Security storage and networking firm Netgear announced the expansion of its ProSafe FSM line of managed, Fast Ethernet switches aimed at small to medium-size businesses.
The company also announced a plan to ship upgraded network switches that offer options to reduce network energy requirements. Both announcements came out of the annual CeBIT technology expo in Hannover, Germany.
Netgear claims its ProSafe FSM Series of Layer 2 Fast Ethernet switches are the first SMB switches to combine "high-performance, easy-to-use manageability" and a small 1U form factor with the ability to "stack" switches together for increased capacity. According to the company, this enables SMBs to increase the size of their network on a "pay as you grow" basis.
The three additions to the ProSafe FSM Series-the FSM726E, FSM7226RS and FSM7250RS-each offer a different level of port density and mix of features to accommodate businesses with more than 200 concurrent users. In the case of the FSM7226RS and FSM7250RS, their stacking capabilities turn each into an expandable platform, as they incorporate high-speed stacking and not "virtual stacking" or "switch clustering."
"With much smaller IT budgets than enterprises, SMBs have to make every IT dollar count in planning their network, particularly in this economic environment. That can make it very difficult to lay the foundation for future growth," said Netgear's director of SMB switching products, Sanjay Kumar. "With this augmentation of the FSM series, Netgear has eliminated that concern for SMB switching infrastructure. We've incorporated enterprise-class features and -true' hardware-based stacking technology that gives SMBs a great network now and enables them to grow their capacity when they need to."
All three products are available now worldwide from direct marketers, e-commerce sites and resellers at an estimated street price starting at $299.99 for the FSM726E, at $399.99 for the FSM7226RS and at $679.99 for the FSM7250RS. All products are backed by a full lifetime warranty, as well as optional ProSupport maintenance packages.
Switching to Green
Netgear is jumping on the green technology bandwagon with the release of rack-mounted and desktop "green" switches that incorporate new hardware which optimizes power efficiency and enables new power management modes. Netgear said these new features can reduce power consumption by as much as 52 percent.
The switches offer features such as auto power-down, a mode that reduces chip power in each Ethernet port when the signal from the copper link partner is not present over cables. "SMBs are as interested as enterprises in limiting their impact on the environment-in some cases, more so," said In-Stat research analyst Scott Scherer. "Lower network infrastructure costs, lower energy costs and simple common sense make this is a prudent infrastructure choice for most businesses. As a result, vendors introducing green switching lines have significant opportunity to take an early lead in filling a clear market need."
The company applied these green system enhancements to the ProSafe JGS5xx series of 16- and 24-port Gigabit Ethernet switches, the ProSafe GS1xx Series of five- and eight-port Gigabit Ethernet Desktop switches and the GS6xx Series of five- and eight-port Gigabit Ethernet switches. The upgraded products will be available in the second quarter of 2009.