Netgear ReadyNAS 716 review

Speed is everything with this impressive desktop NAS

Netgear ReadyNAS 716
Packing a quad-core processor, this NAS is no slouch

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We liked

In terms of styling you either like the black box that is the ReadyNAS 716 or you don't, and it's much the same with the touch-sensitive status panel on the storage door. We liked it, although once the appliance is up and running you're unlikely to do much with the built-in display other than impress visitors

The web management interface is where you'll spend most of your management time and we found this dated but very nice to use and easy to learn, with very simple tools, for example, to manage volumes and bond network adapters together.

A good number of monitoring tools are also available, but performance is what the ReadyNAS 716 is all about, and in that respect the Netgear desktop appliance is hard to beat except by switching to rack-mount alternatives.

We disliked

One concern with both the ReadyNAS and other high-end desktop NAS appliances is the basic concept of putting business-critical network storage in a desktop rather than a rack-mount device. All the more so when it comes to a high-end product like the ReadyNAS 716 which borders on mid-range server territory.

Of course there are lots of companies without rack facilities who will find the ReadyNAS box easier to accommodate. However, the lack of a lock on the storage seems a bit of an oversight and the appliance itself is a little on the bulky side, even for a six-bay device. Also, at this price point we would like to see a redundant power option whether for desktop or rack deployment.

Final verdict

Performance is the biggest selling point with the ReadyNAS 716, especially the 10GbE interfaces which come as standard – a first for a desktop NAS. It also has a lot to offer in terms of capacity with the option of expansion well beyond the basic 24TB of the standalone box, plus enterprise-class snapshot and backup capabilities. The only question mark is the price which puts it up against mid-range servers and rack-mount storage appliances where the advantages are not so clear cut.