Netgear ReadyNAS 716 review

Price when reviewed

Netgear claims its ReadyNAS 716 is the fastest desktop NAS on the market – and while Qnap’s larger desktop units support optional 10GbE upgrades, the 716 is the first NAS appliance to come equipped with 10GbE as standard.

The ReadyNAS 716 uses the same well-built chassis as the ReadyNAS 516, but power has been beefed up with a 2.5GHz Intel Xeon E3-1265L v2 and 16GB of ECC DDR3 RAM. Expansion potential is equally good, with three rear eSATA ports that can each be used to hook up an EDA500 five-bay desktop expansion box.

Netgear ReadyNAS 716

Two Gigabit ports are embedded and 10GbE support comes courtesy of a dual-port 10GBase-T card in the single expansion bay. Unlike Qnap’s appliances, which support a range of standard Intel and Emulex 10GbE cards, Netgear’s is proprietary and can’t be changed for another brand.
The front door has an OLED display, which is used to scroll through various status displays using the central backlit touchpad. A proximity sensor wakes up the touchpad when you wave your hand in front of it, lending a touch of class to the design, but we found the display itself quite difficult to read in bright light.

Initial installation is simple using Netgear’s web-based ReadyCloud portal, which discovers your appliance and sets it up for you. Unlike the old RAIDar utility, the ReadyCloud portal can see all appliances registered to your account regardless of their location, and lets you set up users who can view, add or delete files and folders from the portal. Files can be copied to the appliance directly from the desktop by dragging them into the portal’s Browse page.

A key feature of all Netgear’s new ReadyNAS appliances is the switch from EXT4 to BTRFS – a move that brings support for unlimited block-level snapshots for both NAS shares and iSCSI LUNs. These are easy to create at hourly, daily or weekly intervals. For shares, you can permit network access to snapshots or hide them. File, folder or LUN recovery is just as simple: open the Dashboard’s timeline graph, choose a snapshot and select the rollback option.

Netgear ReadyNAS 716

Our review sample arrived with all six hot-swap bays fitted with 100GB Intel SSDs. Clearly that’s not a great choice if capacity is a priority, but it gave us an opportunity to see how quickly the 716 could transfer data over 10GbE.

For our testing, we rustled up a Broadberry Data Systems rack server with dual 2.6GHz E5-2670 Xeons, 48GB of DDR3 RAM and Windows Server 2012 R2. We added an Emulex OCe11102-NT dual-port 10GBase-T card and used a direct connection to the ReadyNAS 716.

Basic specifications

RAID capability yes


Ethernet ports 2
USB connection? yes
eSATA interface yes


Dimensions 192 x 288 x 259mm (WDH)

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