Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Small, Simple and Affordable
Small businesses looking for network attached storage would be wise to look at the Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 2. Administrators will find this appliance easy to manage and will appreciate its support for third-party add-ons.
Tue, March 12, 2013
CIO — The Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 2 is a compact network attached storage appliance powered by an Intel Atom processor. Targeted at the small businesses or organizations with very modest storage needs, the NAS offers two drive bays that can be set up either with mirroring or as a single volume that spans both hard disk drives (HDD).
To determine the suitability of ReadyNAS Ultra 2 as a small businesses NAS, I evaluated its general usability and its capabilities in various storage scenarios.
ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Specifications and Setup
The Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 2 supports up to two 3.5-inch, 3TB HDDs for 6TB of total internal capacity. Each drive is hot swappable and mounted onto a metal drive tray using screws. They are loaded into the NAS from the front and hidden behind a metallic door.
To remove individual drives, simply press on the spring-loaded lever of the desired drive bay to eject the tray. To guard against accidental removal, the lever itself can be secured with a sliding lock.
Under the hood, the ReadyNAS Ultra 2 is powered by a single-core Intel Atom processor, though an "Ultra Plus" model offers more oomph with the use of a dual-core Atom chip. In addition, the ReadyNAS Ultra 2 comes with two Gigabit LAN ports, two USB 2.0 ports on the back, and a USB 3.0 port on the front. As the lowest-tiered offering with two drive bays, the Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 2 makes use of an external 60W power adapter. A blue LED on the front indicates whether the device is switched on, and a separate green LED blinks to indicate activity for each HDD.
Overall, the small footprint of the NAS allows it to fit in easily, though placing it at a location with good ventilation would probably be a wise idea. To set up the ReadyNAS Ultra 2, wire it up with the power adapter and connect an Ethernet cable to one of the LAN ports. Once powered up using the "Power" button, the NAS will automatically obtain an IP address via DHCP by default.
Next, install the "RAIDar" utility, a nifty tool to locate all ReadyNAS appliances on the network, from the included resource CD. Clicking on the appropriate NAS followed by the Setup button within the utility launches the Web browser and connects administrators to the Web interface of the correct NAS. Here, preliminary configuration tasks such as setting the IP address and changing the default password can be completed.