In addition to the raw performance numbers, there are a number of other features which prospective customers might care about. These include the one-touch backup features, extensibility with the help of add-ons and mobile apps availability. Power consumption and noise are important factors too.

One Touch Backup

Backup jobs can be created in the web interface. Source and destination options include folders in the internal volume as well as the various USB ports in the system. These backup jobs can be scheduled at pre-determined intervals or even just disabled.

The one-touch backup button can be configured to execute one or more of the configured backup jobs. We set up a backup job to copy over the contents of the drive connected to the rear top USB 3.0 port to a backup folder in the internal volume. One touch backup was performed for 100 GB of data (with multiple small files and folders) on a OCZ Enyo USB 3.0 SSD. As can be seen in the gallery above, the backup jobs use 'cp' internally. The WD MyBook Live uses the rsync command which gives more flexibility in the backup process. This is something Netgear should probably look at in future firmware upgrades. The transfer rates for the NV+ v2 (with various volume configurations) are recorded below.

ReadyNAS NV+ v2 One-Touch Backup Transfer Rates over USB 3.0
2 x 1TB RAID-1 Volume 26.53 MiB/s
3 x 1TB RAID-5 Volume 16.15 MiB/s
4 x 1TB RAID-5 Volume 23.79 MiB/s

The backup transfer rate seems to be fundamentally limited by the RAID array itself, as evident from the NASPT / robocopy benchmarks and the results above.

Add-Ons

One of the big plus points of the ReadyNAS lineup is the wealth of community developed add-ons available. A visit to the ReadyNAS website reveals that almost every add-on has two versions available, one for x86 and the other for SPARC. With today's introductions, ARM versions need to be added too. As of now, the number of add-ons available for the new platform is quite limited.

Netgear assured us that the porting process for the add-ons would be simple and available to end users / developers with access to the SDK. For the purpose of this review, we used the EnableRootSSH, ReadyNAS Photos II and ReadyNAS Remote add-ons. Except for the EnableRootSSH add-on, the others needed quite a bit of poking around to get them up and running. I am quite sure that things will improve as the ARM based platforms go out to more developers / end-users.

The ReadyNAS Photos II add-on helps users manage photographs on the NAS and access to it over the Internet. With uPnP forwarding set up, each photographer account on the NAS can be accessed through photos.readynas.com. The add-on also provides very fine grained access control for the photographs. Other NAS vendors also provide similar add-ons (like Synology with their Photo Station app). Due to the large number of options available, the usage of the add-on is not as straightforward as I would have liked. That said, it does manage to get the job done.

Mobile Apps / Remote Access Add-On

The ReadyNAS Remote solution allows access to the NAS volumes from a PC / Mac / mobile device in an external network. This needs the FTP service to be enabled on the unit (Netgear indicated that a non-FTP based version is currently being developed for mobile devices). The PC client installs its own network adapter on the system. I was unable to get the client to install on my Windows 7 Ultimate x86 based laptop, but it installed fine on another PC running Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (albeit, with an unsigned driver warning). Once logged in, the client mapped the NAS volume onto a network location. This way, the NAS volume is integrated quite nicely with Windows Explorer. All said, this setup is much more complicated compared to the PC WD2go solution provided by Western Digital in their MyBook Live lineup.

Mobile apps to replicate the remote access functionality are available for both Android and iOS. One of the quirks I observed during the testing was the fact that the PC client would log out whenever I logged into the Android client. In most situations, this is not desirable, but it is not a showstopper. Users can always create separate accounts for access via mobile devices. All in all, the mobile apps / remote access add-on seem to be unnecessarily complicated. Hopefully, things get better in the future.

DLNA

The web interface allows the various folders to be configured with the ReadyDLNA service. The unit is still pending certification, though. I am not a big fan of DLNA and its certification program. So, I will leave this sub-section with just the fact that DLNA services can be configured on a per-folder basis in the ReadyNAS NV+ v2.

Power Consumption

The table below presents the power consumed by the unit in various stages of operation. Note that these are typical numbers and can vary in the field depending on the type of hard disk being used in the system.

ReadyNAS NV+ v2 Power Consumption
Power Off 0.9 W
2 x 1TB RAID-1 Volume with High Network Load 24 W
3 x 1TB RAID-5 Volume with High Network Traffic 28.3 W
4 x 1TB RAID-5 Volume with High Network Traffic 34 W
4 x 1TB RAID-5 Volume Rebuild 36.8 W
Idle (4 x 1TB RAID-5) 12.3 W

Since the unit happens to be based on a dedicated RISC based RAID / NAS controller, the power consumption is quite low. The hard disks contribute to the bulk of the power consumption. The temperatures never exceeded 40 C, and the fans rotated at less than 2000 rpm even during periods of heavy activity.

 

 

CIFS Performance, Expansion and Rebuild Final Words
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  • Wardrop - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    Not sure if I want my NAS to look like an 80's boombox. Reply
  • therealnickdanger - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    You want to look at it? Reply
  • Ratman6161 - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    Its going to be hidden in a closet anyway. I don't care what it looks like. Reply
  • Fake-Name - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    There are iSCSI add-ons for the NV+. It shouldn't be too long before they're available for the NV+ v2.

    The "Ultra" series used the same basic codebase as the NV+, and the firrmware is mostly open source, so it shouldn't bee too long before someone pulls dwn the source, and compiles the iSCSI module for the NV+.

    The downside is since it's an add-on, you may have to do some tweaking using SSH (I did to get it working on my NV+).

    On the other hand, it's been pretty impressively stable so far.
    Reply
  • iwod - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    Netgear's ReadyNAS lineup is very well respected in the industry.??? May be company will buy them because of their Name.

    In Consumer NAS market, there are only two options, Qnap and Synology. Others dont even come close on features, price, performance.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    I didn't want to quote from the PR, but, it looks like Gartner did some market research / analysis and determined that Netgear is the leader in the sub-$5K market:

    http://www.sacbee.com/2011/11/09/4041443/netgear-r...
    Reply
  • nasuser - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    I think the reviewer needs to go back and look at his comparisons

    The 2 bay consumer NAS from Synology is the DS211j & the 4-bay unit is the DS411j

    A quick search shows the DS211j available for around $200 ie the same price as the new Duo, and the DS411j costs around $350 - which is $50 cheaper than this described NV+

    So to claim

    "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." .

    is highly misleading
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    The DS-211+ is the one based on the same hardware (Marvell 6282). We didn't review the DS211j, so can't comment there. Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, November 09, 2011 - link

    Just confirmed that the 211j is based on the 6281, has 128 MB DRAM and is more of a competitor to the LG NAS solution, rather than this one. I am sure the Duo v2 will have more performance than the 211j.. But, the 211+ could just surpass the Duo v2 based on the presented benchmark results. Reply
  • nasuser - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    There is very, very little difference in performance benchmarks (as far as you can trust vendor supplied numbers)

    Couple that with the fact that many home users do not have PCs that can sustain such transfer speeds

    Note that Synology no longer list the DS211+ on their web site as it appears to be replaced by the (cheaper) DS212... Plus there are many other vendors in the 2 bay market...

    Bottom line - Netgear ain't that cheap which is why I don't completely agree with the thrust of your conclusion, but I appreciate you responding and looking into this

    Maybe a review of the 2 bay NAS market in the near future?
    Reply

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