Netgear completes ReadyNAS line-up with two, four and six drive bays

by Volker Weber

readynas pro

NetGear now has three different devices in a number of configurations:

  1. ReadyNAS Pro with six drive bays.
  2. ReadyNAS NV+ with four drive bays. This is what I am using.
  3. ReadyNAS Duo with only two drive bays. I would be very interested to hear how noisy or quiet this kit is.

I am very happy with the NV+ since it sits in the basement. In my office I would find it too noisy. The new offering is not going to be any quieter, I suppose. But how are you liking the Duo?

Update: Duffbert reviews a ReadyNAS Duo with a single drive.


Actually, I'll be writing up my review of the Duo in a couple of days. I've been using it for a week and really love it.

Thomas "Duffbert" Duff, 2008-04-30

I'd be more tempted by the Pro. Not because of the two additional drives compared to my NV+ - 3 TB of storage for now are enough for me - but I'd be heavily interested in having a second gigabit port to partition access to the data to different subnets ... if possible. So I'd love to have a NV++ with an additional gigabit port. Anyone from Netgear listening in here?

Stefan Rubner, 2008-04-30

I’ve had my NV+ for a few months now, and really like it. It sits in my home office, and the volume is fine for me… but then I have three kids ;o) That said, the most recent firmware update certainly seems to have lowered the fan activity.

Ben Poole, 2008-04-30

I've been thinking for quite some time which one to get, reading about the different models and various vendors. Essentially, the 2 bay model doesn't provide enough capacity for me.

That made me choose between the NV+ and the Thecus N5200 Pro which has 5 bays. In the end, the Thecus won (for the additional capacity). Since I can't put it in the basement, I need to do some modding and replace the fans to make it more quiet...


Markus Heyl, 2008-05-01

Up till now the readynas devices have been a bit out of my price range for personal use but the duo model looks to be more reasonable. Hmmm, am very tempted now ...

Kieren Johnson, 2008-05-01

I hope this new 6 bay unit has a faster CPU. I've been using my ReadyNas NV+ for rsync snapshots. The filesytem creaks seriously, and even with the 1gb upgrade to RAM it can take about an hour to just do a "du -h" of a nfs mounted backup drive.

Still it's a nice addition to any home network, and I am satisfied with the box, even if not absolutely happy.

chris lindley, 2008-05-01

The Duffbert link is bad...try this one.

Chris - You're right about the slow CPU in the ReadyNAS NV+, it was purely designed for basic fileserving and does that well.

A faster CPU would run things like SlimServer etc. better, but would consume much more power...I like the greener option.

Ben Rose, 2008-05-01

I just recently found out that the throughput achievable to/from the ReadyNAS depends a lot on the network card you're using on the client side. Since I swapped my el'cheapo D-Link gigabit card with an Intel PCI express one throughput almost doubled. Still, transfer rates are way below what you'd expect from a gigabit link but far above what you can theoretically get out of a Fast Ethernet link.

Stefan Rubner, 2008-05-01

My NV+ does enough over the network (streaming audio / video etc.) and I don’t really care if back-ups take a while—they run overnight. It is a NAS after all, not a server. That said, there are configuration options which help with throughput (eg. jumbo frame support).

Ben Poole, 2008-05-01

Actually, I've been very happy with my NV/NV+ even before I switched the NIC. With Jumbo frames I'd advise you make sure your NICs does really support them. Had some NICs that claimed to, but didn't. Another way to tune performance is playing with the SO_SNDBUF and SO_RCVBUF settings in smb.conf when using SMB/CIFS type shares. Might work for NFS too but I'm not using NFS shares right now so I didn't test that.

Stefan Rubner, 2008-05-01

Netgear's website is speaking of
- Intel Core 2 Duo Processor
- 1 GB DDR2 DIMM (expandable with additional slot, support up to 4 GB)
for the "Pro". That doesn't sound to shabby.

Andreas Braukmann, 2008-05-01

Has anyone here considered the Drobo NAS unit in comparison to the ReadyNAS?

I'm thinking through the Drobo option as it offers the ability to use different size drives and to migrate data seamlessly between them as you change drives to larger ones in the future. As far as I'm aware, you would have to rebuild the RAID array on the ReadyNAS to do that. Is that correct?

Stuart McIntyre, 2008-05-01

Andreas, could you provide a link to where you found the information about the Intel processor? I seem to be unable to find it myself.

Stefan Rubner, 2008-05-01

Stuart, the XRAID technology in the ReadyNAS means that as you add new drives, data gets striped across them automagically. What I don’t know about is swapping existing drives with larger ones. I should read the manual someday :)

Ben Poole, 2008-05-01

Ben, when adding a larger drive, the X-RAID technology will only use the space of the drive you have replaced to replicate data on. This will go on that way until you replace the last drive of the old set with a larger one. At that point, the ReadyNAS will - at least with firmware 4.x - automatically expand the volume to occupy the maximum possible space. This again is defined by the smallest drive in the set. And frankly, I wouldn't see any other way to do that given how RAID works.

Stefan Rubner, 2008-05-01

Stefan, I just followed the link and had a look at one model's specs.

Currently I'm using a 2 TByte NV+ as backup device. I suppose (I hope?), that the "Pro" might be able to replace my "full blown" (Opteron, SCSI-disks on PCI-RAID-controller) server. That would be very nice concerning power consumption.

Andreas Braukmann, 2008-05-01

Andreas, thanks. As I said, I'm obviously too thick today ;) So that means I have to build the iSCSI support for a new platform since the NV/+ series are Sparc based.

Stefan Rubner, 2008-05-01

Stuart and Ben, you may want to play around with the Drobolator. It seems that the Robo has to the same as the ReadyNAS device for many upgrade scenarios.

For example: One starts with two 500 GByte drives resulting in ca. 500 GBytes available for data. If you add a 1 GByte disk as a third drive the Drobo would give you ca. 1 TByte for data; 500 GByte would be used for "data protection" and another 500 GBytes would be "reserved" for "future expansion".
Adding anonther 1 TB drive changes the game in favour for the Drobo.

Furthermore one has to buy the "DroboShare" to gain NAS-functionality.

Andreas Braukmann, 2008-05-01

I tried the expansion process with one of my ReadyNAS NV+ a few weeks ago, switching from 4*750GB to 4*1TB. Went fine. No problems.

But 33 GB were missing, compared to the other model which was set up w/ 4*1TB from the very start. As I could afford it at the time (data-wise), I setup the box once more, and finally both ReadyNAS were at the same capacity (2776 GB).

So in short: If you don't care for 33 gig somehow lost along the way, the process of X-RAID Expansion works fine. And now I'm off to check the ReadyNAS Pro stats ;-)

Frank Dröge, 2008-05-02

33 GB is 1,2% - I wonder where this got lost!

Samuel Orsenne, 2008-05-03

Unfortunately Frank already killed that setup, because I'd have been interested in the partition layout of the setup with the 33G missing compared to the new one, too. One possibility would be a linear expansion of both, the data partition and the system partition but I can't imagine why they should/would do that. Another possible reason would be different block sizes / limits in the inode structure inherited from the former setup. Ah, well. Since my ReadyNAS NV+ also shows a total capacity of 2776 GB, I guess I can live without an answer to this particular question.

Stefan Rubner, 2008-05-03

So could I, Stefan ;-)

Frank Dröge, 2008-05-03

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