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NAS Reviews

Introduction

At a Glance
Summary Attractive TeraByte-capacity RAID 0,1,5 NAS with jumbo frame gigabit Ethernet and features galore
Pros • Can to add capacity without deleting existing data
• Full journaling file system with snapshot
• NFS and AFP support
Cons • Not quiet enough for living room use
• No idle sleep/shutdown

Introduction

My previous look at Infrant's ReadyNAS 600 and X6 concluded that they were full-featured TeraByte-capacity, RAID-enabled, gigabit Ethernet NASes that were worth the slight price premium over competitive products. The only downside was trying to decide between the 600's manual RAID approach or the X6's automatic X-RAID feature.

Infrant apparently saw the same quandary that their potential customers were in and decided to do something about it. The result is the ReadyNAS NV, a sexy new reincarnation of Infrant's best-in-class NAS. The NV is an evolutionary step and has all the functions of the previous products, plus a few new RAID features. But most buyers will be first attracted by its compact new enclosure, so let's start with that.

The new chassis' 5.2 x 7.9 x 8.6 inch size misleads you into thinking it's a light little thing. But when I lifted it out of its shipping box I could confirm that at 15 pounds, it's only one pound lighter than its older siblings. My first impression was of a shrunken Apple PowerMac G5 desktop, mainly due to the NV's perforated front door. But Mac resemblance aside, Infrant has done a nice job with the NV's physical design.

Most of the well-constructed chassis is metal, with the only plastic parts being the front bezel and door. Infrant has even included a sturdy handle on the back of the case (Figure 1) that comes in handy when it's time to pick up and carry the NV. The other occupants of the back panel include two USB 2.0 ports, one 10/100/1000 Ethernet port, reset-to-defaults switch, and AC power receptacle. Removing the small panel at the top left of Figure 1 reveals a row of jumper-type connectors, which because of their perpendicular arrangement, are obviously meant to be left alone by consumers.

Figure 1: ReadyNAS NV rear panel

Figure 1: ReadyNAS NV rear panel

Disk activity lights for each of the four drives plus a lighted power switch are found on the front panel, along with a USB 2.0 port and associated Backup button. A press of the button will automatically back up the contents of the NV's backup folder to a USB hard drive plugged into the front panel port. The default settings will copy the entire backup share, but this can be changed by defining a backup button job via the user interface.

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