The Definitive Guide to the ReadyNAS Duo
The NETGEAR ReadyNAS Duo is the latest addition to the award-winning ReadyNAS family of advanced network storage products. The Duo builds on the success of the ReadyNAS NV+, providing a quiet, very low-power-consuming, small 2-disk form-factor NAS that’s ideal for the home.
It’s sometimes hard to tell how small it is without actually looking at it and holding it in person. Just to get a feel for its size, grab a sheet of 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of paper vertically and fold down in half. Then fold it in half again left to right. That’s about the size of a Duo — about a quarter sheet of paper.
With large capacity disks becoming the norm, the potential for losing enormous amount of priceless photos, videos, and personal data is very real, and it only takes one hard disk failure to recognize the need for disk failure protection that RAID provides. The ReadyNAS Duo provides this protection with NETGEAR’s patent-pending X-RAID technology. Just by adding a 2nd disk in the Duo, your data is automatically protected from disk failure as each disk becomes an exact mirror of the other.
And with X-RAID, you’ll have the same expandable RAID technology available on the popular ReadyNAS NV+. What this means is that your Duo disk capacity can grow dynamically as your disk capacity requirement grows. When the need arises, the two disks in the Duo can be replaced with larger disks one at a time, and a simple reboot will expand your disk capacity automatically.
And because the ReadyNAS NV+ uses the same X-RAID technology, if ever two disks are no longer enough, just pull them out of the Duo and stick them in the NV+, and you can add a couple more disks to expand the volume capacity to four disks. The same disk trays used in the Duo will slide right into the NV+ so you don’t even have to mess with screws.
With the number of computers in an average household approaching four or more, the need to consolidate storage and backup into one device, like the ReadyNAS Duo, is a definite appeal, especially if that device can provide versatility beyond just file sharing and data protection.
With the included NTI Shadow for ReadyNAS software, each PC and Mac computer on your network can be setup for continuous backup with infinite versioning capability. This allows each of your computers to retrieve any previously saved version of a file right from the ReadyNAS.
Your PS3, XBOX 360, and Squeezebox, as well as other devices will no longer need your PC or Mac to be powered on to stream media files. The Duo has streaming services designed to work with just about any major streaming devices, so you can turn off your computer and let the streaming continue from your Duo.
And instead of cluttering the house with a printer for each computer, you can use the built-in print sharing capability of the Duo to share your printer(s) on your network. There’s no need to purchase a ton of expensive ink cartridges when you can now consolidate your printing to one or two printers. Just connect your printer to one of three USB ports on the Duo, and you’re set to go.
The ReadyNAS Duo also comes with a built-in BitTorrent client that allows you to queue downloads at night-time or when you’re at work without needing to keep your computer connected to the Internet.
So you can now see why the Duo is not just your typical network storage — it’s an advanced network storage that does so much more.
The ReadyNAS Duo feature set is driven by the common RAIDiator firmware that is used across all ReadyNAS products. RAIDiator provides a myriad of features not found in other network storage devices in its class. Let’s go through some of the prominent ones.
The ReadyNAS can stream music, video, and photos to just about any popular network-capable media streaming device without the need to turn on your PC or Mac. Just drag & drop your media files to the ReadyNAS and play them on your streaming device, whether it’s a Playstation 3, XBOX 360, NETGEAR’s own EVA 8000, or pretty much any DLNA-compliant device.
Small wireless music streamers have also become popular in the home, and the ReadyNAS can be central to serving music files to these devices. The Logitech Squeezebox™, SONOS® Digital Music System, and the Roku SoundBridge are just some of the players supported by the ReadyNAS right out of the box.
As more and more of these thin devices start showing up, there’s no denying that the ReadyNAS can be at the center of your streaming solution. There’s simply no other device out there that is more flexible for media streaming, period.
Music Sharing with Apple iTunes® Server
With the built-in Apple iTunes 7.0 server, the ReadyNAS can be used as a large shared jukebox. With the iTunes service enabled, iPods, iPhones, and PCs or Macs running the iTunes client can access the shared music library stored on the ReadyNAS.
Photo sharing just got a lot more convenient. With ReadyNAS Photos on the Duo, simply connect your camera to automatically upload your pictures to the Duo, and you can quickly create albums that you can share straight from the ReadyNAS. Your friends and family will get a cool postcard in the email and all they need to do is click on the link to see the slideshow or the albums you’ve shared to them.
Best of all, there’s no complicated router setup and no slow uploading of your files to a remote photo server. In fact, unlike commercial photo servers, your family and friends can download the original image that they can print in full resolution directly on their printers. Find out more about ReadyNAS Photos here.
Built-in BitTorrent™ client
The officially licensed BitTorrent client can really make use of the disk space provided by the ReadyNAS. And because it is a stand-alone client, there’s no need to keep your computer on during the download. Just queue the torrents on the ReadyNAS and let it do it’s job in the background.
Best of all, queuing of the torrents can be done over the web from a slower wireless laptop, but the actual downloading is done on the ReadyNAS which is usually resides on a faster wired connection to Internet.
Unique Add-ons expands the ReadyNAS further
The ReadyNAS family has a unique add-on capability that can expand on the current feature set. ReadyNAS Photos and the BitTorrent are just two examples of add-ons currently available. Future add-ons from NETGEAR and NETGEAR partners are sure to keep your ReadyNAS on the cutting edge.
Network Recycle Bin
Windows users used to the Recycle Bin on their PC will love the Recycle Bin on the ReadyNAS. If you’ve ever inadvertantly deleted a file, you would know the anxiety of trying to find out if you have a backup somewhere. With the Recycle Bin option on the ReadyNAS, have no fear, because your deleted file will reside in the Recycle Bin of your ReadyNAS share.
Continuous Shadow Backup
Did we just mention backup? With the included Shadow for ReadyNAS, your Mac or PC can setup folders to continuously backup to the ReadyNAS automatically whenever files change. Whether you’ve modified or deleted a file, you’ll now be able to go back to a particular version of that file. Just click on Quick Restore, and you’ll see your file versions, and all you have to do is right-click to restore back to the original location or wherever you want.
If you’re looking to centralize your backups, the ReadyNAS also has a built-in web-based Frontview Backup Manager. From there, you have the option of scheduling backups to or from the ReadyNAS shares. You can opt to backup from a remote site over CIFS, NFS, FTP, HTTP, or RSYNC protocols, or vice versa — backup the ReadyNAS share to a remote site over CIFS, NFS, FTP, or RSYNC. You can even perform backups to an attached USB storage device. The flexibility allows the ReadyNAS to be used to backup all the computers on the network or backup a ReadyNAS to another ReadyNAS on a fixed schedule.
Programmable Backup Button
If you think we’re obsessed about backups, you might be right. Another option for backups is through the use of the backup button on the front of the ReadyNAS. By default, pressing the button will backup your backup share on the ReadyNAS to the attached USB storage device next to the button.
If you prefer, you can assign any or all of the backup jobs to the Backup Button. If you press the button, all jobs assigned to the button will run sequentially.
Alerts let you know what’s going on
Your data is important and you need to be aware of any anomaly on the ReadyNAS. Rest assure that the email alert system is designed to let you know of urgent conditions. You will be notified when a disk fails, when a disk overheats, when disks start to encounter warning signs of failure, when a fan fails, when a user or group reaches disk quota, and when your volume is near capacity. It’ll even alert you in case the attached UPS is on battery.
We feel a mark of a good device is not only how it handles ideal condition but more importantly how it handles non-ideal conditions.
Easy disk replacement eases the stress of a disk failure
Disk failure is inevitable and if you’ve been using computers for any length of time, you know it’s not a matter of if but when. So when that time comes, you certainly don’t want to have to fumble your way through trying to disassembling your device. With the Duo, simply press on the latch to release the disk tray, remove 4 screws that attaches the disk to the tray, replace with a new disk, and insert the disk back into the chassis, all while the unit is powered off or on. The same convenient disk hot-swap capability available in the NV+ is employed on the Duo.
Integrated with smart UPS monitoring
Ever wonder what would happen when the power goes out for a little too long and the UPS battery is exhausted? With the ReadyNAS, it constantly monitors the UPS battery level and sends alerts whenever there’s a power outage and the UPS power takes over. When the battery runs low, the ReadyNAS shuts down gracefully, avoiding any file corruption caused by unwritten cached data. Best of all, use a UPS specified in the ReadyNAS compatibility list, and all you have to do is connect the USB monitoring cable to the ReadyNAS and everything is taken care of automatically.
Definite advantages to file system journaling
The ReadyNAS journal each write to the data volume, keeping track of where the last writes occurred. What does this do? In case of an unplanned power outage, the ReadyNAS is able to quickly figure out where the last writes occurred and able to bring the volume back online in a matter of seconds. Without journaling, it can take hours depending on how full the volume is.
Shutdown on disk failure
The ReadyNAS is designed to keep running in the event of a disk failure. However, you do have an option to automatically shutdown the box in case a failure is detected. Just another peace-of-mind feature to prevent the ReadyNAS from encountering a second failure until the failed disk can be replaced.
Quotas on disk usage
The ReadyNAS Duo supports disk quotas on a per-user or per-group basis. Even with a terabyte of storage, kids (and maybe some adults) may fill it quickly with downloaded games or videos. The quota system allows you to specify how much space a user or a group of users are allowed to create on the ReadyNAS, and the guilty party and the ReadyNAS admin will be duly notified of any violation.
Convenient online upgrades
The ReadyNAS comes integrated with an easy online upgrade feature. There’s no need to download a firmware image from a website and manually uploading it to the device. Just go to the Remote Update page in Frontview, click to check if there’s an available update, and click a 2nd time to perform the upgrade. That’s it!
Add to that the option to automatically download any new upgrades, and all you need to do is reboot the ReadyNAS at your convenience to get the latest new features and bug fixes.
ReadyNAS speaks six languages
That’s 4 more than what most of us speak! All you need to do is set your browser to one of the supported languages (English, Japanese, French, German, Chinese/Mandarin, or Korean), and the FrontView web-based management system will display in that language.
Mac users love the ReadyNAS
Unlike other NAS that support Macs through a Windows SMB/CIFS protocol, the ReadyNAS supports the protocol that works best with Macs — AFP. With AFP, non-standard characters in filenames are not a problem, and resource information that would cause problems over SMB is not an issue. And if that wasn’t enough, take a look at the Performance section and see how we’ve tweaked the ReadyNAS to where the Mac performance over AFP is super fast.
You never know who might be sniffing network packets, even behind the firewall. Rest assured that all logins to the ReadyNAS are encrypted whenever possible, including the login to the FrontView Setup Wizard and Advanced Control management system.
With so much data on the ReadyNAS, it’s certainly desirable to access that data remotely. The ReadyNAS allows this via FTP and HTTP, and the more secure and SSL encrypted form via FTPS and HTTPS, with appropriate port forwarding on your router. Simply use your favorite FTP/S client to connect to the ReadyNAS FTP server, or use your browser to access the built-in Web File Manager via HTTP/S.
In addition, the ReadyNAS supports WebDAV, allowing drag & drop file explorer support over LAN or WAN. A simple tutorial on how to do this can be found here.
Low power consumption
It’s nice to see a lot of companies start thinking about making their products green. It’s now the “in” thing to do. Well, the ReadyNAS product line has always been green even before there was a push by regulations and consumer demand.
The ReadyNAS Duo takes it a step further. For instance, in an idle state, the Duo consumes 27W of power, less than half of your typical incandescent light bulb. It’ll take a few more watts when there is disk activity. In disk spin-down mode, the Duo consumes only 12W.
Furthermore, if you use the automatic power-on scheduler, you’ll save even more. For instance, if you plan on accessing the ReadyNAS only during an 8-hour window each day, your average usage of the box can be as low as a third of the 12W, or around 4W. All without compromising on performance.
Now, that sure beats running a PC, a monitor, keyboard and mouse at around 100W or more 24/7.
So quiet you can sleep with it…
The Duo is the first ReadyNAS to have an external power brick. What this means is that the fan doesn’t have to work that hard to keep the hard disks cool, which translates to lower fan speed reducing the noise considerably. Our designers went so far as to sleep with the Duo at night to make sure it was quiet so you can be sure it can fit in discretely anywhere in your home.
And on the subject of performance, the ReadyNAS team is passionate about squeezing the last megabyte per second out of every ReadyNAS. The Duo is no exception, and even with a smaller package, it’s just as speedy as the NV+.
Let’s take a look at how the Duo stacks up.
There are two tests that we use to measure gauge performance on the Windows platform:
IOMeter using 256 KB sequential block reads and writes on a 3 GB test file, and Drag & Drop of a 3 GB file over CIFS, Windows default network protocol.
The tests are run on Windows XP Pro with Service Pack 2 (SP2) and Vista Home Edition with Service Pack 1 (SP1). [Note: Vista SP1 is highly recommended as it fixes major performance problems with remote share access.] A test file of 3 GB is used to overcome any advantages due to client caching.
On the Mac, IOMeter is not available, so we’ll use:
Drag & Drop test of a 3 GB file over AFP. Mac users tend to prefer accessing the ReadyNAS over AFP as it provides better support for non-standard characters in filenames and the ability to maintain Mac-specific resource information.
We will show the results in two performance settings — the default (conservative) mode, and the optimal performance mode. Optimal mode consists of making the following changes in FrontView:
1. Select Disable journaling option in the System/Performance page.
2. Select Enable Jumbo Frames option in the Network/Ethernet page.
You’ll need to reboot the ReadyNAS after making the changes. These changes will provide the fastest performance possible on the ReadyNAS.
ReadyNAS Duo Setup
2 – Seagate ST31000340AS 1TB hard disks, 32 MB cache
Intel Pentium 4, 2.8 GHz
1 GB Memory
Windows XP Pro, Service Pack 2
Intel Pro/1000 MT GigE, Jumbo frame 9014 bytes
Intel Pentium Core™ 2 Duo, 2.13 GHz
2 GB Memory
Windows Vista Home Edition, Service Pack 1
Intel Pro/1000 MT GigE, Jumbo frame 9014 bytes
Apple Power Mac G5, 667 MHz
1 GB Memory
OS X 10.5.2
Onboard GigE, Jumbo frame 7936 bytes
Switch: NETGEAR GS724TP
Router: NETGEAR WNR854T
Drag & Drop Results
Microsoft® Windows® Vista™, XP Home or Pro (SP1 or SP2), 2000 (SP4), Macintosh® OS-X, Linux®
Router and Broadband connection required for remote access features
Web Browsers Supported
Microsoft® Internet Explorer™ 7.0+
Netscape® Navigator™ 7.0+
Mozilla Firefox® 1.03+
ReadyNAS™ Duo Network Attached Storage Device
Two (2) Serial ATA channels
Compatible with SATA and SATA II HDD1
NETGEAR Auto-Expandable X-RAID™
Hot swappable and lockable trays
Three (3) USB 2.0 ports
256 MB PC2700 DDR-SDRAM SO-DIMM
Embedded 64 MB Flash Memory for OS
Supports Windows, Mac, Linux/UNIX clients
Setup Wizard and easy browser-based interface
NETGEAR Auto-Expandable X-RAID™
Journaled file system
User and group-level quotas
Drive set can be removed and migrated to ReadyNAS™ NV+ or 1100
Network File Services
CIFS/SMB for Microsoft® Windows®
AFP 3.1 for Macintosh® OS 9 and OS X
NFS v2/v3 for Linux® and UNIX®
HTTP and HTTPS for web browsers
FTP and FTPS support
DLNA Compatible UPnP AV
SONOS Digital Music Center
Network DVD player compatible
Windows MCE compatible
Sony Playstation 3
Microsoft XBOX 360
Encrypted network logins
Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
DHCP or static IP
Email alerts and event logs
Optional shell access
Integrated Backup Manager
Programmable backup button
Backup to/from CIFS/NFS/FTP/HTTP/RSYNC
Backup to/from USB disks
Bundled backup software: NTI Shadow for ReadyNAS™ for Windows® and Macintosh®
USB Device Support
USB HDD and flash drives
UPS monitoring and auto shutdown
Management UI: English, Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Korean
File Name: Unicode
12V, 5A power adapter, localized to country of sale
Input: 100-240 VAC, 50/60Hz
Power Consumption: 35 W typical with 2 x 500GB disks
Power saving mode
60 mm ball-bearing chassis cooling fan
Fan failure alert
High temperature email alert with auto-shutdown option
0° to 35° C (32° to 95° F)
20% to 80% Humidity (non-condensing)
FCC, UL, CE, C-tick, IC, RoHS compliance
Kensington® Lock Security Hole
Dimension (H x W x D): 142 x 101 x 222 mm (5.56 x 3.98 x 8.70 in)
Weight: 2.07 kg (4.56 lb), without hard disks
Two (2) hard disk trays
Quick installation guide
ReadyNAS™ Installation CD
ReadyNAS™ Discovery Utility
NTI Shadow for ReadyNAS for Windows and Macintosh
RND2150 – 1 x 500 GB HDD
RND2175 – 1 x 750 GB HDD
RND2110 – 1 x 1000 GB HDD
Warranty and Support
The ReadyNAS Duo is covered by a class-leading 3-year warranty against defects in material and workmanship.
24/7 phone support is available via 1-888-NETGEAR (638-4327). Online support is available on the ReadyNAS Community forum at www.readynas.com/forum and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) can be found at www.readynas.com/forum/faq.php. Please visit www.readynas.com for links to these sites along with insightful articles and how-to’s for the ReadyNAS.