The battle in the SMB storage space got ratcheted up another notch this week with the launch of Netgear's ReadyNAS 3200 System. This comes hot on the heels of the unveiling of Dell's EqualLogic PS4000 storage array and PowerVault NX3000 network attached storage, both of which are also squarely positioned at the SMBs market.
In this instance, the 2U rackmount ReadyNAS 3200 represents Netgear's highest-capacity product, with support for up to 12 hard disk drives. Assuming the maximum number of disk drives at 2TB per hard disk, the 3200 can scale up to 24TB of storage. Such a configuration will cost about $10,000, says Drew Meyer, the director of storage marketing for Netgear's Network Storage Business Unit. A lower-end configuration with half the number of drives for 6TB of capacity, on the other hand, is available for $4,999. The latter configuration is currently available, while the 24TB one is slated to ship in July.
While not exactly overflowing with capabilities, an initial examination of the 3200's specifications shows that the core requirements that one would demand for a full-featured NAS are more than adequately met.
Indeed, Netgear is showing that it is serious about penetrating the enterprise by equipping the 3200 with redundant power supplies. In addition, besides sporting dual Gigabit Ethernet ports and the usual file sharing and disk backup capabilities, the 3200 also supports Apple Filing Protocol, and will be right at home on an Apple network. Finally, the 3200 can function not only as a NAS but also serve as an iSCSI SAN system.
So what is my take on Netgear's ReadyNAS 3200? Looking at its specifications alone, I believe that it would be a perfectly adequate storage or online archival device for the small and medium business. However, SMBs that expect their storage to scale beyond the 12TB maximum - at RAID 1 configuration - of the 3200 would probably be better off with Dell's EqualLogic PS4000 or alternative solutions.
Of course, there is no way for me to determine the quality of the 3200's user or administrative-interface as well as reliability, so the more cautious might want to wait for the first wave to hit the market first.