For installation the bundled RAIDar utility hunts appliances down on the network and presents them ready for secure web browser access. With the same OS in residence you’ll find the feature set is identical across all the ReadyNAS range. Consequently, you get the benefit of RAID0, 1, 5, hot-standby and hot-swap plus Infrant’s own X-RAID technology. The latter allows you to add drives whenever you fancy and the appliance will automatically expand the array into them.
There’s a lot to play with here as the 1100 supports Windows, Unix, Linux and Macintosh clients and provides FTP services as well. Three security choices are provided with the basic Share mode allowing access to be restricted with an optional password. User mode limits access based on local users and groups while Domain mode can use Windows domain controllers and Active Directory Services to authenticate users.
Although not so valuable to businesses the 1100 also supports a range of streaming services and we can confidently say the iTunes Server feature works perfectly as we’ve been using this on a ReadyNAS NV appliance for nearly a year now. Backup features are outstanding as you can schedule regular volume snapshots and general backup tasks that will copy data on the appliance to another local location, a different ReadyNAS appliance or a remote network share. For workstation backup, Genie Backup Manager gets the elbow to be replaced with EMC’s Retrospect Express 7.5. This is a far superior product as it supports agent based backup allowing multiple workstations to be managed from a single interface. The Backup button on the ReadyNAS NV is also in evidence on the 1100 and pressing it causes predefined folders on the appliance to be backed up automatically to the inserted device.
It’s all looking very rosy so far but the fly in the ointment is performance. Over Gigabit Ethernet, Iometer reported a decent raw read speed of 38MB/sec but in our real world tests this dropped to 19MB/sec when retrieving a 690MB video file from the appliance. Copying the file back saw write speeds of only 8.6MB/sec – reasonable but not as good as Thecus’ RouStor N5200. Netgear really slips up with FTP performance as we couldn’t achieve higher than a mere 3.5MB/sec read or write speed. Retrospect faired better with it securing a 5.3GB mix of data to the appliance at an average rate of 7.2MB/sec.
General performance isn’t the greatest but the ReadyNAS 1100 offer masses of storage related features and a brimming cup of backup facilities. Build quality is excellent and the reduced power consumption means Netgear will find it easy being green.