Ever since the Taiwanese NAS manufactures included 10GbE capabilities to their products, I've been in the 10GbE network market. Until now your options were limited to enterprise, expensive paired with lucky, or enterprise paired with more expensive. Searching the used market is little help. Early 10GbE came from a connector called CX4. Just as with gigabit Ethernet, fiber brought 10GbE out of the largest data centers, but fiber can be expensive since each end takes an optical transceiver. The natural progression is to copper lines, but it takes time for technology to move from the top down.
The Netgear website is a lesson in diversity. The company makes several products, in several categories and masters pushing technology from the top down. We're all familiar with Netgear's consumer products. I'd say for a majority of enthusiasts and IT administrators, Netgear built our first switches or routers. As our needs move up in complexity, Netgear works to move the technology lower in price.
In January, Netgear announced three new ProSAFE SMB switches with 10GbE capability, an 8-port, the 12-port that we're looking at today, and a 24-port. MSRPs range from $7999 for the 24 port model, to $1400 for the eight port model. Our XS712T 12 port unit rings the bell at $2500 retail, but a quick search on Google returned an e-tail price of just $1661.99 at Newegg.
Let's take a look at the specifications and features.