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Netgear ReadyNAS 1100
Netgear's ReadyNAS 1100 placed a close second behind the ZyXEL unit, offering a rich feature set and flexible configuration options that allow for strong partner profit potential. Note that ReadyNAS still carries branding from Infrant Technologies, which was purchased by Netgear this spring. By July, all ReadyNAS units will be labeled as Netgear ReadyNAS. Netgear's channel program already is backing the product.
Ideal for businesses ranging from small and midsize offices up to small and midsize enterprises, the ReadyNAS 1100 can provide up to 3 Tbytes of storage while consuming only 75 watts of power, so over time, this unit can help trim users' electrical bills. The unit is ideal for long-term storage and archiving, which helps organizations comply with Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and other regulations.
The ReadyNAS 1100 is the only rackmount unit in this bakeoff, but it can easily be placed on a tabletop if a rack is not available.
The unit will support up to four hot-swappable SATA hard drives. If a four-post data rack is available, multiple units can be mounted back to back. Engineers tested a 1-Tbyte unit with four 250-Gbyte Seagate Barracuda SATA drives installed, configured as a 675-Gbyte RAID 5 array. It took in the data in 5 minutes, 35 seconds, and copied it back in 3 minutes, 27 seconds, for an average of 4 minutes, 31 seconds, the second fastest of the group.
Solution providers will appreciate the fact that the ReadyNAS 1100 can be purchased for $999 as a barebones unit with no hard drives installed if they prefer to select their own components. It's also available with drives installed in several configurations, including a 1-Tbyte unit with four 250-Gbyte drives for $1,575, a 2-Tbyte unit with four 500-Gbyte drives for $2,495 and a 3-Tbyte unit with four 750-Gbyte drives for $3,395. The $2,495 price tag was the most expensive for 2 Tbytes of capacity among the units tested here.
The ReadyNAS 1100 supports hardware-accelerated RAID 0, 1, 5 and X-RAID, which allows partners to start with one disk and add others—even higher-capacity disks—later on without having to reconfigure the system.
ReadyNAS runs an enterprise-hardened embedded Linux operating system and a custom network storage processor, so no additional software or per-user licensing agreements are required. The unit features dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, three USB 2.0 ports, 512 Mbytes of main memory and embedded 64-Mbyte flash memory for the operating system.
It includes native support for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Unix clients, with three security modes: share, user and domain. It can be integrated into Active Directory in a few keystrokes to take advantage of existing network permissions. It also can be set up with its own share, user and group permissions without using Active Directory. The NAS unit's browser-based administration allows for centralized management, while built-in system monitoring with e-mail alerts will keep solution providers informed as to the status of the unit.
Unique to the ReadyNAS 1100 is its rapid system board replacement module, which lets solution providers replace the system board, power supply and cooling fans independently. A bundled version of EMC Retrospect backup software with five user licenses is also included.
A setup wizard is used to configure the ReadyNAS 1100. In a streamlined process, the wizard guides the solution provider through basic time and date settings, network settings, shares and so on.
Netgear's PowerShift channel program features two levels: Gold and Platinum. There are no minimum requirements to establish or maintain membership and no fees either. Program benefits from the channel-only company vary by partner level and include rebates, technical support and presales sales engineer support and MDF. The company did not disclose partner margins.