The review unit provided to us was the 2 TB ReadyNas NV+ v2 version. The industrial design of the ReadyNAS lineup is aesthetically pleasing, and the unit makes optimum usage of the space available. Some of the unboxing pictures are provided in the gallery below. The unit comes with an external 90W PSU / adapter.

The front of the NV+ v2 units have the perforated drive bay door in the middle. Above that, we have a USB 2.0 port, a backup button, some LED indicators (for active drive status and disk activity status) and the power button. At first sight, it appeared as if Netgear had made a serious oversight by tying up the backup button to the slow USB 2.0 port, but a quick perusal of the web interface revealed later that the backup button could be tied to any type of backup job on any port in the unit. Below the drive bay door, we have a VFD display with backlighting to present status messages for those setting up the unit without a PC nearby.

The rear of the unit has the GbE port and 2 USB 3.0 ports. There is also a single large fan which spins at low speeds. The handle to lug the unit around is a nice addition.

In our test setup, the unit and the host driver were connected to a Cisco SG200-08 Gigabit smart switch. The switch was connected to the Internet through a Netgear WNR 3500L router. Since our review unit already had RAIDiator (the ReadyNAS OS) pre-installed (with the unit configured to interact with a DHCP server), setup was a breeze. The RAIDar software to discover the unit on the network was not necessary. The IP address picked up by the unit was displayed in the front panel.

Accessing the IP over the browser led us to the redesigned FrontView interface. One of the chief complaints about the Netgear NAS units has been the rudimentary nature of the web interface compared to the rich offerings from companies such as Synology and QNAP. With the redesigned interface, Netgear has made a positive effort towards catching up in this department. Some screenshots of the new interface in action are provided in the gallery below.

The strength of the ReadyNAS lineup over competing NAS solutions is the wealth of user contributed add-ons that is available on the ReadyNAS support website. We will talk about the add-ons in detail in a later section. While SSH is not available readily, it is possible to enable it with a add-on. Once logged in, it is clear that RAIDiator is based upon a Linux kernel, as the following screenshot shows.

The Marvell CPU is the ARMv5 based Feroceon 88FR131. The 1.6 GHz version is a part of the Kirkwood 88F6282 RAID controller. We have already seen the internal details of this controller in the Synology DS211+ review. In addition to the main RAID controller, we have the two USB 3.0 ports enabled by the NEC uPD720200 USB 3.0 host controller. The unit comes with 256 MB of DRAM (compared with the 512 MB DRAM in the Synology DS211+).

There are a couple of interesting things at play here. The Synology DS211+ is almost a year old now. So, it appears as if Netgear is 1 year late to the party in putting out a NAS with this platform. The second aspect is the pricing. The diskless Synology DS211+ costs close to $400 while the Duo v2 with similar hardware specifications turns up at $200. Of course, the lower price comes with the absence of support for NFS, iSCSI and other similar SMB / SOHO requirements. Purely based on pricing, Netgear seems to have hit a home run. In the next section, we will discuss the performance aspects of the Netgear NV+ v2.

 

Introduction CIFS Performance, Expansion and Rebuild
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  • ganeshts - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    These are not vendor supplied numbers I am talking about.

    A 6281 based NAS was reviewed here: www.anandtech.com/show/4510/lg-n2a2-nas-review

    Look at the NASPT benchmarks and compare with what we got for the NV+ v2. There is a big difference in the robocopy benchmarks (46 and 21 MBps vs 77 and 35 MBps). For the general consumer, who doesn't care about speeds, the LG unit is a better choice at a lower price.

    The DS212 specs seem to indicate that a 6282 is at the heart and it also has USB 3.0. I am yet to benchmark that unit, but I expect it to come in around what the NV +v2 achieved in the 2 bay configuration.
    Reply
  • nasuser - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    You can't use an LG benchmark to then make conclusions about a non-LG device! Just having a similar processor doesn't automatically mean the same performance. Maybe the next time you want to buy a car you'll go test a couple of Volkswagen - then you'll know which Audi to buy as they use the same engines

    If you don't have your own benchmarks then you have no choice but to trust those provided by the supplier - in this case Synology - which shows the very little difference between their $200 unit and the Netgear $200 unit

    But your article makes a major conclusion that the Netgear unit is effectively half the price of its' competition for the same performance, neglects all other aspects of comparison, and so states it is the best value for money. And that conclusion is based purely on extrapolating from a test of an LG device?
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    I don't trust manufacturer benchmarks because the test cases are not going to be the same across manufacturers. I always draw conclusions from the benchmarks that I have run myself. We have the following:

    1. LG with 6281
    2. DS211+ with 6282
    3. NTGR NV+ v2 2 x 1TB with 6282

    (2) and (3) have similar performance, and (3) is half the price of (2).

    There is a new contender,

    4. DS212 with 6282 and costing 1.5x the Duo v2.

    I am making an educated guess that (4) will have performance similar to (3). I can't imagine how the engine analogy applies to the above description.

    I will approach Synology for a DS212 review unit.
    Reply
  • Daniel Egger - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    "By sacrificing some features such as NFS and iSCSI and cutting back on the DRAM, Netgear has managed to deliver the members at half the price of the competition's offerings."

    So why is it in your opinion that castrating an already available feature would reduce the cost of such a product? The real reason for that is to lure non-experts into buying a more expensive version ...

    However none of the brands deliver something I would consider to be a killer feature: All of the NASes allow for repartitioning while destroying existing data; what I would like to see instead is some utilisation of LVM to partition space on the fly and maybe even allow snapshotting and snapshotted backups.

    All the smaller NAS products currently on the market are in fact toys without something along these lines.
    Reply
  • nurgle - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    At the $400-$600 range, Wouldn't it just make a lot more sense to just use a computer? Even at the $199 range it seems you could pick up some old atom pc and use that instead. Not to mention you could run all the applications you would want on it (FTP, SFTP, FTPS, SSH, webserver, dhcp, nfs, cifs/smb, dns, firewall, NNTP, NTP, and on and on. I mean all these NAS things are just a stripped down linux box in the first place. Why not just have a linux box?

    I get the laziness thing. I also get the people are too dumb thing. But it seems like a lot of people who are neither lazy or dumb are compelled by these devices.
    Reply
  • irev210 - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    Size, power consumption, web GUI.

    Obviously this is something you can build yourself, but here are a few things to consider (coming from an avid QNAP fan).

    1) Build quality -
    My qnap is built like a tank. Sanyo OSCON caps, high quality cokes/mosfets, high quality delta PSU, ADDA fan

    2) Power consumption -
    The PSU size is perfect for the size of the NAS, so you get the most efficient A/C to D/C conversion.

    3) noise -
    Obviously it is designed to be quiet

    4) Software -
    Their web-based software is nifty, easy to use, and takes seconds to configure

    There are a TON more reasons, I suggest you take a quick look at some of the neat features at qnap.com

    Nowadays, I am lazy. Convenience and total cost of ownership are much bigger priorities for me.
    Reply
  • KennethAlmquist - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    Having just built a system, I would say:

    1) Build quality: You can buy good quality components and still save money over a pre-built NAS. My build:
    - Intel 620 2.6Ghz dual core Sandy Bridge processor ($69)
    - Intel DB65AL motherboard ($85)
    - 2 x 1 GB memory (had on hand, ~$20 otherwise)
    - FSP AU-400 Aurum Gold 400W Power Supply ($76)
    - NZXT Source 210 case ($40) + front fan ($8)
    That's $100 less than the NV+ v2 without drives, including a brand name motherboard and a high end power supply.

    2) Power consumption: The Aurum Gold has an efficiency of around 86% with a 40 watt load. I assume that the NAS manufactures get better value for their money by going with power supplies with lower wattage ratings. I don't see any reason to believe that they use more efficient power supplies. High efficiency at low power is expensive, so I'd hazard a guess that the NAS manufactures go for 80% efficiency.

    Under load the system I built draws 49 watts, compared to 28 watts for the two drive Netgear unit, but that's with a much faster processor and 8 times a much memory. The NAS may have more energy efficient disks; I didn't get the Western Digital WD20EARS drives I wanted because of events in Thailand. An apples to apples comparison might give Netgear a 10 watt advantage. At that rate you are not going to get $100 worth of electricity savings in a reasonable amount of time.

    3) Noise: The build I did is virtually inaudible. The only NAS I can compare it to is the Iomega StorCetner ix2, which is a lot noisier.

    4) Software: If QNAP doesn't sell their software separately from their hardware, that suggests that they have looked at the market and concluded that their software doesn't provide a compelling advantage over the competition. Presumably the appeal is that they install and mostly configure the software for you, and it works well enough that you don't have to worry about it. And yes, I do understand the appeal of that. But if you have the time and inclination to deal with the hardware and software yourself, you can do better than a pre-built NAS.
    Reply
  • T2k - Tuesday, January 17, 2012 - link

    You are clearly clueless about this market, I must say.

    Build quality with $40 case and $8 fans? ROFLMAO!

    Aside of these stupid claims most NAS boxes are not only about quarter of the size of your fugly build (NZXT, OMFG) but also noiseless, cost actually the same than your ugly build and come with 3-5 years of warranty, all included, no need to keep contacting 5-6 different el cheapo PC parts vendor when they die.

    But your most hilarious point was the last one:
    "If QNAP doesn't sell their software separately from their hardware, that suggests that they have looked at the market and concluded that their software doesn't provide a compelling advantage over the competition."

    :D :D :D
    Did it ever fuckin' occur to you that they chose to keep it proprietary because THAT IS the main differentiator for a NAS box? And that they maintain their own fork, you don't need to shit, only install single updates?

    Boy, you are one hopelessly clueless bloke.
    Reply
  • C_H_I_P - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    Is it me, or is the SKU for version 1 and 2 the same ? Reply
  • C_H_I_P - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    Figured it out for myself.
    V2 == RND4000-200EUS
    V1 == RND4000-100EUS
    Reply

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