Netgear's ReadyNAS lineup is very well respected in the industry. This lineup owes its existence to the acquisition of Infrant in 2007. After acquiring Infrant, Netgear moved away from the custom RAID controllers (based on the LEON SPARC core [PDF]) in favour of Intel x86 based solutions. However, Intel based solutions are too costly for the mid-range SMB market. We have already seen vendors like Synology and LG using Marvell based controllers in their systems. Netgear is also moving to a Marvell based solution for this market with the products introduced today.

The 2-bay Duo v2 is meant to replace the existing ReadyNAS Duo and the 4-bay NV+ v2 is meant to replace the existing ReadyNAS NV+. Compared to the Ultra and Ultra Plus series, these solutions are much cheaper. They also sacrifice some features such as NFS and iSCSI. These are not used by a majority of the consumers in the economical prosumers segment. Hardware wise, both the products carry only one GbE port (compared to the two ports in the Ultra lineup). The table below presents the various home NAS models from Netgear.


Netgear's suggested pricing for today's introductions is presented below:


Netgear doesn't offer any specifics on the platform except for indicating 'Marvell Smart' in the packaging and a 1.6 GHz CPU at the core. Both the Duo v2 and NV+ v2 run on the same CPU, with the number of bays being the only difference. A look at the pricing table above reveals that the units compete in the same class as that of the LG N2A2 NAS that we reviewed a couple of months ago. Is the platform same? How does the performance stack up? We will see the answers to these questions in the next few sections.

ReadyNAS NV+ v2 Platform and Setup Impressions
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  • sunbear - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    If it was formatted as ntfs, this could explain the low 20MB/s backup performance. Netgear slumps by using the free ntfs-3g driver whereas qnap licences a ntfs driver from paragon which provides 3-4 times the performance. At this level of performance it would seem that USB 2.0 would have sufficed to handle that low level of performance.
    It might be worth retesting with ext3 format to see.if performance at USB 3.0 levels is achievable or whether the bottleneck is the weak Marvell CPU.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    sunbear, Thanks for the note! Yes, it was a NTFS drive.

    Let me retest with ext3 formatting.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    I retested with ext3, and the results are actually slightly worse than NTFS. But, as you say, NTFS performance could probably get an additional boost with a better driver. We can't say for sure whether that is the case without actually trying out another NTFS driver on the ReadyNAS. I will ask Netgear to analyze this further. Reply
  • sunbear - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    Thanks very much for EXT3 the retest. On a NAS that is designed for the budget consumer who will most likely want to backup their NAS via USB (rather than over Ethernet) it's particularly disappointing to see Netgear provide USB3 with the potential for speedy backups, but leave bottlenecks elsewhere effectively nullifying the whole point of having USB3 in the first place! It might be worth asking Netgear why they added the additional cost to include USB3 but then completely failed to utilize it.

    Regarding the NTFS vs EXT3 performance question - A year or more back it was the case the NTFS backups were slower on Readynas platforms than EXT3 backups, but it seems that the situation may have now reversed due to an update to the ntfs-3g driver to version 2011.1.15 (http://www.tuxera.com/community/release-history) in the most recent versions of the RAIDiator firmware. It now seems that Readynas Ultra 2 users are even finding similar results to your results (http://www.readynas.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2902...
    Reply
  • MTN Ranger - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    No NFS, no sale. I have a Synology DS210j at work and a DS210+ at home and they provide fast transfers and are reliable. Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    Since we have SSH access, it is possible that NFS could be enabled by end-users. I will also put in a word with Netgear :) Reply
  • QChronoD - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    I currently have a 6x 1.5TB drives running on an older Adaptec raid card (in RAID5). Unfortunately it's from right before auto-expansion became popular, so to increase my array I'd have to back it all up, add the new drives, make a new array and then copy everything back over.

    My question is whether it would be "better" to look into migrating to a NAS (that supports at least 15TB) or a newer RAID card that does support auto-expansion?? A quick look on Newegg showed that once you get over 4bays for the NAS, the cost jumps to $800-1K, and there isn't much thats larger than 6. However I've seen some 16ch RAID cards that are about the same price, and that would give me much greater future expansion.
    (I'm not concerned with using a NAS to save power, since my computer is running 24/7 and I'm probably going to upgrade to a Ceton card next year.)
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    The Synology DS1511+ fits your expansion criteria, but it is pretty costly at > $800. unRAID solutions will also work (you can bring your own machine or look into the MD-1510 series). But, all of these are costly.

    From what I have heard, it is better to go with NAS solutions compared to RAID cards when it comes to 'set it up and forget it' scenarios.
    Reply
  • JHBoricua - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    For the $399 asking price of a NV+ v2 diskless unit, I can get a HP Proliant Microserver with a dual core 1.5Ghz low voltage CPU, 2 GB of RAM, 250GB HD, Broadcom gigabit adapter and 2 expansion slots. An additional $99 gets you 8GB of RAM from Crucial. Fill it with 2TB Samsung F4 drives for another $300, slap Solaris 11 with napp.it as the front end and you'll have a much more capable device than the ReadyNAS that can do CIFS, NFS, iSCSI, FCoE, Rsync, WebDav, and much more. Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    The issue will be power consumption + customer support. For tech-savvy users, I do suggest going the self-build route, but many SMBs / SOHOs don't have time to build or maintain a NAS themselves. Reply

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