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jelockwood1
Guide

Convince me to stay with ReadyNAS

NetGear seem to be neglecting the ReadyNAS product line. Apparently even the top most models the 3220 and 4220 are only SATA II based whereas everyone else making computers or servers or NAS boxes has long ago moved on to SATA III. Worse still NetGear continue to fail to add support for authenticating via an LDAP server and limit authentication to either local accounts or an Active Directory server. As far as I can see every other NAS maker does support LDAP including QNAP and Synology in particular. As a more esoteric issue, none of the ReadyNAS models can host Virtual Machines (they can only store the VM disk files). QNAP for example seem able to actually run VMs within their servers. NetGear are also proving incredibly slow to approve new hard drives, they have a very few 4TB drives listed but no 5TB or 6TB drives at all. QNAP have a lot more 4TB drives listed and already also list some 5TB and 6TB drives. The older ReadyNAS models also do not support SMB2 even though a compatible version of SAMBA has been available for ages - it is not necessary to use SAMBA4 to implement SMB2, SMB2 support was added in SAMBA 3.6. The newer OS 6 models do support SMB2, this affects speed.

So while I have been considering getting a ReadyNAS 3220 or a 4220 which might be a fairer comparison to QNAPs equivalent TS-EC1279u-RP model I am wondering if people can provide any reasons to stay with ReadyNAS rather than jumping ship. Here are some items to consider.

    - RAID expansion, how does ReadyNAS with its X-RAID compare to QNAP or Synology?
    - File system expansion (assuming RAID expansion is possible), I get the impression that the new(er) OS 6 ReadyNAS models with BTRFS can pretty much expand unlimited now unlike the older ReadyNAS models which had expansion limits above which you had to factory reset, is this correct? Again what about the competition?
    - Speed, issues like SATA III, SMB2, etc.
    - Reliability, other than hard disk failures my current flock of ReadyNAS units have been very reliable, any views on the reliability of QNAP and Synology?
    - Support for LDAP authentication?
    - Support for forked-daapd?
    - Support for Spotlight indexing?
    - Any other comments?
Message 1 of 20
dsm1212
Apprentice

Re: Convince me to stay with ReadyNAS

*If* you are a developer, the readynas is pretty easy to access and extend. Even though Netgear uses words like "voids your warranty", I have never seen that card played and certainly not for normal issues (failed drives, fans, etc). With that door opened there isn't much on your list that isn't possible. I run VirtualBox on my Pro6 for example. Many of those things could easily be added inside VM's. The LDAP support I can't speak to and that might be difficult/risky unless netgear provides it.

steve
Message 2 of 20
mdgm-ntgr
NETGEAR Employee Retired

Re: Convince me to stay with ReadyNAS

jelockwood wrote:
NetGear seem to be neglecting the ReadyNAS product line. Apparently even the top most models the 3220 and 4220 are only SATA II based whereas everyone else making computers or servers or NAS boxes has long ago moved on to SATA III.


With hard disks SATA II ports vs SATA III ports doesn't really make much difference.

jelockwood wrote:

Worse still NetGear continue to fail to add support for authenticating via an LDAP server and limit authentication to either local accounts or an Active Directory server. As far as I can see every other NAS maker does support LDAP including QNAP and Synology in particular.


I think there is a community app for LDAP on apps.readynas.com, though I haven't tried it.

jelockwood wrote:

As a more esoteric issue, none of the ReadyNAS models can host Virtual Machines (they can only store the VM disk files). QNAP for example seem able to actually run VMs within their servers.


There is a long running thread on running VirtualBox on the ReadyNAS Pro and you can run into on e.g. the 516 as well. We don't support memory upgrades and when running Virtual Machines you really need as much memory as possible. The 716x does come with a quad-core CPU and 16GB RAM and would be the best desktop ReadyNAS to run VMs on with no hardware modifications. Furthermore the ReadyNAS units with Intel Atom CPUs don't support VT-x. This may change in the future as I believe some newer Atom CPUs have VT-x support. Without VT-x you can't run 64-bit VMs which does limit the usefulness of running VMs on a NAS as more and more OSes go 64-bit only. The 516 and 716x both have VT-x. The 12-bay rack mounts would as well.

jelockwood wrote:

NetGear are also proving incredibly slow to approve new hard drives, they have a very few 4TB drives listed but no 5TB or 6TB drives at all. QNAP have a lot more 4TB drives listed and already also list some 5TB and 6TB drives.


The 300 series and 516 both have e.g. the WD60EFRX on the list. We test drives before adding them to the list. Not all hard drives are suitable for NAS use especially for use in 12-bay NAS units. So we prefer to take a cautious approach to adding drives.

I will ask our hard disk qualification team for an update for where we are at with regards to 6TB drives in 12-bay rackmount units.

jelockwood wrote:

The older ReadyNAS models also do not support SMB2 even though a compatible version of SAMBA has been available for ages - it is not necessary to use SAMBA4 to implement SMB2, SMB2 support was added in SAMBA 3.6. The newer OS 6 models do support SMB2, this affects speed.


You may like 4.2.27 then. In 4.2.27-T3 we upgraded from samba 3.5.22 to samba 3.6.24 to address some security vulnerabilities. 4.2.27-T4 is now available: http://www.readynas.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=70385

jelockwood wrote:

- File system expansion (assuming RAID expansion is possible), I get the impression that the new(er) OS 6 ReadyNAS models with BTRFS can pretty much expand unlimited now unlike the older ReadyNAS models which had expansion limits above which you had to factory reset, is this correct? Again what about the competition?


Yes, all the x86_64 models do. The 102, 104 and 2120 cannot expand past 16TB. I believe that the limits may still apply to the competition as they still use EXT4, but you'd probably have to ask them. To be able to expand an EXT4 volume past 16TB you'd need a relatively new kernel and to create the filesystem on that with relatively new filesystem utilities. You'd also have to be cautious not to expand volumes past 16TB that are not safe to do so (would lead to data corruption where it is not safe), which may mean that they don't allow expansion past 16TB because of the difficulty in determining whether it is safe to do so or not.

jelockwood wrote:

- Speed, issues like SATA III, SMB2, etc.


The new models are fast and you have the choice to use features such as unlimited snapshots that provide better protection for your data (though there is a performance trade-off). You can choose to use unlimited snapshots with some shares, but not with others.

As for SATA II see my comment above.

We have samba 4.0.x in all ReadyNAS OS releases from 6.0.0 through to samba 4.0.21 in 6.1.9.

jelockwood wrote:

- Support for LDAP authentication?


There is a community app, but I don't know how reliable or not that is.

jelockwood wrote:

- Support for forked-daapd?


Yes, we have forked-daapd in OS6 and we are updating it to newer versions over time.

jelockwood wrote:

- Support for Spotlight indexing?


Support for spotlight indexing in Netatalk came in Netatalk 3.1.0. We have Netatalk 3.0.x in all ReadyNAS OS releases from ReadyNAS OS 6.0.0 through to Netatalk 3.0.7 in ReadyNAS OS 6.1.9. Once we move to Netatalk 3.1.x then adding support for spotlight indexing might be possible, but it would have to be assessed in a range of environments to see if it has a negative impact on use of services other than AFP.

jelockwood wrote:

- Any other comments?


We have a major update to ReadyNAS OS, ReadyNAS OS 6.2 on the way.

Regarding our support for our business class products we offer
- Limited 5-year hardware warranty
- Lifetime chat support
- 5 year NBD shipping coverage
- Local phone numbers for most countries for our 90-day 24x7 phone support.
- ProSupport contracts available e.g. if you need additional phone support.

 

See http://kb.netgear.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/26066/~/readynas-support-and-warranty

Some NAS vendors don't offer NBD replacement. Can you afford to wait e.g. a few weeks for a NAS vendor to replace a failed unit? For business use checking the support options available to you is important.

dsm1212 wrote:
*If* you are a developer, the readynas is pretty easy to access and extend. Even though Netgear uses words like "voids your warranty", I have never seen that card played and certainly not for normal issues (failed drives, fans, etc).


If you enable SSH doing a factory default would restore full software support. Support may be denied if misuse of SSH leads to a problem, though in some cases we may offer support for a fee for mishaps caused through use of SSH, but it does depend on the issue. If your data is still there, there would certainly be options to assist with data recovery.

Replacing the CPU would void your warranty. If you used SSH somehow to e.g. lower the fan speed, which could cause the hardware to overheat then that would have warranty implications.

Message 3 of 20
StephenB
Guru

Re: Convince me to stay with ReadyNAS

Single gigabit is of course around 120 MB/s, so that is slower than SATA I (150 MB/s). Teamed gigabit is faster than SATA I but slower than SATA II (300 MB/s).

Even then, traditional hard drives max out around 150-200 MB/s so they are slower than SATA II anyway.

So SATA III is only advantageous if you are (a) using SSD drives and (b) also using 10 gigabit ethernet.
Message 4 of 20
jelockwood1
Guide

Re: Convince me to stay with ReadyNAS

Thanks for everyones replies so far. I hear the comments about the need for SATA III for spinning metal hard disks and yet all such hard disks since about 2TB have been SATA III as standard.

The community app for LDAP for OS 6 is an LDAP server, as far as I can see it will not enable a ReadyNAS to authenticate clients against an existing LDAP server e.g. a Linux box running OpenLDAP or a Mac box running Open Directory. There have been many previous requests posted in these forums over many years (including my own) for the ReadyNAS to be able to authenticate to existing LDAP servers.

The QNAP can be upgraded to 32GB of RAM and has a quad-core Intel Xeon processor. With the fact that the similar ReadyNAS 4220 supports network expansion cards and has a decent processor it would have seemed suited to running multiple VMs with independent NICs except for the lack of RAM and lack of standard software support. See http://www.qnap.com/i/station/en/virtualization.php

Thanks for the news about 4.2.27 and its newer SAMBA. While it is of the right version it is not clear if SMB2 is enabled in it. Has anyone tested this? A Mac client running Mavericks can show you what version of SMB it is connected via by using the "smbutil statshares -a" command. Mavericks supports up to SMB 2.1 and Yosemite will also support SMB 3.0 I have used this command previously to confirm 4.2.26 is SMB1 only. Smiley Sad

I know NetGear have had a good history in keeping up with NetAtalk updates so the news about 3.1 sounds promising. This along with being able to authenticate via LDAP and the existing Time Machine support would make it very attractive to Mac using sites - of which there are now many. Except :x :x NetGear still don't support connecting to LDAP servers and hence it cannot connect to Open Directory.
Message 5 of 20
mdgm-ntgr
NETGEAR Employee Retired

Re: Convince me to stay with ReadyNAS

jelockwood wrote:
Thanks for everyones replies so far. I hear the comments about the need for SATA III for spinning metal hard disks and yet all such hard disks since about 2TB have been SATA III as standard.

SATA III is backwards compatible with SATA II. I think they probably used SATA III so they could market the drives as having it.
jelockwood wrote:

The community app for LDAP for OS 6 is an LDAP server, as far as I can see it will not enable a ReadyNAS to authenticate clients against an existing LDAP server e.g. a Linux box running OpenLDAP or a Mac box running Open Directory. There have been many previous requests posted in these forums over many years (including my own) for the ReadyNAS to be able to authenticate to existing LDAP servers.

I will pass on this feedback re LDAP.
jelockwood wrote:

The QNAP can be upgraded to 32GB of RAM and has a quad-core Intel Xeon processor. With the fact that the similar ReadyNAS 4220 supports network expansion cards and has a decent processor it would have seemed suited to running multiple VMs with independent NICs except for the lack of RAM and lack of standard software support. See http://www.qnap.com/i/station/en/virtualization.php

You could install VirtualBox, but the recommended solution would be to use the NAS as a datastore and run e.g. VMWare ESXi (or an alternative) on an ordinary server.

The 4220 comes with 8GB ECC RAM.
jelockwood wrote:

Thanks for the news about 4.2.27 and its newer SAMBA. While it is of the right version it is not clear if SMB2 is enabled in it. Has anyone tested this? A Mac client running Mavericks can show you what version of SMB it is connected via by using the "smbutil statshares -a" command. Mavericks supports up to SMB 2.1 and Yosemite will also support SMB 3.0 I have used this command previously to confirm 4.2.26 is SMB1 only. Smiley Sad

Just installed 4.2.27-T4.

MDGM-NAS is running 4.2.27-T4 and MDGM-NAS2 is running 6.1.9

# smbutil statshares -a

==================================================================================================
SHARE ATTRIBUTE TYPE VALUE
==================================================================================================
c
SERVER_NAME MDGM-NAS (CIFS)._smb._tcp.local
USER_ID 501
SMB_NEGOTIATE AUTO_NEGOTIATE
SMB_VERSION SMB_1
SMB_SHARE_TYPE UNKNOWN
EXTENDED_SECURITY_SUPPORTED TRUE
UNIX_SUPPORT TRUE
LARGE_FILE_SUPPORTED TRUE

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
data
SERVER_NAME mdgm-nas2
USER_ID 501
SMB_NEGOTIATE AUTO_NEGOTIATE
SMB_VERSION SMB_2.1
SMB_SHARE_TYPE DISK
SIGNING_SUPPORTED TRUE
EXTENDED_SECURITY_SUPPORTED TRUE
LARGE_FILE_SUPPORTED TRUE
FILE_IDS_SUPPORTED TRUE
DFS_SUPPORTED TRUE
MULTI_CREDIT_SUPPORTED TRUE

So. It looks like SMB1 is still used on 4.2.x. I haven't tried forcing the use of SMB2. I think SMB2 is off by default in samba 3.6. I will ask our engineering about this.

The good news is that on OS6, we are using SMB2.
Message 6 of 20
StephenB
Guru

Re: Convince me to stay with ReadyNAS

jelockwood wrote:
I hear the comments about the need for SATA III for spinning metal hard disks and yet all such hard disks since about 2TB have been SATA III as standard.
The performance numbers are very clear - just check the drive reviews. The fastest 7200 rpm hard drives have peak speeds of about 225 MB/s. They don't exceed SATA II. New SSDs have peak speeds around 500 MB/s, which is starting to push the SATA III ceiling - and is why SATA 3.2 has a mode that goes up to 16 gbps.

I agree that for traditional drives SATA III is mostly specsmanship. Though SATA includes a few things beyond the bus speed - smaller connectors for 1.8 mm devices being one of several. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA

Also, if you are using an SATA port multiplier, you have multiple drives sharing the same link - in that specific situation, SATA III speeds improve performance.

But for systems designed for RAID and gigabit ethernet access there is no real performance advantage, the only reason to implement it is to take questions like yours off the table.
Message 7 of 20
gazgaz
Aspirant

Re: Convince me to stay with ReadyNAS

Forgive my intrusion and questions as I am not so technical and just tune in a buy time
does this mean there is no point my upgrading to a 517 with 10g networking as my drives can not keep up
I was thinking I would buy either 516 or 517 and 24tb of drives
to replace / add to my pro and pro 6 that are full
cost is not relevant?
thanks for thoughts
Message 8 of 20
mdgm-ntgr
NETGEAR Employee Retired

Re: Convince me to stay with ReadyNAS

10g networking will give better performance than gigabit. Also the quad-core CPU and 16GB RAM are great if you want to run resource intensive tasks.
Message 9 of 20
StephenB
Guru

Re: Convince me to stay with ReadyNAS

gazgaz - a single gigabit connection can carry ~100 to ~120 MB/s per second. The peak speeds for mechanical hard drives are around 2x that. So there is a speed gain with 10 gigE.

Also, (though this wasn't relevant for jelockwood's questions), RAID allows multiple disks to be used when doing sequential file access. So the system can deliver data faster to the network than the single disk max. You can see here: http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/nas/nas- ... l=&start=2 Read speeds of over 700 MB/s and write speeds over 300 MB/s with fast disks on a 10 gigE network.
Message 10 of 20
gazgaz
Aspirant

Re: Convince me to stay with ReadyNAS

Thank you for your replies

I will buy a 517 and bunch of ? wd reds

can I put 36tb in a 517?

my other two have wd greens and have never let me down in last ? 7 yrs
but if I can get quicker will be good. so wd red probably do the job

do I need 10gb switch to take advantage of this on my network?
and upgraded modem?

Gaz
Message 11 of 20
StephenB
Guru

Re: Convince me to stay with ReadyNAS

There is no 517. Either you mean a 516 or a 716.

You can install 36 TB of raw disk capacity with 6 WD60EFRX. The speeds I referred to above were measured using 4 WD3000FYYZ.

The Red's have rotational speeds of 5400 rpm, so they are not as fast as the 7200 rpm WD3000FYYZ. A WD4001FFSX would probably give similar performance to the 'FYYZ, but would limit you to 24 TB of capacity.

Anyway, if you want to see a noticeable performance boost for sequential file transfer over your pro-6, you will need to install a 10 gigE network, which is quite expensive (and AFAIK is not available in laptops).

If you have some small files (e.g, photos and documents) mixed with video/music, you could potentially create a smaller SSD volume for the photos/documents, supplemented by a larger volume of WD60EFRX for the media. The SSD volume would be a lot faster for random I/O and folder searches (even on gigabit networks). But you give up capacity if you do that, and of course SSDs are a lot more expensive.
Message 12 of 20
gazgaz
Aspirant

Re: Convince me to stay with ReadyNAS

OK Stephen

sorry I will buy the 716 (fastest)

it will probably make a difference over the pro and pro 6 I have with green drives

movies are my thing so I will go for 24 tb for now
but 7200 disks this time and see if it helps

and when I next need to upgrade I will think on bigger disks or just buy the next best readynas

I have house currently switched through two x 16 plug prosafe gigabit switches
will see if they meet my demands

have been looking at 10gig switches but new ones very pricey so will wait and see
buy one if necessary

thanks again it is always good to have experts so handy

will probably hear from me when next needing another nas
Message 13 of 20
jelockwood1
Guide

Re: Convince me to stay with ReadyNAS

@gazgaz

An option is to bond multiple 1Gbps Ethernet connections together, I plan to do this.
Message 14 of 20
gazgaz
Aspirant

Re: Convince me to stay with ReadyNAS

I will look in to that then

is it difficult to tie 1gb lines together

I know I have two outputs on my readynas pro/6 so I run multiple leads out of them into the wall in basement
and then they (4) meet at the switch

then out of the switch to router, computers, tvs, etc

will look it up

thanks for suggesting this option

Gaz
Message 15 of 20
jelockwood1
Guide

Re: Convince me to stay with ReadyNAS

gazgaz wrote:
I will look in to that then

is it difficult to tie 1gb lines together

I know I have two outputs on my readynas pro/6 so I run multiple leads out of them into the wall in basement
and then they (4) meet at the switch then out of the switch to router, computers, tvs, etc


See http://kb.netgear.com/app/answers/detai ... ge-system/
and http://kb.netgear.com/app/answers/detai ... -6-storage
and http://www.readynas.com/?page_id=594

Your network switch needs to support this as well, it is sometimes called LACP or port-trunking or 802.3ad
Message 16 of 20
StephenB
Guru

Re: Convince me to stay with ReadyNAS

jelockwood wrote:
An option is to bond multiple 1Gbps Ethernet connections together, I plan to do this.
This only improves performance with multiple users, as a single dataflow is still limited to 1 gbs.

Not sure about the non-standard bonding modes, but with LACP this dataflow limit of 1 gbs applies even if the source and destination are both bonded.
Message 17 of 20
mjagdis
Aspirant

Re: Convince me to stay with ReadyNAS

Let me add my experience to this thread:

Case #23923006:
What kernel did you use for 6.1.9? Within seconds of upgrading to it and putting load on I see btrfs hang and have to force a reboot. It wouldnt be based on something between 3.14 and 3.16-rc5-ish, would it? The dmesg traceback looks like the known hangs for kernels in that sort of range. Yeah, Im downgrading to 6.1.8...


Followed up with logs, detail, a note that simply reverting to 6.1.8 allows the transfer to resume and run to completion and a note that rebuild times are insane because the array had no write-intent bitmap.

The response:
the kernel version of 6.1.9 firmware is 3.0.101.

It looks like you had access to the device in ssh and executed some commands as mdadm, can you confirm?

in this case Netgear can deny support ( see user manual http://www.downloads.netgear.com/files/GDC/READYNAS-100/ReadyNAS%20OS6.1%20SW%20UM16Oct2013.pdf on page 193)

otherwhise I shall inform you that your phone support has expired on Feb 26, 2014 and you need to purchase a phone support contract ( you can choose a per-incident support or a 24x7 contract )


I would point out that 6.1.8 is also kernel 3.0.101 *but* Netgear backport BTRFS changes from dev to stable. The answer is technically correct but basically flannel.

You can draw your own conclusions.
Message 18 of 20
mdgm-ntgr
NETGEAR Employee Retired

Re: Convince me to stay with ReadyNAS

Jelockwood we now have a 6TB enterprise disk qualified for our 3220 and 4220 devices.
Message 19 of 20
pavit
Aspirant

Re: Convince me to stay with ReadyNAS

Slightly off topic to op, but why does the RN 716x which is a desktop 6 bay NAS has 16GB of RAM and the RN 4220 which is a 12 bay NAS has only 8GB? Is there a specific reason for that as why a double size NAS using same "architecture/OS" would have half the RAM?
Message 20 of 20
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