Comments on NetGear ReadyNAS
I went looking for a NAS today so that I can have a more coherent approach to managing my business data. I was sorely tempted by some usb storage routers (routers with usb ports attached to them) from netgear solely because they have a little tux penguin next to the word “powered” in the top corner of the box – who would have thought that would be used as a selling point. While some places have a wide variety of NAS available if you order ahead, I was not in an order ahead mood. That really left me with two options – a Netgear EasyNAS or a Buffalo EZLink (or I think that’s their names anyway). I decided against the Buffalo because I had heard it was their entry level NAS and had no feature set. I was originally disinclined towards the Netgear because I had the (apparently incorrect) impression that they had something against Linux. However, the box expressly lists Linux/UNIX as a supported client OS.
The box also says it has command line ssh access, but I’m yet to fathom how to invoke it (it appears to refuse ssh connections?).
Observations once I got it home:
0. In the box is a hardware install guide and a printed copy of both the GPL and LGPL. In addition there is a small yellow note saying that the device includes GPL/LGPL software and a web address from which the source code is available.
1. Has a linux installer for application – bonus
2. Linux installer didn’t work. Tried as ordinary user and root. Failed both times. Probably a good thing because I’d prefer not to have to worry about device specific applications (eg at re-install time)
3. Had a hard time getting the right ip address for it on the lan (probably because of my dullard router rather than the nas). Eventually found it by monitoring active sessions on the router…
4. Connection is easy but it shows no shares to start with. In fact you have to point the browser at <ip>/shares/index.html not just <ip>. Tch! This is apparently a feature – once the NAS is set up you point it at the IP address and the (preassigned) shared folders are displayed. However http access to most shares is disabled by default – hence nothing was showing.
5. pressing “next” on set up after entering email alert crashes firefox3. After setup, clicking one of the advanced tabs in Konqueror hung my screen! (control returned by killing process after logging in as root on ctrl-alt-f1)
6. Logging on again now everything (except the advanced control button – which crashes firefox) seems to work. It has some neat additional options such as auto power off/on at set times.
7. I will clearly need to read the documentation to make proper use of the NAS.
8. Have set it up as an nfs server (and removed the apple related items). It has taken about two hours to transfer a 2.8GB directory across the network – probably a reflection of the hub/router. No, or… the fact that sync was enabled for the file system. With sync disabled sustained writing speed looks like it’s between 1 and 2 MB/s, with a bias toward the low end of the spectrum.
9. http interface for shares seems broken on Firefox/Konq – will not permit copy/paste.
10. Ouch. Just tried copying some isos over the network using NFS and Konqueror. Initially reported speeds of 28MB/s ish until 128MB, then hung my windowing system (windows did not refresh). Ctrl-alt-F1 and attempting to kill the konqueror (didn’t use -9 silly) froze the entire system. Yeow. Apparently it copies the file to a cache or something and gradually sends the data down the line.
11. Way to copy data from a usb disk is to set up and run a back up job with the usb disk attached.
Someone else’s experience here.