Netgear, a global manufacturer of network storage solutions, frequently replenishes its high-end and middle-class products (or modifies the older ones) with new models. Nevertheless, its budgetary NAS lineup gladdens the average customers not so often. In this light, the company decided to upgrade its Netgear ReadyNAS Duo model to v2 version, implementing more efficient hardware and performance solutions. Thus, the new model has got a new ARM platform, a couple of USB 3.0 sockets, and the possibility to furnish NAS with 1TB disks or buy already complete version.
Netgear ReadyNAS Duo v2 design resembles the template of its renowned predecessor. Its dimensions equal to 222x142x101 mm. The casing is made of metal and the clipboard is given bronze coloring; it is based on four solid rubbered stands that promote for the products steadiness. The clipboard has got a grid-like lid and dedicated bays for the winchester installation. Startup button with the integrated indicator, NAS and disk activity LEDs, as well as, block designated for the work with external drives (indicator, USB 2.0 port) have found their places next to the disk bay.
The rear plate of this NAS model accommodates 90x23 mm fan which owns lo-noise and super-cooling characteristics, a couple of USB 3.0 ports, power supply slot, Kensington's lock, cleanup button, and gigabit network port with indicators.
The nominal delivery set of Netgear ReadyNAS Duo v2 consists of user manual, screws kit for winchester fixing, CD with software for RAIDar, external PSU (12V, 5A) with a cable, and network patch-cord.
Netgear ReadyNAS Duo v2 is developed on ARM-processor Marvell that operates at 1.6 GHz frequency. It is covered by a compact aluminum radiator. The circuit board is equipped with USB 3.0 controller for 2 ports NEC D720200AF1 and a supplementary Marvel 88E1318 network chip. RAM volume capacity approximates 256 MB, while flash-memory takes 128 MB for the storage of firmware imaging.
Upon the whole, this model boasts three USB ports: the frontal one is able to support 2.0 standards, while the rear ones – 3.0 standards. They empower the connection of external drives and UPS. The drives can have several segments with file systems: FAT32, HFS+, NTFS, and EXT2/3/4. At the same time, there is no possibility for the user to change the names of network resources created on the external drives; however, it's possible to adjust the access rights and protocols to them. Secure deactivation of all drives is realized via user-friendly web-interface.
Testing results witness that the upgraded Netgear NAS is able to achieve the maximal reading speed of 60 Mb/sec, and of writing speed – 35 Mb/sec. Those are considered to be average showings for the products designed on analogous platform. The predominance of RAID0 becomes perceptible only in templates with the participation of writing activities; X-RAID2 becomes visible during consecutive reading and writing activities.
Integration and Setup
The majority of v2 models are delivered without winchesters, so the user will have to install them manually. Once the winchesters are placed, the system will test them in order to highlight the choice of array configurations. The choice of configuration is accomplished by means of RAIDar applet on PC. The main firmware copy is stored in an integrated flash-memory chip. Duo v2 employs a modified software version with the improved web-interface. The initial stage of NAS setup presupposes the device naming and clock setting. The access to the system is completed via HTTPS; the startup menu includes links to settings, certain documentation and support sources. In addition, the user will be able to choose the working language, and use startup and reset buttons. The main Dashboard spacing is dedicated for the tables on device, general resources, expansion modules activities.
'Mode' block displays the current IP-address, disk status, fan rotation speed, and device temperature. 'General Resources' block contains a list of general folders, however without the access to the files. Access to the data is realized by means of SMB, NFS, FTP and AFP. The chief settings group 'System' is divided into three pages which embrace all set of options for setup and further adjustment.
The basic firmware offers the user a few additional options. Autonomous backup system is considered to be rather advantageous, since it's possible to program the needful quantity of tasks with the indication of copying root and process startup schedule. The other beneficial option is DLNA server; it indexes the selected folders and supports various file formats.