For the majority of people the term wireless means a simple router or access point (AP) and that is that. However, when you look at wireless on a larger scale you have to have a means to control access points in your organization with a little more efficiency. The thought of going from AP to AP and manually making changes to ensure proper coverage or channel plans is one that would keep most network engineers up at night. However systems that offer a centralized management point for multiple Aps are typically out of the range of small and even medium sized businesses. NETGEAR has stepped in and created a few products to cover this market. We have their WC7600 Wireless controller and a pair of WN370 Access Points in the lab, so let’s check this bundle out and see how it fits in.
Intel’s Atom CPU is getting a little bit of a boost in order to give it an edge in the microserver market. The new CPU is the C2000 which is something of a departure from their older Atom designs. Unlike the Atom we all know about (two cores, limited compute and memory support) the new C2000 is much beefier with 8 cores and support for 64 GB of memory. The move is something of a departure for the Atom line as some at Intel have claimed that adding more cores to a CPU is only needed if your CPU is not powerful or efficient enough.
In the world of the enterprise bandwidth is everything. If you do not have enough or you cannot keep your systems running then you are sure to lose money. The problem is getting the bandwidth you need without spending too much to get it. The current backbone to client standard is 1Gbe (Gigabit Ethernet). This give you plenty of bandwidth for client operations as well as voice traffic (which is typically about 20% of your data usage. Now this is great when you are talking about client to server traffic, but what happens when you need servers to talk to each other or servers to talk to storage? Here you need significantly more bandwidth than you do out to clients. Right now at the high-end of the spectrum you have 40Gbe (with 100Gbe coming very soon) and just under this is 10Gbe. Traditionally 10Gbe has been the playing ground for fiber optics or for TwianAixal cables. The problem is that these are not all that economical and end up out of the hands of all but larger enterprise networks. Things have changed though, just like 1Gbe over 10 years ago, 10Gbe is now hitting the price range that puts it into the hands of small and medium sized businesses. We are going to take a look at one of these options today in the form of the NETGEAR ProSafe XS708E 8-port 10Gbe Ethernet Switch.