Netgear has jumped into the market for managed network tools by introducing its first managed Ethernet switch, aimed at small businesses looking for more than the average box sold at computer superstores.
The stackable FSM726S switch could help a small business that has outgrown its basic, commodity hubs or switches by adding management software and copper Gigabit Ethernet to a small network. The product could also be a sign that Netgear is planning to go up against 3Com more aggressively for a share of the small and medium business network market.
The FSM726S has twenty-four 10/100Mbps Ethernet ports, two Gigabit converter (GBIC) slots and two 10/100/1000Mbps ports for copper Gigabit network backbone uplinks or server connections. All ports are Layer 2, and can autosense connection speeds.
Copper GBIC inserts, as well as short and long-distance fibre inserts, can also be added to the switch for network runs longer than the 100-metre range limit of Gigabit Ethernet over copper. A maximum of six FSM726S switches can be stacked together to support up to 150 end stations without using up its Gigabit connections - a stacking cable is included with the device.
A management Web interface is also included, which network managers could use to configure the switch with virtual LANs, traffic prioritisation, or port mirroring and trunking. The management software supports SNMP and remote monitoring, and includes tools such as capacity planning and error-detection applications.