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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 TestResults

Wired networking equipment is part of a very mature industry. At the very high end of the market, where a router or switch costs $5,000 - $10, 000, there is still a lot of new technology and innovation, however. Recent shifts toward virtualization and cloud computing demand extreme bandwidths and scaling factors. In order to deliver on the many promises the industry has made for these two technologies, something "simple" like a switch or router better not get in the way of overall performance. It's the same way in the home or small business. More and more devices are connecting to smaller, domestic networks, and the backbone has to keep up, or everyone suffers.

One thing about a mature industry is that it's ruled by standards. Given the very nature and mission of networking equipment, it's impossible to imagine that the industry could exist without them. If you want to connect a dozen devices together and have them interface correctly, you need to not just have standards, but adhere to them. So, if a router or switch is rated for 1000BASE-T, it had better perform exactly like the IEEE 802.3-2008 standard says it should. So, let's take a look at several GbE solutions I have in the test lab, and see if there is indeed a standard level of performance from a range of similar products.

NETGEAR_ProSafe_GS110T_SmartSwitch_Passmark_Advanced_Network_T.png

In TCP/IP transfers, the NETGEAR GS110T Smart Switch achieved an average speed of 868 Mbps. Compared to the other devices under test, an unmanaged GbE switch and two GbE routers, the GS110T lagged behind in overall speed, by about 5%. The reason is that there were a number of performance dips that occurred consistently enough to harm the average throughput. Here's an example that shows how the transfer rate bounced back and forth between ~915 Mbps and ~830 Mbps. As I said in the testing methodology section, there are myriad reasons why full performance may be hindered or interrupted once you start plugging a number of unique systems together. FWIW, I only saw this kind of behavior on the two network switches I tested; the routers were steady as a rock. Without these dips, just looking at the plateaus, you can see that the potential is there, and it's realized more often than not. Some other process is consuming resources somewhere in the signal chain, or a buffer is getting filled up and then flushed on a semi-regular basis, it's hard to tell which.

NETGEAR_ProSafe_GS110T_SmartSwitch_GS110T_Chart_w_Dips_02.png

The UDP results were much lower on the Smart Switch, reaching only 343 Mbps. The unmanaged switch roughly doubled that performance, and the two GbE routers achieved speeds somewhat close to their TCP/IP performance. On this test, it was the switches that delivered reasonably consistent results and the routers that were all over the chart. The upper traces in the chart below are for the NETGEAR GS110T Smart Switch, and the lower traces are for the Cisco Router. Unlike TCP, the UDP protocol does not divide a message into packets, transmit the packets and then reassemble them at the other end. UDP also doesn't provide sequencing of the data. There's a bit more work for the application programs on each end of the data transfer to do; they have to ensure that the entire message arrived, and that it's in the right order. In this benchmark, the applications were the same for all tests, the PassMark Advanced Networking Test in Client-Server mode. These are all 20 second traces, BTW, and in that time frame each channel of the switch or router is technically capable of shifting approximately 2.5 Gigabytes of data between devices.

NETGEAR_ProSafe_GS110T_SmartSwitch_UDP_on-Router_and_Switch_01.png

The total bandwidth of the GS110T is a full 20 Gbps, the maximum rated capacity of the device, and I wish I had a way of testing that. Ten devices at max speed, in full duplex - I have trouble imagining a scenario that generates that much data, outside of a scientific research lab. Obviously datacom providers and folks like Amazon Web Services, who manage one of the biggest cloud-computing centers in the world, would have no trouble filling this sort of pipeline a thousand times over. For the rest of us, the challenge will almost always rest on the limited capability of a single device on the network, to feed a number of other devices, all at the same time. What happens when everyone decide to back up their data to the NAS at the same time? Four TVs, all streaming HD video from one DVR? Of course, most houses just have one Internet feed, and 3-4 people watching YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu in the evenings.

Now that we've examined the functionality and the performance of the NETGEAR GS110T SmartSwitch, let's look at some of the reasons why you might need one, in our Final Thoughts section.



 

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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