Netgear Piles on Features for ReadyDATA Unified Storage

By Pedro Hernandez

Netgear continues to venture beyond its SOHO and SMB networking roots with the new ReadyDATA line of midmarket unified storage arrays that offer built-in, enterprise-grade data protection and management capabilities.

Two new models join Netgear's storage lineup, which already includes the company's ReadyNAS systems aimed at the file storage and sharing requirements of SMBs. With ReadyDATA, however, Netgear is squarely targeting the midrange segment of the market with storage arrays can scale up to 180 TB and include features like deduplication.

The NETGEAR ReadyDATA 5200 is a 12-bay (hot-swappable SATA/SAS), 2U rackmount system powered by a 2.66 GHz Intel Xeon quad-core processor and 16 GB of RAM. Network connectivity is provided by two Gigabit Ethernet and two 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Common NAS and SAN protocols are supported, including CIFS, SMB, NFS, AFP and iSCSI. Supported RAID levels include 0, 1, 5, 6 and 10. The 5200 can handle up to two ReadyDATA EDA4000 expansion units. Each 4U expansion array accommodates up to 24 SATA, SAS or SSD drives.

But the hardware takes a backseat to what Netgear is offering as standard equipment.

Dedupe, Data Protection Included

According to Netgear's Drew Meyer, senior director of marketing for the company's commercial business unit, ReadyDATA is a product the likes of which the industry has been slow -- perhaps even reluctant -- to offer. "We're breaking new ground for midmarket organizations with the ReadyDATA platform, serving the needs of a market that has long been neglected by traditional vendors," says Meyer in a company release.

Neglect quickly turns into sticker shock when SMBs must tack added functionality onto their storage infrastructures, said Gartner vice president, Jim Browning. "SMBs have cited frustration resulting from unexpected additional charges for key functionality after the initial deployment," he stated.

To remedy this, ReadyDATA systems include unlimited snapshots, thin provisioning, data compression and deduplication for both block and file data. The company also lays claim to the "world's first cloud-managed replication" that provides disaster recovery over 128-bit SSL connections with no additional software and licensing costs.

ReadyDATA is certified for virtualization platforms from VMware, Microsoft and Citrix. It also supports popular backup software from Symantec, Acronis, CommVault, Quest, StorageCraft and Veeam.

Also key to ReadyDATA's value proposition is SMB-like ease-of-use. With "just a few mouse clicks," says Netgear, customers can "leverage thin provisioning in virtual environments, replicate files and databases to offsite locations and recover data from unlimited point-in-time snapshots."

Another selling point is bargain pricing. When ReadyDATA goes on sale in late June, a fully populated 5200 with 12 SATA drives will list for $14,000. Netgear estimates that North American street prices will slip under the $10,000 mark. A base ReadyDATA EDA4000 expansion array will officially cost $3,500 with street pricing experiencing a similar drop to $2,500.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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This article was originally published on May 30, 2012