Netgear ReadyNAS 3200 review

Price when reviewed

Netgear’s latest 3200 signals a fresh assault on rack cabinet territory. Until now, the only rack appliance Netgear offered was the four-bay ReadyNAS 2100, but the 3200 aims to offer much more.

You get every software feature present in the ReadyNAS Pro Business Edition, but presented in a 12-bay 2U rack chassis. Our review unit was supplied with six 1TB WD Enterprise SATA hard disks.

Supermicro provides the hardware platform, as the 3200 comprises its 2U storage server chassis and X7SB3-NI015 motherboard. The latter looks a custom job, as it has eight SAS and six SATA embedded ports. All the SAS ports are wired through to the backplane along with four of the SATA ports.

Netgear ReadyNAS 3200

For fault tolerance you have RAID6 and Netgear’s own X-RAID2 arrays, a pair of hot-plug power supplies and two Gigabit Ethernet ports. The cooling system is noisy, which makes it unsuitable for an open office.

From a business perspective the 3200 offers a great deal. It supports Windows, Unix, Linux and Mac clients, while security access extends to a local database plus support for AD authentication. IP SANs are available, and we were able to create 3TB LUNs without any difficulties.

Backup options are plentiful. The appliance runs its own jobs that can handle a multitude of sources. For Windows and Mac workstation backup you have a three-user copy of Memeo’s Backup Premium, which we tested successfully under Windows 7.

Netgear’s optional Vault online backup service is available, where you enable the embedded service on the appliance, log in to the Vault portal and create an account based on the amount of space you want. You can choose automatic encryption key generation or use your own, decide how much bandwidth the backup tasks can have, and define include and exclude lists.

Backup can be scheduled, while the continuous option backs up new files as they appear. In the event of a disaster, you can log on to the Vault from anywhere to restore files.

The ReadyNAS Remote service allows the appliance to be accessed over the internet via an encrypted tunnel. You install a small utility on each system and declare a username to the service; after logging in, the user can access permitted shares as if they were local.

For general real-world performance the 3200 was good. Copying a 2.52GB video clip between the appliance and a Broadberry dual 2.8GHz Xeon X5560 server returned read and write speeds of 78MB/sec and 64.5MB/sec. FTP speeds were in the same ball park as were copy times when using an iSCSI target.

The ReadyNAS 3200 takes every network storage feature Netgear has to offer and drops them into a well-specified rack server. Storage potential is good for the price and the 3200 is one of the fastest in its class.


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