi Tel: 9899100113 
E-mail: atul.jain@netgear.com

The Web browser interface offers Smart Switch Management, which facilitate
port and switch configuration.The switch is easy to configure given its
Web-based interface. But when we opened its Web GUI with Mozilla FireFox, it
didn’t get displayed properly, although it worked perfectly with IE. Its Web
configuration interface also has idle timeout.

Security and QoS
For security, the switch provides Traffic Storm Control for broadcast, multicast
and unknown unicast packets, port security and authentication. It has a QoS
feature called Class of Service (CoS), which is priority based QoS. This feature
allows you to give priority to data coming out from a particular port on the
switch.

Another QoS feature of the switch was QoS queues and bandwidth control, i.e.
port based Ingress/ Egress rate limiting. To Enable Engress Shaping rate you
need to specify the Committed Information Rate (CIR). This is the rate at which
data is transmitted using Frame Relay Services. For Ingress Rate limiting, you
need to configure the Rate Limit according to the bandwidth capacity connected
to the interface.

Tests and results
To test the CoS feature, we tried a very simple test. We connected three
machines on separate ports of the switch. Then, we transferred a 200 MB file
from two of the machines to the third machine simultaneously. We first did it
with CoS disabled, and it took the two machines 50 seconds and 52 seconds
respectively to transfer data to the third machine.

We then enabled CoS and gave one of the ports priority over the other. This
time, the port with the lower priority took 40 seconds to transfer the data and
the port with higher priority took just 25 seconds, which was almost half the
original time. Interestingly, as you would have noticed that this feature
benefited both source ports, because each took lesser time to do the data
transfer.

We then tested the switch using NetIQ Qcheck. This gave us an average
throughput of 94.118 Mbps in an isolated network environment when transferring
1000 KB of payload from one port to the other. The response time came out to be
1ms in this. Next we flooded the switch with large amounts of traffic using our
standard benchmark and again checked for throughput. This time, the throughput
went down to 73 Mbps. We then
repeated the same set of tests on its Gigabit link. Here, the highest throughput
without any traffic came to 880 Mbps, and after flooding the switch with a large
amount of traffic, it dropped to 615 Mbps. While this is a good score, it’s
not the best. The D-Link switch we reviewed last month gave a throughput of 685
Mbps in the same test.

Bottom Line: Given the price and features like CoS, traffic storm
control, etc, this switch is an excellent buy.

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