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For customers looking for massively expandable, low-cost storage that's fast, flexible and easy to configure, then look no further than the ReadyDATA RD5200 from Netgear. The company gave the CRN Test Center an exclusive look at its new high-capacity storage gear, and now we give it to you.
Introduced in May, Netgear's latest 2U storage array offers 12 hot-swappable, 3.5-inch drive bays for a total of 3 TB of SSD, SAS or SATA drives in any combination, and it can attach to as many as 80 drives via expansion chassis to a whopping total of 180 TB, multiplying Netgear's previous model by a factor of five. On the whole, we were impressed with the Netgear system, finding mostly pluses and just a few minor minuses.
For testing, Netgear sent the CRN Test Center an RD5200 review unit populated with a total of nine spinning 1-GB Hitachi SATA II (3 GB/s) drives configured as three, three-drive RAID 5 arrays. Those three RAID 5 arrays were then configured as a single RAID 5 array. We're told that this type of nested RAID configuration is intended to deliver maximum drive performance. In addition, the RD5200 contained two SSDs configured for caching.
The RD5200 can be configured as iSCSI, NAS or both. Configuration couldn't be simpler thanks to its browser-based software and beginner-proof, tab-driven interface. For testing, we created a NAS and some users and mapped a drive from a dual-core Intel Core i7-based laptop running 64-bit Windows 7 Professional with 4 GB of memory. IOmeter was configured with a variety of access specifications for testing throughput and data transfer rate to determine the system's maximum performance. We got briefly stuck when trying to attach to the new NAS until we realized that for new users, all file privileges are disabled. Secure, yes. Intuitive, no.