Windows Tip Sheet

Ready, NAS, Go

Don't be like this writer, with a dead drive and nowhere to store.

For a number of years, I used an external 250GB USB drive for offline storage and backup for my SOHO setup. You can probably see where this is going ... Yep, it died.

Being an IT professional, you think I'd know better, but I had no other backup plan. I think IT people are sometimes the worse about backing up their own data. After that, I resolved: no more single-disk solutions. I needed an affordable, external RAID 5 solution. After a lot of research, I finally purchased a Ready NAS NV from Infrant Technologies. I've had the device for almost a year and it's great.

First of all, it's just a little bit bigger than a toaster, with four hot swappable 500GB Seagate drives in a RAID 5 configuration. It supports gigabit Ethernet with jumbo frames. The proprietary OS supports most file system protocols including CIFS, NFS, AFP, FTP, HTTP, and Rsync. It can integrate with Active Directory. It can even act as a DHCP and WINS server. You can even attach another USB device to it like a printer. And most importantly, because it sits right behind me, it’s quiet.

Setting up shares and volumes is a breeze through a Web browser. The ReadyNAS includes VLAN support. The device can be configured to send alerts to you via SMTP or SNMP. In short, this is a pretty full-featured NAS that doesn't take up much space.

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I don't have room to do a full-blown review (I'd love to tell you, for instance, about its backup and snapshots capabilities), but I think you get the picture. I like this product. In fact, they now have an upgraded model which looks like a great addition for SOHO setups or even small companies or departments that need some solid NAS storage that is easy to setup and integrates with Windows, Macs or Linux.

You can learn more about the Ready NAS NV and their other products at http://www.infrant.com.

About the Author

Jeffery Hicks is an IT veteran with over 25 years of experience, much of it spent as an IT infrastructure consultant specializing in Microsoft server technologies with an emphasis in automation and efficiency. He is a multi-year recipient of the Microsoft MVP Award in Windows PowerShell. He works today as an independent author, trainer and consultant. Jeff has written for numerous online sites and print publications, is a contributing editor at Petri.com, and a frequent speaker at technology conferences and user groups.

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