It will take another three years or longer for 10GbE to reach current gigabit Ethernet prices, but Netgear made the first move towards the SMB market. With the rise in virtualization, processing power and DRAM capacity, SMB servers are able to do more, but network bandwidth has become a limiting factor. With 10GbE your link to the network opens, allowing more virtual machines to run on the same machine and still have high throughput performance with low latency.
We currently have two systems in the office with onboard 10GbE: a Supermicro single LGA2011 socket system and a GIGABYTE dual LGA2011 system. While still the exception, onboard 10GBase-T will increase in popularity, and getting the ports onboard costs less than a regular board plus a 10GbE adapter. The network adapter prices are decreasing as well though, so it's becoming less expensive to add 10GbE capabilities to existing servers too.
Netgear's entry product to the 10GbE market with eight ports is the ProSAFE Plus XS708E and we found it for $854.71 online. The 8-port model doesn't carry the same L2+ features as the model we reviewed today, but it looks like a good way to enter the 10GbE market.
The ProSAFE XS712T 12-port model we tested today has a lot of features (more that most small offices need), has enough ports for a small office, and is priced very well. As we mentioned in the review, this is the lowest priced, 12-port 10GbE model we managed to find, new or used. We really like the two SFP+ ports on the switch since many existing servers shipped with 10GBase-SR has more penetration in the market. Everything is 10GBase-T, but this switch allows you to unite your older hardware with new products.
Two years ago we started covering Thecus and QNAP NAS products with 10GbE capability. Netgear just released the new ReadyNAS 716, also with a 10GbE option. The timing of this review isn't coincidence, Netgear, the world leader in shipped NAS products, is ready to move 10GbE down to the SMB market. The ProSAFE XS712T is the perfect companion to new 10GbE NAS products.