Unofficial Guide for Moving from Sparc ReadyNAS to x86 ReadyNAS

August 23rd, 2010 — 10:24pm

This guide can be downloaded here

What is this guide for?

You cannot migrate disks from a Sparc ReadyNAS to a x86 ReadyNAS as they are on different platforms. Normally, one of the great features of the ReadyNAS line is that when you want to move to a newer ReadyNAS you can make sure your array is redundant (i.e there are no dead or missing disks) then migrate to a newer ReadyNAS. See this FAQ entry on the ReadyNAS forum.

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ReadyNAS 516 – a prosumer perspective

August 4th, 2013 — 2:53pm

Disclaimer: I received a free 516 unit from NetGear with 6x2TB SeaGate enterprise disks installed.

The ReadyNAS  516 is a very, very powerful NAS. With an Intel Ivy Bridge i3 processor it is the fastest desktop ReadyNAS model ever. Moreover it comes with 4GB of ECC RAM, 4 times as much RAM as the previous generation.

The 516 runs ReadyNAS OS, the new OS for NetGear’s latest line of ReadyNAS products. This new OS uses the new filesystem BTRFS and comes with a number of new features such as ReadyCloud, unlimited snapshots, free anti-virus etc. Looking at reviews of the new OS there are more features expected to come such as the ability to create encrypted volumes.

With 6 drive bays and the ability to hook up to 3 EDA500 units, the 516 currently supports up to 6 drives internally and 5 drives in each EDA500 unit. So it supports 21x4TB drives. With 5TB drives expected later this year, the amount of capacity the 516 can hold can be expected to increase even further.

The 516 has 3 eSATA ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports and two gigabit ethernet ports. It also features an expansion slot and a HDMI port for possible future use.

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ReadyNAS RN312 – A Beta Tester’s Review

March 19th, 2013 — 1:12am

Today we have seen arguably the biggest change to the ReadyNAS lineup since the introduction of the ReadyNAS Pro back in 2008.

NetGear today announced two new ARM devices (RN102 and RN104), the 300 series (RN312, RN314 and RN316) which use Intel Atom CPUs and the RN516 (high-end desktop) which uses an Intel Core i3 CPU . They also announced the 2120 (4-bay rackmount). This is a significant simplification of the ReadyNAS product line. In the past customers have at times found the range of models available confusing particularly when it came to the software feature set. This new product range makes it much easier to find the right NAS for you with clear differences between each product line.

These devices come with a revolutionary new Operating System complete with a stunning new Dashboard web interface, a new filesystem BTRFS, the forked-daapd (replacing Firefly used in older models) iTunes Server and much, much more.

Hardware

The hardware has a new distinctive front door which makes it easy to distinguish at a glance from the previous generation. While the Pro 2 had one USB3 port on the front, the 312 has one USB 2 port on the front and two USB 3 ports on the rear.

The 312 also has a rear eSATA port for connecting an EDA500 expansion chassis (or a 3rd party eSATA drive to backup to), and a HDMI port for future use.

A new drive tray is used by the new models. When installing 3.5″ drives screws are no longer needed (this is a welcome change as screws can easily be lost or missing from a unit that is purchased. If you have an older model and can’t find disk screws or wish to use 2.5″ drives in a new model you can contact NetGear Technical Support and they will be happy to send you some replacement screws). 2.5″ HDDs and SSDs are now supported for the first time. Whilst I haven’t tested 2.5″ drives at this point I look forward to seeing which models make it onto the Hardware Compatibility List (http://kb.netgear.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/20641)

There is an infrared port on the front of some models such as the RN312.

The RN516 uses ECC RAM, a feature that was previously only available in rackmount ReadyNAS and both 6-bay models have a new touch screen (I look forward to finding more about this).

Across the product range there are some nice CPU bumps. The RN312, RN314 and RN316 all use the same CPU which is a good improvement over the previous generation where the Pro 2 had a faster CPU than the CPU in the Pro 4 but slower than the CPU in the Pro 6. In terms of hardware features the RN316 is clearly better than the RN314 which is clearly better than the RN312

The increased amount of RAM across the board is another great change. As NAS units get more powerful over time they can handle doing things at once including running more apps such as Plex Media Server, PHP, MySQL etc. but running more apps means that a greater amount of memory is required. I continue to be impressed with NetGear’s attention to detail in areas such as this.

Reading up on the 516 today I noticed that it has a spare RAM slot. I hope NetGear makes a memory upgrade kit available for the RN516. With an Ivy Bridge CPU and two RAM slots it should be capable of taking two 8GB RAM modules providing a very impressive total of 16GB RAM.

Software

The new product range comes with ReadyNAS OS 6. All the new desktop models share the same OS and as much as possible the same software feature set.

ReadyNAS OS uses Debian Wheezy/Sid and a 3.x kernel. When considering older models it can be observed that RAIDiator 4.2.x for x86 uses Debian etch and a 2.6.x kernel and RAIDiator 5.3.x for ARM uses Debian Squeeze and a 2.6.x kernel.

NetGear has included newer versions of protocols such as CIFS (Samba) and AFP (Netatalk) than what were included in the OSes for previous models.

BTRFS is the filesystem now used rather than EXT4 which was used previously. BTRFS is a native Linux filesystem with many benefits over EXT4, most notably unlimited snapshots. In RAIDiator 4.2.x you could take a single snapshot. When you wanted to take a new one it was necessary to delete the older snapshot. Now so long as there is sufficient free space on the volume you can have as many snapshots as you want. Once there is no longer sufficient free space old snapshots will be automatically deleted. Now you can restore your data volume back to a previous point in time or clone your volume and work on a clone. It doesn’t matter how you modify the data on the NAS you can recover lost data from snapshots (which are taken as often hourly). In the past there was a Recycle Bin feature but this feature was quite limiting in that it only worked with one protocol CIFS.

NetGear has added forked-daapd (a much improved iTunes server compared to Firefly which was used in previous products) and has planned more features to come such as the ability to encrypt volumes. These are exciting changes.

There are other nice new features which you will be able to read about in the software manual (once available) which is good to have available to look at if you are unsure about how to configure a feature.

The OS for the Intel devices is 64-bit which alone should give a performance improvement over the previous generation which retained a large number of 32-bit utilities in order to support older devices such as the ReadyNAS NVX. The dropping of support for older devices is bittersweet. On the one hand it allows NetGear to optimise the new OS for the new devices but on the other hand I can’t help feeling a bit disappointed that the new OS isn’t coming to devices such as the Ultra 6 which like the new Intel devices has a 64-bit CPU.

Dashboard – UI

Whilst the Dashboard was available in RAIDiator 5.3.x for the Duo v2 and NV+ v2. It has been given a refresh for ReadyNAS OS 6. It now looks much more professional and on the RN312 (which uses an Intel Atom processor that is much faster than the ARM CPU in the Duo v2) the new UI is very fast. The new UI makes good use of available screen real estate which was a major criticism of the dated Frontview web-admin UI used in 4.2.x devices.

Genie Apps are now available for all the new desktop ReadyNAS products as is ReadyCloud a new cloud based option to manage ReadyNAS units (don’t worry if you don’t have an internet connection where your NAS is based or if you prefer not to use ReadyCloud you don’t have to) which will be a great help to those who like to manage their ReadyNAS units while on the road or manage ReadyNAS systems for clients or a large organisation with units at multiple sites.

I found the new UI a pleasure to use. Users of both 4.2.x and 5.3.x will find that it both provides a great improvement but at the same time has a familiar feel to it.

Apart from a few odd things like Dropbox being in the backup section and backing up data in a single-direction from a share on the NAS to a folder in Dropbox I found it quite straightforward to use.

Conclusion

The new ReadyNAS desktop offerings take the ReadyNAS line to a new level and the RN312 is a new favourite in my collection. I look forward to seeing the additional new features NetGear brings to these models over time.

Disclaimer

As a ReadyNAS RN312 beta tester, I received a free unit with one 500GB hard drive installed. I also do some contractual work for NetGear on a part-time basis. Please take this into account before making a product purchase. This review is based on my use of the product and I hope you find it helpful.

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Duo/NV+ v2 – important u-boot update if using power timer

July 3rd, 2012 — 8:40pm

For the new Duo/NV+ v2 there is an important u-boot update.

On 5.3.3 or earlier, if you set the power timer and there is a power failure which lasts beyond the scheduled power on event, the NAS will fail to power on and need to be exchanged for another unit.

Should you wish to use the power timer, please ensure you have the new 2012 u-boot.

Update to 5.3.4 or later (may need to update twice), then download your logs (On the Dashboard, click Configure, then select Health > Logs > Download Logs) and extract the contents of the zip file. Take a look at bios_ver.log. You need the new u-boot dated 2012 (or a later one should a newer one be released).

If updating the firmware a few times doesn’t install the updated u-boot please backup your data and try a factory default (wipes all data, settings, everything).

If it still won’t update then contact NetGear tech support for assistance at my.netgear.com

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How to tell whether I have a Duo v1 or Duo v2 or NV+ v1 or NV+ v2

January 9th, 2012 — 8:24pm

I’ve explained some of the differences in ReadyNAS Duo v2 – A beta tester’s review

To put it simply the v2 has a different CPU, different firmware, different add-ons, different feature set etc. The Duo v1 has an Infrant Sparc CPU whereas the v2 has an ARM CPU. A detailed comparison can be found in the Comparison Charts.

They are very different products and as the RAID format is different you cannot migrate disks across from the v1 to the v2 or vice versa so being able to tell the difference between the two can be quite important.

It can be confusing trying to tell which unit you have.

Firstly note that all Duo and NV+ systems purchased before Nov 13th 2011 will be v1 units.

Secondly note that the v1 units are typically advertised for sale as e.g. ReadyNAS Duo (without the v1) in the name and typically with a model number such as RND2000-100 (diskless Duo v1 unit) whereas the v2 units are advertised as e.g. ReadyNAS Duo v2 (with the v2 in the name) and typically with a model number such as RND2000-200 (diskless Duo v2 unit).

Thirdly and here’s where it gets confusing note that v1 units may have stickers on them saying e.g. RND2000 v2 or even RND4000 v3. Ignore these. These are not the way to tell whether you have a v1 or v2 unit. These stickers when on v1 units typically represent a minor hardware change. This information would be useful for NetGear diagnosing faulty units returned to them in exchange for a replacement, but does not affect the user experience.

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ReadyNAS Duo v2 – A beta tester’s review

December 10th, 2011 — 12:11pm

Review needs updating as RAIDiator 5.3.5 has added a lot of features: http://www.readynas.com/RAIDiator_arm_5_3_5_Notes

Earlier this month, NetGear unveiled the new ReadyNAS Duo v2 and NV+ v2. These exciting new products come with a redesigned and simplified web-interface designed for fast and intuitive setup. There are some new How To Videos showing just how easy it is to get started.

Manageability

For much of its history the ReadyNAS line has been primarily targeted for use by Small to Medium sized Businesses. Whilst the ReadyNAS has had a loyal group of tech-savvy advanced home users, as time has gone on the ReadyNAS has developed a vast range of options that can be confusing for the average home user or even small business (e.g. family business) user.

The ReadyNAS NV+ (the entry level 4-bay NetGear offering replaced by the NV+v2) was originally a business product and thus retained many business features. Sure a small to medium sized business or advanced home user looking for a bargain may consider having features like AD integration, VLAN support, snapshot, SNMP great, but for the average home user these options are just confusing ones that they’ll never need.

With the introduction of the Duo v2 and the NV+ v2 NetGear has redesigned the ReadyNAS web-admin interface with the average home user in mind. It’s virtually plug and play apart from working your way through the setup wizard.

New Interface

The new interface provides a much needed facelift. Whilst the old interface (available on all earlier ReadyNAS models but not on the Duo v2 and NV+ v2) is functional, it has a very dated look. These new models come with a modern interface than many users have come to expect these days.

When you login into the new admin interface after completing the setup wizard (after completion of the wizard you won’t see this again unless you do a factory reset) you are immediately presented with a dashboard which provides a summary of the current state of the NAS.

You can then choose to configure the NAS or follow links to a range of useful pages on the ReadyNAS site such as Documentation, How To’s etc.

When you click the Configure button you are presented with tabs that will be familiar to existing ReadyNAS users. So whilst the interface has been simplified an existing ReadyNAS user will find it has a familiar feel to it.

There’s lots to like about the new interface and much of this has already been covered in other reviews.

3TB drive support

These new devices support 3TB drives out of the box! This means that the Duo v2 is the cheapest ReadyNAS ever to support 6TB of storage (before redundancy and overheads) and the NV+ v2 the cheapest to support 12TB of storage (before redundancy and overheads). As even higher drive capacities become available, firmware updates can be expected (if needed) to add support.

NetGear and Partner Add-ons

Like with all other ReadyNAS units, add-ons can be installed.

ReadyNAS Remote provides secure remote access to files from a Mac/PC. While the new models are not yet compatible with ReadyNAS Remote for iOS/Android one would expect NetGear to address this. ReadyNAS Remote is easily my favourite ReadyNAS add-on.

ReadyNAS Photos II allows the sharing of photos with friends and family and amazing free service that shares photos directly from your NAS. You can impress your friends by sending them a link to a slideshow of a special event set to a selection of their favourite music. It’s viewable in a web browser on their computer or even on a smartphone!

There are no partner (supported 3rd party) addons for the Duo v2 and NV+ v2 at this time.

SSH

Advanced users can install SSH access and manage the ReadyNAS via the command line as the superuser. Whilst this is a use at own risk option, it can enable the family IT guy to easily remotely login and investigate a problem particularly if you venture into installing community addons (NetGear does not support these).

Community add-ons

NetGear provides a Software Development Kit that allows 3rd party add-ons to be developed to extend the ReadyNAS functionality. Things like installing PHP for a website to be hosted on the NAS, installing a torrent client etc. are likely to be made available by the ReadyNAS community developers. As the Duo v2 and NV+ v2 use ARM CPUs and just 256MB RAM, there is a limit to how much you can extend the functionality with add-ons but they’re still a much better option than the Duo v1 and NV+ v1 with the much slower Sparc CPU. Add-on enthusiasts seeking to run several addons would be much happier with an x86 unit (e.g. Ultra, Pro). For those looking just to run a few add-ons or so, the ARM devices will handle it well.

What’s the key difference under the hood?

I suppose you may be wondering, what’s the key difference under the hood? Well for starters the Duo v2 and NV+ v2 are the first ReadyNAS units to use ARM processors as opposed the Infrant Sparc processors found in the original Duo and NV+. ARM processors are cheaper than the Intel ones used in NetGear’s more expensive x86 line.

As 3rd party development for the Sparc platform largely ceased years ago, it has become increasingly difficult to provide firmware updates for the platform. So much so that 3TB drive support and some other things will most likely never come to Sparc. Realising this and presumably that there weren’t suitable Intel processors available for an entry-level ReadyNAS, they chose to use ARM ones. ARM processors are simply designed, energy efficient, reliable and affordable and reported as being used in products such as Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

The change to the ARM platform does have one key downside in that you can’t migrate disks across from a Sparc Duo or NV+ to it. So if you want to migrate your data across you’ll need to do so e.g. across your network.

Improvements to factory reset process

With such a major refresh of the ReadyNAS line it would have been easy to ignore the little things.

Like with all other computers, sometimes a fresh install of the latest OS can be a good idea. In the past you’ve needed to backup your data, update the firmware on the NAS (if possible) and do a factory reset, then restore data from backup to get a clean install on the latest firmware.

Whilst you still need to backup your data first, the new Duo v2 and NV+ v2 check when a factory reset is initiated whether the latest firmware is installed. If not, provided you have a stable internet connection they will automatically download the firmware update and install it, before proceeding to carry out the reset. Do note that if there is no internet connection or the connection is unstable (drops out a lot during the firmware download) then the firmware will not be updated. The ReadyNAS performs checks to ensure that the firmware was downloaded correctly before installing it.

There’s also the new addition of a JBOD option (as explained in the documentation). With previous devices would need to configure the ReadyNAS to use Flex-RAID, delete the volume automatically created then manually create single disk RAID-0 volumes. The Flex-RAID JBOD option is much simpler.

There’s also the addition of the secure erase option (already available on x86 ReadyNAS units) for secure erase of working disks before disposal (e.g. sale or in trash) for extra peace of mind.

ReadyNAS enthusiast’s reaction

It’s a bitter sweet moment. The introduction of the Duo v2 and NV+ v2 means that there are no longer any ReadyNAS powered by Infrant Sparc CPUs in production. It had to happen but it’s still sad. After about  7 years, the Sparc ReadyNAS line has been discontinued. This was the hardware that was used in all ReadyNAS at the time when NetGear acquired Infrant (the company that invented the ReadyNAS and first brought it to market). NetGear has kept the innovative Infrant development team and a benefit of this has been that to this day even now firmware updates (4.1.9 for Sparc) are being written for 7 year old units discontinued long before NetGear acquired Infrant.

What makes this even more impressive is that those devices carried a one year warranty so many would’ve been out of warranty before the acquisition as well. Admittedly the introduction of new Sparc products over time (most recently the Duo v1 in 2008) has helped with this, but it’s still very impressive. Firmware updates are important for maintaining the usefulness of ReadyNAS products and I would expect NetGear’s strong track record in this area will continue with the new devices.

As the NV+ v1 was my first ReadyNAS purchase it’s nice to see the name live on and to see the similar form factor. Much of the hard work NetGear put into designing the NV+ (and earlier devices) can still be seen in the new models.

Conclusion

The latest additions to the ReadyNAS family are ReadyNAS units that anyone can manage. Simple, elegant and affordable, perhaps my only complaint is the lack of a display on the front of the 2-bay models (but this is understandable due to space and price constraints). For those on a low budget and looking to purchase their first NAS, I would look no further than the Duo v2 and NV+ v2.

Disclaimer: As a beta tester, I received a free Duo v2 diskless unit.

11 comments » | Reviews

Performance Tip: Using a SSD in your client machine

August 23rd, 2011 — 9:54pm

Background

If you have a read of dbott’s excellent blog post ReadyNAS Performance Expectations you’ll soon learn that there are a number of factors that determine the performance you’ll get with your ReadyNAS.

Assuming you are using a fast ReadyNAS (e.g. Ultra, Pro) over gigabit ethernet (your router/switch and PC must have gigabit ethernet too to use this) via Cat5e or newer ethernet cables you’ll find that a computer with a single mechanical hard drive can’t push it to its limits.

My 2007 MacBook is a good example. I’d already upgraded the hard drive a few times in the past and just recently was using a SeaGate 500GB 2.5″ 7200rpm drive. Whilst this is a faster drive than the stock 5400rpm drive my machine came with it. It just wasn’t pushing my ReadyNAS to its limits.

The Problem

Uncharacteristically I downloaded Mac OS X Lion 10.7 the night it was released and started installing it the next day. I soon found that the stock 2GB RAM in my MacBook isn’t enough for Lion. Looking at OWC’s helpful website (e.g. see their MaxRAM page) I was reminded that my MacBook can handle 3GB RAM (as I read elsewhere on their site it’ll actually take 2x2GB sticks and the matched RAM will give a slight performance benefit over non matched RAM, so that’s what I went with).

The Solution

I thought that if I was going to buy a RAM upgrade I may as well do a hard drive upgrade at the same time. Looking at OWC’s Installation Videos page it isn’t much more effort to replace the hard drive versus just replacing the memory.

I considered different options such as using a hybrid drive (part mechanical and part SSD) but decided to purchase a 240GB OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G . Although my MacBook can only do SATA I (3Gbps), I’m planning on moving to a new laptop next year which can take advantage of SATA III (6Gbps) and I’ll move the SSD to that when the time comes. The 5 year warranty of the Extreme 6G also provides some peace of mind.

If you’d like an OWC SSD there’s currently a contest at The SSD Review for a fast OWC Electra 240GB SSD. Whilst not quite as fast as the Extreme, OWC has said that most users won’t notice a speed difference.

Benefits of a SSD

The benefits of a SSD drive over a traditional mechanical hard drive are many it’s not a mechanical hard drive, which means a cooler computer, less power usage, faster boot times, faster application launches and a computer that feels and is more responsive. The one downside is price per GB. But with a ReadyNAS Ultra 6 with 6×1.5TB drives giving roughly 5.4TB (in my case 5543GB) of dual-redudant space on my ReadyNAS I was able to compromise and downgrade to 240GB capacity.

Backup

Before beginning the upgrade process I backed up my SSD and did a Time Machine backup to the ReadyNAS. I can’t stress the importance of backups enough. If you have important data you should backup that data regularly.

The Upgrade

The upgrade kit I purchased from OWC included the SSD, a USB enclosure to put my old drive in and a 5 piece tool-kit to install the drives. I don’t know if it was just me, but I found that only one of the tools was named so I found it hard to work out which one was which.

As well as looking at the Installation Videos by OWC, it can be good to have a read of iFixit.com’s guides as well as they are very detailed and can provide some useful advice not found in OWC’s Installation Videos. However as upgrading my MacBook is very simple, I just followed the advice in the video.

Having installed the RAM upgrade and the SSD in the new machine, I put my old disk in the USB enclosure and booted from that and then proceeded to clone the hard drive onto the SSD. I should have really done the cloning with the SSD in the USB enclosure, but I was impatient, wanted to do the cloning overnight and didn’t want to install the SSD in a rush the next morning.

Of course I could have alternatively done a restore from a Time Machine backup from the ReadyNAS (See Time Machine restore from the ReadyNAS) but I wanted to give the cloning a try.

The difference

Having done the clone, I then proceeded to boot my Mac. Boot times are now much faster than before and most applications load practically instantly. My RAM upgrade also means that my Mac spends far less time swapping.

But the thing I was really interested in looking at was the performance of network transfers with the SSD installed. When I was reading data from the ReadyNAS using the Finder my Mac was showing a transfer speed of over 110MB/s at times. Write speeds weren’t as good, but that was to be expected. Of course there are some network overheads in this, but I was very impressed with this figure.

Conclusion

Of course when you remove a performance bottleneck or two you’ll soon discover you have another, so my Mac isn’t as fast as a new machine that has a SSD in it, but it’s an impressive improvement. I’ve found it does some tasks quicker than my 2009 Mac Mini which has a faster CPU, 4GB RAM but a slower 5400RPM hdd in it. I’m so impressed with using SSDs that I expect to eventually use them in all my client machines

The upgrade has eliminated the disk in my client machine from being the bottleneck for large file transfer to and from my ReadyNAS. In fact at least as far as writes to the NAS are concerned, I would get some benefit in write speed from moving to using an even faster ReadyNAS such as the ReadyNAS Pro 6.

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Common Problems with Time Machine and the ReadyNAS

August 8th, 2011 — 4:34pm

One of the great features of the ReadyNAS line which helps set it apart from its competition its excellent Mac support. All ReadyNAS support AFP (Apple Filing Protocol) and Time Machine. The ReadyNAS uses heavily customised Debian Linux optimised both for the ReadyNAS hardware and NAS use. NetGear is a customer of NetAFP (the company which develops the Netatalk project which provides AFP and Time Machine support to Linux devices).

As of 4.1.8+ (Sparc) and 4.2.18+ (x86) there is now support for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion on all ReadyNAS units.

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Why you might want to factory reset a x86 ReadyNAS

June 22nd, 2011 — 7:50pm

A factory reset  wipes all data, settings, everything. So obviously it’s quite time consuming as you need to backup all data on the ReadyNAS first, backup the system configuration should you wish to restore it, then do a factory reset, restore configuration backup and restore data from backup.

However, there are multiple reasons why one might want to factory reset a x86 ReadyNAS (e.g. NVX, Ultra, Ultra Plus, Pro, 1500, 2100, 3200, 3100 and 4200):

  1. Sometimes when troubleshooting a problem e.g. a performance issue, a factory reset can be necessary to help isolate the cause of the problem. This would be one of the last things to try after exhausting other options first.
  2. A factory reset after updating to the latest firmware gives you a clean setup on the latest firmware. This would mean that in some ways your ReadyNAS would be in a better condition than when it left the factory!
  3. A factory  reset can be much faster than expanding your X-RAID2 volume particularly when using high capacity disks.
  4. You cannot reduce the number of disks and expand your X-RAID2 volume i.e. if you have 4x1TB disks installed you can expand to have a volume of 4x2TB disks, but you cannot expand to have a volume of 3x2TB disks.
  5. You cannot add smaller capacity disks and expand your X-RAID2 volume e.g. if you have a 6-bay x86 ReadyNAS with 4x2TB disks installed you cannot expand your volume by adding 1TB disks. Smaller capacity disks must be added first.
  6. On x86 ReadyNAS, some, but not all Flex-RAID volumes can be expanded. You may wish to do a factory reset if you cannot expand your existing volumes.
  7. The reason we all hope we never have: You’ve had multiple disk failures and had catastrophic data loss. You’ve contacted tech support for assistance, they’ve confirmed this and repairing one of your disks for data recovery has not been possible. Disks can and do fail at any time, so it is recommend that you backup important data primarily stored on the ReadyNAS regularly. See Preventing Catastrophic Data Loss
  8. Unfortunately some benefits cannot be obtained without a factory reset.
  9. Unfortunately some expansion limitations cannot be overcome without a factory reset. You can seek advice as to whether you are affected by any expansion limitations by posting on the ReadyNAS forums or contacting NetGear technical support

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Why you might want to factory reset a Sparc ReadyNAS

June 22nd, 2011 — 5:54pm

A factory reset  wipes all data, settings, everything. So obviously it’s quite time consuming as you need to backup all data on the ReadyNAS first, backup the system configuration should you wish to restore it, then do a factory reset, restore configuration backup and restore data from backup.

However, there are multiple reasons why one might want to factory reset a Sparc ReadyNAS (e.g. Duo, NV, NV+, X6, Repertoire, 1000s, 600, 1100):

  1. Sometimes when troubleshooting a problem e.g. a performance issue, a factory reset can be necessary to help isolate the cause of the problem. This would be one of the last things to try after exhausting other options first.
  2. A factory reset after updating to the latest firmware gives you a clean setup on the latest firmware. This would mean that in some ways your ReadyNAS would be in a better condition than when it left the factory!
  3. A factory  reset can be much faster than expanding your X-RAID volume particularly when using high capacity disks.
  4. You cannot reduce the number of disks and expand your X-RAID volume i.e. if you have 4x1TB disks installed you can expand to have a volume of 4x2TB disks, but you cannot expand to have a volume of 3x2TB disks.
  5. You cannot add smaller capacity disks and expand your X-RAID volume e.g. if you have a 4-bay Sparc ReadyNAS with 2x2TB disks installed you cannot expand your volume by adding 1TB disks. Smaller capacity disks must be added first. However as X-RAID uses the capacity of the smallest disk you probably wouldn’t want to add a smaller capacity disk to a ReadyNAS array anyway even if it were possible.
  6. On Sparc ReadyNAS, Flex-RAID volumes cannot be expanded. Using Flex-RAID you can have multiple volumes (up to four, with any given disk being included in these) but you may prefer the simplicity of having a single volume or you may already have the maximum number of volumes and be unable to add additional volumes to utilise additional space from higher capacity disks.
  7. The reason we all hope we never have: You’ve had multiple disk failures and had catastrophic data loss. You’ve contacted tech support for assistance, they’ve confirmed this and repairing one of your disks for data recovery has not been possible. Disks can and do fail at any time, so it is recommend that you backup important data primarily stored on the ReadyNAS regularly. See Preventing Catastrophic Data Loss
  8. Unfortunately some benefits cannot be obtained without a factory reset.
  9. Unfortunately some expansion limitations cannot be overcome without a factory reset. You can seek advice as to whether you are affected by any expansion limitations by posting on the ReadyNAS forums or contacting NetGear technical support

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What to do before expanding your ReadyNAS volume

June 22nd, 2011 — 12:47am

One of the great things about the ReadyNAS line is automatic expansion using X-RAID. Both X-RAID (found on Sparc ReadyNAS such as the Duo and NV+) and the newer X-RAID2 (found on x86 ReadyNAS e.g. NVX, Ultra, Ultra Plus, Pro, 1500, 2100, 3200, 3100 and 4200) are major selling points of the ReadyNAS line. Now some Flex-RAID volumes can be expanded on x86 ReadyNAS as of RAIDiator 4.2.16, but this is not automatic. The ability to easily expand your existing volume rather than needing to backup your data, do a factory reset, then restore from backup to get more capacity is a great feature.

You may wonder, surely it can’t be as simple as following the advice in the links I gave above to expand a ReadyNAS volume? Well, it is.

However there are some additional steps one should take if possible before embarking on the process of expanding one’s volume.

Continue reading »

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Migrating your disks from one ReadyNAS to another ReadyNAS on the same platform

March 26th, 2011 — 12:13pm

There is a FAQ entry on the ReadyNAS forums: How do I migrate disks over from an existing ReadyNAS to another?

This explains the steps to migrate your disks from a Sparc ReadyNAS to another Sparc ReadyNAS or from a x86 ReadyNAS to another x86 ReadyNAS.

There are a few things that make it easy to remember which ReadyNAS units belong to which platform.

All Infrant (this company was acquired by NetGear) ReadyNAS are Sparc ReadyNAS.

To the best of my knowledge all NetGear ReadyNAS are x86 ReadyNAS except for the Duo, NV+ and 1100 (Sparc ReadyNAS)

At the time of writing x86 ReadyNAS are the NVX, NVX Pioneer, Ultra Series (Ultra 2/4/6), Ultra Plus Series (Ultra 2/4/6 Plus), Pro Business Edition, Pro Pioneer, Pro Series (Pro 2/4/6), 1500, 2100, 3200, 3100 and 4200.

If unsure after reading the FAQ and the above comment which ReadyNAS units belong to which platform, please ask for advice on the forum.

If the unit  you are migrating to is running an older version of firmware than the unit you are migrating from, you may run into issues.

Continue reading »

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Which ReadyNAS Model is right for a business user?

March 26th, 2011 — 11:15am

With the recently increased range of ReadyNAS devices, it can be a little confusing at first to work out which ReadyNAS model is right for you. The good news is that with this increased range of ReadyNAS devices there’s a suitable ReadyNAS for everyone. This article aims to provide a brief summary of the options available to help you choose the right model for your needs.

Currently the Duo, NV+, Ultra Series (Ultra 2/4/6), Ultra Plus Series (Ultra 2/4/6 Plus), Pro Series (Pro 2/4/6), NVX Pioneer, NVX, Pro Pioneer, Pro Business Edition, 1500, 2100, 3200, 3100 and 4200 are sold by NetGear.

Previously in Which ReadyNAS Model is right for a home user? the home models were discussed.

In this article it’s time to consider the business products: NVX (not Pioneer), Pro Business Edition (not Pioneer), Pro Series (Pro 2/4/6), 1500, 2100, 3200, 3100 and 4200. Though targeted at business users the desktop business models can be used by the home user. For the very advanced home users who need business features or home users who simply want the extra peace of mind of a 5 year warranty these are great choices.

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Which ReadyNAS Model is right for a home user?

March 19th, 2011 — 8:50pm

With the recently increased range of ReadyNAS devices, it can be a little confusing at first to work out which ReadyNAS model is right for you. The good news is that with this increased range of ReadyNAS devices there’s a suitable ReadyNAS for everyone. This article aims to provide a brief summary of the options available to help you choose the right model for your needs.

Currently the Duo, NV+, Ultra Series (Ultra 2/4/6), Ultra Plus Series (Ultra 2/4/6 Plus), Pro Series (Pro 2/4/6), NVX Pioneer, NVX, Pro Pioneer, Pro Business Edition, 1500, 2100, 3200, 3100 and 4200 are sold by NetGear.

In this article we will consider the home products (Duo, NV+, Ultra Series, Ultra Plus Series, NVX Pioneer and Pro Pioneer). Though targeted at home users these can be used by the business user. However one should note that the home models are priced to suit the budgets of home users. As a result these carry a 3 year warranty (vs 5 years on the business units) and lack business features found on the business units.

For a discussion of the business models, please see Which ReadyNAS Model is right for a business user?

Continue reading »

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How to get support for your ReadyNAS

March 6th, 2011 — 2:52pm

There are three ways to get support for your ReadyNAS units. There is phone support and online support, the ReadyNAS forum and data recovery services. However there can be some confusion as to which of these options you should use. Let’s first consider these options one by one.

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Pro 2/Ultra 2/Ultra 2 Plus Boot Menu

January 18th, 2011 — 5:17pm

Please see http://www.readynas.com/kb/faq/boot/how_do_i_use_the_boot_menu in the new ReadyNAS FAQ.

As I have mentioned elsewhere on my blog, one of the great features of the x86 ReadyNAS desktop line (NVX, Ultra, Pro) is that it uses a new improved boot menu: http://home.bott.ca/webserver/?p=252

However the instructions for this refer to a display with text on it. The latest additions to the ReadyNAS line, the 2-bay x86 models, namely the  Pro 2, Ultra 2 and Ultra 2 Plus don’t have a display, so you need to use the light patterns to select the appropriate boot option.

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My ReadyNAS Gear

September 23rd, 2010 — 1:39am

Thought it was time to make a post posting My ReadyNAS Gear so I can please chirpa by shortening my signature on the ReadyNAS forum.

So here’s my gear:

2x RND4000 – ReadyNas NV+ Diskless. Hard Drives: 4x ST31500341AS (each NAS). RAM: 256MB (each NAS).

1x RNDU6000 – Ultra 6 Diskless. Hard Drives: 6x ST31500341AS. RAM: 1GB.

1x RND2000-200 – Duo v2 Diskless

1x RND2110-200 – Duo v2 with 1x1TB HDD

1x RNDU4000 – Ultra 4 Diskless

1x RNDP2000 – Pro 2 Diskless

1xRN10200 – ReadyNAS 102 Diskless

ReadyNAS 312

ReadyNAS 516 with 6x2TB Enterprise Drives

1x APC SMART-UPS 1000XL SUA1000XLI – USB monitoring cable hooked up to my Ultra 6 and monitored over my network by my main NV+ and Duo v2.

1x APC SMART-UPS 1000 SUA1000I – USB monitoring cable hooked up to my backup NV+.

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Rsync backup to USB disk

September 23rd, 2010 — 12:35am

Rsync is arguably my favourite protocol for backups. Whilst it is slow for full backups. It’s a great protocol for incremental backups. It compares files on the source and destination and only makes incremental changes to files. So if you have a 1GB file and add 1MB only 1MB needs to be backed up. The time taken to do the necessary calculations can make Rsync appear deceptively slower than it really is. There are some great guides for backing up a ReadyNAS to another ReadyNAS using Rsync e.g. Using Rsync for NAS-to-NAS Backups and Setting up Rsync over SSH but you can also use Rsync when backing up to a USB disk attached to the ReadyNAS!

Continue reading »

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How to sell your ReadyNAS: Preparing your ReadyNAS for Sale

September 22nd, 2010 — 4:52pm

The ReadyNAS is a great product line and there comes a time when you want to move to a newer, better model. Then comes the question: what to do with the old one?

Do you use it to backup your new ReadyNAS, use it as a NAS to develop cool add-ons, use it as a NAS to test beta firmware to give back to the community, give it to a family member, give it to a friend or do you sell it?

Well that choice is up to you, but if you decide to sell it or give it away then there are some steps you should take: Continue reading »

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Using Gmail with the ReadyNAS

September 20th, 2010 — 9:45pm

Some Internet Service Providers block the internal email provider used by the ReadyNAS. A solution to work around this is to specify the SMTP settings for an email account e.g. Gmail (or Google Apps). Continue reading »

5 comments » | Guides

ReadyNAS Ultra 6: A Beta Tester’s Review

August 29th, 2010 — 5:33pm

The ReadyNAS Ultra Series is the most recent addition to NetGear’s ReadyNAS line of NAS (Network Attached Storage) Products. So far the Ultra 4 (4-bay unit) and Ultra 6 (6-bay unit) have been released with a 2-bay unit the Ultra 2 due in November and a faster 6-bay unit, the Ultra 6 Plus also due to be released in November.

Background

My first ReadyNAS purchase was a ReadyNAS NV+. I found the NV+ great for storing my files and sharing them wirelessly with devices across my network. I was impressed with the device and realised that storing data on a single device is not a backup, so I purchased another NV+ to use as a backup to my main NV+. This setup works great for me.

So why have the Ultra Series?

The ReadyNAS NV+ is a great product with a great range of features. However with only minor differences compared with the NV released back in early 2006, the NV+ is not a fast NAS anymore. Whilst it was originally targeted at business users, with speeds in the 20-40 MB/s range over gigabit ethernet, it’s now targeted at entry level home users.

Of course, NetGear has released newer models since the ReadyNAS NV+. The ReadyNAS Pro, a 6-bay ReadyNAS, that is king of the desktop ReadyNAS line performance wise, and the ReadyNAS NVX, a 4-bay ReadyNAS are both great improvements over the ReadyNAS NV+. However these were introduced at price points that clearly indicated an intended market of business users, with home versions (the Pioneer) released later in reaction to unexpected demand from home users for the devices.

Whilst the NVX and the Pro are faster than the NV+, both consume more energy. With rising electricity prices and increasing costs of living, not to mention environmental concerns about energy usage, many would like to have the best of both worlds. A good balance between high performance and low energy usage. The ReadyNAS Ultra Series provides this. The Ultra 4 has slightly less energy usage than the NV+, whilst the Ultra 6 still uses more. The Ultra 4 and Ultra 6 are more power efficient than the NVX and Pro respectively. Continue reading »

8 comments » | Reviews

Welcome!

August 23rd, 2010 — 7:46am

This website will have some unofficial guides, tips and tricks posted.

Welcome and I hope you enjoy this site.

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