Wednesday, 09 August 2017 12:32

Netgear’s ReadyNAS RR2304 readies ‘enterprise level network storage’ at small-biz price

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Netgear’s ReadyNAS RR2304 promises “full data protection, disaster recovery, and seamless file sharing with 1.5 times the processing power of existing 4-bay rackmount storage” with 50% performance increase over the previous generation.

Netgear says it has expanded its “business-class ReadyNAS Series of reliable, high performance rackmount Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliances with ReadyNAS 2304 Business Class 1U 4-Bay Network Storage (RR2304)".

We’re talking about a product that’s “ideal for supporting up to 40 concurrent users for Gigabit speed file backup and file serving”, meaning that it “meets the needs of data-focused small businesses for on-premise storage and backup with remote collaboration combined with cloud backup to Amazon AWS, Google Drive or Dropbox as a few examples".

As you’d expect, it not only provides new capabilities, but a “50% performance increase over the previous-generation, the ReadyNAS 2120”, which Netgear proudly boasts is its “current bestselling entry-level rackmount business-class NAS,” and which it clearly expects the 2304 to replace as the new best-selling champion.

So, what else does With ReadyNAS 2304 promise to business?

Well, we’re told that businesses taking the 2304 on board will “achieve a level of data protection that is unmatched in the realm of SMB storage”, especially as it runs “the latest version of the its ReadyNAS operating system, OS 6.7, which enables a wide set of business features” such as safeguarding “data through five levels of unrivalled file protection, seamless, zero-cost ReadyCLOUD file sharing, and full data protection with ReadyDR block-level backup and disaster recovery".

Which are all very important things when it comes to data protection and availability, as well as recovery.

So, what about hardware?

Well, Netgear assures there’s plenty of firepower here, too, seeing as the “ReadyNAS 2304 is a 1U rack mount form factor, 4-bay NAS appliance with capacity up to 40TB for supporting up to 40 concurrent business users".

It also has a “faster and more powerful 64-bit dual core Intel Celeron processor for 2.0GHz of processing power” which is 1.5 times the previous model, and "it features two Gigabit Ethernet ports (1GbE), three USB 3.0 ports, for additional data storage and transfer".

Richard Jonker, vice-president of SMB product line management for Netgear, isn’t joking when he says: “ReadyNAS Rackmount 2304 represents a significant upgrade in terms of storage features and performance available for small businesses, at an incredibly cost-effective price point for the number of users supported.

“Network managers can sleep soundly at night knowing their mission-critical data is protected against human error, hard drive and system failures, viruses and malware, and natural disasters.”

And what about bigger files, and more secure sharing across the cloud?

Naturally, Netgear assures us it has things covered here too, as if it (or any other NAS and networking company) would say otherwise!

You see, with today’s emphasis on cross-office collaboration and team work with remote offices, this more more demand for “increased file sharing, faster data access, and more secure storage". And it’s not just those factors, but there’s also the reality of “video streaming and conferencing” becoming “a part of daily business in even small companies".

As a result, Netgear explains that “file sizes are regularly growing from kilobytes to megabytes to gigabytes, as businesses move to 4K, 3D, CAT files, large slide presentations, and large H264 video files".

Thus, “architects, creative agencies, film studios, CAT/CAD designers, and research labs manipulating large files can find their appropriate storage solution with the ReadyNAS 2304, along with businesses, schools and universities sharing data across remote offices and branch offices".

And hey, come closer for a sec, because there’s also the reality that “not all data can be sent to the cloud due to its sensitive nature, for regulatory issues, for bandwidth issues, or for the need for immediate access in the case of high file utilisation”, or perhaps because the Russians and North Koreans are trying to hack everything and everyone (which is my cheeky inclusion into this sentence, not Netgear’s, although I suppose we all need to spookily read between the lines these days, right Agent 99?)

This has “created the need for hybrid private clouds with on-premise storage”, which you will, without surprise, discover Netgear spruiking as “making ReadyNAS 2304 with ReadyCLOUD access an ideal storage solution for organisations where sensitive data is at the core of the business – healthcare, education and financial institutions, government agencies, notary and legal offices, retail chains and small telecom providers".

So, what of data protection and cloud back-up – through the Netgear ReadyNAS OS 6.7?

Well, it’s handy you asked, because the answer from Netgear is that “ReadyNAS 2304 is powered by the latest version of the industry-leading ReadyNAS OS, which enables a complete, reliable and cost-effective backup platform. It is also Virtual Memory System (VMS)-ready, a capability expected to be available later in 2017".

Here are some of the all-important features and benefits Netgear wants you to know about:

All-Inclusive back-up and recovery:

ReadyNAS OS automatically installs ReadyDR (Disaster Recovery) to ensure business continuity with minimal downtime in any catastrophic event. ReadyDR performs incremental and scheduled block-level backup and restore to a second compatible ReadyNAS, ensuring LAN replication of even the largest backup files and databases.

Five levels of data protection:

BTRFS File System Flex RAID protection against disk drive failure; real time anti-virus, incremental backup copies with unlimited snapshots to protect against human error; bitrot protection against media degradation; and the easiest-to-set-up replication for ultimate disaster recovery available in a NAS today.

Public cloud sync:

ReadyNAS OS 6.7 offers new enterprise-level capabilities such as automatic bi-directional synchronisation between any ReadyNAS model and public cloud storage services including Amazon AWS, Amazon Cloud Drive, Dropbox and Google Drive. It provides an ideal hybrid cloud solution for small businesses to back up and synchronise on-site storage to the cloud storage, and vice-versa.

Private cloud:

In addition to supporting connections to commonly used public cloud services, ReadyNAS offers NETGEAR ReadyCLOUD® for an instant, VPN-based private cloud for local and remote data access for file sharing, without additional costs. Its versatile sync and remote management capabilities enable employees to enjoy the same unified interface regardless of location.

Ok, so lay it on me – what’s the pricing and availability?

Netgear says its ReadyNAS 2304 Business Class 1U 4-Bay Rackmount Network Storage (RR2304) is “available now worldwide through authorised NETGEAR partners and other reseller channels and ecommerce sites at an RRP of $1,049 for a diskless model".

“ReadyNAS Rackmount for business also come in populated configurations with various hard disk drive capacities, up to 4U 60-bay models offering up to 132 bays with expansion.”

When it comes to warranties, Netgear says it “backs its ReadyNAS business-class products with the industry best-in-class 5-Year Limited Hardware Warranty, 5-Year Next Business Day Shipping for part replacement, and multiple support options to provide peace of mind for years to come".

More info on Netgear's entire range of ReadyNAS desktop and rackmount series is here

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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