Netgear ReadyNas NVX Pioneer Edition
Nifty Nas box
Review Reviewing the RNDX400E was difficult from start to finish, not least because we were sent the RNDX4210 instead first. It’s an easy mistake to make though, since both the RNDX400 and RNDX4000 (notice the extra zero) series share pretty much identical hardware.
Netgear's driveless ReadyNas NVX Pioneer Edition RNDX400E
The former (reviewed here) is Netgear’s new ‘Pioneer Edition’ Nas, which is essentially the same as the 4000 series but without hard drives and without Windows Active Directory, snapshot, iSCSI, NIC teaming/failover, SNMP and secure rsync features. Removing all those features make it inappropriate for many business environments, but there are still plenty of areas where the RNDX400E is extremely competent.
Once we had the right Nas in our hands, we were presented with a “corrupt root” message and no access to its configuration pages. Our first check was to see whether the Ram was dislodged, which can happen in transit. This is an easy check as Netgear exposes the Ram just behind the top panel. However, the Ram was fine and it turned out that pre-formatted hard drives were the culprit.
Whenever formatted drives are used you have to press a sequence of buttons on the Nas (reset, power, backup, backup, reset) to wipe them. It’s sensible for novices to understand their disks will be wiped when inserted into a Nas but it’s a pain that it can’t be done in software like on most other models. If you want to change the Raid type you’ll have to go through this button pressing mania too, combined with a bit of software called RAIDar, available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
Installing hard drives is a breeze, thanks to its four hot-swappable bays with latch handles. Other hardware features include three USB ports, two gigabit Lan ports and a dual line LCD. The power brick is fitted internally, reducing clutter, while the overall build quality is high.
Numerous button presses, plus software tweaks are needed to change the Raid type
A fixed handle on the back of the Nas is, at first glance, one of the nicest design touches; it can be difficult to move Nas boxes about – even though they are small – because they can weigh quite a few kilos, so a handle makes perfect sense. However, we came to distrust it because the Nas swings downwards as you lift the handle and this motion twice caused the fan grill to take chunks of skin out from the knuckles.
NetGear ReadyNAS support
I was amused to read about all the initial setup issues you had - seems typical of user's experiences with the ReadyNAS systems.
But the real issue is NetGear's support. There doesn't appear to be any - though I note that jberger seems happy with it - maybe I've been going to the wrong places. All I could find was a user forum with endless problem reports and nearly all support coming from other users - very little visible activity from NetGear people at all.
So unless other users can say 'you get great support by going to xxxxx' I would advise against having anything to do with ReadyNAS systems at all.
Jberger - how and where did you get support?
I struggle to understand the cost of even the most basic 4-disk NAS. So much so, I've just put together my own DIY 4-bay NAS based on the Atom and an ITX form case. Total cost - £200 inc VAT + delivery with a copy of FreeNAS. Not to mention it includes all the features this ReadyNAS is missing. Performs better, too.
I struggle with the cost of this unit when I can get a superior QNAP TS-439 Pro for similar or less money with all of it's features. Such a device has a lot going for it, is ready to go out of the box and is simple enough for anyone to understand. Low power consumption as well.
You need to remember that these are designed for minimum fuss, and have hot swappable drives etc. I doubt that a £200 DIY device would have equal capability with the QNAP although I'm willing for you to list it's spec and prices and prove me wrong.
I used to run an old tower as my file server etc using Ubuntu, webmin etc but got the arse with it's noise and power consumption although speed and uptime were never an issue. I wouldn't give up my QNAP for any DIY box though.
It's storage, therefore it must be expensive.
Great NAS, too bad it gives you Bloody Knuckles
I've been bitten by the NVX as well, it's hard to imagine how stamped fan guard made it into production. It's nice that they included a handle, but why add the cheese grater style metal exactly in center of the handle.
We got a number of the NVX units in production with very good results. ReadyNAS builds a top quality product, but it is priced above most of it's competition. A low street price and less flesh hungry design would be a nice change.
To all those who compare these units with DIY JBOD units are missing the point. These units just work, are well supported and very well built business class devices.