Netgear was a relative latecomer to the NAS market, launching its first products in 2007 after the acquisition of storage company Infrant and its ReadyNAS products. Its portfolio has since expanded to encompass markets ranging from home users to enterprises. The company has recently announced a major overhaul of the entire home and SME product line (the enterprise-class ReadyDATA products are unaffected).
At the core of the updated range is a brand-new version of the NAS operating system, now renamed ReadyNAS OS 6. One of its main claims to fame is that it includes the first NAS implementation of the BTRFS filesystem. One of the main features of BTRFS is its copy-on-write capability, which enables robust and efficient creation of data snapshots. According to Netgear, this brings enterprise-grade data protection to products in this price range for the first time.
The firmware continues support for the genie+ ecosystem for add-on apps, and now includes a brand new ReadyCLOUD portal that can be used for deployment and remote access. Real-time antivirus protection has been added, and file synchronisation features are available via the ReadyDROP and Dropbox integration features.
ReadyNAS OS 6 is not compatible with existing ReadyNAS devices, so there's no upgrade path, which is bound to upset existing customers looking to add new features to their devices. Existing ReadyNAS units can be used as replication targets, however, and unlike previous versions there are now no licensing costs for these replication features.
ReadyNAS OS 6 is not compatible with existing ReadyNAS devices, so there's no upgrade path, which is bound to upset existing customers looking to add new features to their devices.
The hardware range has been reorganised into the 100, 300 and 500 series, plus the mid-range 1U rackmount 2120 model. The ReadyNAS 102 and 104 are 2- and 4-bay home products, using Marvell Armada 1.2GHz CPUs with 512MB of RAM. The SME-focused 312, 314 and 316 models are 2-, 4- and 6-bay Intel Atom-powered versions that can be expanded with the new eSATA-based EDA500 5-bay expansion unit. At the top of the range is the 500 series, currently represented by the 6-bay ReadyNAS 516 with 4GB of RAM and a 3.3GHz Intel Core-i3 CPU. All models can take 2.5in. or 3.5in. hard drives or SSDs. The 300 and 500 series models include an HDMI output for connection to monitors or TVs.
Final pricing had not been announced at the time of writing, and the new range will be rolled out via the usual reseller channels during the second quarter of 2013.