IT Pro Verdict
Netgear has pulled out all the stops with the ReadyNAS Pro to deliver a quite remarkable desktop NAS appliance. It offers plenty of useful business related storage features with good backup facilities, its storage potential is enormous considering its size and its currently holds all records in its class for performance.
Netgear ReadyNAS Pro
Small businesses are a now major focus for desktop NAS appliance manufacturers with many products offering features more suited to this sector than consumers. Netgear's latest ReadyNAS Pro Business Edition raises the bar to new heights as it's the first six-drive appliance to market. Along with staggering performance it offers plenty of data protection features and the latest firmware revision brings iSCSI target support to the table.
On review we have the RNDP6610 6TB model, which came supplied with a sextuplet of 1TB Samsung SATA drives all mounted in very sturdy hot-swap carriers. Having this many drives to play with makes dual-redundant RAID-6 arrays a reality although our preference is Netgear's own X-RAID2 technology.
X-RAID2 is not so storage hungry and it enables you to increase capacity by starting small and expanding the array online into more drives as required. For a six-drive RAID-6 array you'll lose the entire capacity of two drives at least whereas the six-drive X-RAID2 array on the review system left us with over 4.5TB of fault tolerant raw capacity.
The hardware specification of the ReadyNAS Pro looks good as you have a 1.8GHz Intel Dual-Core processor in the driving seat and this is partnered by a very healthy 1GB of DDR2 memory. The controller is accessed by removing the side panel and the standard memory can be upgraded to a maximum of 4GB.
At the rear you have two Gigabit network ports, which support load balanced and redundant link teams. The three USB ports can be used for adding extra storage, networking printers and automatically backing up data to USB devices using the port and its accompanying backup button at the front.
Netgear has paid particular attention to cooling and the two oversized fans at the rear are capable of shifting plenty of air but make barely any noise. The appliance also uses a smart OLED (organic light emitting diode) display, which provides plenty of easily readable detail on appliance configuration.
For installation the bundled RAIDar utility locates the appliance on the network and provides direct access to the administrative web interface. This opens up with a quick start wizard that helps with setting up shares and choosing from two security models where the second uses NT domain or AD authentication.
Data protection options are extensive as the appliance can secure data from a multitude of sources including its own local shares and USB devices attached to specific ports or shares and FTP locations on remote PCs and servers. These also apply to destinations for backup tasks which can all be scheduled to run on daily and weekly intervals.
Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.
Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.