Netgear ReadyNAS Pro Business Edition review
Netgear’s ReadyNAS desktop NAS appliances have always been standard setters in the field of network storage but its latest Pro Business Edition raises the bar into the stratosphere. In this exclusive review we bring you the lowdown not only on the first six-drive desktop appliance to market but one that is so fast it leaves everything else in the dust.
Gone is the shiny chrome fronted chassis of the NV+ as the Pro is to the same design as the diminutive ReadyNAS Duo. This is no bad thing as it’s just as well constructed, the oversized cooling fans mean it’s as quiet as mouse and is its smart OLED (organic light emitting diode) display provides plenty of easily readable detail on appliance configuration.
Netgear hasn’t just added more disk bays as the Pro sports a hardware specification that pummels the rest into submission. With the side panel removed a 1.8GHz Dual Core processor and its attendant active heatsink is revealed and the system comes as standard with 1GB of DDR2 memory upgradeable to 4GB. The dual Gigabit ports support load balanced and redundant link teams and you have three USB2 ports for adding extra storage, networking printers and backing up data from USB devices using the backup button at the front.
Along with a maximum 6TB capacity the Pro now supports RAID-6 although we think Netgear’s own X-RAID2 technology is a good bet. It’s not so storage hungry and it allows you to increase capacity by starting small and expanding the array online into more drives as required. For testing we were supplied with the 6TB RNDP6610 model preconfigured as a single X-RAID2 array leaving us with a very usable 4.5TB of fault tolerant raw capacity to play with.
For performance testing we used a dual quad-core Xeon Dell PowerEdge 1950 server with 4GB of memory, a striped array of SAS drives and running Windows Server 2003 R2. We used Iometer to test raw performance and with eight disk workers assigned to a share on the Pro it reported stunning 108MB/sec for both read and write operations. We then ran the ATTO Bench32 utility which confirmed these speeds. Real world performance is also a cut above the rest as copies of a 2.52GB video clip returned read and write speeds of 52MB/sec and 50MB/sec. FTP pushed the envelope even further with the FileZilla client returning read and write speeds of 90MB/sec and 82MB/sec.
The Pro has plenty of business features with AD authentication, support for Windows, Unix, Linux and Mac systems, share quota controls and volume snapshots on the list. NTI Shadow monitors selected sources on workstations and secures files as they are modified or newly created. Jobs can be scheduled to run at specific intervals, the appliance can manage its own daily and weekly backup schedules and secure data to another NAS appliance over the network. We were also advised by Netgear that the Business Edition model will have iSCSI target support added soon.
Competition in the desktop NAS appliance market is stiff but the ReadyNAS Pro Business Edition and its stunning feature set lays down a big gauntlet to the rest. We thought the A-Listed TS 509 Pro was the fastest desktop appliance on the planet but Qnap has just had it crown firmly snatched away by Netgear.
|Cost per gigabyte||33.3p|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|UPnP media server?||no|
Security and administration
|Admin support for users||yes|
|Admin support for groups||yes|
|Admin support for disk quotas||yes|
|Software supplied||RAIDar discovery software, NTI Shadow backup|