NETGEAR has gradually climbed up the IT food chain, but does their heritage of affordable quality still hold true with the ReadyDATA 5200?
By James E. Gaskin
August 09, 2013
NETGEAR gained their reputation making quality products at affordable prices for consumers and small businesses. Over the years, they have gradually climbed up the IT food chain until now, with the ReadyDATA 5200 family, they belong in the racks of bigger companies demanding much of their storage systems. And the NETGEAR heritage of affordable quality still holds as they now successfully challenge big names in storage with their new ReadyDATA 5200.
Since NETGEAR, along with multiple other companies, makes 12TB and even 16TB desktop NAS appliances that cost under $2,000 and even $1,500, that step up to a $10,000 12TB rack system is a big one. Why make that jump? For performance (customized file server for performance and 10 gigabit Ethernet ports), redundancy (dual Ethernet ports, dual power supplies, hot-swappable hard disk drives), and big-storage features like compression, deduplication, and both NAS and SAN storage support from one box. Until NETGEAR introduced this ReadyDATA 5200 family, major NAS storage appliances cost well over $20,000, and the SAN units almost double that. If NETGEAR’s new box makes its case, they will have a sweet spot in the market.
The 2U rack system of our tested RD5200 (12 disk chassis) configured as the 12TB SATA Bundle (model RD521210) is the standard industrial IT rack server (Front-Official-Photo). Actually, our system included 10 1TB SATA drives and one 50GB SSD for logging and a second 200GB SSD for the cache. All metal and heavy at 76 pounds, the package includes all the needed rack mounting hardware including sliding rails and a variety of power cords for the international market.
With 4TB drives, the 2U chassis holds up to 48TB. Up to two expansion chassis can be added, either the 2U or 4U version, giving a max capacity of 240TB to the system. Note that some of NETGEAR’s data sheets have yet to include information on 4TB drive support.
Inside, under the fan and heatsink sits a 2.66GHz Intel Xeon X3450, with 16GB of 1333MHz DDR3 RAM close by. You can see three fans on the left of the photo and the disks are to the left of them. Noisy? A little, but not out of line for a 2U rack that should be kept in a closed cabinet or data center (even if that’s really only a remodeled closet as often happens in growing companies).
All connections are through the back, as they should be, including dual power supplies. Dual 10GB Ethernet ports (that can be configured as multiple VLANs for virtualization support) are included, as well as dual 1GB Ethernet ports, dual SAS ports, and dual expansion port connectors .