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      Netgear FS-524s Stackable Fast Ethernet Switch Review

     
     Date:April 1st, 2002
     Type:Review
     Supplier:Netgear
     Author:mayhem
     R.R.P:$2,199.00 AUS

    Stacking Eight Units:
    "Further testing by NETGEAR has confirmed that the FS524 S Stackable Fast Ethernet Switch can stack beyond the four units cited in the Installation Guide. We have verified seamless operation with up to eight units stacked, for a total of 192 connections. While the FS524 S stacking cable cannot reach from the bottom to the top of an eight-box stack, the diagram below illustrates how you can use this cable to connect all eight units by “interleaving” the boxes. This method works for stacks of five, six, or seven switches, as well. Using this method, the stack retains all of the robust, high-availability features designed into your network."

    The above image demonstrates how up to eight units can be configured using the firewire stacking cable to achieve a 192 port 4GB backbone.

    Testing and Results
    In order to test the unit two main tests were carried out on two different computer configurations and using DU Meter version 3.0 build 28 to gather information. Two files were sent on each configuration, the first a large file of approx. 700MB and the second a small file of approx. 10MB, these two files were timed and using DU Meter the maximum and average data transfer rate were recorded below:

    Test 1: Windows 2000 Uploading to Windows ME
    Win2k: D-Link DFE-530TX+ Network Card
    WinME: Skymaster 2000 NE2000 Compatible Network Card
    Cable Length: ~ 15 - 20 meters (Total)

     
    Total Test File Size:697.00MB - 728,547,328 bytes
    Total Data Transferred:734.14 MB
    Maximum Transfer Rate:1.30 mB/sec
    Average Transfer Rage:741.4 kB/sec
    Time Taken To Transfer:00:16:54 (hh:mm:ss)
     
    Total Test File Size:9.94MB - 10,436,608 bytes
    Total Data Transferred:9.90 MB
    Maximum Transfer Rate:1.38 mB/sec
    Average Transfer Rage:828.0 kB/sec
    Time Taken To Transfer:00:00:12 (hh:mm:ss)

     

    Test 2: Windows 2000 Uploading to Linux Red Hat 7.2
    Win2k: D-Link DFE-530TX+ Network Card
    Linux: Skymaster 2000 NE2000 Compatible Network Card
    Cable Length: ~ 10 meters (Total)

     
    Total Test File Size:697.00MB - 728,547,328 bytes
    Total Data Transferred:722.71 MB
    Maximum Transfer Rate:5.42 mB/sec
    Average Transfer Rage:2.81 mB/sec
    Time Taken To Transfer:00:04:16 (hh:mm:ss)
     
    Total Test File Size:9.94MB - 10,436,608 bytes
    Total Data Transferred:10.36 MB
    Maximum Transfer Rate:4.62 mB/sec
    Average Transfer Rage:5.18 mB/sec
    Time Taken To Transfer:00:00:2 (hh:mm:ss)

    Note: The above network configuration was done using home made CAT5 cable from a 100m roll, the quality of these connections are not as high as that of a purchased pre-made cable and as such the results are less than would be expected from a network constructed of high quality CAT5e cabling.

    Conclusion
    Overall the Netgear FS-524s Fast Ethernet Switch lives up to the reputation of Netgear products, it is a reliable and well made unit that is ideal for many business applications.

    Pros

  • Stackable up to 8 units (192 ports)
  • Firewire Stacking Ports (with supplied cable)
  • Robust Construction
  • Rack Mountable
  • Internal PSU
  • Cons

  • The price tag of ~$2000
  • Noisy constant running fans
  • A special thanks goes out to Ian McLean of Netgear for supplying this switch for our review and Amanda Gardon from Watterson Marketing Communications. If you would like to find out some more information on this unit or any of the Netgear product range then please visit the Netgear website located at www.netgear.com.au.

    Score: 9 / 10

    FORUM: Talk about this and other products

     

      Supplier Information

     
    Netgear are suppliers of a vast range of networking solutions from simple hubs to large scale switches and routers. For all your networking needs contact Netgear Australia or visit their website for more information: http://www.netgear.com.au/.

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