Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review

Today Chris takes a look at Netgear's ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE switch. Is it time to get your house or office connected with 10Gb Ethernet?

@ChrisRamseyer
Published Wed, Dec 11 2013 1:00 AM CST   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:32 PM CDT
Rating: 96%Manufacturer: Netgear

Introduction

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 01 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 78 IMAGES

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.

Specifications and Pricing

Hardware Specifications and Pricing

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 02 | TweakTown.com

Powered by a 600MHz processor, the XS712T is the first 10GBase-T Smart Switch designed for SMB use. Advanced L2+ features give network administrators features not available on unmanaged products. Depending on need, the XS712T works well as core switch for SMB networks or as an aggregation switch in the middle of a medium sized network.

Going into the review, I found the XS712T with more features than I initially assumed. Netgear optimized the new ProSAFE family of products for converged networks where voice, data, and video flow over the same network. Auto VoIP prioritization eases office configuration and takes the complexity out of building a converged office. The L2+ rating means this switch pulls a handful of Layer 3 features.

As mentioned in the introduction, we managed to find the ProSAFE XS712T for $1661.99 at Newegg. This is less than the MSRP and much less than any competitor's 10GbE 12-port solution. If you are looking for the absolute best price, Amazon has the switch for as low as $1507.50 at the time of writing.

Netgear covers the unit with a lifetime warranty as long as you are the original purchaser and purchased the switch from an authorized dealer.

Packaging

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 03 | TweakTown.com

Our sample ProSAFE XS712T shipped in the retail package.

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 04 | TweakTown.com

Inside we found the switch protected with dense foam and adequate protection on the corners where damage occurs during shipping. The accessory package was held in a separate area away from the switch.

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 05 | TweakTown.com

Netgear includes a product manual, software disk, rackmount ears, screws for rackmount use, and rubber feet for shelf use.

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 06 | TweakTown.com

Three power cables were included for different standards.

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 07 | TweakTown.com

Here we get our first look at the Netgear ProSAFE XS712T. There are twelve 10GBase-T RJ45 ports and two SFP+ ports shared with two RJ45 ports.

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 08 | TweakTown.com

Status LEDs indicate power or fan failure. Just below, we found recessed reset and factory default buttons.

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 09 | TweakTown.com

LED activity indicators show network status at the port.

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 10 | TweakTown.com

Ports are configured in three clusters of four.

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 11 | TweakTown.com

Two SFP+ ports work with Netgear 10GbE optics. We tested the unit with Intel optics from a X520-SR2 and they worked.

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 12 | TweakTown.com

Two cooling fans on the side of the unit blow fresh air across the internals. With this configuration you don't have to worry about front to back or reverse air flow in the rack.

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 13 | TweakTown.com

Air comes out on the other side through a perforated panel.

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 14 | TweakTown.com

On the back we found a power connector and slot for a Kensington lock.

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 15 | TweakTown.com

The printed MAC address was found on the label next to the power port.

Configuration Menus

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 40 | TweakTown.com

Netgear's Smart Control Center Manager gives you instant access to the switch's browser interface and quick configuration settings.

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 41 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 42 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 43 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 44 | TweakTown.com
Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 45 | TweakTown.com

Once inside the browser interface, you have full control of the XS712T's functions.

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 46 | TweakTown.com

After installing Java, the device view allows you to check port status and link speed.

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 47 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 48 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 49 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 50 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 51 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 52 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 53 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 54 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 55 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 56 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 57 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 58 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 59 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 60 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 61 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 62 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 63 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 64 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 65 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 66 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 67 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 68 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 69 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 70 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 71 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 72 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 73 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 74 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 75 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 76 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 77 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 78 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 79 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 80 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 81 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 82 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 83 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 84 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 85 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 86 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 87 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 88 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 89 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 90 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 91 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 92 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 93 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 94 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 95 | TweakTown.com Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 96 | TweakTown.com

Test System Setup

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 200 | TweakTown.com

Ideally, we would run the Netgear ProSAFE XS712T with all twelve ports at 10GbE, but we're still building our test lab. At this time, we have seven 10GbE ports to test the switch, five 10GBase-T and two via SFP+.

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 201 | TweakTown.com

Our focus today is on using the Netgear ProSAFE XS712T as a small business switch for increased virtual machine density.

Benchmarks - IXIA IxChariot Throughput

Version and / or Patch Used: 6.70

Developer Homepage: http://www.ixia.com

Product Homepage: http://www.ixiacom.com/products/network_test/applications/

As your company's network and applications become increasingly more complex, network performance becomes mission critical. New applications such as VoIP, video, and enterprise applications, introduce potential network bottlenecks which must be isolated and corrected. IxChariot is the industry's leading network assessment tool allowing you to troubleshoot your networks and applications and get your company's network back on track -and the IxChariot that you already own is the perfect tool for the job.

Test: Linked Pair, Ultra High Performance

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 203 | TweakTown.com

We tested the system four ways with IXIA's IxChariot. For the tests, we used the Ultra High Performance Script with a pair of connections. The 10GBase-T to 10GBase-T and 10GBase-T to SPF+ performance were identical results, so you can't see one over the other on the chart.

Our SFP+ to SFP+ test ran on the same system using the main OS installation for the host and a virtual machine as the target; each with a dedicated port on an Intel X520-SR2 network adapter.

The fourth and final test ran on two gigabit Ethernet systems connected to the Netgear ProSAFE XS712T. The performances for all four tests were exactly what we expected to see on this nonblocking switch.

Benchmarks - IXIA IxChariot Response Time

Version and / or Patch Used: 6.70

Developer Homepage: http://www.ixia.com

Product Homepage: http://www.ixiacom.com/products/network_test/applications/

As your company's network and applications become increasingly more complex, network performance becomes mission critical. New applications such as VoIP, video, and enterprise applications introduce potential network bottlenecks which must be isolated and corrected. IxChariot is the industry's leading network assessment tool allowing you to troubleshoot your networks and applications and get your company's network back on track -and the IxChariot that you already own is the perfect tool for the job.

Test: Linked Pair, Ultra High Performance

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 204 | TweakTown.com

Here we see the response time for the same pairs minus the 1GbE to 1GbE pair since that test ran on the IxChariot Performance Script and not the Ultra High Performance Script. Again, the 10GBase-T to 10GBase-T test and 10GBase-T to 10GBase-SR test results were nearly identical, so we can't see a difference on the chart.

The same configuration for fiber was used, one system with the host OS using a port and a Hyper-V install using the second port.

Final Thoughts

Netgear ProSAFE XS712T L2+ 10GbE Switch Review 205 | TweakTown.com

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.

What do TweakTown.com awards mean? Click for details!

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

Chris Ramseyer started his career as a LAN Party organizer in Midwest USA. After working with several computer companies he was asked to join the team at The Adrenaline Vault by fellow Midwest LAN Party legend Sean Aikins. After a series of shake ups at AVault, Chris eventually took over as Editor-in-Chief before leaving to start Real World Entertainment. Look for Chris to bring his unique methods of testing Hard Disk Drives, Solid State Drives as well as RAID controller and NAS boxes to TweakTown as he looks to provide an accurate test bed to make your purchasing decisions easier.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

Related Tags

Newsletter Subscription

Latest News

View More News

Latest Reviews

View More Reviews

Latest Articles

View More Articles