Netgear Rolls Out Top-of-the-Line ReadyNAS 716

As the first to include 10GBase-T Ethernet support, the 716 stakes its claim to the desktop NAS speed crown. By James E. Gaskin

Netgear's new top-of-the-line desktop NAS, the ReadyNAS 716, runs on a quad-core Intel Xeon Ivy Bridge E3-1225v2 3.2GHz processor and 16GB of ECC memory, and includes two 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports along with two Gigabit Ethernet ports. Being the first desktop NAS to include 10GBase-T Ethernet support is the foundation for the company's speed claims, along with an upgrade of the ReadyNAS operating system to version 6. Netgear's ReadyNAS 716 (RN716X) has the power to support up to 500 concurrent users and stream multiple Blu-ray high-definition movies at once.

"We surveyed the enterprise storage space, looking at vendors like EMC and NetApp, and made those features affordable for small and medium businesses," says Matt Pahnke, senior marketing manager for Netgear. "And the new ReadyNAS OS 6 makes management easier."

If the CPU and memory sound like server statistics, the price validates that image: retail price is $4,500 without any disks in the six slots that accept hot-swappable 3.5- and 2.5-inch hard disks. Total capacity with 4TB drives is 24TB, but adding three expansion disk arrays holding 20TB each provides a stated total capacity of 84TB.

Options and Flexibility
For companies interested in a new NAS box to handle local backups, the ReadyNAS 716 gives them more options and flexibility than competitors. The OS allows thin clients and local servers to make an unlimited number of snapshots (depending on available disk space, of course). Individual users can restore their personal files through the browser interface, but administrator privileges are needed to roll back to earlier snapshots. Any data on one 716, including snapshots, can be replicated remotely to another ReadyNAS device.

Virtual image support for thin clients now becomes practical at a desktop price point, says Pahnke. "Most NAS boxes can't handle the workload of students all loading their desktop image to tablets or thin-client notebooks all at once at the start of the day. The 716 can."

Companies that want their own private cloud can leverage ReadyCLOUD, now included with every ReadyNAS 716. No data stays at any off-site location, but the Netgear ReadyCLOUD service acts as a bridge, giving remote clients secure access to the ReadyNAS 716. We tested the ReadyDATA 5200, the first product with ReadyCLOUD, and it provided the easiest remote access of any NAS we've seen.

In addition, the free anti-virus software module checks each file as it gets written to the disk space on the 716. Pahnke expects the majority of ReadyNAS 716 units to be deployed in back-office situations for increased storage capacity and backups.

The ReadyNAS 716 is available now through distribution. Each unit comes with a five-year, all-inclusive warranty.