Which switch to get?



  • Hi guys,

    Which switch do you recommend for my needs?  I have a lot of hd media streaming, gaming (so i need low ping and no lag due to swtich freezing), printer, p2p, nas, etc…

    I've more or less narrowed it down to these (easy for me to get):  Any advise or opinions on which one?
    Netgear GSM7224NA 24 Port 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet Layer 2 Managed Rackmountable Network Switch - http://www.netgear.com/Products/Switches/FullyManaged10_100_1000Switches/GSM7224.aspx?detail=Specifications

    Netgear Prosafe GS724T 24 Port Gigabit Smart Switch W/ Rack Mount Kit
    http://www.netgear.com/Products/Switches/SmartSwitches/GS724T.aspx?detail=Specifications

    Netgear Prosafe JGS524 24 Port Gigabit Rack Mounted Ethernet Switch
    http://www.netgear.com/Products/Switches/UnmanagedSwitches/JGS524.aspx?detail=Specifications

    Thanks!



  • Any switch you want, you are way over kill with those. Switches are not going to freeze no matter how much gaming you do.

    If you are going to spend 600+ on a switch go buy a hp or cisco.

    Why you buying a managed switch?

    Prosafes are awful.



  • Yeah. Just buy the cheapest one you can find. In case you need VLANs it should be a manageable switch.



  • What are your requirements? How many ports? What link rate? Do you need any management features (VLANs, SNMP, port trunking etc.)?

    Chances are good that either the HP 1400-8G or 1800-8G will satisfy your requirements, or the 1800-24G if you actually need 24 ports. The price is competitive, and the product is much better than the NetGears.



  • ktims could you elaborate on why HPs are better than NetGears?
    I'm using several FS726 in muliple setups and never had any problem with them.

    I've heard now quite a few times that netgears are "inferior" to other brands but never saw any figures or reasons "why".



  • because they are junk.

    netgear = entry level
    HP / Cisco = entry level - Enterprise



  • So no real argument besides "they are junk"?



  • Fine,

    In regards to cisco

    reliability and redundent, also can get them with dual power supplies.
    Cisco's last forever, i have seen switches still in 24/7 operation after 10+ years.
    Cisco heavly tests their equipment, netgear does not.
    Proformence, try to max out a decent cisco switch.
    Netgear does not make enterprise equipment.
    Switch OS, standard and well documented. Every Cisco model will have the same interface.
    Much more powerful cpu and more memory.
    no netflow.
    No din rail mountable switches

    If you want to get a netgear, thats fine but dont think it is going to be a cisco or a hp.

    Why do you think cisco has a 100+ certifications? You can do that much stuff with it, and there is alot to learn.

    Go walk into a job interview and tell them you are netgear certified, and see if you get the job.

    Netgear support.



  • @bilbus:

    Fine,

    In regards to cisco

    reliability and redundent, also can get them with dual power supplies.
    Cisco's last forever, i have seen switches still in 24/7 operation after 10+ years.
    Cisco heavly tests their equipment, netgear does not.

    Redundant PSU: true.
    But if i want redundancy i certainly would not deploy a cisco switch but rather hardware which is designed for security critical applications.
    And this means not only power redundancy but data-link-redundancy as well with protocols like PRP or MRP.
    I have yet to see a cisco switch which supports that.

    Why do you think cisco test their equipment more heavily than netgear?
    Since neither of us actually work in the quality managment of cisco i dont think you or i can make any statement regarding the testing before delivery.

    Granted cisco tells everyone how great and supperb their producs are and provide support and onsite service like no other company.
    But that's hardly a "feature" of the hardware but more of the marketing.

    I have planet switches in my basement running since 10+ years without a powercycle thanks to UPS.
    If it's the MTBF you're talking about: Yes. Netgear has lower MTBFs than cisco switches.
    Although for the price of one cisco you can buy 4 netgears and you're back up on the same MTBF ^^"

    Proformence, try to max out a decent cisco switch.

    Are you talking about the backplane?
    Since the backplane is implemented in an ASIC and every hardware manufacturer couldnt sell any hardware if you have a bottleneck there…
    Also i dont believe any networkequipment manufacturer actually have a BUG in one of their ASICs.

    Netgear does not make enterprise equipment.
    Switch OS, standard and well documented. Every Cisco model will have the same interface.
    Much more powerful cpu and more memory.

    define enterprise equipment?
    24/7 running? Not much maintaining and easy configuration? Features?
    I dont know what additional features cisco switches provide that i couldnt get with a lot cheaper one.
    (ok LLDP but i havent acutally seen any setup in which that was used and wasnt in an industrial enviroment –> see point below: i dont want a cisco switch in an industrial hall, and if i need that i'm already in a price segment one step higher than cisco switches).

    The OS is certainly not better documented since it's closed.
    The usage of the OS is documented. But so is the usage of netgear switches or any other brand you buy.

    I dont want a powerful CPU and a lot of memory in a switch.
    The switch is in the ASIC and thats where it should be.
    Everything else is a fancy fassade for the configuration.
    Ok it looks shiney and nice for the managment guys when they buy it.
    But if you want to impress the managment a centralised network monitoring solution is better for that :D
    (nice graphs and everything).

    no netflow.

    I miss netflow on all devices that dont support it ;D

    EDIT: sorry i missread when i wrote this:
    You dont actually get netflow-exports from a switch.
    You only get netflow data if you route it.
    In a switch the data doesnt get processes by a CPU/system but by an ASIC.
    No way you could get the data out of the processed packages in hardware.
    (well it "might" be possible but i dont want to be the engineer that develops it….)
    Maybe you're talking about L3 switches which basically are multiport-routers and not actually "switches"

    No din rail mountable switches

    If i want that i buy a harting-switch.
    I havent seen din rails in any office or company server rooms.
    Only in industrial halls and there i wouldnt want a cisco, but something with IP65.

    If you want to get a netgear, thats fine but dont think it is going to be a cisco or a hp.

    I'm not netgear focused.
    I use all kinds of switches including ciscos, hp, zyxel and whatever network hardware manufacturers there are.
    I just wonder why a lot of people have such a negative stance to netgear.

    Why do you think cisco has a 100+ certifications? You can do that much stuff with it, and there is alot to learn.

    Go walk into a job interview and tell them you are netgear certified, and see if you get the job.

    Netgear support.

    Certificates arent everything.
    I mean having a microsoft certificates doesnt mean much to me… ;) ^^"
    I'd rather work with someone who is a crack in UNIX system and there are no certificates either.

    Résumé:
    I dont see why so many people have something against netgear since i never saw any figures telling me: "netgear is crap".
    When i buy one i'm fully aware that i dont get support like i would at cisco.
    I know that there will be noone with a certificate telling me: he can manage my switch.
    But then again if i'm ever in the position to employ someone to manage my networks i would give crap for such a certificate. Either he has experience with networks and can learn to manage a new switch within a day or two or he's just the wrong person for the job.
    I'm aware that i have a lower MTBF. That's why the switch is 25% the price of a cisco switch.

    I dont want to sound like bashing cisco. But sometimes i get the feeling that everyone hypes them up just because everyone does.
    They certainly make great products. But not that great products that i wouldnt consider alternatives.
    Also if you ever need a network where you have to be absolutely certain that you get the performance and redundancy: cisco/netgear/zyxel/whatever is just not the right solution.
    You employ an engineering-office and get a custom taylored solution with your custom switch.

    i kind of still didnt get a real reason why netgear should be crap.
    But i'm ranting and should go to bed ;)



  • Thank you very much GruensFroeschli for this beautiful analysis. I agree 100% with you and I am glad that you speak things out like that. Switches used to be very sophisticated stuff something like 15 years ago when the first switches appeared on the market and competed the hubs. Nowadays, they are like tires on a car. You get different brands with different marketing, but in the end producing a decent tire is not a big deal. What makes the difference is still the motor, the steering and gears of the car and the security features.

    So why bother with expensive Switches when there are much more important things to consider and invest good money into. To put things in a nutshell, I don't care at all about the name printed on my switch, but I care a lot about which operating system my server runs.

    Peace.



  • Not true, you have ceap switches like you see at bestbuy, then better ones like managed switches, to L3 switches, all they way up to enterprise LAN, Man, Campus switches



  • Yes.
    But within a "class" itself there is imo not that much of a difference between the various manufacturers.



  • sure, if you want a entry level switch by all means buy a netgear.

    But if you are going to drop 2k for a switch, no way in hell for a netgear.



  • I think this discussion is not about "netgear vs. cisco" but more about "cisco vs. everything else".

    But i dont understand why you insist that cisco is the only manufacturer for "enterprise-level" hardware?
    If it were like this cisco hardware would be even more expensive than it already is.



  • I said for him to get something like a cisco or a HP.

    Yes there a few good networking equipment brands, but most of what you will see in the enterprise is cisco or HP.



  • I think we all agree that as long as billbus does not come up with a good proof (I am talking about numbers here) that Cisco or HP switches are better in performance, package loss, reliability in general etc. than anything else like Allied Telesys, Netgear, etc. this discussion becomes an endless marketing talk. Note, we are not talking about Routers or Fiber Optic equipment, where there might really be a difference. We are just talking about standard Ethernet over copper Switches.

    Thus, bring us the numbers billbus or I suggest, we end this unnecessary and unfruitful discussion.



  • NetGear's UIs are pretty awful. A lot of their gear that I've used doesn't have any kind of command-line interface (just a menu-based telnet/serial UI that mimics the web ui). I've also had some personal experiences with their firewall products not receiving firmware updates for known issues and one particular model that had overheating problems (these are ProSafe line products, not their consumer-grade garbage). For these reasons I tend to avoid NetGear (and especially D-Link) products in any serious installation. My opinion is that there is actually value in the price difference, and going for anything less is cutting corners. But chances are it'll probably do you just fine anyway.

    On top of that HP's stuff is very competitively priced and can usually be had for about the same money as similar NetGear kit. And HP's warranty is way better (lifetime next-day replacement warranty. netgear uses the standard 'you pay shipping to ship it to us then we repair it and ship it back' model, which is really pretty useless for any infrastructure equipment - you have to buy a replacement anyway). With HP your replacement is in the courier's hands before the end of the day and at your location within 24 hours. Then you have a month to ship the broken one back to them, at their expense. HP is a true enterprise gear vendor. They know this business, and they know how to do it right. Products are supported for a long time, generally have very few issues at release, necessary updates make it out there, and their warranty support is top notch. I feel like NetGear is trying very hard to provide a similar service level at a lower price, but they're falling slightly short and don't quite have the 50 year reputation HP does yet. I have a couple NetGear switches in production that I've been reasonably happy with, but I don't like them nearly as much as my HPs.

    All these switches use the same switch fabric chipsets and have the same basic design. They'll have similar performance (most in this class can do full wire-rate on every port). You don't pay for that, you pay for the details like good hardware design that reduces heat issues, uprated components like capacitors to improve life and stability, decent and consistent UIs, and the warranty. If none of those things matter to you, then by all means buy the cheapest switch that has a specsheet indicating it will fill your needs. I don't think you want to know how many times I've been called out to SMB client's site to fix 'the internet' to find a $15 8-port switch someone's installed in some office has died randomly and brought down half the network.

    I'm not big on Cisco. I've never really bought much Cisco gear since it's usually priced way out of my market when I get similar gear from HP from much less, but I've heard of enough issues with freezing switches and broken firmwares that I'm not too keen on trying to change that, nevermind the brand premium.

    Edit: This is very similar to the pfSense team recommending Intel Server NICs. There's not really anything that will prevent any other NIC from working properly, but a lot of experience shows that these are a sure-fire problem free solution and that they solve myriad issues with some other designs.



  • I hear ya, i have a few HP 4000M's that have been installed since the early 90's that have been solid.

    I like that may of there products have gone the modular approach, take the 4000 you buy the chassis and you can fill it with what ever ports you want.


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