by Josh Linden

NETGEAR ProSafe Plus JGS524E 24-Port Ethernet Switch Review

ProSafe Plus is Netgear’s family of SMB switches that provide some advanced Layer 2 network functionality such as VLAN and per-port QoS, with a streamlined management interface for situations where full-blown managed switches are not necessary or practical to administrate. The ProSafe Plus JGS524E provides 24 ports with up to 2,000 Mbps of dedicated, non-blocking bandwidth per port in a compact rack-mountable chassis.

With the caveat that the ProSafe Plus configuration utility is only supported on Windows, Netgear has designed the JGS524E for flexible applications like temporary network deployments, field offices, and small businesses that require some advanced functionality but not the complexity of a fully-managed network infrastructure. The ProSafe Plus family essentially adds a few key features to Netgear's unmanaged ProSafe line in order to accommodate the need for a general-purpose Ethernet switch that could be set up quickly and with little IT administrative overhead.

While the StorageReview Lab requires managed ethernet infrastructure like the NETGEAR ProSafe GSM7352S or the Mellanox SX1036 to guarantee that high performance storage and compute is not bottlenecked by the network, switches like the JGS524E give us a compromise of flexibility and Layer 2 ethernet functionality that make it convenient when streamlined setup and administration is more important that maximum configurability or top speed.

JGS524E Specifications

  • Twenty-four (24) 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet RJ-45 ports
  • VLAN support for traffic segmentation
  • Quality of Service (QoS) for traffic prioritization
  • Auto Denial-of-Service prevention
  • Cable test
  • Loop prevention and broadcast storm controls
  • IGMP snooping v1, v2 and v3 support for multicast optimization
  • Rate limiting
  • Port mirroring
  • Jumbo frame support
  • Power: 100-240V, 50-60Hz, 0.9A max, localized to country of sale
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 43mm x 330mm x 173mm (1.7in x 13in x 6.8in)
  • Weight: 1.43kg (3.15lb)
  • NETGEAR Lifetime Warranty

Design and Build

Other than the power cable at rear, all of the JGS524E’s interactivity is located on the front. The 24 Ethernet ports are split into two rows. Each port corresponds with two LED indicators in the middle of the unit: one LED indicates link and the other indicates the speed of the connection. The utilitarian front panel design is completed by the power indicator and factory defaults reset switch at left.

The JGS524E is designed to support rack-mounted installation and comes with a rail kit. To mount the JGS524E switch in a rack, Netgear includes mounting tabs that extend the width fit a 1U mounting slot.

The back of the Netgear JGS524E is very basic with just a single AC power plug and a locking slot.

User Interface

Netgear included the Prosafe Plus Configuration Utility to manage the JGS524E switch. While the switch is assigned a local IP on the network it resides, it doesn't have its own internal web server to host its management utilities internally. The utility is easy to follow and offers plenty of options for buyers in this price category.

Even small networks now tend to feature devices which need to be segregated by VLAN or which require Quality of Service controls in order to function properly without disrupting other network traffic. Automated, always-on systems like VoIP phones and IP security camera solutions frequently require this Layer 2 functionality in locations with limited access by IT staff. The Prosafe Plus JGS524E offers both port and tag-based prioritization through the integrated management software.

In Use

We use the Netgear ProSafe Plus JGS524E 24-port switch as the backbone of the StorageReview internal network. This switch keeps our workstations connected to our building router, as well as network-attached storage used in our day to day operations.

While it might seem counter-productive to use this switch instead of the GSM7352, this layout keeps our lab running on its own dedicated network outside management traffic. This means our tests continue to run without interference or possible latency impacts, with the added perks of enabling QoS rules to prevent select workstations from over-saturating the 1GbE network during large file transfers and image backups.

NETGEAR ProSafe Plus JGS524E at Amazon.com

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