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Netgear ReadyNAS Pro Business Edition RNDP6350 review



  • Recommended by TR
Netgear ReadyNAS Pro Business Edition RNDP6350


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NAS aficionados will know that we think quite highly of Netgear's ReadyNAS appliances as they offer an excellent combination of features, design and value. Traditionally, Netgear's focus has been split between home and business users but its latest ReadyNAS Pro has the latter firmly set in its gaze.

Not only is this Netgear's first six-drive appliance but its classy hardware specification delivers a performance that no other desktop NAS appliance comes remotely close to. The latest firmware upgrade also delivers IP SAN support allowing the appliance to present iSCSI virtual volumes.

You have a 1.8GHz Intel Dual Core E2160 processor in the driving seat and this is supported by 1GB of 667MHz DDR2 memory. The side panel is easily removed and it's possible to upgrade memory to a maximum of 4GB. Fault tolerant network connections are supported as the pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports can be joined together for load balanced or redundant link teams.

Three USB ports are provided and support external storage devices and printers. The front port teams up with the backup button alongside and this has a dual function. If you've defined backup jobs on the appliance and assigned them to the button then pressing it will run these in sequence. If not, then it will copy the contents of a predefined folder on the appliance to the attached device.

The ReadyNAS Pro supports all the usual RAID suspects but also adds RAID-6 dual redundant arrays to the equation. With six drive bays up for grabs this becomes more of a reality than with the current crop of four-bay appliances although we would recommend Netgear's X-RAID2 instead.

X-RAID2 doesn't require so much storage as RAID-6 and it has the added benefit of allowing the array to be expanded on the fly into new drives as they are fitted. Furthermore, you can upgrade hard disks simply by pulling them out one at a time at a time and replacing them with larger models where the array will be rebuilt in the background. Once you've replaced the last one the array will increase in size as determined by the new drive capacities.

The bundled RAIDar utility makes installation a cinch as it spots the unit on the network and provides easy access to the web interface. The latter is very well designed and intuitive and offers a quick start wizard that takes you through setting up shares and choosing a security mode, which includes AD authentication.

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Tony Walker

February 26, 2009, 5:45 am

I run the baby brother of this, the RND2000 (bought driveless added 2 x Samsung 1Gb) and find the performance (Gigabit via a Netgear switch, drives mirrored) to be roughly equivalent to a directly attached USB drive. It also supports my Canon i850 printer thou8gh it is slow in doing so. This two drive version is also very competetively priced when you buy it without disks.

I've found it reliable and seems to play nicely with other kit (Mac and Windows), though my PS3 can cause the media server bit to barf.

Hope the fan in this bigger one is not as "droney" - might llok at replcacin the one in mine though it voids the warranty.

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