by Josh Shaman

Netgear ReadyNAS with OS 6 Released

Netgear has announced availability of its new ReadyNAS products that are spread across three series all running on a new OS. The new NAS also utilizes redesigned hardware and a sleek, modern GUI. Compared to previous models, one significant change that Netgear has implemented is that all of its new NAS units will run unified on ReadyNas OS 6, while previous generations ran different OS versions. Designed for home users and SMB, Netgear is also making an important offering by providing real-time anti-virus protection and unlimited snapshots across the entire ReadyNas line, regardless of unit cost or drive configuration.

The new Netgear product line is intended to be accessible for just about any user and provides a feature set designed for home, SOHO, and SMB users. A new suite of downloadable applications from over 600 developers is available on the genie+ marketplace to allow users to customize their machines and expand features. Also featured, Netgear's ReadyCLOUD improves the setup experience and provides access to continuous data management from any device connected to the internet. Jointly, ReadyDROP allows users to synchronize their devices. With these features, users gain access to documents, pictures, videos, and songs via the cloud with very little setup fuss. Mac users who back up with Time Machine can also now do so over the Internet, a big usability win for users not frequently on the network where their backup NAS resides. 

Unlimited snapshots is perhaps the most significant feature for users that are interested in data recovery options as it is now featured across the entire product line. While some NAS boxes offer this feature, this technology is not available on many competing NAS units targeted to home and SOHO markets. Unlimited snapshots means that users have the standard full backup and also the ability to have unlimited snapshots of configurations, files, settings, etc. to reduce data loss risks by restoring from any of those snapshots. The snapshots require very little space and provide an alternative for users so that they don't have to erase previous backups to free up space for new backups. Additionally, users gain the option to choose specific configurations from any snapshot to which they want to return.

The ReadyNAS comes in three new series of desktop models and a 1U rackmount. All models are available for purchase either diskless or drive-populated. Across the series, all models offer a robust feature set including: cloud-managed replication, native encryption, and XRAID automatic volume expansion. All ReadyNAS models support SATA at up to 4TB capacity as well as SSDs. 300 and 500 series offerings are scalable models that include eSATA expansion for up to 84TB capacity.

The entry level model is the ReadyNAS 100 Series designed for home users. It comes in both two-bay and four-bay form factors. The ReadyNAS 300 Series provides features optimized for small businesses and is available in two-bay, four-bay, and six-bay form factors. The four-bay ReadyNAS 2120 is a 1U form factor prepared for businesses with racks. Rounding out the line, the Ready-NAS 500 series comes in a six-bay form factor. Predominantly, its target market is small all the way up to mid-sized businesses as it can handle as many as 250 users simultaneously. The only bad news in this release is that the new OS only works on the models launched today and going forward prior-generation Netgear NAS owners are not able to upgrade. 

Pricing and Availability

Select Netgear ReadyNAS 100 and 300 series models are now available, while the full line will be available in Q2 2013 through the channel and e-commerce sites. The ReadyNAS 100 Series has MSRP prices beginning at $199, the 300 Series at $449, the 1U 2120 at $1,229, and the 500 Series at $1,299.

Netgear ReadyNAS at Amazon.com

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