Netgear ReadyRECOVER Joins In the Backup Appliance Battle

With a new appliance and software from StorageCraft, Netgear is ready to take on the midmarket with a unique restore feature and reasonable price tag. By James E. Gaskin

Storage products from San Jose, Calif.-based Netgear Inc. have earned their good reputation in the small business market by providing performance and value. Now Netgear is stepping up to the midsize market with a snapshot-based backup appliance built on the company’s new ReadyDATA platform. By teaming the device with software from StorageCraft Technology Corp. in Draper, Utah, Netgear now promises a better snapshot-based appliance for less money than current products in the space.

Aimed at companies with 250 or so seats, ReadyRECOVER will fill the gap between SMB backup appliances and NetApp and EMC units that cost far more, says Matt Pahnke, senior product marketing manager at Netgear. “This line goes beyond a typical NAS dumb box of disks and has tons of intelligence to handle snapshots, thin provisioning, and more. Integrating [StorageCraft’s] ShadowProtect software makes this more than just the sum of two parts.”

Netgear’s main selling point for ReadyRECOVER is its ability to take full snapshots every 15 minutes using incremental block-level storage, yet still making each snapshot a full restore point. Rather than existing equipment that may need to compile weeks of incremental updates since the last restore point for a full restore, ReadyRECOVER promises to do full restores from any and every snapshot. Users can restore the full virtual machine snapshot, for instance, or drill down to a single folder or file. This will reduce the time and aggravation for any restore process, no matter how small or large.

Although the hardware remains on-premises, Netgear supports cloud-managed, block-level replication to its ReadyDATA 5200 or 516 products for disaster recovery. Customers with these units on hand can download the ReadyRECOVER licenses and add the extra features. Disk capacities up to 360TB are supported with expansion (the desktop ReadyDATA 516 tops out at 36TB with current available hard disks). Pahnke claims that Netgear’s competitors are not expandable in this manner.

All the typical storage protocols (iSCSI/NFS/SMB/AFP/FTP) are supported, and optional SSD caching boosts performance. Deduplication (only changed data is written) and real-time verification during the backup process (mismatched block checksums are rewritten and verified as correct before the backup continues) add extra layers of storage efficiency and backup integrity.

VHDX-format backups can be restored to virtual or physical machines. Server and PC client backups require no file conversion for restoration of files, folders, databases, or Windows-based systems to any platform. All major hypervisors for Windows servers are supported.

Once you have an appropriate ReadyDATA system (5200 or 516), you must add licenses for each backup source that can be purchased directly from StorageCraft or Netgear. Every physical server, virtual server, Windows Small Business Server, or desktop/laptop PC must have a license.

Pahnke believes the new ReadyRECOVER line will find a quick home replacing legacy tape systems still found in many companies. “There’s not much new investment in tape,” says Pahnke, “but maybe one out of three customers we see for ReadyRECOVER still use tape in some capacity. Globally, some regions have been slower to adopt tape replacement equipment.”

“We have the best warranties and require no maintenance contracts,” continues Pahnke. “Nobody else can take full-image backups every 15 minutes and make each one a full restore point.”

With Netgear and StorageCraft working closely together, Pahnke says ReadyRECOVER makes it easier for companies to upgrade their backup process yet have a single contact point. Netgear resellers will provide the company’s hardware along with StorageCraft software, and StorageCraft VARs will resell Netgear hardware.

Licenses for physical servers cost $979 each; virtual servers are $369 each. PC client licenses are $94.99 (estimated street prices). The software includes a free, 30-day trial period. System pricing includes a 5-year limited hardware warranty, 24x7 lifetime technical support, and 5-year, next-day business replacement.

ReadyRECOVER units and software licenses are available now. Authorized Netgear PowerSHIFT partners should check http://powershift.netgear.com.