I have been a forum member and ReadyNAS owner since December of 2009. Certainly not as long a many of the add-on developers such as super-poussin and whocares, not as long as some of the more experienced users like claykin, mdgm, dbott76, TeknoJnky, sphardy, Papabear, fbmachines and stephenb and obviously not as long as the jedi - Yodah, Chirpa, Chewbacca, Jedi Knight, Han Solo and Oom-9. There are many others in each group I have unintentionally omitted but I write now because I am concerned for the future of the ReadyNAS line.
I don't post much anymore but have never stopped reading (daily) the ReadyNAS forum. I've committed my own money, that of the company I work for and that of my friends and collegeues that listened to the purchase of a ReadyNAS. From the Duo to the Pro - I use daily and depend on quite a few to do their job and I will say they have done that and done it well. What concerns me is that direction the forum has taken since the departure of Yodah and Chirpa. While both continue to provide support (and while other Jedi also do their best) it would seem judging from the comments of users and Jedi alike there has been a fundamental shift in Netgear's priorities. So fundamental I now question whether Netgear is the right choice moving forward. To wit:
As many have stated the forum was or is the reason to choose Netgear over the competition. I submit given Netgear's stance (the board itself is regularly unavailable) the forum can no longer be valued as it was in the past.
Existing issues are no longer being addressed, discussed or even acknowledged by Netgear staff as readily as in the past. I would submit this lessens the value of Netgear support further decreasing the value of the ReadyNAS line.
Existing web features such as the web simulator have been removed by Netgear without official communication and without remediation. This affects future purchases, reducing the user base therefore reducing the need to spend money on existing users.
Problems we have lived with - (iTunes server / forked daapd, ReadyDLNA, USB3 operation, Photos I and II, ARM add-ons (or the lack thereof), loss of Bittorrent, RAIDiator v5 for x86, lack of a directory / LDAP server, requiring workaround, registry hack or command-line fixes for common issues) - the list goes on - have not been properly addressed. I don't care about most and the ones I do don't bother me that much but there is an expectation when you purchase a product that it live up to the marketing and your own expectations and I would submit that may no longer be the case.
ReadyDATA hardware and software (what some existing programmers might be spending their time on) might be great - I will never know. For one, it is somewhat more expensive than a ReadyNAS but more importantly why would I give my money to a company that has begun to abandon an entire group of product enthusiasts that have have helped make the ReadyNAS line what it is today?
You can search the board to find support for any point I referenced but I think for most just a reminder is enough. Note I am in no way unhappy with the performance of any of the many ReadyNAS units I own and work with on a daily basis. I strongly feel like I am witnessing a protracted death of a product I feel has value and it is for this reason I'm asking Netgear -
What are your intentions?