NetGear has introduced four new ProSAFE 10 GbE switches for small and medium businesses, upgrading their first generation of XS708E and XS712T parts. The new switches support both copper (10GBase-T) and fiber links, IPv6 management as well as Layer 2+/Layer 3 Lite features. NetGear claims that the new switches are significantly more cost-efficient than previous-generation 10 GbE products.

Internet speeds and file sizes increased orders of magnitude in the last ten years and for many offices (and prosumers), Gigabit Ethernet or basic teaming might no longer be enough. As a result, many businesses and individuals these days are evaluating migration to 10 Gigabit Ethernet, which of course has immediate high performance, but is more expensive on per-port basis than traditional GbE (as well as power consumption when looking for RJ45 compatibility). Fortunately, in the recent quarters, a number of companies have started to offer moderately priced 10 GbE switches supporting both copper and fiber links that can enable a more cost-efficient transition to 10 Gigabit networks.

The four new ProSAFE 10 GbE Smart Managed Switches from NetGear are the 8-port XS708T, the 16-port XS716T, the 24-port XS728T and the 44-port XS748T. The 8- and 16-port switches are based on single-core ARM Cortex-A9 600 MHz processor, whereas the more powerful 24- and 44-port models feature dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 800 MHz processor.

NetGear ProSAFE 10 GbE Smart Managed Switches
  XS708T XS716T XS728T XS748T
10GBase-T RJ-45 8 16 24 44
SFP Ports 2 shared 4 dedicated
CPU Single-core ARM Cortex-A9 600 MHz Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 800 MHz
RAM 512 MB
Non-Volatile Memory 8MB SPI + 256 NAND
Packet Buffer 2 MB 3 MB
ACLs 100 shared 164 shared
MAC Address Table
RP/NDP Table
256 VLANs
512 VLANs
Fabric Bandwidth 160 Gbps 320 Gbps 560 Gbps 960 Gbps
Rated Latency 10GBASE-T: <3.012 μs

<2.466 μs
10GBASE-T: <2.624 μs

<2.128 μs
10GBASE-T: <11.649 μs

<2.619 μs
10GBASE-T: <3.674 μs

<3.693 μs
Static Routes
(IPv4 & IPv6)
IPv4: 32
IPv6: 32
IPv4: 64
IPv6: 64
Multicast IGMP
USB Port One port for firmware and config access
Rated Power Consumption 49.5 W 96.0 W 134.9 W 262.8 W
Price $1558 $2623 unknown $8198

The switches support modern VLAN features, such as protocol-based VLAN, MAC-based VLAN and 802.1x Guest VLAN; advanced QoS with L2/L3/L4 awareness and eight priority queues including Q-in-Q; dynamic VLAN assignment; IPv4 and IPv6 routing; IPv6 for management, QoS and ACL and so on. The devices come in rackmount form-factors and consume from 49.5 W to 262.8 W of power.

According to a survey of over 550 IT decision-makers in the U.S, U.K., and Germany ordered by NetGear and conducted by Palmer Research, approximately 33% of sub-500-employee businesses today already have 10 GbE switching to connect to modern 10 GbE servers and NAS. Meanwhile, a lot of those who currently do not use 10 GbE are considering to deploy it and plan to do so in the coming quarters. The survey says that by the end of 2017, 75% of the aforementioned organizations will have deployed a 10 GbE backbone by the end of 2017. Analysts from IHS (according to data provided by NetGear) seem to agree with the results of the survey and believe that adoption of 10 GbE is increasing rapidly these days.

Pricing of these switches are a lot higher than standard gigabit ethernet switches as 10GbE networks typically require the advanced management protocols for businesses and enterprise, whereas home users might be happy with a simple pass-through device. Because of the market, and the management requirements, we are still looking at above $150 per port for 10GbE. The NetGear ProSAFE XS708T and XS716T are available now for $1558 ($194.75 per port) and $2623 ($164 per port), respectively. The top-of-the-range XS748T will ship in July for $8198 ($186 per port). Pricing and availability of the XS728T were not touched upon by NetGear. By comparison, the popular first generation 8-port XS708E switch is retailing for $850 ($106.25 per port) at this point in its life cycle.

Sources: NetGear, ServeTheHome.

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  • Daniel Egger - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    > You just validated two of his 3 numbers.

    As far as I am aware Cat.5e is not even specified for use with 10GBase-T and I don't think the onus is on me to prove that it is.

    > Technically if a cable can't do 100M it doesn't meet the specification so even Cat6 isn't "approved" for 10G because it can only do 55m.

    Well, I'm not sure at all whether 10GBase-T is actually specified to work on Cat.6 (at a lower maximum length) at all but what I do know is that is it specified to work with Cat.6a. And to ensure this is is exactly why performance specifications by TIA and ISO exist which need to be met (and proven with a test protocol). If an installation (meaning *all* of it) does not meet the requirements for Cat.6a you're not allowed to call it a Cat.6a cabling, in that case 10GBase-T might work, or might not work but who cares... my whole point is: Despite contrary claims 10GBase-T has very stringent requirements -- which I know for a fact many installations will not fulfil -- and thus in many cases it will not be the drop-in replacement many are hoping for. That's a big difference to the introduction of 1000Base-T where people simply needed to swap NICs and switches and everything was go...

    NB: A real Cat.7 installation is undesirable to have in many cases because you MAY NOT use the common RJ45 sockets and connectors anymore and thus it can be a very expensive experience with little gain.
  • coastinthefog - Thursday, May 19, 2016 - link

    I have 10G working at home on cat5e wired through my walls. Less than 50 ft run.
  • colonelclaw - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    Has anyone here got real-world experience of a 10GBase-T PCI card that isn't an Intel X540T1/2? I'd like to find something cheaper for our workstations.
  • alexdi - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    There are piles of older models that'll suffice if you don't mind 20W+ TDP and little screamer fans. The X540 series is among the few that's cooled passively, though I also have an Intel AT2 card here from 2010 that's the same.
  • azazel1024 - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    What distances? There are a number of GBIC cards out there. If you just need 10GbE cheap and low power, 10GbE Twinax GBIC modules, plus 10 meter cables is about $130 for two modules and the cable, and you can get GBIC 10Gbps PCI-e cards for like $30-40 each for the modules to go in.

    Perfect for rack to rack or small distance work areas. Twinax 10GbE also only consumes about 1-1.5w a port, instead of about 4-5w a port of the newest and best 10GBASE-T stuff.

    Just a thought.
  • azazel1024 - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    To clarify, the downside is, new cables and the maximum supported distance of Twinax 10GbE is 10 meters.
  • Daniel Egger - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    > Perfect for rack to rack or small distance work areas. Twinax 10GbE also only consumes about 1-1.5w a port, instead of about 4-5w a port of the newest and best 10GBASE-T stuff.

    > Just a thought.

    Or use fibre instead... just a thought...
  • hechacker1 - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    I've seen X520's with SFP+ (no optics included) go for $230. No fan, but it probably requires case fans blowing over it. Then buy some cheap SFP+ twinax cables and you're good to go.
  • coastinthefog - Thursday, May 19, 2016 - link

    I'm using one by startech. Works fine.
  • hechacker1 - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    Those prices aren't really great at the high end. I've just looked up some Cisco quotes from our sales guy, and after discounts it's less than $7000 for a Catalyst 3850 4x10 SFP, with 36 multi-gig POE ports, including redundant power supplies. And it's modular so you can swap things or stack them.

    Granted we buy in bulk so we're getting a good deal.

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