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Netgear ReadyNAS NVX - PC Pro Product Review

Verdict: A smart NAS appliance with very good performance and a range of backup features that will appeal to small businesses.

Rating: 5 Star

Netgear's latest ReadyNAS storage appliance takes everything that makes its ReadNAS NV+ great and adds features for small offices and businesses. The NVX claims a doubling in performance over the NV+, includes both NAS and IP SAN support and adds a choice selection of extra backup features, including the optional Netgear Vault off-site backup service.

The NVX uses the same sturdy four-bay chassis as the NV+, but processing power is now 1.2GHz Intel SoC teamed up with 1GB of DDR2 memory. The dual Gigabit ports support load balanced and redundant link teams, plus the drive carrier release mechanism has been redesigned to stop it jamming.

Unlike the A-Listed ReadyNAS Pro Business Edition, RAID6 isn't supported but Netgear's own X-RAID2 technology is a better bet for a four-drive appliance. It leaves more free storage capacity which can be increased by expanding the array online into larger drives, one at a time. For testing we were supplied with a 4TB model preconfigured as a single X-RAID2 array, leaving us with 2.7TB of fault tolerant raw capacity.

And Netgear won't be beaten on backup features. The NVX offers volume snapshots and the ability to manage daily and weekly backup schedules for designated local and remote shares or replicating data to another remote NAS appliance. NTI Shadow gets replaced with a three-user copy of Memeo Backup Premium which is for workstation backup only. It offers the same CDP functions, as after the first full backup has run, it only secures file changes or new files using a background agent. However, it's easier to configure and you also get backup encryption.

Netgear's Vault is as optional online backup service run by ElephantDrive that allows you to secure data from the NVX to its off-site data centre. Log in to the Vault portal, set up an account and create backup jobs. Opt for automatic encryption key generation or use your own, decide how much bandwidth to hand over to backup tasks and fine-tune them.

Jobs can be scheduled to run daily, weekly or monthly while the continuous option backs up new files as they appear in the target folders. In an emergency, log on to the Vault from anywhere and restore files to a new location.

The NVX didn't disappoint in our performance tests, and was substantially faster than the NV+, with copies of a 2.52GB video clip returning read and write speeds of 52MB/sec and 43MB/sec. FTP speeds are even better, with the FileZilla client reporting 98MB/sec and 62MB/sec respectively with the same test file. Setting up iSCSI targets is a cakewalk and IP SAN speeds are also very good, with Iometer reporting a raw sequential read rate of 104MB/sec.

The NVX has more features and speed than the NV+ and is a better bet for those that don't need the Pro Business Edition. It has more business-oriented features than the competition, with a focus on local and off-site backup.

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