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ReadyNAS NV+ Storage Device


Our take: Netgear finally broke into the NAS market with their ReadyNAS desktop and rackmount solutions.  No doubt a good move on their part, with entry Level NAS being a very lucrative market right now.  Looks like they're offering a 500GB thru 4TB solution and a 5 year warranty to boot.  Their linux based operating system should set them apart from the likes of Iomega and Buffalo entry level NAS.

Netgear consistently produces high-quality networking devices, but the company has been dragging its feet in the network attached storage (NAS) market. Thankfully, all is about to change. The ReadyNAS NV+ is the first product to hit the market since Netgear's acquisition of privately-held Infrant Technologies earlier this year.

Infrant was dedicated to bringing enterprise-level storage technology to small businesses and professional home users at affordable prices. Netgear has inherited the company's
ReadyNAS family of network attached storage (NAS) products which implement redundant array of independent disks (RAID) data protection, enabling you to store and protect critical data easily, efficiently and intelligently using RAID 0 (stripped), 1 (mirrored) and 5 (parity).

The ReadyNAS NV+ lineup is powered by Infrant's proprietary network storage processor, Linux-based RAIDiator operating system and patent-pending Expandable Protection (X-RAID) technology, which allows for automatic RAID volume expansion as additional drives are added. Not only that, but the device looks fantastic thanks to its robust aluminium enclosure and Power Mac G5 front grill.

The unit is a single, safe and effective solution for storing and serving all digital data in a small-business workgroup. Packed with technology previously reserved for high-end servers, the ReadyNAS NV+ brings enterprise-level technology to the masses in a cost-effective manner. Shipping as standard with either 1- or 2TB of removable 3.5-inch SATA storage, the ReadyNAS NV+ supports robust features such as Gigabit Ethernet speeds, system monitoring capabilities and built-in backup with hardware RAID.

Supporting Windows, Mac and Linux platforms, the ReadyNAS NV+ is available in various models. These include the ReadyNAS NV+ RND4425, a 1TB unit sporting four hot-swappable 250GB HDDs, the ReadyNAS NV+ RND4250, a 1TB unit that ships with two 500GB HDDs (two open slots for future expansion), and the ReadyNAS NV+ RND4450, a 2TB unit fully kitted out with four 500GB HDDs. Regardless of which model you opt for, all have the same dimensions (135x195x225mm) and features and all support a maximum capacity of 2TB. Weight, of course, will differ depending on the number of HDDs installed.

The drive's patent-pending X-RAID technology provides full data access and redundancy with protection even during hot swap of disks and against hardware failure, ensuring the access and safety of valuable pictures, digital media and sensitive business files. Not only does it have lower power consumption than competing products on the market, it also carries a special energy saving mode for automatic shutdown upon idle.

Setting up managing the ReadyNAS NV+ is a snap. A flip-open panel at the front of the unit gives instant access to the four HDD bays. Each bay has a button which releases a handle for easy removal of a HDD. Being hot-swappable means you can remove and install HDDs while the unit is powered and operating, allowing all users on your network to carry on working without any downtime. The only slightly awkward issue is that you have to remember not to lock the handle into place before you return a HDD because it won’t sit properly in the unit. Unfortunately the access door isn't lockable, so all the HDDs could be removed quickly and easily by a disgruntled employee or burglar.

The front of the ReadyNAS NV+ offers a single USB 2.0 for adding an external storage device (there's another two USB 2.0 ports at the rear), as well as separate Power and Backup buttons. When pressed, the Backup button will copy data from the ReadyNAS NV+ to a USB storage device directly connected to the front USB port. You can even configure the Backup button using the supplied software to backup one or more pre-defined backup jobs. A nice feature is being able to plug a USB Flash (or other) storage device into a USB port and the data will automatically be transferred and stored on the media volume. Various UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies) are also supported through a USB port. If the power fails, the NAS will shutdown and no data will be lost. The NV+ also comes with backup software from EMC (Retrospect, with five client licenses for Windows and Macs).

Disk LEDs provide feedback on the status of each installed HDD (they'll blink when a disk fails), and a dedicated Activity LED blinks when disks are being accessed. A really neat feature is the stylish LCD which provides 2-line textual information on the status of the ReadyNAS NV+. For instance, it lets you know when the unit is booting, whether there's an active network link, or whether data is being transferred. Not only that, but the LCD provides information on total and available drive space - brilliant!

Thanks to the acquisition of Infrant Technologies, Netgear is now in a position to serve the data storage needs of SOHOs and SMBs more effectively. The ReadyNAS NV+ is a robust storage solution rich in features. It's also compact, easy to use, extremely well built, and offers class-leading performance. If your business needs an affordable centralised network attached storage solution for securing its data, the ReadyNAS NV+ is perfect.

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