Netgear launched the Marvell-based NV+ v2 (4-bay) and Duo v2 (2-bay) NAS units last November. We reviewed the Netgear NV+ v2 and came away quite satisfied with the price to performance ratio. However, we had some reservations about the absence of NFS and iSCSI (which happen to be staple features in offerings from other vendors in this particular segment of the market). The maturity of the platform was also a concern (since this was Netgear's first attempt at introducing a NAS based on an ARM chipset).

 

Netgear recently updated the firmware for the NV+ v2 and Duo v2 units. RAIDiator 5.3.5 added support for a number of new share management protocols including NFS. It also brought along a number of fixes. In the meanwhile, LaCie also contacted us about a firmware update improving RAID-1 performance in the 2big NAS that we reveiewd a couple of months back. Keeping these updates in mind, it is time to take another look at the 2-bay NAS units in our labs.

The testbed setup remains the same as what we used for the LaCie 2big NAS reivew. All the NAS units were populated with two empty 3TB Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm [ ST3000DM001 ] drives prior to benchmarking.

NAS Benchmarking Testbed Setup [ Q2 2012 ]
Processor Intel i7-3770K CPU - 4C/8T - 3.50GHz, 8MB Cache
Motherboard Asus P8H77-M Pro
OS Hard Drive Seagate Barracuda XT 2 TB
Secondary Drive Kingston SSDNow 128GB (Offline in Host OS)
Memory G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) F3-10666CL7D-4GBECO CAS 7-7-7-21
PCI-E Slot Quad-Port GbE Intel ESA-I340
Case Antec VERIS Fusion Remote Max
Power Supply Antec TruePower New TP-550 550W
Host Operating System Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
.

Two virtual machines were set up using Hyper-V with the following configuration

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 : Guest OS
Processor Single Physical Core of Intel i7-3770K
OS Hard Drive VHD File on Seagate Barracuda XT 2 TB
Secondary Hard Drive Kingston SSDNow 128GB
Memory 1 GB
CentOS 6.2 x86_64 : Guest OS
Processor Single Physical Core of Intel i7-3770K
OS Hard Drive VHD File on Seagate Barracuda XT 2 TB
Secondary Hard Drive Kingston SSDNow 128GB
Memory 1 GB

The usage of VMs as NAS clients allows us to test Samba and NFS performance from a single host machine. While Intel NASPT can run on Windows (and has to be restricted to 2 GB of RAM in order to avoid caching effects), IOMeter / Dynamo can be used to measure performance in Linux.

The Kingston SSDNow 128 GB SSD we used in the earlier testbed has been reused here. In the host OS, this disk is set to offline, and is made available to the Hyper-V VMs as a physical drive. Note that we don't do any teaming in the Intel ESA-I340 in this testbed. Each VM gets its own physical Ethernet port in the ESA-I340, and the host OS uses the motherboard's built-in GbE port. All the Ethernet ports are connected to a ZyXel GS2200-24 switch.

For measurement of performance in Linux, dynamo was run on the Linux VM and connected to an IOMeter instance run on the host OS. Four tests were run to determine the characteristics of the NAS as a storage system for the client. In order to completely rule out caching effects, a special build of IOMeter with O_DIRECT access mode for NFS shares was used.

The robocopy / rsync benchmarks (transferring a 10.7 GB folder structure backup of the HQV 2.0 Benchmark Blu-ray to and from the NAS to the internal SSD) were also run in both the VMs.

In the rest of the review, we briefly cover the updates in the latest firmware for the NV+ v2. We also test out one of the unique add-ons in the NV+ v2, ReadyNAS Replicate. In the last two sections, we will present the refreshed benchmark results.

Netgear NV+ v2: RAIDiator and Add-Ons
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  • Zebble - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    Netgear's ReadyNAS products in particular, dollar-for-dollar seem to always be a step behind Synology and QNAP. Synology has really got it figured out with a common firmware/featureset across all models, which is why I was surprised to read this article to find that all features are available across SPARC, x86 and now Netgear's ARM platform...

    Does the ReadyNAS make sense for anyone?
    Reply
  • Zebble - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    Correction: "all features are *not* available across SPARC, x86 and now Netgear's ARM platform..." Reply
  • chadwickba2 - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    A few months ago, I purchased the NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus and it is really nice. I have owned a Buffalo Linkstation Live, a Synology DS209+II, and several older external units and the unit I purchased blows them all away in performance. I have not owned a QSNAP, and it may be awesome. Synology products have very spotty performance in my experience. Synology does have the uniform upgrade and software down pat. Netgear is not even close on the software, but they are awesome in performance on my unit. Reply
  • philipma1957 - Thursday, July 19, 2012 - link

    I have the synology 210+ it is pretty good and support was good. but it cost more the 400. so if this is 250 it may be worth a look. Reply
  • MrKane - Sunday, July 22, 2012 - link

    Currently I'm operating a Synology 209+ and a Netgear Ultra 2.

    From my point of view the Netgear is acceptable" as a backup device, but as a more general server it is miles and miles behind Synology.

    The user interface for one is just ancient on the Netgear, even though it's a newer model with more CPU and more memory.

    The software on the Synology unit is way better. I'm running with it as a small LDAP server and connects Windows7, Mac and Linux clients to this. The media sharing sw on the Synology is by far more comfortable to use.

    The Readynas Ultra server is for me purely an rsync backup server for the Synology server. IT should be more capable, but as it is now it was chosen purly because it was a cheap solution.
    Reply
  • Evadman - Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - link

    I have 3 NV+'s, and have always been impressed with their stability and the UI from a home user and a power user standpoint. Their throughput is slower than pretty much everything else I have tried, but for me the stability and ease of setup were worth the tradeoff. I should have waited for the price to come down (I paid $1100 for the first diskless unit, and they are $250ish now). I wish they made one that supported more disks (8 or more) so I could move off my 20 disk 3 TB RAID60 array on my server that I have most of my stuff on. The NV+ work awesomely for backup purposes now.

    In a nutshell, each has it's upsides and downsides, and you need to pick the one that fits your needs better.
    Reply
  • Tim Thorpe - Saturday, July 28, 2012 - link

    I've had a readynas for about 5 years and couldn't be happier with it. Rarely have I had a problem with it, and when I did (I was unlucky enough to get one with a time bomb PSU) Netgear stood behind it out of warranty (Though it was a known issue). I'd gladly pick up a readyNAS again without hesitation though I was sad when inferant got bought by netgear. Reply

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