Netgear ReadyNAS 3130

RN3130Netgear’s new ReadyNAS 3130 aims to deliver a five-point protection plan for your network data. Showcasing Netgear’s latest ReadyOS 6.2 software, this compact 1U rack NAS appliance provides features such as support for X-RAID2 disk arrays, a wealth of backup and file syncing tools plus anti-malware scanning.

No doubt the star performer is Netgear’s unlimited block-level snapshots. This was introduced when Netgear made a brave move a couple of years ago and ditched its venerable RAIDiator software and trusty EXT4 file system in favor of the new BTRFS.

Snapshots are a smart feature as they’re really easy to use and you can request them to be taken as often as every hour. They can be used to protect both NAS shares and iSCSI targets and data recovery is a cinch.

Netgear’s cloud services look good as well. Its ReadyCloud portal makes light work of installation and provides remote access and file syncing for users, ReadyNAS Remote adds secure VPN remote access while ReadyNAS Replicate provides a portal for backing up and synchronizing data across multiple Netgear appliances.

Big hardware improvements

Netgear’s older 1U ReadyNAS boxes failed to impress thanks to their feeble hardware specification. The ReadyNAS 3130 sees a much needed boost in this department as it replaces the Marvell Armada XP CPU of its predecessors with a faster dual-core 1.7GHz Atom C2338.

The Atom has a 2GHz turbo mode and supports server-grade ECC UDIMM memory. The base 2GB of memory can also be upgraded to a maximum of 16GB.

Port improvements see a doubling of Gigabit to four which can be used separately or bonded into fault tolerant and load balanced links. A single USB 2 port sits at the front with two USB 3 at the back and there’s a couple of eSATA port as well.
ReadyNAS RN3130
Further external expansion isn’t possible as Netgear doesn’t offer any rack units and the 3130 can’t support its EDA500 5-bay desktop units. Small office users will like the cooling design though, as the three fans at the rear are very quiet.

Cloud installation

Netgear ReadyCloud Portal

Netgear’s ReadyCloud portal is very handy as it discovers the appliance and sets it up for you.

ReadyCloud portal discovers the appliance and sets it up for you but installation would have been quicker if Netgear had updated its documentation. The final phase requests that you press the OK or Backup button on the appliance but the 3130 doesn’t have either of these.

After posing the question to Netgear it turns out you have to press the reset button on the front panel. If you do come unstuck you can always use Netgear’s RAIDar utility for local network installation which works just as well.

A nice feature of the ReadyCloud portal is it can see all appliances registered to your account regardless of their location. Users declared to ReadyCloud can view, add or delete files and folders from the portal. They can also copy files to the appliance directly from their desktop by dragging them into the portal’s Shares Browse page.

Snap happy

You’ll get acquainted with snapshots when you create a share or iSCSI LUN as there’s a continuous protection option. Check the selection box and you can choose hourly, daily or weekly snapshots and leave the appliance to get on with the job of creating them.

Snapshots are hidden from network access by default but they can be made available if required. From the share properties you tick the Enable Snapshot Access checkbox and provide a share folder name for the snapshots.

Netgear Snapshot timeline

For data recovery the timeline feature shows all snapshots for the specified period which can be used to rollback a share or LUN.

File, folder or LUN recovery is just as simple as you view the Dashboard’s timeline graph, choose a snapshot and select the rollback option. Usefully, you can also clone a selected snapshot and make it available as a new network folder.

 Performance boost

For testing we loaded up a quartet of 4TB WD Red drives and let the ReadyCloud portal create a single X-RAID2 array from them. This is very similar to Synology’s Hybrid arrays as it lets you mix and match different drives in the same array and expand capacity by swapping out drives one at a time for larger ones.

The new Atom CPU made its mark in our performance tests with a 50GB drag and drop copy over Gigabit returning read and write speeds of 113MB/sec and 112MB/sec. This is vastly superior to the older ReadyNAS 2120 which could only muster 95MB/sec and 65MB/sec for the same copy test.

General backup operations were better handled as copying a 22.4GB test folder with 10,500 small files to a share averaged a speedy 87MB/sec. The 2120 managed a feeble write speed of only 33MB/sec for this test.

Backup features and apps

Netgear isn’t hot on backup to cloud services as unlike Synology and Qnap, it doesn’t have any apps for services such as Amazon S3 or Glacier. However, the integral backup app is very useful as you define sources and targets which can be any local NAS share or folder on another network system and the appliance will manage all the backup schedules for you.

Netgear isn’t hot on backup to cloud services as unlike Synology and Qnap, it doesn’t have any apps for services such as Amazon S3 or Glacier. However, the integral backup app is very useful as you define sources and targets which can be any local NAS share or folder on another network system and the appliance will manage all the backup schedules for you.

ReadyNAS Replicate portal

The ReadyNAS Replicate portal shows appliances with this feature enabled and manages all remote replication tasks.

Basic anti-virus scanning is provided and can be augmented with the Anti-Virus Plus app. This provides a scheduler for regular on-demand scans on selected folders and if performance is an issue, you can exempt specific folders from the scanning process.

The 3130 has an app for Dropbox or you can use Netgear’s own ReadyCloud if you don’t want to sync your data to the cloud. Last up is Netgear’s Replicate portal which is free for all ReadyOS devices and manages replication tasks between remote appliances that have this feature enabled.

PROS:

  • Good performance
  • Unlimited snapshots
  • Top Cloud

CONS:

  • No external expansion

Conclusion

The ReadyNAS 3130 benefits immensely from the updated hardware as it delivers a superior performance to its rack mount predecessors. It’s fair value, backup features are particularly good and the icing on the cake is its support for unlimited snapshots.

7.9 Total Score
Support for Unlimited Snapshots

The ReadyNAS 3130 benefits immensely from the updated hardware as it delivers a superior performance to its rack mount predecessors. It’s fair value, backup features are particularly good and the icing on the cake is its support for unlimited snapshots.

Performance
8
Features
7.5
Build Quality
8
Usability
8
Value
8

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