by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

NETGEAR ProSafe GS752TXS Smart Switch Review

The NETGEAR ProSafe GS752TXS is a 52-port gigabit stackable Smart Switch designed specifically to work with the ever-growing adaptation of 10-gigabit servers. Its predecessor, the GS752TS, is no stranger in the StorageReview labs. We have used the first-gen NETGEAR Smart Switch in many of our NAS reviews due to its reliability and consistent performance. In this review, we will be focusing on its successor, the GS752TXS, NETGEAR’s 2nd Generation Gigabit Stackable Smart Switch that focuses on scalability, reliability, and performance for growing small- and medium-sized businesses looking for an affordable and easy-to-manage Smart Switch solution.

Of the 52 ports, 48 are gigabit ports are used for connecting devices to the network and the other four are 10GE SFP+ ports dedicated for either stacking or uplinks. The GS752TXS supports up to six switches that can be stacked for a total of 288 network ports, all of which have full redundancy. Additionally, the GS752TXS provides enterprises with feature-rich functionality via the included Smart Control Center software. With this software bundle, users can discover and manage all NETGEAR Smart Switches from a central location, conduct mass configuration, and apply firmware upgrades.

Other key features of the GS752TXS Smart Switch include Dynamic VLAN assignment, which increases security by requiring a consistent policy as well as user credentials across the entire network, no matter what workstation users are connecting from; MLD snooping, which improves network efficiency by forwarding multicast traffic only to designated hosts instead of flooding multicast packets across all ports; and converged network with voice and video support, which offers auto-voice and auto-video features that automatically configure QoS, security, and VLAN settings for IP phones and IP cameras.

The Smart Switch GS752TXS costs less than half of what a typical Managed switch goes for. Though Managed Switches do ship with more functionality and support methods, Smart Switches still offer quite a bit of versatility with enough configuration capabilities to suit the needs of most enterprises; all at a much lower price tag.

The GS752TXS Smart Switch has a street price of $1,300 and is backed by a ProSafe Lifetime Warranty as well as one year of 24x7 Advanced Technical ProSupport.

Specifications

  • Interfaces
    • 48 10/100/1000MB/s switching ports
    • (4) 10GB/s SFP+ slots (port 49~52) to support 10GB/s optical module and 1G 
      optical modules 
    • Port 51 and port 52 can be used as the stacking ports or as uplink ports.
    • Auto-sensing and auto-negotiating capabilities for all copper ports
    • Auto Uplink on all ports to make the right connection
  • Performance Specifications
    • Forwarding modes: Store-and-forward
    • Bandwidth: 176GB/s
    • Stack up to 6 switches for 300 ports per stack
    • Stacking bandwidth: 20GB/s
    • Network latency: Less than 20 microseconds for 64-byte frames in store-and-forward mode for 1000MB/s to 1000MB/s transmission
    • Buffer memory: 2MB
    • 128Mbytes system DDR SDRAM (32Mbx16)
    • 32Mbytes flash memory
    • Address database size: 16K media access control (MAC) addresses per system
    • Addressing: 48-bit MAC address
    • 256 VLANs; Maximum VLAN id is 4093
    • 7 802.1p traffic classes
    • 8 LAGs
    • 32 static routes
    • 15 routed VLANs
    • 1024 ARP Cache entries
    • 7 queues used for DiffServ
    • 100 ACLs (IPv4/IPv6)
    • 8K DHCP snooping binding
    • 1024 DHCP static entries
    • Mean time between failures (MTBF): 
      • 256,119h (~29.3 years) at 25°C – 
      • 90,993h (~10.3 years) at 55°C
  • LEDs
    • Unit: Power, master, stack ID, FAN
    • Per port: Link, speed, activity
  • Power Supply
    • Max Power consumption: 77W 
    • 100-240V AC/50-60 Hz universal input
  • Physical Specifications
    • Dimensions: (h x w x d): 43mm x 440mm x 257mm (1.69in x 17.32in x 10.13in)
    • Weight: 4.50kg (9.92lb)
  • Environmental  Specifications
    • Operating temperature: 32°F to 104°F (0°C to 50°C)
    • Storage temperature: -4°F to 158°F (-20°C to 70°C)
    • Operating humidity: 95% maximum relative humidity, non-condensing
    • Storage humidity: 95% maximum relative humidity, non-condensing

Design and Build

The GS752TXS blends in well with other NETGEAR switch products, with a grey all-metal enclosure with the NETGEAR logo engraved on top. Although it's not as flashy as other switches out there, the device feels very sturdy and can definitely take all the wear and tear that comes with this type of hardware. Included with the GS752TXS is the is an AC power cord, rack mount kit, installation guide, software CD, and rubber footpads to stabilize the switch if the installation doesn't call for a rack environment.

At the center of the front panel lay the 48 RJ-45 connectors for 10/100/1000-Mbps autosensing Gigabit Ethernet switching ports. Four dedicated 1000 MB/s/10GB/s SFP+ Gigabit Ethernet switching ports are located on the far right. As we mentioned above, up to four of these ports can be used as stacking ports. The Reset button, as well as the Link, Speed, and port ACT LEDs, are located on the left beside the Power, Fan, Stack Master, and Stack ID LEDs. Also present is the Recessed Factory Default button, which restores the device back to the factory set defaults.

The GS752TXS is active cooled by two fans located on the left side of the switch. These move air left to right, exhausting heat through passive grills on the right side of the switch. Also visible are the ear-mount tabs to secure the switch in a rack environment. Compared to managed switches, the GS752TXS also has a very shallow mounting depth, allowing users to maximize rackspace by mounting two switches or other gear back to back.

The back panel is virtually bare compared to the front, as it only has the power connector and a Kensington Lock slot.

StorageReview Lab Use

The NETGEAR Prosafe GS752TXS Smart Switch is the backbone of the StorageReview NAS Test Lab, a secondary lab that we use primarily for testing 1GbE and 10GBase-t consumer, prosumer and light-enterprise network shared storage. In our environment we leverage the VLAN capabilities of the GS752TXS to divide ports 1-12 to our office class C subnet, and the remaining ports to our lab class B subnet. Another distinct advantage of the GS752TXS is its 10G uplink capability, which we use to connect the switch back to our main Test Lab through SFP+ optical transceivers and a 30 meter LC/LC fiber optic cable. This trunk connection provides high-speed connectivity to our VMware infrastructure, including a Fusion-io ION storage array.

Back in our NAS Test Lab, we also use one 10G uplink port and a short-reach SFP+ copper cable to connect the ProSafe GS752TXS to our 12-port 10Gbase-T ProSafe XS712T switch. This setup provides seamless 10G connectivity throughout our two test labs and across multiple high-speed SAN fabrics. Depending on the environment the GS752TXS is being considered for, its four 10G SFP+ ports can be used to directly connect new servers or storage devices that need that speed, or as in our case tie into existing 10G infrastructure.

Conclusion

The GS752TXS is a 52-port Gigabit Stackable Smart Switch ideal for small and medium-sized businesses looking for an affordable (yet powerful) easy-to-use solution. This easy to manage switch cab be stacked with up to six switches for a grand total of 288 network ports, all of which have full redundancy for great reliability. In addition, the GS752TXS offers businesses and enterprises with feature-rich functionality using the Smart Control Center software, which is packaged free of charge. The Smart Control Center allows users to discover and manage all NETGEAR Smart Switches from a central location, conduct mass configuration, and firmware upgrades. In our lab environment, we use the GS752TXS as the backbone to our NAS Test Lab, bringing 10G connectivity over from our main test lab with SFP+ modules and fiber optic cabling. The 10G uplink capability also allows us to tie into additional high-speed gear from NetGear in our NAS Test Lab including a 12-port ProSafe XS712T used for testing 10Gbase-T storage.

Bottom Line

The GS752TXS is a worthy addition to NETGEAR's ProSafe line due to its reliable performance, scalability and integrated 10G connectivity.

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