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ReadyNAS 628

beglitis
Aspirant

ReadyNAS 628

Hi,

There is an opportunity to acquire a ReadyNAS 628 for a good price but I was wondering if the platform is more or less dead and if it is worth the investment. It is a powerful unit and it should be good for the next few years but I am worried Netgear might kill the line altogether. That said, the old NVX/Ultra2 units I have are still working fine. What makes the unit tempting is the small form factor, nothing I can find that I could put together myself would be as good for the price. I have a FreeNAS based system with the usual shebang (HBAs etc) but these are bulky and the cost with the mobile racks adds up fairly quickly (plus mobile racks are noisy).

 

Thoughts?

 

Thank you

Message 1 of 10
Sandshark
Sensei

Re: ReadyNAS 628

Signals from Netgear are not good.  New hardware has been very scarce, but COVID could have a lot to do with that, especially if Netgear is prioritizing more popular products.  OS updates have also been slow and buggy, but work from home without access to a variety of units for test could inluence that.

 

Some have said that a support person has said Netgear is dropping the line, but there is no official stance from Netgear one way or the other.

 

For those already invested in ReadyNAS, I see no reason to flee.  Anyone coming in fresh should, IMHO, think twice.  You're somewhat invested, though not in OS6 units (though the Ultra can be converted), so it's hard to say.  Just how good the price is makes a lot of difference.

 

If Netgear does drop the line, it's hard to tell if they will release what the community would need to keep the line afloat.  And with the lack of developers, it's hard to tell if the community would even be up to the task.  Unlike some units, the 628 doesn't have a video port, so that limits the ability to go to another OS (though i understand the BIOS may as well).

Message 2 of 10
beglitis
Aspirant

Re: ReadyNAS 628

Thank you for your reply, it is indeed a tricky situation. I would think that for a simple NAS the units could last well into the future. Not so much if you would like to do something more exotic. My main problem is that I am struggling to find cases in the retail space in a similar form factor in order to build something of my own. The only ones from Ablecom are OEM. The rest I can find are pretty much rubbish. Netgear probably designs their own motherboards for these units, shame they don't offer a management port (like IPMI) like most Xeon-D motherboards do. Decisions.... 

Message 3 of 10
mdgm
Virtuoso

Re: ReadyNAS 628

There is a micro USB port concealed under a sticker used for the serial console.

Message 4 of 10
mdgm
Virtuoso

Re: ReadyNAS 628


@beglitis wrote:

That said, the old NVX/Ultra2 units I have are still working fine


The NVX is much less future proof as it has a 32-bit CPU and can't run OS6, whereas the Ultra 2 can be upgraded to run OS6 (even though not officially supported).

@beglitis wrote:

What makes the unit tempting is the small form factor, nothing I can find that I could put together myself would be as good for the price.


I have the RN528X and the RN626X and like both of them. The performance is great (I don't use 10GbE with mine, but it's nice to know that i can in the future).

@Sandshark wrote:

If Netgear does drop the line, it's hard to tell if they will release what the community would need to keep the line afloat.  And with the lack of developers, it's hard to tell if the community would even be up to the task.  Unlike some units, the 628 doesn't have a video port, so that limits the ability to go to another OS (though i understand the BIOS may as well).


If the line is dropped and if the community doesn't get the code needed to properly maintain the existing firmware, 3rd party OSes could be looked into.

It is possible to put on some 3rd party OSes e.g. ordinary Debian Linux on with the help of using the serial console. Any of the ReadyNAS with Intel CPUs even the 32-bit ones can run 3rd party OSes. Of course putting a 3rd party OS on may be easier if you have HDMI/VGA and a USB keyboard and mouse, but it's still doable to put some on with the serial console.

I ran Windows 7 briefly on a 516 a long while ago, just for the fun of seeing if I could, but then the 516 does have HDMI.

natisbad.org has tips on how to get ordinary Linux running on the ARM units (not that @beglitis has any of those).

Message 5 of 10
beglitis
Aspirant

Re: ReadyNAS 628

I ended up buying the ReadyNAS 628. For 500ish euros (used - diskless) I thought it was a fair deal. I am sure it will be as rock solid as the 2nd generation ReadyNAS units that are still going strong all these years later. Frankly, I don't need any exotic software running in them, I just want raw storage. I can have proper software running in different proper servers doing all the exotic stuff I could possibly ever need. There is something that has been puzzling me though. Netgear never managed to get the attention of the internet on the post 2015(ish?) units, there is countless videos on Synology and Qnap units or from other vendors, there is plenty of material on the NV+, NVX, Utra, Pro lines but not much after that. I wonder why. Didn't the marketing team think it was worth shipping free units to vloggers to test (and build brand awareness)? Financially wise, how has ReadyNAS performed for Netgear I wonder both in the home/SOHO space but also in the SME space?

 

All the best,

Message 6 of 10
Sandshark
Sensei

Re: ReadyNAS 628

It is my belief that the failure to officially offer OS6 to legacy users, even at a cost, was a factor in the downslide of attention by the faithful.  Hell, they didn't even offer an easy way to move from a legacy machine to an OS6 one.  The loss of the "Jedi" from Infrant probably also contributed. It just took some time before these affects was noticeable.  Many of those faithful users were the ones making apps.  And since Netgear doesn't seem to want to make any itself from which they can't make more money, that caused other users to make other choices.  If Netgear had listened to the posts in the Idea Exchange and implemented Docker as an official app instead of falsely marking it as "implemented" when it was not fully implemented nor their own work, that would have helped make more apps available without the need for ReadyNAS specific ones and may have made a difference.

 

Personally, I don't run a lot of apps on my NAS except ones specifically for remote access (ZeroTier, ddclient, and OwnCloud) and improved use (SMB Plus Kernel Plus, Linux dash), so I wasn't swayed by the lack of apps.  But many potential users at least think they will want to run them.   And, really, just why do you need all the extra processing power in the later line of OS6 machines except to run apps?

 

In similar fashion, dropping ReadyData like a hot rock and also giving no path to ReadyNASOS (which will run on them) probably also made businesses shy away, wondering if that'd be similarly abandoned if they switched to ReadyNAS.  At least those that weren't puzzled from the beginning why ReadyData existed at all.

 

The fact that Linux Jessie, upon which OS6 is currently based, was already long in the tooth, yet the new line didn't come with an update or even a hint that one was coming, probably also played a part for users to choose another brand instead of upgrading to a newer ReadyNAS.  And as existing users abandon it, so go word of mouth recommendations.

Message 7 of 10
beglitis
Aspirant

Re: ReadyNAS 628

Makes sense. In all fairness, for most of the older units it is not really easy to port ReadyNAS OS 6 due to hardware considerations. For x86_64 based units it was possible and Netgear did not restrict it if you were willing to have a go at it. OS6 worked really fine in my Ultra2. As for processing power, I guess a Xeon-D is needed for supporting multiple 10g interfaces. Personally I wouldn't want to run anything else in a NAS, I can run Owncloud in a VM with the latest and greatest software with the NAS as a backend feeding raw storage to the hypervisor (whichever hypervisor you like, why limit yourself?).

Message 8 of 10
StephenB
Guru

Re: ReadyNAS 628


@beglitis wrote:

 Personally I wouldn't want to run anything else in a NAS, 


My view also.  Using a separate server makes it much easier to upgrade both the NAS and the server later on.

 

 

Message 9 of 10
Sandshark
Sensei

Re: ReadyNAS 628


@beglitis wrote:

 I can run Owncloud in a VM with the latest and greatest software with the NAS as a backend feeding raw storage to the hypervisor (whichever hypervisor you like, why limit yourself?).


Yes, you can, but that runs a lot of traffic over your intranet that would be strictly internal to the NAS with OwnCloud running on it.  My main use for OwnCloud is to share directories (that are not individual shares) that already exist on the NAS.  So, I mount them read-only as external (to OwnCloud) and don't have to duplicate them in the storage space for Owncloud.  I can then give access to users via OwnCloud at a more defined level than the NAS provides and never even give them an account on the NAS.

Message 10 of 10
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