Netgear’s ReadyNAS desktop appliances have always been standard setters in the field of network storage, but its latest Pro Business Edition raises the bar further. In this exclusive review, we bring you the lowdown not only on the first six-drive desktop appliance to market, but one that’s so fast it leaves everything else in the dust.
Gone is the shiny chrome-fronted chassis of the NV+, Netgear’s previous business NAS appliance, as the Pro is the same design as the diminutive ReadyNAS Duo. It’s just as well-constructed, and the oversized cooling fans mean it’s quiet.
The Pro sports a hardware specification that pummels the rest into submission. With the side panel removed, a 1.8GHz Intel E2160 processor and its active heatsink is revealed. The system comes with 1GB of DDR2 memory upgradable to 4GB. The dual Gigabit ports support load-balanced and redundant link teams, and there are three USB ports for adding extra storage, networking printers and backing up data from USB devices.
Along with a maximum 6TB capacity the Pro now supports RAID6, although Netgear’s own X-RAID2 technology is a good bet. 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 a useable 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 and a striped array of SAS drives, 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 a stunning 108MB/s for read and write operations. Real-world performance is also a cut above, as copies of a 2.52GB video clip returned read and write speeds of 52MB/s and 50MB/s. FTP pushed the envelope, with the FileZilla client returning read and write speeds of 90MB/s and 82MB/s.
The Pro has AD authentication, support for Windows, Unix, Linux and Mac systems, share quota controls and volume snapshots on its feature list. NTI Shadow monitors selected sources on workstations and secures files as they’re modified or created. Jobs can be scheduled to run at specific intervals, and the app can manage its own daily and weekly backup schedules and secure data to another NAS application over the network.
Competition in the desktop NAS app market is stiff, but the ReadyNAS Pro Business Edition lays down the gauntlet to the rest.
This Review appeared in the February, 2009 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
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