Not content to dominate the PC and server markets, Dell continued its invasion of the networking world with the launch of an entry-level managed switch, the Dell PowerConnect 5212, at NetWorld+Interop earlier this month.
The PowerConnect 5212 is a simple 1U (1.75-inch) switch with 12 copper Gigabit Ethernet ports and four optional Fibre Gigabit Ethernet SFP (small-form-factor pluggable) slots.
Unfortunately, customers currently cannot use the copper and the SFP options together because using the four SFP ports disables the copper ports.
IT managers who need higher port density should take a look at Dells PowerConnect 5224, which has 24 copper Gigabit Ethernet ports, coupled with the optional four SFP slots. The PowerConnect 5224 is also superior to the PowerConnect 5212 in total switching capacity (48G bps versus 24G bps).
I configured a test switch via the PowerConnect 5212s command-line interface; a handy Web-based management interface is also available for configuration. The PowerConnect 5212 has all the standard features Id expect from a managed switch, including link aggregation, Syslog remote logging and jumbo-frame support.
The key factor that makes this switch special is its entry price: At $1,199, it costs less than a third of what some Dell competitors charge for comparable hardware.