I was troubleshooting a problem with the home network this morning (printing problems from one of our machines to the printer attached to my ReadyNAS NV+) when I stumbled across the announcement of the 6 Disk ReadNAS Pro. This looks to be the next generation NAS from the NV+.
Some quick run down on the specs:
- 6 Drive Bays: Storage up to 6TB and including RAID6 support, which handles two drive failures.
- Faster Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor (this should increase the read/write performance to the box, one of the issues I have with the NV+ while moving photos around)
- Supports up to 4 Gig of RAM
- Two Gigabit Network Ports with Load Balancing (this should also increase the read/write performance)
It looks like it’s only a slight bit bigger than the NV+, but has all the same features from connectivity and supporting your home network. Connect to it from Windows, Mac, Unix systems, even connect via web browser (which has saved me a few times while I’m on the road and needed something off the NAS), streams audio and video (I have my entire MP3 collection on it and just realized today that I can set up play lists on the device as well), and security means to ensure only those who should have access can get it.
I just hope they fixed the problem I encountered this morning. The Windows system didn’t automatically reconnect to the NAS (needed me to login) which meant that the printer wasn’t available either. My wife called for tech support when she couldn’t print. I should be able to set up the printer support so that anyone can use it…one less call for Husband Tech Support is always much appreciated!
They say this one will use on average 155 watts of power (with 6 x 500 Gig drives). I end up leaving my NV+ on all the time, thus power consumption is always a concern. (Which reminds me, I have 9,000 hours run time on my drives, I should start rotating them out with new ones to be safe…they have a 10,000 hour MTBF.)
The real deciding factor on this thing will be performance. When copying 15 Gig of photos from my laptop to the NAS or when working on photo right off the NAS, the NV+ is a bit too slow for my tastes. (which reminds me, I had a set of performance stats I ran on this thing when I bought it…don’t think I ever posted them…hmm…) I isolated it down to the fact that it wasn’t using all the network bandwidth available so it must have been a bottleneck on the NV+ CPU. With a faster CPU and Load Balanced network ports on the Pro, it could be interesting.
I much prefer the NAS to the other storage strategies of USB connected drives or drive systems (aka, Drobo)…less stuff to have to plug in and deal with. And the NAS is always accessible to me, even when I’m on the road! All I do is plug into my Gigabit network when doing photo work, and just work. I have automation routines set up to keep my data synced between my laptop and the NAS in the background…even as I’m roaming around the house wirelessly…