My old NAS went pop a little while ago and I’ve spent the last few weeks backing up to alternate servers while trying to decide what to get to replace it.
Reading the reviews on Amazon is a bit of a nightmare because there are always scare stories, regardless how much you pay. In the end I decided to go for the “cheap and cheerful” option and bought a ReadyNAS 104. I got the diskless one and bought a couple of 3TB WD Red disks, which were pretty cheap. It supports the 4TB disks, but they are half the price again and I’m mean. Having just two disks means I’ve got a single 3TB RAID 1 volume. I can add a third and fourth disk, which will give me approximately 6 or 9 TB. It switches to RAID 5 by default with more than 2 disks.
The setup was all web based, so I didn’t have any OS compatibility issues. Installation was really simple. Slipped in the disks. Plugged the ethernet cable to my router and turned on the power. I went to the website (readycloud.netgear.com), discovered my device and ran through the setup wizard. Job done. I left it building my RAID 1 volume overnight, but I was able to store files almost immediately, while the volume was building.
The web interface for the device is really simple to use. I can define SMB/AFP/NFS shares in a couple of clicks. Security is really obvious. I can define iSCSI LUNs for use with my Linux machines and it has TimeMachine integration if you want that.
The cloud-related functionality is optional, so if you are worried about opening up a potential security hole, you can easily avoid it. I chose not to configure it during the setup wizard.
I was originally going to spend a lot more on a NAS, but I thought I would chance this unit. So far I’m glad I did. It’s small, solid and silent. Fingers crossed it won’t go pair-shaped.
I’ve got all the vital stuff on it now. I’ll start backing up some of my more useful VMs to it and see if I need to buy some more disks. I’ve got about 10TB of storage on servers, but most of it is taken up with old VMs I don’t care about, so I will probably be a bit selective.
PS. I think NetGear might be doing a revamp of their NAS lineup soon, so you might get one of these extra cheap in the near future. They’re already claim to be about 50% RRP, but most RRPs are lies.