NETGEAR Switches Review

We're able to pre-configure a device in the cloud, before it gets deployed

What is our primary use case?

We're an IT services provider so we have them installed at various clients' sites, and for various applications. The primary use case is for local area networks.

How has it helped my organization?

We're able to pre-configure a device, before it gets deployed, in the cloud. We don't even have to open up the box, we can just preconfigure it in the cloud. As soon as we deploy it onsite, it automatically gets configured.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the fact that Insight is cloud-managed. The whole reason behind it is that there is one central place to manage it. You can pre-configure everything and you can get access to it without having to get onto the client's network. That makes it easy to use and deploy.

Remote troubleshooting is good and easy.

What needs improvement?

The remote management tools still need work. They're good, but they still need work.

One of the big drawbacks is that the whole tiered administration doesn't work. They've got a tiered user structure where there is a global admin, and then what they call a manager, and then there is a user. The problem is, if anywhere along the line somebody opens up a support ticket, all the correspondence winds up going to the global admin, it doesn't go to the person who opened up the support ticket. They can't seem to get that changed, even when you tell them specifically that the global admin is not the person dealing with this problem. That's very frustrating.

Another issue, a technical problem they can't seem to solve, is that it doesn't support multicast packets. In layman's terms, Mac computers can't print over the network.

Also, they've got some PoE models, but they need to expand that line a little bit.

Finally, it would be nice to have the ability to have SNMP enabled at the same time Net Insight. I would also like to see integration with Auvik.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It still needs some work. It's got a couple of quirks where it will shut off ports because it thinks there's an IP conflict when there really isn't.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good. It could probably go to 100 connections. That would probably be the equivalent of 30 to 40 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

We are a Netgear partner, so we get preferential support. Because we get preferential support, it's pretty good. We've had a few hiccups, but overall, they're good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using Cisco and HPE. A big factor in our switch to NETGEAR vs Cisco Ethernet Switches is cost. Simplicity is another. Support is another because the support for HPE and Cisco is absolutely horrid.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is straightforward. It's all done in the cloud and you can manage everything from there. It's a whole lot easier than the traditional way of doing it. Deployment takes an hour, if that.

The best strategy is to preconfigure it in the cloud before it gets physically deployed.

As to whether you need to be an IT expert to deploy it and support your network, it depends on the complexity of the network. For simple applications, no. For complex applications, like multiple VLANs, and QoS, and PoE power management, etc, you've got to know what you're doing to set all that up properly.

What was our ROI?

We see ROI in labor savings. Deployment time is probably cut in half. We're billing for a regular deployment, but it only takes half the amount of time. That's $200 profit for us.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

There are two parts to the pricing. There's the pricing of the device itself, which is good. Their licensing model needs work, though. The licensing model doesn't fit the way MSPs do business. They need to revise it to something that makes more sense for an MSP. And here, I'm specifically talking about Insight Pro licensing.

The cost of hardware and additional service is low. That helps our business because it's easier to make a sale.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were aware of lots of other options, but we didn't do any formal evaluation of any others.

What other advice do I have?

If you are an MSP, you should definitely look into it and plan to use it. I would recommend it.

Overall, we're very happy with the product. It's become our standard going forward. But there are some exceptions. One being the tiered administration. The other one is lack of support for support multicast packets.

Regarding staff for deployment and maintenance, it depends on if you're looking at our entire fleet of these Ethernet switches, which is scattered across multiple clients; then it's probably a tenth of a person. If it's one switch, it's less than a tenth of a person. Switches are low maintenance as a device, it doesn't matter whose they are.

We've got half a dozen deployed at various clients right now. And there will be more because we've got projects in the queue.

Overall, I would rate it an eight out of ten. The issues I mentioned that still need to be resolved come to mind, as well as the licensing structure that doesn't really make sense for us.

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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