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NETGEAR ProSafe GS110T Gigabit SmartSwitch E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network
Written by Bruce Normann   
Tuesday, 08 January 2013
Table of Contents: Page Index
NETGEAR ProSafe GS110T Gigabit SmartSwitch
Closer Look: NETGEAR GS110T
Detailed Features
Technology Details
Features and Specifications
SmartSwitch Setup
SmartSwitch Security Settings
Network Switch Testing Methodology
TestResults
Final Thoughts
Conclusion

NETGEAR GS110T Technology Details

I did not remove the heatsink from the switching IC, fearing that I would damage it in the process. The lack of any hardware holding it in place intimates that the thermal paste in use is that hard, plastic-like material that cures in place. That stuff can be hard as a rock and just as stubborn once it has set. But, I can almost guarantee that the switching chip is made by Broadcom, and judging from the 8+2 port layout, it's probably the BCM53312. This 8-Port GbE + 4-Port GbE Multilayer Switch is one of the most highly integrated switches that Broadcom produces, which explains the minimal number of support chips on this PCB. Since the CPU and the Gigabit PHY functions are built in, there's very little that needs to be added to the BCM53312 in order to build a functioning network switch. The fact that it can do all this with passive cooling is a bonus.

NETGEAR_ProSafe_GS110T_SmartSwitch_Heatsink_PCB_01.jpg

The Flash memory that stores all the configuration data, is provided by Marconix, and is a 128MB model with the basic designation of MX29GL. It is a high performance version, with page mode read access. Later in the article we'll look at all the configuration options that are available on the NETGEAR ProSafe products, including this GS110T, and the need for fast read/write access to the Flash memory will become more obvious. The embedded web server runs from this storage space as well, so this component does get a workout while the SmartSwitch features are in use.

NETGEAR_ProSafe_GS110T_SmartSwitch_FLASH_Memory_01.jpg

The Switching module and the integrated CPU both need access to some basic DRAM in order to do their jobs. In the GS110T, NANYA provides a single DDR400 chip, which has an overall capacity of 512MB, in a 32M x 16 arrangement. The specs from NETGEAR only specify 64 MB of SDRAM for this model, but perhaps that is all that is used for this application, even though more is physically available on the chip.

NETGEAR_ProSafe_GS110T_SmartSwitch_Nanya_DRAM_01.jpg

With high speed serial data transmission, cable performance is an important component of reliable operation. Equally important is the impedance that the active devices present at the connector body. One of the best ways to get this critical interface right is to use transformers, a seemingly ancient technology, that somehow hasn't been replaced with silicon yet. There are four FPE H40520MN quad transformer modules sitting between the Broadcom switch IC and the 1000BASE-T connectors on the front panel that perform this important function.

NETGEAR_ProSafe_GS110T_SmartSwitch_FPE_40520MN.jpg

The construction quality was top notch, throughout the GS110T, even down to the manufacturing processes used on the printed circuit board. Directly below the main IC on the board, there are over a hundred very small SMD components that are difficult to see clearly with the naked eye. The wave soldering process looks excellent here, and throughout the board. Plus, this is one of the cleanest PCBs I've seen in awhile. No fuzzy bits, no funky residues, no discolorations, no excess adhesives, nothing that would detract from the long term reliability of the system. Reliability is the key word here; the customers who routinely buy this class of switch are building networks for people and companies that use them for profit, not for fun. If they stop working, everyone stops working and the company loses money until it's fixed.

NETGEAR_ProSafe_GS110T_SmartSwitch_Solder_Quality_01.jpg

Unless you want to start straining your eyeballs on block diagrams and logic/timing charts, that's about as far as we can go on the hardware side. Let's start digging into the features and specifications of the NETGEAR GS110T before we fire it up and see how the control software works.



 

Comments 

 
# Teamingjcgeny 2013-02-05 11:12
the switch is nearly the same than the one i just buy: the GS108T-v2
i am very happy to see you gave more than 9/10

i wonder what can be results of udp and tcp if you use 2 network cards in a teaming configuration
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# RE: TeamingBruce 2013-02-05 11:13
Teaming, 802.3ad, Link Aggregation, LACP... they're all very fickle functions. They all promise a faster "pipe", but only deliver a wider one. My experience with NAS devices and Win 7 workstations has been very frustrating. Linux and Win Server are probably better equipped to use this functionality in a straightforward way.

I will keep investigating, as new equipment is added to the test bench, but ultimately 10GbE or another standard that is faster than GbE will take over.
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# Literature about computersLeonid1427 2013-02-05 11:58
на вышеприведенном интернет-ресурсе собран громадный выбор умных статей про спутниковый ресивер gs 8304
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# computer BooksZinovii8685 2013-02-05 11:59
на вышеприведенном интернет-блоге собран большой выбор интересных статей про Полный набор StreamReader.dll
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# Power ConsumptionCraig 2013-02-25 00:06
Nice thorough technical review.

I am particularly concerned with energy consumption of all my computing infrastructure since much of it is left on 24/7 (SOHO).

Specifically for a "switch" I like to know power usage and power factor ratings at the wall plug with all ports in use and zero ports in use. Some switches like my DLINK DGS-1024G drop power usage to 2.5W when none of the 24 ports are in use, and detect cable lengths and reduce individual port power levels on shorter cable runs. Does the NETGEAR GS110T have any of these "Green" features? How about adding a "Green" rating to your reviews?

My application is home use. At any one time there may be 30+ active IP's. This covers VoIP, Media Centers, TV, MP3 players, Cell Phones, PVR's, Computers, Laptops, Printer... most are wired, but about 5 are wireless. I have 4 "green" gigabit switches running continuously, 1 "primary" and 3 "secondary" in high density drop locations.

With this much equipment running, "green" is an important purchase consideration to me. And I do spend more to get power conserving "green" equipment. For the NETGEAR GS110T, it appears the "Green" rating wasn't a design consideration and is N/A. Obviously if I need the NETGEAR GS110T features, this won't matter much, unless there is a competitor offering a "green" alternative with the product features I need.

Otherwise, a great review... Thanks!
Craig
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# It's Green....Bruce Normann 2013-02-25 09:42
Thanks for the feedback Craig,

The GS110T does support Auto Power-Down of unused ports, and Short Cable Mode. They are both configurable in the device management software. To access these settings, click System > Management > Green Ethernet Configuration.

Youre right about the Green features not being very prominently described in the Features and Specifications, I had to go to the 244 page Software Administration Manual to find the details. At this point, not every product in the NETGEAR line supports both of those energy-saving features, so it's important to do the research and get an explicit answer, if it's important to you.

I'll try and see if I can get the power measurements you're looking for... I have another switch on the testbed right now, a new, low cost 10GbE model. I'll try to pay more attention to the power usage while testing it.
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# Energy Efficient EthernetCraig 2013-02-28 18:32
Here's an interesting link on the "green" idea which also provides compelling arguments which could be used in a review (hint)...

#en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_Efficient_Eth ernet

As it points out, just the network controller part of computing uses 5.3 terawatt-hours of electricity in the US as of 2005. I doubt this figure has gotten any better. ;)
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# RE: NETGEAR ProSafe GS110T Gigabit SmartSwitchJerry Suppan 2013-07-29 05:18
Hello I am a newcomer to the world of network smart switches. I am not sure what would really be the appropriate switch for me to consider for my home network. The home network consists of up to about five computers and 2 networked printers and one synology NAS device. One of the computers, and Mac Mini, is connected to my Front room TV will be streaming video content from my synology NAS device in the back room. So, I am thinking link aggregation is one important feature. Can this product do link aggregation? In other words using two ports each having a 1 Gb per second throughput in combination? I recently acquired the Synology 1513+ NAS device and it has 4 Gb ports on the back. I can use a couple of these or all of these in combination but to make any use out of that, the switch has to support aggregation. Thanks much.
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# LACPBruce 2013-07-29 06:14
Hi Jerry, Yes, this product does support link aggregation. It might not behave the way you are thinking, though. You will get more throughput from the NAS when you have multiple clients hitting it. For instance, if two PCs were doing their nightly backup to the NAS at the same time you were streaming video, you are less likely to interfere with the video stream than if you just had one GbE connection going to the NAS.

You have 11 ports listed in your tally, so I would suggest a 12 port switch, or maybe even a 16 port, if you think your needs will expand. I don't see any devices that can take advantage of the fiber optic connections that the NETGEAR GS110T offers, so perhaps another model in their product line will be best for you.
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# Aggregation and Media PlayersCraig 2013-07-30 19:26
Jerry,
I have a home network setup similar to what you are describing; Media Centers, VoIP, networked MP3 players, computers, server, etc. All running on vanilla gigabit. When playing a 12GB 1080p with 6-channel DTS or AAC audio the media players work fine even when using 100BaseT. The server (or NAS) needs to be gigabit to handle multiple streams. It doesn't take a lot of imagination to see if each player works with 100BaseT that one gigabit connection will probably support something close to 10 of these media players.

My equipment: DLink DGS-1024D "green" 24 port unmanaged switch, server 8-core Linux with 12TB storage and 1 gigabit ethernet channel, all gigabit cable is CAT5e or CAT6. Media Players are a mix of WD-Live and ASUS. I have 30 active IP's on my network; 4 computers, 5 networked MP3 players, 4 DVR's (which also share video programming over the local network), 5 VoIP, 1 X-Box, 1 WiFi router for I-Pods and Android phones, and probably a few other devices I'm forgetting and transient networked equipment which comes and goes.

In my experience, a properly configured home system doesn't need more than gigabit speeds for multiple media players operating against local NAS sources. Part of "properly configured" is do -not- stack switches more than 2 between your device and DHCP server.

For different reasons, I agree with Bruce, a different switch may better serve your needs. If I were looking again, I might look for a "Green" managed switch.

I had a longer response typed, but this site caused my browser to "refresh" and I lost my original response.
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