by Lyle Smith

Netgear ProSAFE S3300 Series Smart Switches Review

The ProSAFE S3300 Series is Netgear’s newest generation of Gigabit Stackable Smart Switches that can be stacked with upwards of six switches and 40G bi-directional bandwidth, continuing the company’s focus on adapting solutions that support 10G ports.  This stacking ability allows for the single IP management of multiple units as well as a noticeable improvement in network redundancy and reliability, which allows for a future-proof architecture for network expansion when the time comes. While their portfolio of standalone Smart Switch Series is meant for SMB customers while emphasizing on high performance, the new Netgear switches are designed as an economical alternative for companies looking to move to a 10G-based network, offering the flexibility in 10-Gigabit connectivity with both copper and fiber. The S3300 Series is equipped with two dedicated SFP+ ports, which give businesses the benefit of fiber uplinks without having to forfeit any downlink Gigabit ports. They also enable redundant uplinks and provide users with the ability to build dual redundancy by a trunked uplink with link aggregation and failover redundancy. The other two dedicated ports are two 10GBaseT, which support 10G/1G/100M speeds for redundant uplinks or stacking.

To further its case as a cost-effective solution, the S3300 Series has energy efficient Ethernet (IEEE802.3az) for optimal power reduction, resulting in continued operational cost savings. Netgear has made sure that their new switches are easy to deploy and immediately ready to use out of the box. Though installation is very simple, the S3300 series is equipped with a diverse enterprise-class feature set as well as advanced security functionality. These security features include 802.1x authentication, DHCP Filtering, Port-based security by locked MAC, and ACL filtering to permit or deny traffic based on MAC and IP addresses. In addition, the S3300 series now features dual firmware images and dual configuration files, which allows the switches to offer users transparent firmware updates/configuration changes with the lowest possible service interruption rate.

The S3300 Series is comprised of four different models: the S3300-28X-PoE+, S3300-28X, S3300-52X, and S3300-52X-PoE+. The S3300-28X-PoE+ model is comprised of PoE+-capable Gigabit copper ports and is designed for small organizations between 50 to 250 employees. In addition, it features two dedicated 10G SFP+ Fiber ports supporting 10G and 1000M speeds and two dedicated 10GBase-T copper ports supporting 10G/1G/100M speeds. While its sister switch (the S3300-28X) does not support PoE/PoE+ ports, the S3300-28X-PoE+ model has 24 of them. The S3300-28X-PoE+ can support devices requiring up to 30W per port, or 195W in total across the entire switch. As a result, the amount of cabling and powering devices needed are significantly reduced, which makes installation and management quite a bit easier. S3300-28X-PoE+ also has a much higher max S3300-28X power consumption rate (748.18W vs. 28.18w) and is equipped with an extra fan. The S3300-52X-PoE+ and S3300-52X models are identical to their respective smaller versions, only that they have 52 ports (compared to 28) and consume more power.

Here is a more basic breakdown of the new S3300 line:

  • S3300-52X: Supports fort- eight 10/100/1000 Mbps ports, two dedicated 100M/1G/10GBASE-T ports, and two dedicated 10G/1G SFP+ ports.
  • S3300-52X-PoE+: Supports forty-eight 10/100/1000 Mbps PoE+ capable ports (IEEE 802.1at), two dedicated 100M/1G/10GBASE-T ports, and two dedicated 10G/1G SFP+ ports.
  • S3300-28X: Supports twenty-four 10/100/1000 Mbps ports, two dedicated 100M/1G/10GBASE-T ports, and two dedicated 10G/1G SFP+ ports.
  • S3300-28X-PoE+: Supports twenty-four 10/100/1000 Mbps PoE+ capable ports (IEEE 802.1at), two dedicated 100M/1G/10GBASE-T ports, and two dedicated 10G/1G SFP+ ports.

The S3300 Series are priced at $934.99, $1,569.99, $554.99, and $964.99 and offer an extensive after sale support service to help reduce downtime as well as a Lifetime warranty, Lifetime NBD, and Lifetime online technical chat.

S3300-28X-PoE+ Specifications

  • Model Description: Gigabit Stackable Smart Switch (24 GE ports, 4 10G ports, PoE+)
  • Number of 10G Ports: 4 Dedicated (2 Copper and 2 Fiber)
  • Ordering Number: GS728TXP
  • Number of PoE/PoE+ ports: 24
  • Total PoE Power budget (Watts): 195w
  • Max MAC entries: 16K
  • VLAN (# Supported): 256
  • Number of LAGs & # of members: 26 LAGs with max 8 member in each LAG
  • Stacking bandwidth: 40G bi-directional
  • Internal/External Power Supply: Internal
  • Max Power Consumption (Watts): 748.18W
  • Number of FANs: 2
  • Acoustic Noise Level @25C (dBA): 36,8
  • Operating Temperature: 32° to 122°F (0° to 50°C)
  • MTBF: 147,965 hours
  • Weight (kg): 3.77kg
  • Dimensions (WxDxH) mm: 440 x 257 x 43mm
  • Electromagnetic Compliance (A or B): A

S3300-28X Specifications

  • Model Description: Gigabit Stackable Smart Switch (24 GE ports, 4 10G ports)
  • Number of 10G Ports: 4 Dedicated (2 Copper and 2 Fiber)
  • Ordering Number: GS728TX
  • Number of PoE/PoE+ ports: None
  • Max MAC entries: 16K
  • VLAN (# Supported): 256
  • Number of LAGs & # of members: 26 LAGs with max 8 member in each LAG
  • Number of priority queues: 8
  • Stacking bandwidth: 40G bi-directional
  • Internal/External Power Supply: Internal
  • Max Power Consumption (Watts): 28.18w
  • Number of FANs: 1
  • Acoustic Noise Level @25C (dBA): 40
  • Operating Temperature: 32° to 122°F (0° to 50°C)
  • MTBF: 278,559 hours
  • Weight (kg): 3.14kg
  • Dimensions (WxDxH) mm: 440 x 257 x 43mm
  • Electromagnetic Compliance (A or B): A

S3300-52X-PoE+ Specifications

  • Model Description: Gigabit Stackable Smart Switch (48 GE ports, 4 10G ports, PoE+)
  • Number of 10G Ports: 4 Dedicated (2 Copper and 2 Fiber)
  • Datasheet (PDF): S3300 Datasheet
  • Ordering Number: GS752TXP
  • Number of PoE/PoE+ ports: 48
  • Total PoE Power budget (Watts): 390w
  • Max MAC entries: 16K
  • VLAN (# Supported): 256
  • Number of LAGs & # of members: 26 LAGs with max 8 member in each LAG
  • Number of priority queues: 8
  • Stacking bandwidth: 40G bi-directional
  • Internal/External Power Supply: Internal
  • Max Power Consumption (Watts): 1,484.12W
  • Number of FANs: 3
  • Acoustic Noise Level @25C (dBA): 40
  • Operating Temperature: 32° to 122°F (0° to 50°C)
  • MTBF: 216,809 hours
  • Weight (kg): 5.54kg
  • Dimensions (WxDxH) mm: 440 x 345 x 43mm
  • Electromagnetic Compliance (A or B): A

S3300-52X Specifications

  • Model Description: Gigabit Stackable Smart Switch (48 GE ports, 4 10G ports)
  • Number of 10G Ports: 4 Dedicated (2 Copper and 2 Fiber)
  • Ordering Number: GS752TX
  • Number of PoE/PoE+ ports: None
  • Max MAC entries: 16K
  • VLAN (# Supported): 256
  • Number of LAGs & # of members: 26 LAGs with max 8 member in each LAG
  • Number of priority queues: 8
  • Stacking bandwidth: 40G bi-directional
  • Internal/External Power Supply: Internal
  • Max Power Consumption (Watts): 44.12w
  • Number of FANs: 2
  • Acoustic Noise Level @25C (dBA): 39
  • Operating Temperature: 32° to 122°F (0° to 50°C)
  • MTBF: 279,970 hours
  • Weight (kg): 3.66kg
  • Dimensions (WxDxH) mm: 440 x 257 x 43mm
  • Electromagnetic Compliance (A or B): A

Design and build

Like all Netgear switches, the S3300 portfolio has a very solid build. When looking at the front panel you will see the twenty-four RJ-45 connectors for 10/100/1000 Mbps autosensing Gigabit Ethernet switching ports (ports are PoE/PoE+ compatible for the S3300-28X-PoE+) and two 100M/1G/10GBASE-T copper ports for stacking, as well as two 10G/1G SFP+ fiber ports (also used for stacking). One USB 2.0 port (which supports FAT32 and VFAT file systems) is located on the far right. The S3300-52X and S3300-52X-PoE+ models have the exact same layout, only with 48 Gigabit Ethernet switching ports.

On the left side of the front panel are a reset button to restart the device (the last saved configuration is loaded into the smart switch as it resets; to use the rest button, simply insert a straightened paper clip into the opening), a recessed Factory Defaults button to restore the device back to the factory defaults (all custom settings, such as the password, VLAN settings, and port configurations are also returned to default values). In addition, the GS728TXP Smart Switch has Link, Speed, and Activity LEDs on each port. For the S3300-52X-PoE+ and S3300-28X-PoE+ units, there are PoE LEDs for ports 1–24. Power, Fan, and Stack ID, (PoE Max LEDs for the S3300-28X-PoE+ and S3300-52X-PoE+ units) are also present on the front panel.

The back panel shows a serial console port that is configured for 115200, N, 8, 1 (this port is used for debugging purposes by Netgear support people). It also provides users with a slot for an optional redundant power supply and is where the AC power input connector and a Kensington lock slot are located.

Management

The Netgear ProSAFE Series is managed through a web-based GUI or Smart Control Center for multi-switch deployment. The current GUI is very similar to the previous ProSAFE Control Center web GUI. The new layout is a bit more expansive doesn’t have the cramped feel of its predecessor. The layout is easy to grasp quickly and makes management simple.

Across the top of the main screen are the primary tabs such as: System, Switching, Routing, QoS, Security, Monitoring, Maintenance, Help, and Index.

Through the System tab, administrators can get a quick look at system information, CPU statuses, USB device and slot information, IP and IPv6 configurations, DNS and host configuration, and Green Ethernet configuration. Through the device view, users can view active ports that are lit up and clicking on the port provides configuration settings.  Also through the System tab, users can see License, Stacking of multiple switches, SNMP and LLDP configurations, and enable or disable services.

Through the Switching tab, users can view Port, LAG, and VLAN configurations for each active port. Users can also configure Auto-VoIP, STP, Multicast, and MVR setting as well as view MAC addresses.

With the Routing tab, user can discover routers, configuration IP and view statistics, use the VLAN routing wizard, and configured the router and ARP settings.

The QoS tab enables user to configure CoS and DiffServ settings.

Through the Security tab, users can manage security through options such as setting up passwords, allowing access, port authentication, traffic control, and using an ACL wizard to adjust ACL settings.

The Monitoring tab enables users to monitor Ports and their statistics, view logs, and enable or disable port mirroring.

Through the Maintenance tab, users can reset the unit to factory default or reboot it, they can upload and download TFTP, HTTP, and USB files, manage files, and troubleshoot the system.

The Help tab gives user online support as well as access to the user guide.

And the Index tab has links to any of the various points listed above. 

Conclusion

Designed for small businesses, the Netgear ProSAFE S3300 Series of Switches is the company's newest generation of cost-effective connectivity designed to scale as organization networks grow and has the flexibility to satisfy faster server and storage connections needs. To accomplish this feat, the new switches utilize the device's twenty-four (he S3300-28X-PoE+, S3300-28X) and fifty-two (S3300-52X, and S3300-52X-PoE+) 10/100/1000 Mbps ports (PoE ports for two of the models) with two 100M/1G/10GBASE-T copper ports and two 10G/1G SFP+ fiber ports, which can be used for stacking. These intelligently designed switches are priced at roughly $22-35/port; a very affordable price tag for small, but growing, businesses looking for an IT solution to suit a variety of their use cases. The S3300 Series is also a line of very energy efficient switches with its IEEE802.3az Ethernet for optimal power reduction. As a result, business will have continued savings in operational costs.

The Netgear ProSAFE S3300 Series of switches are very easy to deploy and come out-of-the-box ready. Users simply need to download and install the ProSAFE Smart Control Center Utility, connect the switch to their your PC using an Ethernet cable, power the switch on, and the utility tool will discover the switch for configuration. They also have a rich enterprise-class feature set coupled with good security functionality, the latter which includes 802.1x authentication, DHCP Filtering, Port-based security by locked MAC, and ACL filtering to permit or deny traffic based on MAC and IP addresses. 

That all being said, the Netgear ProSAFE S3300 switches will integrate well into our existing StorageReview Enterprise Lab networking infrastructure. With the addition of 10GBase-T uplink ports, we're able to leverage most cost effective CAT6 links between each S3300 switch in an edge location, connecting back to our Netgear M7100 acting as our core Ethernet switch in the lab. Keeping with the tried and true management interface, with a refreshing visual update, the S3300-series is every bit as easy to manage as prior generation switches. As we phase out older switch models without 10G-uplinks and expand our networking requirements, the new S3300-series is quickly becoming a valuable asset in the StorageReview Enterprise Lab.

Netgear ProSAFE S3300 at Amazon

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