Today we have our review of the Netgear ProSAFE XS716E 10Gbase-T switch. In terms of an SMB or SOHO 16 port 10Gbase-T switch, this is our favorite, by a long shot. For many STH readers, this is the 10Gbase-T switch you have been waiting for. This is the first 16 port 10Gbase-T switch that is quiet enough for SMB office or home use. It sips power and is virtually inaudible under normal loads. Price-wise it comes in at around well under $70/ port retail. It was not long ago that $100/ port was considered good for 10Gbase-T.
Netgear ProSAFE XS716E Overview
The Netgear ProSAFE XS716E is a fairly simple switch in terms of a physical layout. It is a short depth chassis that can be mounted easily via rack ears or be used as a desktop unit.
There is a total of 16x 10Gbase-T ports with port 16 supporting either 10Gbase-T or SFP+ networking. This is extremely handy when one has a 1GbE switch to uplink via a common SFP+ connection.
The rear of the unit has MAC address information as well as power information. Although less aesthetically pleasing, we would like to have seen the MAC address sticker moved to the front of the unit so it is easier to read in racks. We will note that Netgear also has this information on the bottom of the switch, but again, if you are trying to remotely troubleshoot, we would prefer this to be visible or on a tag.
The switch also has a Kensington lock port. With a $1100 switch being used in SMB settings, it may be wise to invest $30 on a lock to deter theft.
Inside the switch, we see something completely different than we saw with previous Netgear models. The company is using larger heatsinks and ducting to keep components cool with minimal noise.
One area we wanted to focus on is the cooling. As one will see from our power and noise tests, this generation of Netgear 10Gbase-T switches run much cooler than previous versions. This extra design work clearly costs a bit more on the R&D side but has a major impact on the usability of the switch in SMB and SOHO settings.
With that overview, it is time to see the exciting portion of the review: numbers. The hardware and management combination that Netgear has put together is what we have been waiting for in the SMB/ SOHO 10Gbase-T space.
For this test we needed to handle 16x 10Gbase-T which is very easy to accomplish in our lab. We hooked up the SFP+ combo port to our Quanta T3048-LY8 switch and the remaining eleven 10Gbase-T ports to our Quanta T3048-LY9 and dual Intel Xeon E5-2698 V3 KVM hosts we were using for a small OpenStack demo. Each of the Quanta switches have a (much) higher switching capacity and were linked to our 40GbE NVMe storage arrays. In one of our lab test racks, we were able to install the Netgear XS716E using rack ears. No rails required.
Netgear XS716E Power Consumption, Noise and Performance
We have a 48-port 10Gbase-T (plus 6 port 40GbE) Quanta T3048-LY9 in our Sunnyvale, California data center. This is a higher-end switch that use more than 100w at idle. In contrast, the Netgear XS716E has around one-third the number of 10Gbase-T ports and uses less than one-fifth the power. Under moderate use (VMs and hypervisors) we let the switch sit in our Sunnyvale California facility for a few weeks attached to a ZFS storage node and a few KVM hypervisors and a samba data store for a few Windows servers.
- Idle: 20.4W
- Maximum observed: 59.6W
In terms of comparison, this is only about 4W higher idle power consumption than the 8 port model which is great.
To measure noise output we used our Extech 407764 NIST calibrated sound meter. In the datacenter, this is of little concern however for SMB offices and home labs, noise can be a factor. We observed noise in the 25-33dba range during our testing. That is a complete game changer. Previous generations we have tested were well over 50dba. As a result, we can recommend the Netgear ProSAFE XS716E for inhabited areas, even on a desktop. It is not silent, but it is quiet enough that it is serviceable even outside of a well-insulated equipment cabinet.
Performance is what we would expect from such a switch:
We were able to saturate all sixteen 10GbE ports without any major performance anomaly.
Netgear ProSAFE XS716E Management
While users studying for their CCNA exam will likely want a Cisco switch, in the 16-port switch tier many users do not want to learn a CLI. Frankly, if you need 48+ 10Gbase-T ports, you are better off buying a larger switch than trying to manage many of these lower port count Netgear switches. As a result, a GUI is the primary management interface. In the SMB sector so having a simple to navigate yet powerful web GUI is a must-have feature. Netgear delivers on this and it is exceedingly easy to way configure VLANs, LAG groups and other features of this L2 switch.
By default, the switch will pick up a DHCP management address. The default login password is “password”. This is one that you should definitely change. Once you are in, the GUI is very simple to navigate.
If you are accustomed to heavy L3 switches, you are not going to see anywhere near the supported features. For features that are there, for example setting up LAG, the GUI is simple.
Likewise setting up VLANs is easy enough for a 5th grader to intuitively get right:
One does trade many of the higher level features in the networking stack with the Netgear ProSAFE XS716E. At the edge, this works, but we do urge you to check the spec sheet for specific features.
We recommend the Netgear ProSAFE XS716E for SMB and high-end SOHO deployments. The low power consumption, solid performance, and stability make it a great option for these scenarios. We have tried switches from other vendors (e.g. the Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch ES-16-XG and the D-Link D-Link DXS-1210-12TC) and Netgear’s quality far exceeds those units. Netgear also has an industry-leading lifetime ProSAFE warranty. Overall, there may be cheaper options, but if you want something that just works and you can rest easy with, the Netgear XS716T is your solution.