NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus or a speedy two-bay storage

Introduction

External design and components

Hardware

Firmware upgrade and starting up

Web-interface review

Command line interface review

Testing

Conclusion

Introduction

It seems to be our destiny to test two-bay network storages. NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus was no exception though unlike previously tested models ASUS NAS-M25 and Thecus N0204 this storage has one USB 3.0 port as well as two network Gigabit Ethernet interfaces. In the current article we'll try to overview the most interesting NETGEAR Ready NAS Ultra 2 Plus features and to find out if it is superior due to a high-speed USB-port and to the increased number of network interfaces. So, let’s start.

External design and components

The card box into which the RNDP200U storage was packed also contained a hard copy of a user manual in three languages (English, German and French) for ReadyNAS Ultra 4, a compact disc with RAIDar software, an external power adapter with two cords, a patch-cord and a number of screws for fastening hard drives to their containers.

The storage itself is produced in a graphite metal box of 101*142*220 mm dimensions (without the stands) and is not intended to be mounted onto a rack. For its operation ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus requires 5 A DC at 12 V voltage, and the maximum power consumption is 60 Watt.

Most part of the RNDP200U front side is occupied by a perforated door which hides two baskets for mounting hard drives. The labels on the door state the vendor and the network storages line. When we were installing the hard drives the plastic of the panel and the door made an unpleasant creak\squeak when the door was being opened and closed. It certainly has no effect on the device performance characteristics, however, the general impression is somewhat spoilt. Beside the power button here we can also see one user programmable softkey. Three light indicators reflect the state of the hard drives and the activity of the device as a whole. We were also pleased to see a USB 3.0 on the device front panel; in the respective section we shall definitely test the access speed to an external drive through this particular port, but now let's go on inspecting.

The side panels are pretty featureless; on them there are only ventilation grates and an embossed vendor's logo.

On the bottom NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus has four stands and stickers containing information about the manufacturer and model, MAC-addresses of the network interfaces, the power characteristics, etc.

A 92 mm cooler occupies most part of the back panel. Beside it there're two network GE interfaces and two USB 2.0 ports, a power slot, a Kensington lock, a recessed Reset button which allows resetting user configuration to defaults, and finally a console port the use of which by the user is prohibited.

Now let's look inside the storage.

Hardware

The electronic stuffing of RNDP200U consists of three green textolite boards two of which are only adapters; that's why besides the slots they have nothing interesting on them. It's only worth noting that all boards are produced by the Foxconn Company (see the labels on the boards).

Now let's have a look at the third and the biggest board. The majority of its intelligent elements are placed on one side. The other side displays 1 Gbyte of ASint DDR3 SSY3128M8-EAE1D.

Naturally, the main element is the CPU. NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus employs a 1.8 GHz Intel Atom D525. A Hynix H27U1G8F2BTR 128 Mbyte module works as flash-memory and operates with a SM321QF controller. The south bridge is represented by an Intel CG82NM10 microchip. Input/output is also provided by an iTE IT8758E block. On the board there's a SiliconLabs SL28504BZC clock generator. Two Marvell 88E8057 chips are responsible for the network. The USB 3.0 port is supported by a NEC D720200F1 controller.

Here we're through with the hardware review and move on to the software part.

Firmware upgrade and starting up

Before starting up the storage you have to go to the vendor's site and download the latest version of the RAIDar utility for the given device and to install it. It's worth saying that the NETGEAR Company created a special site devoted to ReadyNAS storages from where one can download new utilities, firmware, manuals and so on.

When RAIDar detects the storage, firmware is installed, the user will be offered to choose a RAID type and the device will be prepared to work. To detect network storages in the local segment there’s a broadcast of a UDP-datagram to the 22081 port to which every storage replies with information about itself. Here the user can also receive brief information on the detected devices: MAC and IP-addresses, the model, name and state of the discs themselves and the RAID, the system (temperature, a connected UPS, ventilation and firmware).

If necessary it's possible to ask the program for a note on each RAID type.

We think we should say a few words about a new RAID type presented by a team of ReadyNAS specialists from NETGEAR. X-RAID2 is an expandable RAID, which gives users substantial flexibility in their work with disc arrays. For instance, X-RAID2 can be built on one disc with no user's data protection; however, adding a new drive allows implementing protected storage with the same data volume. If necessary X-RAID2 discs may be successively replaced with bigger ones thus allowing expansion of available disc space without spending a lump sum of money at once.

The process of RAID creation can take up to several hours depending on the disc size and the type of the array. In the meantime access to NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus will be limited.

To determine which physical device is being managed at the moment is possible with the help of the Locate button that makes the indicators of hard drives flash.

Traditionally we recommend our readers to use the latest firmware versions as the vendor constantly adds new features and fixes bugs. Firmware upgrade can be done in two ways: manually or automatically. There's not much difference between the two: in manual upgrade (System-Upgrade-Local) the administrator first has to download the image file with the new firmware from the vendor's site and to transfer it to the web-interface, whereas in the automatic mode (System-Upgrade-Remote) the device downloads the image from the internet and installs it by itself.

Independent of the chosen upgrade mode the whole process takes no longer than four minutes, without the time necessary for downloading the image from the internet, and it doesn't require any special skills, the user only has to answer the system's questions in the affirmative.

After rebooting NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus is fully operational and we are moving on to studying its web-interface features.

Web-interface review

Connecting to the storage one has to enter a login and password which are admin and netgear1 respectively.

NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus web-interface is available in thirteen languages: English, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Korean, German, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, French, Swedish and Japanese, however to switch between languages is quite a tricky task. We are used to the fact that the preferred language is chosen from a drop-down list of all supported languages in the device web-interface. However, NETGEAR ReadyNAS storages are targeted at preferences’ sequence installed in the browser. In Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 this sequence can be changed with the help of Tools-Internet Options-General-Languages-Language Preference.

After entering correct account data the user gets to the RNDP200U web-interface home page where he can turn to configuring the device with the help of the menu on the left or the Setup Wizard or look through brief information about the device.

In the lower right corner there are Volume, Disc, Fan, Temp and UPS buttons which allow displaying information on the state of respective subsystems. The same results can be achieved from the Status item of the same-named menu.

Now let's turn to the features available from the menu. We'd like to point out from the very start that we're not going to describe the functions of each sub-point but will only stop at those most interesting to us.

The Network menu has six tabs: Ethernet 1, Ethernet 2, Global Settings, WINS, DHCP and Route, however only four of them are visible as menu items. The Ethernet1 and Ethernet2 tabs are essentially the same; each of them is intended for managing the respective network interface. These tabs display information about the current state of the interface, its MAC-address, speed and duplex as well as IP-parameters (address, mask and default gateway). It’s worth noting, that NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus support of the IPv6 protocol is very limited, which makes this storage unavailable in next generation IP-networks. When looking for problems on the physical and channel levels it may come in very handy to look through the storage interfaces error counter.

On the Global settings tab the administrator can set up the hostname and the workgroup of the device as well as the DNS-servers addresses and the domain name.

The WINS tab allows specifying the WINS-server address or to make the storage perform the functions of this server itself. The WINS protocol is an obsolete way of resolving names in Windows networks and we haven’t seen an option of organizing WINS-servers on other vendors’ network devices.

The DHCP service for IPv4 and the Radvd daemon can be managed from the DHCP tab.

The IPv4 routing table is controlled with the help of the Route tab. You can’t change the IPv6 routing table from here as it’s only in NETGEAR business line of storages where the IPv6 support is full.

In the Security menu there’re Admin Password and Accounts items that allow the administrator to change his password, specify a password recovery question and the answer to it and to add or delete users and groups, set their rights and quotas.

The Services group contains three tabs: Standard File Protocols, Streaming Services and Discovery Services which allow enabling or disabling the use of a certain supported network protocol and setting their work parameters. The standard protocols are: CIFS, NFS, AFP, FTP, HTTP, HTTPS, Rsync, Ready DLNA, SqueezeCenter, iTunes Streaming Server and Bonjour. Besides the listed standard protocols ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus can also work with other protocols the support of which has to be added via the Add-ons menu item.

Now let's move to the items Volume Settings and USB Storage of the Volumes group. The former contains three tabs: RAID Settings, Volume Maintenance and iSCSI which allow the user to get information about the installed discs and to identify them, to schedule file system consistency checks and disc scrubbing as well as to create iSCSI target volumes.

To choose what to do when a USB drive is connected and to get brief information about the drive connected at the time is possible from the USB Storage sub-item. We’d like to draw your attention to the Speed column where there are data on the USB connection speed. We connected a 750 Gbyte Transcend StoreJet 25M3 external hard drive to the USB 3.0 port on the NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus front panel; the connection speed of 5 Gbps was determined correctly.

With the help of the items Share Listing and Add Shares of the Shares menu the administrator can manage the access to certain folders located both on the internal hard drives and on the external USB-drive.

The Backup menu items are for configuring backup rules, scheduling backup jobs and for choosing actions the storage takes when the Backup button on the device front panel is pressed. We’d like to note the support of the Time Machine and ReadyNAS Vault in the ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus storage. ReadyNAS Vault allows users to backup up to 2 Gbyte of their data storing them in the vendor’s online storage. This storage is certainly suitable only for crucial data the storage of which can be trusted to third parties.

It's also worth noting that RNDP200U allows not only backuping user's data but also configurations for which there's a special item in the System group.

Beside the function of storing data and giving access to them NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus can act as a print server; for managing the printing process serves the only item Printing Queue service of the Printers group.

Now let’s look at the System menu including the following items: Clock, Alerts, Performance, Language, Update, Config Backup, Power and Shutdown. Let’s consider some of them.

The Clock item allows choosing the time zone and to specify the mode of setting time (manually or with the help of NTP). The possibility to manage going on daylight saving/standard time is not available. We certainly understand that this problem no longer concerns Russia, but we also think that ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus might be used in the countries where daylight saving time is still on.

The administrator can be notified by e-mail on what is going on in the storage. The alerts’ parameters are configured in the Alerts item.

Disc write caching and journaling in data reading and writing can have a substantial effect on the disc operation speed (disc subsystem performance), so the management of these settings is performed with the help of the Performance item.

Language settings are specified in the Language item. These parameters don't affect the storage web-interface – the fact we mentioned at the beginning of the current section.

Power and Shutdown items allow managing the parameters of turning NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus on and off saving energy by automatic disc shutdown, scheduling the storage work timetable, controlling the UPS state as well as giving the administrator an opportunity to remotely power the device on through the net. However, we'd like to note that hardly anyone would use NIC for managing the UPS at home, so usefulness of managing the UPS with network controllers via SNMP seems rather dubious.

In the Status group there are two items: Health and Logs. The Log item keeps record of all important events happening to the storage.

The last menu point is Add-ons which allows installing new extension modules and to manage previously installed ones. There’re numerous different extension modules designed for the line of NETGEAR ReadyNAS storages that allow downloads and broadcasts, giving access to the command line and graphically displaying the device working parameters, adding support of different network protocols. The extension modules are presented by the NETGEAR Company and partners or otherwise developed by enthusiasts. Installation can be performed manually or automatically. Let's describe the process of manual installation of the ReadyNAS Replicate module when you have first to download the module file from the developer’s website, then to turn to the Add New item of the Add-ons group and there choose the downloaded image and start installation. The ReadyNAS Replicate module allows transmitting data between two NETGEAR network storages located in any networks (including those behind firewalls, prohibiting incoming connections). Its twin brother is the ReadyNAS Remote module giving remote access to data kept in the storage. We consider both modules very useful.

Here we are through with the review of the storage web-interface and move on to the features of the command line interface.

Command line interface review

Access to the NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus command line interface can be gotten via the SSH protocol with the help of an additionally installed Enable Root SSH Access module. The login and password are by default root and netgear1, respectively. As an SSH-client we used PuTTY 0.6. As usual, we saw installed BusyBox version 1.18.4 which was the newest when the article was being written.

nas-8B-0D-2E:/# busybox
BusyBox v1.18.4 (2011-03-28 19:08:01 PDT) multi-call binary.
Copyright (C) 1998-2009 Erik Andersen, Rob Landley, Denys Vlasenko
and others. Licensed under GPLv2.
See source distribution for full notice.
Usage: busybox [function] [arguments]...
or: busybox --list[-full]
or: function [arguments]...
BusyBox is a multi-call binary that combines many common Unix
utilities into a single executable. Most people will create a
link to busybox for each function they wish to use and BusyBox
will act like whatever it was invoked as.
Currently defined functions:
base64, blockdev, ether-wake, fdisk, ip, ipaddr, iplink, iproute,
iprule, iptunnel, less, logger, lsusb, lzcat, md5sum, ntpd, readahead,
telnet, udhcpc, udhcpd, unlzma, usleep, uuencode, vconfig, vi
nas-8B-0D-2E:/#

Information about the operating system itself can be gotten from the /proc/version file.

nas-8B-0D-2E:/# cat /proc/version
Linux version 2.6.37.5.RNx86_64.2.1 (jmaggard@calzone) (gcc version 4.1.2 20061115 (prerelease) (Debian 4.1.1-21))
#1 SMP Tue Mar 29 16:38:58 PDT 2011

We decided to get the list of the processes running in the storage.

nas-8B-0D-2E:/# ps -A
PID TTY TIME CMD
1 ? 00:00:00 init
2 ? 00:00:00 kthreadd
3 ? 00:00:00 ksoftirqd/0
4 ? 00:00:00 kworker/0:0
6 ? 00:00:00 migration/0
7 ? 00:00:00 migration/1
8 ? 00:00:00 kworker/1:0
9 ? 00:00:00 ksoftirqd/1
10 ? 00:00:00 kworker/0:1
11 ? 00:00:00 migration/2
12 ? 00:00:00 kworker/2:0
13 ? 00:00:00 ksoftirqd/2
14 ? 00:00:00 migration/3
15 ? 00:00:00 kworker/3:0
16 ? 00:00:00 ksoftirqd/3
17 ? 00:00:00 khelper
157 ? 00:00:00 sync_supers
159 ? 00:00:00 bdi-default
161 ? 00:00:00 kblockd
162 ? 00:00:00 kacpid
163 ? 00:00:00 kacpi_notify
164 ? 00:00:00 kacpi_hotplug
258 ? 00:00:00 khubd
265 ? 00:00:00 md
269 ? 00:00:00 kworker/1:1
270 ? 00:00:00 kworker/2:1
271 ? 00:00:00 kworker/3:1
366 ? 00:00:00 rpciod
404 ? 00:00:00 kswapd0
469 ? 00:00:00 fsnotify_mark
471 ? 00:00:00 aio
487 ? 00:00:00 nfsiod
498 ? 00:00:00 crypto
515 ? 00:00:00 kthrotld
565 ? 00:00:00 scsi_tgtd
591 ? 00:00:00 scsi_eh_0
594 ? 00:00:00 scsi_eh_1
597 ? 00:00:00 scsi_eh_2
600 ? 00:00:00 scsi_eh_3
605 ? 00:00:00 kworker/u:4
606 ? 00:00:00 kworker/u:5
611 ? 00:00:00 bond0
673 ? 00:00:00 kstriped
676 ? 00:00:00 ksnapd
677 ? 00:00:00 kondemand
678 ? 00:00:00 kconservative
680 ? 00:00:00 usbhid_resumer
740 ? 00:00:00 ifplugd
749 ? 00:00:00 md0_raid1
755 ? 00:00:00 md1_raid1
762 ? 00:00:00 md2_raid5
791 ? 00:00:00 kjournald
847 ? 00:00:00 udevd
1619 ? 00:00:00 flush-9:0
1647 ? 00:00:00 acpid
1682 ? 00:00:00 sshd
1689 ? 00:00:00 kdmflush
1719 ? 00:00:00 jbd2/dm-0-8
1720 ? 00:00:00 ext4-dio-unwrit
1757 ? 00:00:00 quota_nld
1762 ? 00:00:00 portmap
1773 ? 00:00:00 syslogd
1809 ? 00:00:00 atd
1814 ? 00:00:00 klogd
1816 ? 00:00:00 inetd
1828 ? 00:00:00 cupsd
1841 ? 00:00:00 dbus-daemon
1846 ? 00:00:00 cron
2044 ? 00:00:00 ifplugd
2085 ? 00:00:02 apache-ssl
2116 ? 00:00:00 cnid_metad
2121 ? 00:00:00 afpd
2131 ? 00:00:00 ifplugd
2205 ? 00:00:00 monitor_enclosu
2330 ? 00:00:00 avahi-daemon
2335 ttyS0 00:00:00 getty
2383 ? 00:00:00 upnpd
2391 ? 00:00:00 lld2d
3405 ? 00:00:00 raidard
3431 ? 00:00:00 nmbd
3435 ? 00:00:00 smbd
3438 ? 00:00:00 smbd
3636 ? 00:00:00 sshd
3644 pts/0 00:00:00 bash
4652 ? 00:00:00 apache-ssl
4653 ? 00:00:00 apache-ssl
5587 pts/0 00:00:00 ps

Also we decided to retrieve the contents of the /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin, /usr/sbin and /proc catalogues.

nas-8B-0D-2E:/# ls /bin
bash egrep ln pidof sync which
busybox false login ping tailf zcat
cat fgrep ls ping6 tar zcmp
chgrp fuser lsmod ps tempfile zdiff
chmod grep lsmod.modutils pwd touch zegrep
chown gunzip lspci rbash true zfgrep
cp gzexe mkdir readlink umount zforce
cpio gzip mknod rm uname zgrep
date hostname mktemp rmdir uncompress zless
dd ip more run-parts upsc zmore
df ipaddr mount sed upscmd znew
dir iplink mountpoint setpci upslog
dmesg iproute mt sh upsrw
dnsdomainname iprule mt-gnu sleep usleep
echo iptunnel mv stty vdir
ed kill netstat su vi
nas-8B-0D-2E:/# ls /sbin
badblocks isosize mkfs.minix shutdown
blkid iwconfig mkfs.msdos slattach
blockdev iwevent mkfs.vfat sm-notify
bootlogd iwgetid mkswap startpar
cfdisk iwlist modinfo start-stop-daemon
ctrlaltdel iwpriv modprobe sulogin
debugfs iwspy modprobe.modutils swapoff
depmod kallsyms mount.cifs swapon
dosfsck killall5 mount.nfs sysctl
dumpe2fs klogd mount.nfs4 syslogd
dumpe2fs.64bit ksyms mount.ntfs telinit
e2fsck ldconfig mount.ntfs-3g tune2fs
e2fsck.64bit logsave mount.smbfs tune2fs.64bit
e2image losetup nameif udevadm
e2label lsmod nfnl_osf udevd
fdisk lsmod.modutils nvx86event udevsettle
findfs lvchange pivot_root udhcpc
fsck lvconvert plipconfig umount.cifs
fsck.cramfs lvcreate pmap_dump umount.nfs
fsck.ext2 lvdisplay pmap_set umount.nfs4
fsck.ext3 lvextend portmap unix_chkpwd
fsck.ext4 lvm poweroff update-modules
fsck.minix lvmchange pvchange upsd
fsck.msdos lvmdiskscan pvcreate upsdrvctl
fsck.nfs lvmiopversion pvdisplay upsmon
fsck.vfat lvmsadc pvmove upssched
getty lvmsar pvremove vconfig
halt lvreduce pvresize vgcfgbackup
hdparm lvremove pvs vgcfgrestore
hwclock lvrename pvscan vgchange
ifconfig lvresize quotacheck vgck
ifdown lvs quotaoff vgconvert
ifup lvscan quotaon vgcreate
init MAKEDEV rarp vgdisplay
insmod mdadm raw vgexport
installkernel mdadm-startall reboot vgextend
ip6tables mdconfig resize2fs vgimport
ip6tables-multi mii-tool resize2fs.64bit vgmerge
ip6tables-restore mkdosfs rmmod vgmknodes
ip6tables-save mke2fs rmmod.modutils vgreduce
ipmaddr mke2fs.64bit route vgremove
iptables mkfs rpc.statd vgrename
iptables-multi mkfs.bfs runlevel vgs
iptables-restore mkfs.cramfs sfdisk vgscan
iptables-save mkfs.ext2 sgdisk vgsplit
iptunnel mkfs.ext3 shadowconfig vol_id
isnsadm mkfs.ext4 showmount
nas-8B-0D-2E:/# ls /usr/bin
[ iconv rgrep
a2p id rlogin
aaaa infocmp rpcclient
acpi_listen infotocap rpcinfo
addpart innochecksum rsh
alac install rsync
apt-cache instmodsh runcon
apt-cdrom ionice run-mailcap
apt-config ipcrm s2p
apt-get ipcs savelog
apt-key iptables-xml scp
at join script
atq killall scriptreplay
atrm last sdiff
attr lastb sdparm
awk lastlog see
base64 lcf sensible-browser
basename ldd sensible-editor
bashbug led-3200 sensible-pager
batch less seq
berkeley_db3_svc libnetcfg setarch
blink line setfacl
blink_backup_led_nv6 link setfattr
c2ph linux32 setpci
captoinfo linux64 setsid
catchsegv locale setterm
chacl locate sftp
chage logger sg
chattr logname sha1sum
chcon lpq sha224sum
chfn lprm sha256sum
chkdupexe lpstat sha384sum
chrt lsattr sha512sum
chsh lspci shred
cksum lspgpot skill
clear lsusb slabtop
clear_console lwp-download slogin
cmp lwp-mirror smbcacls
comm lwp-request smbclient
compose lwp-rget smbcontrol
cpan lzcat smbmount
c_rehash mailq smbpasswd
crontab mawk smbstatus
csplit mcookie smbtar
cut md5sum smbtree
db3_archive md5sum.textutils smbumount
db3_checkpoint memtester snice
db3_deadlock mesg snmptrap
db3_dump metaflac soa
db3_dump185 mkemptyfile sort
db3_load mkfifo splain
db3_printlog mp2bug split
db3_recover msmtp ssh
db3_stat msql2mysql ssh-add
db3_upgrade mt-daapd-ssc.sh ssh-agent
db3_verify mx ssh-argv0
dbiprof mysql ssh-copy-id
dbiproxy mysqladmin ssh-keygen
dbmmanage namei ssh-keyscan
dbus-cleanup-sockets nawk stat
dbus-daemon nbprgstr sudo
dbus-monitor ncftp sudoedit
dbus-send ncftp3 sum
dbus-uuidgen ncftpget tac
ddrparm ncftpput tack
debconf net tail
debconf-apt-progress newaliases taskset
debconf-communicate newgrp tdbbackup
debconf-copydb nice tee
debconf-escape nl telnet
debconf-set-selections nohup test
debconf-show ns tftp
delpart ntfs-3g tic
diff ntfs-3g.probe timeout
diff3 od tload
dircolors oldfuser toe
dirname openssl top
dpkg pager touch
dpkg-deb partx tput
dpkg-query passwd tr
dpkg-split paste tset
dprofpp pathchk tsort
du pcimodules tty
edit pcretest txt
empty_exim pdbedit tzselect
enc2xs perl ucf
env perl5.8.8 ucfq
ether-wake perlbug ucfr
exigrep perlcc udevinfo
expand perldoc unexpand
expiry perlivp uniq
expr pg unlink
faad pgrep unlzma
factor piconv unzip
faillog pinky unzipsfx
fdformat pkill updatedb
file pl2pm update_disk_info_cache
find pmap update_lcd_disk_status
find2perl pod2html update-pciids
flac pod2latex uptime
flock pod2man users
fmt pod2text uuencode
fold pod2usage vmstat
free podchecker w
funzip podselect wall
GET POST watch
getconf pr wavstreamer
getent prename wbinfo
getfacl print wc
getfattr printenv wget
getopt printf whereis
gpasswd prove which
gpg psed who
gpg-convert-from-106 pstree whoami
gpgsplit pstree.x11 w.procps
gpgv pstruct xargs
gpg-zip ptx xmlutil
gphoto2 pwauth xsubpp
groups pwdx yes
h2ph quota zdump
h2xs rcp zip
head readahead zipcloak
HEAD refresh_atalk zipgrep
host rename zipinfo
hostid rename.ul zipnote
htdbm renice zipsplit
htdigest reset zone
htpasswd resolveip
i386 rev
nas-8B-0D-2E:/# ls /usr/sbin
a2dismod exim_dbmbuild mksmbpasswd rpc.svcgssd
a2dissite exim_dumpdb mt-daapd rsmtp
a2enmod exim_fixdb mysqld rtcwake
a2ensite exim_lock mysqlmanager runq
ab eximstats ndb_cpcd safe_finger
acpid exim_tidydb ndbd sendmail
addgroup exim-upgrade-to-r3 ndb_mgmd setquota
add-shell exinext newusers smartctl
adduser exiqsumm nfsstat smartd
afpd exiwhat nmbd smbd
apache2 expand_md noflushd snmpd
apache2ctl exportfs nologin snmptrapd
apache-ssl filefrag ntpd split-logfile
arp fsck_wrapper ntpdate sshd
atalkd groupadd ntpdate-debian ssl-certificate
atd groupdel pam_getenv syslogd-listfiles
avahi-autoipd groupmod pam_tally syslog-facility
avahi-daemon grpck proftpd tcpd
check_forensic grpconv pwck tcpdchk
checkgid grpunconv pwconv tcpdmatch
chgpasswd gss_clnt_send_err pwunconv try-from
chpasswd gss_destroy_creds quot tunelp
chroot htcacheclean quota_nld tzconfig
cleanup-info httxt2dbm quotastats udhcpd
cnid_dbd iconvconfig radvd update-alternatives
cnid_metad ietadm raidard update-inetd
convertquota ietd ramsize update-locale
cpgr ifplugd rdev update-mime
cppw ifplugstatus readprofile update-passwd
cron ifstatus readynas-agent update-rc.d
cupsd inetd readyNASVault upnpd
cytune in.identtestd readyNASVaultDaemon useradd
delgroup install-info readytivod userdel
deluser invoke-rc.d remove-shell usermod
dhcp6c ip6tables-apply repquota validlocale
dhcp6ctl iptables-apply rmail vidmode
dpkg-divert ipwatchd rmt vigr
dpkg-preconfigure lld2d rmt-tar vipw
dpkg-reconfigure locale-gen rootflags visudo
dpkg-statoverride logresolve rotatelogs warnquota
e2freefrag logrotate rpcdebug winbindd
edquota lpadmin rpc.gssd wizd
ethtool lvm-bin-scan rpc.idmapd xqmstats
exicyclog minidlna rpc.mountd zic
exim mkboot rpc.nfsd
eximconfig mklost+found rpc.rquotad
nas-8B-0D-2E:/# ls /proc
1 1647 2 271 487 677 cgroups kallsyms self
10 1682 2044 3 498 678 cmdline key-users slabinfo
11 1689 2085 3405 515 680 cpuinfo kmsg softirqs
12 17 2116 3431 565 7 crypto loadavg stat
13 1719 2121 3435 5712 740 devices locks swaps
14 1720 2131 3438 591 749 diskstats mdstat sys
15 1757 2205 3636 594 755 dma meminfo sysvipc
157 1762 2330 3644 597 762 driver misc timer_list
159 1773 2335 366 6 791 execdomains modules tty
16 1809 2383 4 600 8 filesystems mounts uptime
161 1814 2391 404 605 847 fs mpt version
1619 1816 258 4652 606 9 interrupts net vmallocinfo
162 1828 265 4653 611 acpi iomem pagetypeinfo vmstat
163 1841 269 469 673 buddyinfo ioports partitions zoneinfo
164 1846 270 471 676 bus irq scsi

The RNDP200U load can be estimated with the help of the /proc/uptime and /proc/loadavg files. In the cat uptime output there’re two numbers which are responsible for the storage uptime and idle time, respectively. The first three numbers in the cat loadavg output show the device average load within the last 1, 5 and 15 minutes, respectively. The same data can be also obtained by running the /usr/bin/uptime utility. As you see, at the moment ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus isn't loaded at all.

nas-8B-0D-2E:/# cat /proc/uptime
5702.70 22764.30
nas-8B-0D-2E:/# cat /proc/loadavg
0.04 0.03 0.05 1/87 6099
nas-8B-0D-2E:/# /usr/bin/uptime
03:06:55 up 30 min, 1 user, load average: 0.04, 0.07, 0.05

Besides physically looking at the storage board to see what CPU is used, one can get this information from the /proc/cpuinfo file displaying identical data for all four threads (two cores with two threads each).

nas-8B-0D-2E:/# cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor : 0
vendor_id : GenuineIntel
cpu family : 6
model : 28
model name : Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU D525 @ 1.80GHz
stepping : 10
cpu MHz : 1800.210
cache size : 512 KB
physical id : 0
siblings : 4
core id : 0
cpu cores : 2
apicid : 0
initial apicid : 0
fpu : yes
fpu_exception : yes
cpuid level : 10
wp : yes
flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge
mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe
syscall nx lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good nopl aperfmperf
pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm movbe lahf_lm dts
bogomips : 3600.42
clflush size : 64
cache_alignment : 64
address sizes : 36 bits physical, 48 bits virtual
power management:

The /proc/filesystems file contains the list of supported file systems.

nas-8B-0D-2E:/# cat /proc/filesystems
nodev sysfs
nodev rootfs
nodev bdev
nodev proc
nodev cgroup
nodev tmpfs
nodev binfmt_misc
nodev sockfs
nodev usbfs
nodev pipefs
nodev anon_inodefs
nodev rpc_pipefs
nodev configfs
nodev devpts
ext3
ext2
ext4
nodev ramfs
vfat
msdos
hfsplus
nodev nfs
nodev nfs4
nodev nfsd
nodev cifs
nodev fuse
fuseblk
nodev fusectl

The storage can be turned off with the help of the poweroff command.

nas-8B-0D-2E:~# poweroff /?
usage: poweroff [-n] [-w] [-d] [-f] [-h] [-i]
-n: don't sync before halting the system
-w: only write a wtmp reboot record and exit.
-d: don't write a wtmp record.
-f: force halt/reboot, don't call shutdown.
-h: put harddisks in standby mode.
-i: shut down all network interfaces.

Now let's turn to testing NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus.

Testing

The first thing the testing section starts with is determining the device booting time – the time between switching the power on and receiving the first echo-reply via ICMP. NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus boots in 32 seconds, which we think to be a good result.

The second traditional test is the test for the device security against network attacks. To run this procedure we took a Positive Technologies network security scanner XSpider 7.7 (Demo build 3100), having previously started all available utilities on the storage. Altogether we found 24 open ports: TCP-21 (FTP), TCP-22 (SSH), TCP-80 (HTTP), TCP-111 (RPC Unix), UDP-111 (RPC Unix PortMapper), UDP-137 (NetBIOS Name), TCP-139 (NetBIOS Samba), TCP-443 (HTTP SSL), TCP-445 (Microsoft DS), TCP-548 (afpovertcp), TCP-631 (HTTP), TCP-873 (RSyncd), TCP/UDP-2049 (RPC Unix), TCP-3689 (HTTP), TCP-6889 (RSyncd), TCP-8200 (HTTP), TCP-36010 (RPC Unix), UDP-46127 (RPC Unix), UDP-49719 (RPC Unix), TCP-5000 (HTTP), UDP-55191 (RPC Unix), TCP-57100 (RPC Unix) and TCP-59090 (RPC Unix). Below is some interesting information we discovered.

Most of insecurities are related to the work of the OpenSSH server. We reported the discovered potential problems to the vendor and hope that in future firmware versions we'll see the problems fixed.

We didn't come by the storage multimedia abilities, either. ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus was easily discovered in the net and allowed connecting to itself for watching films and photos and listening to music previously uploaded to it.

The device standard multimedia options can be extended by installing such additional modules like Orb и Skifta which allow receiving multimedia streaming to mobile devices or just to remote clients. However, testing such modules functionality is beyond the scope of our review.

Now let's move on to the most interesting part of the test – to the measurement of the ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus speeds. The main parameters of the test stand are presented in the table below.

Component PC Notebook
Motherboard ASUS P5K64 WS ASUS M60J
CPU Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 2.33 ГГц Intel Core i7 720QM
RAM DDR3 PC3-10700
OCZ 16 Gbyte
DDR3 PC3-10700
Kingston 8 Gbyte
NIC Marvell Yukon 88E8001/8003/8010 Atheros AR8131
Operating system Windows 7 x64
SP1 Rus
Windows 7 x64
SP1 Rus

For testing we used supplementary devices: 2 Tbyte Seagate Constellation ES ST32000644NS discs and an external 750 Gbyte Transcend hard drive StoreJet 25M3. We started by determining the discs’ speed characteristics; the diagrams of their performance for different connection interfaces and file systems are presented below. The EXT3 file system is traditionally not supported in Windows 7 so to work with disc partitions formatted in EXT3 we used the Ext2Fsd utility.

We'd like to draw the reader's attention to strange speeds in the DirectoryCopyToNAS Throughput test for two file systems: NTFS and FAT32. To us, they seem strange and incorrect; however, Intel NASPT continuously gave bigger numbers. Though we reduce RAM on computers/servers/notebooks on the stand to 2 Gbyte specially for such tests (as Intel recommends), there still seems to be a caching effect. One can certainly think that cache on the disc itself is significant, but as we'll show later Intel NASPT behaves the same way when accessing NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus over the net. We repeated the experiments on different PCs but the results differed only slightly.

After checking the drives’ speeds we placed the hard drives in their racks, put them into the storage and… and began creating a RAID. The time required for the process depends on the disc themselves and their size and on the chosen RAID type. Below the reader can see the diagrams of the times it took to build RAIDs for 2 Tbyte Seagate Constellation ES ST32000644NS discs. These data allows making approximate estimates of the RAID creation time for specific discs.

The next test was to measure the speed of backuping from an external drive to NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus. To run this test we used two sets of data: a big video-file and several smaller files used in tests by the Intel NASPT utility. The test results are presented below in two diagrams for each data set, respectively.

Connection with the help of NetBIOS wasn't left aside either. Besides measuring access speeds to data on the RAID, we also measured access speeds to data on drives connected to USB 2.0 and USB 3.0. The results of all experiments are given on the diagrams below.

Besides accessing files via the NetBIOS protocol, NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus can perform the functions of an iSCSI server. We used a standard iSCSI client to initiate iSCSI in Windows 7. For each of the three supported RAID types we connected via iSCSI and formatted a partition into one of the three file systems (NTFS, FAT32 и EXT3). The measurements’ results are presented on the diagrams below.

As well as in testing the hard drive performance in immediate connection to the PC, the access speeds via iSCSI in the DirectoryCopyToNAS Throughput test are not adequate as they exceed even the abilities of the Gigabit Ethernet interface used to connect the storage.

Here we finish the testing section and turn to conclusions.

Conclusion

The NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus network storage is the fastest network storage with two discs we've ever tested in our lab. The discovered drawbacks don’t seem crucial; however, we’d like the vendor to fix them. RNDP200U upended our opinion about NETGEAR having left only pleasant memories and joining the three leading vendors of network storages.

The disadvantages of the tested device are summarized below.

  • A slight creak in opening/closing the door.
  • Lack of full IPv6 support.
  • Lack of a possibility to group network interfaces or to provide fail-safety in any other way.
  • Lack of a hard copy Russian user manual.
  • No support of Windows domains.
  • Lack of support of IP- and USB-cameras.

We do understand that most home users won’t use Windows domains or group interfaces for better fail-safety, but we still think such features could be very useful. The question of the lack of a hard copy Russian user manual is not that important as there’re a lot of materials on the vendor’s site.

The device advantages are the following.

  • A big cooler reducing the noise the storage makes.
  • The ability to upgrade firmware manually or semi-automatically.
  • The presence of an embedded print-server.
  • The ability to remotely monitor the UPS state via SNMP.
  • The support of static routes.
  • The ability to extend the storage functionality by installing additional extension modules.
  • The flexible systems of backuping user data.
  • The presence of remote access to the data in the storage in the LAN (via a providers’ NAT/PAT).
  • The ability of remote replication of data between two storages located in different LANs beyond the providers’ boundary network devices.

When the article was being written the average price for ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus without discs in Moscow internet-shops was 15000 roubles.

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