Netgear ReadyNAS 2120 review

Netgear debuts OS with a redesigned GUI but is this rack mount appliance the runt of the litter?

  • Smart new Dashboard interface; Excellent cloud features; Unlimited snapshots
  • Poor performance; Expensive; No external expansion

Netgear has introduced a raft of features with the upgraded ReadyOS 6 software, and it's been a long time coming.

In this review we put the ReadyNAS 2120 1U rack appliance through its paces. It takes over from the elderly ReadyNAS 2100 and although it uses the same low-profile 12in. deep chassis, brings in a number of hardware changes.

Advertisement - Article continues below

First up is cooling as the number of fans has been halved making the 2120 much quieter than its noisy predecessor. The drive carriers are now tool-less and the motherboard and power supply unit are no longer on a removable board.

Processing power gets a modest boost with a dual-core 1.2GHz Marvell Armada XP and this is teamed up with 2GB of DDR3 memory. You still get dual Gigabit but Netgear has added pairs of USB3 and eSATA ports.

The eSATA ports do not support Netgear's EDA500 5-bay units so external expansion is not an option. If you want this feature then check out the new ReadyNAS 300 and 500 desktop models which accept between one and three EDA500 units.

Netgear's new ReadyCloud portal makes light work of appliance discovery and initial setup

The future looks cloudy

Setup time is fast with Netgear's ReadyCloud web portal as it'll discover the appliance and set it up for you. You can still use the old RAIDar utility but it's unable to show status information on RAID, hard disks or temperatures.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

The portal home page lists all registered appliances each with a brief rundown on overall status and configured volumes. It also checks for firmware updates and offers to download and apply them as well.

Users registered with ReadyCloud can view, add or delete files and folders. Files can also be remotely copied directly to the appliance by dragging them into the portal's Browse page.

The new Dashboard is very smart and provides direct access to all your snapshots for browsing and recovery

Snapshots galore

The ReadyCloud portal has a quick link to the new Dashboard management interface which is vastly superior to the RAIDiator GUI. It's a heck of a lot faster as well as it loads in a second or two and is more responsive.

With ReadyOS 6, Netgear has swapped from EXT4 to BTRFS and the most important new feature is support for unlimited block level snapshots. You'll come across these when creating shares or iSCSI LUNs as there's an option for continuous protection.

Advertisement - Article continues below

You can select hourly, daily or weekly snapshots and leave the appliance to look after them. All snapshots can be viewed from the Dashboard and to recover a file, folder or LUN you view a timeline chart, select a snapshot and choose the rollback option.

RAIDiator was always deficient with IP SANs but ReadyOS 6 adds timely support for iSCSI thin provisioning. Groups determine the IQN and all LUN members will appear to an initiator when it logs on to the target portal.

Plenty of cloud features are available including support for DropBox, ReadyNAS Vault and Netgear's own ReadyDrop

Featured Resources

Top 5 challenges of migrating applications to the cloud

Explore how VMware Cloud on AWS helps to address common cloud migration challenges

Download now

3 reasons why now is the time to rethink your network

Changing requirements call for new solutions

Download now

All-flash buyer’s guide

Tips for evaluating Solid-State Arrays

Download now

Enabling enterprise machine and deep learning with intelligent storage

The power of AI can only be realised through efficient and performant delivery of data

Download now

Most Popular

Server & storage

HPE warns of 'critical' bug that destroys SSDs after 40,000 hours

26 Mar 2020
video conferencing

Zoom beams iOS user data to Facebook for targeted ads

27 Mar 2020

These are the companies offering free software during the coronavirus crisis

25 Mar 2020
Mobile Phones

Apple lifts iPhone purchase restrictions

23 Mar 2020