Netgear ReadyNAS 4312X 12-bay NAS Review

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Netgear ReadyNAS 4312X
Netgear ReadyNAS 4312X

Some days, you just want a reliable storage solution that works out of the box without spending hours to read docs. The Netgear ReadyNAS 4312X can handle 120TB of storage in 2U, has 10GbE built-in and sips power to boot.

Netgear ReadyNAS 4312X Close Look

Netgear provides an attractive faceplate to the unit and a tool-less rail kit to make it easy to install and looks good in your data center.

Netgear ReadyNAS 4312X
Netgear ReadyNAS 4312X

Inside there’s a quad core and octo thread Intel Xeon E3 V5 processor and 16GB RAM. To handle 12 hard drives, that’s a lot. It’s more powerful than entry EMC and NetApp from only a few years ago at a fraction of the TCO.

On the business end of the NAS there are two USB ports, two eSATA ports (maybe you want to load data or backup over eSATA?), four gigabit Ethernet ports and two RJ-45 ports for 10Gbase-T.

Netgear ReadyNAS RR4312X0 Rear IO
Netgear ReadyNAS RR4312X0 Rear IO

 

Opening the chassis we can see an Intel Xeon E3-1200 V5 platform that follows a standard server design methodology. Mid-chassis fans provide airflow through the drive bays and two fans have ducted redundant airflow to the passive CPU heatsink as well as the 10Gbase-T NIC.

Netgear ReadyNAS Features

Netgear provides a slew of videos about their ReadyNAS line. They even have a number of videos albeit targeted at smaller NAS units. The ReadyNAS OS scales from the very small you may have in a remote office to this ReadyNAS for the data center. If you want something to backup PCs to, Netgear makes the process easy.

The same is true if you wanted to use Netgear ReadyCLOUD to create a corporate cloud storage solution cheaper than actual cloud offerings.

Even though it’s a powerful system, Netgear’s features are easy enough for novice users.

The Netgear ReadyNAS Setup and Web Interface

Most of the Netgear ReadyNAS software is geared towards a SOHO or SMB user that buys a $500 NAS to backup PCs. That has two implications. First, the Netgear ReadyNAS software has a lot of pictures like this where you’re on your $5000 NAS looking at a $500 NAS in the picture. Aesthetics aside, the second implication is that it is silly easy to manage. Here is the setup utility that shows both points:

Netgear ReadyNAS Setup 1
Netgear ReadyNAS Setup 1

 

Using the Netgear ReadyNAS UI is made to be extremely easy. If you rather have simplicity than complexity, Netgear’s solution works. It’s even certified for VMware and Microsoft so if you need virtualization storage, this is an easy choice.

Here’s an example of how easy setting up an iSCSI share is. A few fill-in-the-blank boxes, drop downs and check boxes and you’re off.

Netgear RedayNAS Create ISCSI With Snapshots And Compression
Netgear RedayNAS Create ISCSI With Snapshots And Compression

Compared to legacy solutions capable of handling 120TB, this is crazy easy to manage.

Wrap-up Time

Here’s the rub. The Netgear ReadyNAS 4312X 12-bay NAS is easy to use. It uses under 300w fully loaded. It can saturate a 10Gbase-T link in sequential transfers with fast enough hard drives and the right RAID configs. It’s also designed to be quiet at under 30dba when running excluding drives. That means you can stick it in a supply closet and not hear gale force fans blowing. We like the unit a lot.