|NETGEAR ReadyNAS NV+ v2 NAS Server|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Tuesday, 31 July 2012|
Page 15 of 15
NETGEAR ReadyNAS NV+ v2 Conclusion
Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. As Albert Einstein said, "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusions, as they represent our product rating for the sample received which may differ from retail versions.
The performance of the NETGEAR ReadyNAS NV+ v2 is right where it needs to be for its target market. During timed transfers of 1GB and 10GB files the NV+ v2 recorded Read speeds of 94MB/s and Write speeds above 42MB/s. These are the RAID 5 results, and the only ones that really matter, since I suspect 90%+ of all users will choose that operating mode. The Marvell 6282 CPU is holding the performance back a bit, especially the 1.6 GHz model that is used. The use of a Serial ATA II Port Multiplier from Marvell is also a potential bottleneck. The balancing act of capacity, speed and cost had to land somewhere, and it's hard to argue with what NETGEAR has put together here. There are always ways to make a system faster by throwing more expensive parts at it. The USB 3.0 performance is a much needed shot in the arm for interfacing with portable devices. The standard GbE network interface is perfectly suitable here, and the lack of dual ports or Jumbo Frame support isn't going to matter much to the intended users.
The four-bay form factor of the ReadyNAS NV+ v2 allows for the use of a display on the front of the unit, which was handy for system monitoring and for out-of-the-box setup. The status LEDs for each HDD are backlit numerals, which is a nice touch. The mesh door hiding the drive trays is nicely finished, and blends well with the remainder of the front panel. It makes a huge difference in the appearance, compared to models that have exposed drive bays. NETGEAR wisely kept all the controls and the USB connector on the outside; nothing worse than having to leave the door open just because you need access to the jack that's behind it. The side and top panels are well finished, but have a duller finish than some competitors' products. On the positive side, they don't show every fingerprint that comes within an inch of their surface. You tend not to notice the feet on networking components, but these are nice looking ones, without being so big that they're noticeable.
The construction quality of the ReadyNAS NV+ v2 was actually a bit more robust than necessary, I thought. It's built like a tank, with all steel exterior panels on the sides and top. The drive trays are also very nicely built, and slide in and out more smoothly than I've experienced on other products. OTOH, I shouldn't complain, as I actually do appreciate these mechanical niceties. Not everything needs to be made in the cheapest manner possible. The only reason I'm looking closely at the cost of the mechanical packaging is that I sensed some hard economic choices were made on the controller side. The combination of a port multiplier design approach and the slowest version of the CPU impacted performance, and some money saved on the construction budget might have bought a faster controller. Still, I have to give credit where credit's due, and construction is top notch. One benefit of that is NETGEARS's confidence in the product, which gets you a 3 Year warranty, even for the models that have HDDs installed. Since drive manufacturers have been backing down the duration of their warranties lately, this is a real sign of good will on the part of NETGEAR.
The ReadyNAS NV+ v2 is targeted to a growing class of NAS users, I think. The expansion of cloud-based services has really opened the public's eyes to the advantages of centralized storage, that's universally accessible. Bringing that capability to the home network is not new, but the needs of that market have matured quite a bit in the last 5 years. I started off with a single-drive NAS about eight years ago, with a rudimentary set of features. Today, I use a four bay device that serves up all the different access modes that have become a part of our mobile lifestyle. The NV+ v2 has a limited set of features compared to my personal NAS, and a limited set of software add-ons to extend its feature set. But the truth is, the ReadyNAS has all the features that I need for the home environment. This v2 model brings a host of up-to-date capabilities that are perfect for today's user. There should also be more add-ons in the pipeline for the new ARM-based models.
As of August 2012 the diskless ReadyNAS NV+ v2 model was listed for $369.99 (Newegg / Amazon). Newegg also has a manufacturer's rebate of $100 available until 09/30/2012. That's a huge incentive to buy now, and a similar rebate is also available for the 2TB and 4TB models, which come preloaded with two or four 1TB HDDs. The value proposition for NAS devices is always clouded by the ability to assemble a cheap PC and run FreeNAS or one of Microsoft's Home Server products on it. As a certifiable DIY Lifehacker, I get that. I also have enough parts lying around to do it, but the fact is, I haven't. I honestly believe there's value in the dedicated NAS form factor, primarily because I really just want to treat it as an appliance. I don't want another system to maintain, to patch it on every third Tuesday, to vacuum or clean the filters on it, and I don't want to make any more space for it than I absolutely have to. For me, the NAS concept is a good value proposition, and the ReadyNAS NV+ v2 offers very good value within that paradigm.
Benchmark Reviews has enjoyed testing a variety of network storage solutions, and with the wide range of products on offer from a number of vendors, anyone in need of a NAS server can find one to fit their current and future needs. The biggest problem is choosing one; that's why we go into so much detail in our reviews, to help you figure out what level of performance and features is right for you. If you need a staggering array of features and higher-value RAID (6, 10, 20....) or 10GbE performance, and there really is no substitute, then you need to look elsewhere to meet those needs. If you just need the storage capacity, the throughput and continuity of service that RAID 5 provides in a small, reliable, easy to use package, then the NETGEAR ReadyNAS NV+ v2 is an excellent candidate for you to look closely at.
+ Ease of use
- Controller specs hold back performance
Final Score: 9.05 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
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