Kevin WestcottNetwork Delivery Architect at a tech services company
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"The 40 gig backbone InterConneX was valuable for our use case. It is even faster now. QFabric has spine-leaf technology or topology, which basically makes every single hop only one hop away in terms of connecting from one device to another. It is a pretty good and robust solution. It works pretty well in terms of scalability, and their technical support is amazing."
"The ability to mix and match is invaluable. So, we didn't have to run massive super extensive switches in the data closets where it wasn't necessary. Being able to manage it all from one place, as all your network configuration settings went live across your entire building from one management console was really handy."
"You are not limited in terms of stacking ports, and especially, if you're using the 96X as a core switch, the scalability, I could see this being very large. If you're using a type of a hybrid topology with a core switch going out to multiple switch stacks, or something like that, I could see the scalability of this being very good, especially considering the kind of backplane switching capacity on the 96X."
"Since it has a web interface, it is easy to set up. You don't have to take three years of training somewhere for a lot of money."
"The most valuable feature is definitely the fully functional IGMP snooping and querier, out-of-the-box, that the switch provides. With most if not all switches that we've worked with previously, at a minimum you have to enable a couple of different options... It's really a good feature to have that stuff enabled and fully functional out-of-the-box so that [AV techs] don't have to worry about configuring any of that stuff."
"The big winner for NETGEAR is their modular switch: the 96X version. That is something that you don't see in the market anywhere else, except for Cisco who has it at a high level for a high expense. The ability to customize your own switch with their modules is a big plus for what we do in the market right now. Instead of having to piece together standardized switches, trying to make something work, or fitting the design into the mold, the modular switches are aware that you can make a mark in the industry because you purchased one switch and design with different modules added and removed later on for functionality."
"Out-of-the-box, it works for our main use case. When passing multicast video across the network, our technicians don't have make any changes. Then, if we do need to make configuration changes for a custom scenario, the web interface is user intuitive so it's easy to use and change."
"The High Bandwidth AV-over-IP functionality of these switches has been fantastic, especially in leaf-and-spine. We've been able to build redundancy and they seem to outperform even the Cisco Catalyst, which is about twice as expensive as the M-series switches are."
"The ease of use of these switches is very good because of the Cisco CLI. If you are familiar with CLI, then you can configure the switch that way. It also has a relatively straightforward web interface. Using the web interface is good for beginners or people who aren't familiar with Cisco CLI. However, having a common command line interface method is great for some of our more advanced guys who are familiar with it."
"They are working on the virtualization of the actual fabric layer. They are moving away from the original spine-leaf design to a different infrastructure. Instead of having three tiers, which was the director of the interconnected nodes, they cut them back, and they still have that kind of structure."
"I would like an email notification in case of errors or failures. If it was possible for the switch to email out an error log or notification note, especially in cases where we have the switches offsite (on the other side of town), then if something was to go wrong, it would be great to know about it before our client goes to use it for a big event, and it doesn't work. While I know that it does do SNMP, which is sort of standard, in the AV world, that is not always an option for us. We are usually running our own little network box and don't always have access to an SNMP server. We may just have simple Internet access or something similar."
"The IGMP specifics of the web management console could use a bit of clarification."
"The ‘how-to’ guides could do with some improvements. We got in trouble following the stacking and Dante set-up guides. If these would have been accurate, we would not have lost three days."
"One thing I have asked for, something that NETGEAR lacks that I would love to see — and from what I understand it's in the works — is a REST API to programmatically interface with multiple switches. That would be a great feature."
"They need to continue moving forward with their consulting in the AV realm to find out what is needed. They are some differences in the M4300 line and the larger M4500 line right now. They could produce a 1 Gigabit variety that could be a bit cheaper that might fit into that, since the majority of the projects that we see are still in that 1 Gigabit bandwidth threshold. Along with that, a great option would be if it would provide the same modular ability on a lower level."
"An area for improvement would be creating a wizard that can do a lot of common stuff. Instead of having some manual configuration for common features, they may want to have a single wizard that could be put in place which would let you walk through creating multiple VLANs and different routes between VLANs in a wizard. Then, you wouldn't have to dig in so deep."
"If they could come up with ways to look at metrics on it while the video is capping through the system, that would be nice. There could be some interesting uses for that, but it's a long way off."
"Being able to pass AVB traffic over these switches, that would be a huge add. There are not many switches out that support that. The GS728TP NETGEAR switches used to or still do support AVB, but it would be ideal if the 4300 Series could support it as well."
"In terms of price, the QFabric solution is going to be probably in the middle of the road for a fabric solution."
"It was an initial, single purchase for us. For the three switches, because I had the 96X and the two 48 port single gigabyte ones, then all the cards, etc. The total price on it, which may be a little on the low side, for the client was around $16,000 or $17,000."
"In terms of the NETGEAR stuff, there weren't any surprises. The costs were definitely fair, especially considering what we were replacing. For the equivalent performance from a non-AV over IP solution, it would have been easily been in the $40,000 range. Comparing it to standard AV video switching, the price was very good, especially considering now they can add-on without any massive additional costs."
"For its price, it scales well."
"The pricing is very good for 10GbE switches and you get a lot of throughput. It is about 60 percent of the costs of other switches from competitive manufacturers, which is really good."
"The price-to-performance of the solution is very good. You get very performance for a low cost per port. Compared to standard AV switching, NETGEAR is probably the best value out there."
"Compared to other large names in the marketplace, the price of NETGEAR's product is extremely cost-effective compared to what Cisco or Extreme offer."
"At its price point, nobody else can compare to what NETGEAR is doing at that 10 Gigabit bandwidth level. We are not seeing a lot of 10 Gigabit need right now in the marketplace. Though, we have done a few projects which have required it. We are still sort of at the 1 Gigabit requirement for the majority of our projects. Honestly, NETGEAR's 10 Gigabit offering has a better value than some of the other vendors' 1 Gigabit offering."
"They are on par with other AV switch manufacturers, e.g., Pakedge, Cisco Small Business Series, and Extreme Networks. Though, they are closer in cost to Extreme Networks. They are more in the mid-range from an AV product price, maybe a bit higher. You can't beat their features compared to other vendors in that product range and capacity. AV specific only, they are mid-range price-wise."
NETGEAR Ethernet Switches, branded as NETGEAR ProSafe Switches, comes in all shapes and sizes, so you are sure to find the right solution to fit your business requirements.
If you're a small to medium sized company, you'll have three switching options NETGEAR Unmanaged, Plus, and Smart Switch solutions. If you're managing a large enterprise network or a campus network, then NETGEAR Fully Managed Infrastructures is the solution for you. All the NETGEAR Ethernet Switches and solutions are innovative, easy to install and use, reliable, and very cost-effective.
Juniper QFabric is ranked 8th in LAN Switching with 1 review while NETGEAR Switches is ranked 1st in LAN Switching with 10 reviews. Juniper QFabric is rated 8.0, while NETGEAR Switches is rated 8.8. The top reviewer of Juniper QFabric writes "A robust and scalable solution with amazing technical support and a special setup that can detect what is connected". On the other hand, the top reviewer of NETGEAR Switches writes "You can stack different models of switches which makes the scalability great". Juniper QFabric is most compared with Cisco Nexus, Cisco FabricPath, Dell PowerConnect Switches and Arista Campus LAN Switches, whereas NETGEAR Switches is most compared with Ubiquiti UniFi Switches, Cisco Ethernet Switches, Cisco Linksys Ethernet Switches, D-Link Ethernet Switches and Aruba Switches.
See our list of best LAN Switching vendors.
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