Netgear ReadyNAS: NAS done right30 Apr 2008
One of the most popular pages on this blog is about a storage device that has a lot of enemies and few defenders, the SC101. It’s Windows-only, uses a proprietary filesystem and when (not if) it starts crashing, just say bye-bye to your data. The product didn’t do much good for Netgear’s reputation. So when Netgear offered me the opportunity to test a real NAS solution, I agreed. So they sent me the ReadyNAS NV+.
The ReadyNAS is a 4-bay network-attached storage device with a nice set of features. Yes, it does storage, but it also has an FTP server, an iTunes streaming server and uPnP (Universal Plug-and-Play: works with Microsoft products like Windows XP and Xbox). I’ve been able to use one for over a month and in short: I’m probably going to buy one.
- it’s big: 4 bays gives you a max size of 4TB. That should do for a while.
- it’s silent. It ran in my living room, and the noise was hardly noticeable.
- it’s fast (when connected to a 100Mbps client, I reached speeds between 7.3 MB/s and 8 MB/s – the theoretical max for 100Mbps is 12.5 MB/s)
- it’s robust: I experienced no downtime, but then again, 1 month is only a month.
- it’s full-featured: the streaming protocols and in the latest firmware, the BitTorrent client, make it very flexible.
- it’s scalable: the X-RAID technology lets you pop in new disks and scale automatically (without reformatting)
- price: it’s not the cheapest NAS on the market (e.g. LaCie has a comparbale device, but it does not support all the streaming/torrent protocols that ReadyNAS has)
- proprietary: I’m not sure how easy it is to recover data from an X-RAID formatted disk set. I don’t think you can mount them in a Linux system and recover the data.
I also received the latest Storage Central (successor of the SC101) to test, but I never opened the box. The trauma of the previous one was still too big.
In any case, it seems Netgear finally made a good choice by buying Infrant, with the ReadyNAS product line.