In my backup article How to backup your photography, I talked a little bit about the Ready Nas NV+ that we use to backup all of our shoots. I wanted to do a separate review of it here and give everyone a little more detail about the product and why I love it. I have no affiliation with Netgear just love the product and like all of our reviews will give you a simple, easy to understand review of its real world use and try to keep the tech talk to a somewhat minimum.
First just a quick little history. I got the ReadyNas 2 years ago when the studio was growing and shooting over 50 weddings in a year. Even though me and my team really watch what we shoot and don’t shoot a crazy amount each wedding is easily 20GB. So at over 1TB a year it was getting difficult to keep external drives everywhere around the office. I had Buffalo 1TB drives that were setup as a RAID so they really only gave me 500GB of data. Since I had multiples of these, when a client from earlier in the year called in (or years prior) it took extra time to try and find what drive that was on. So I wanted to migrate everything over to something that was expandable, used internal drives to cut down costs and also redundant. I also have a few computers in the office and need to access files from each one so I wanted it networkable to easily access image files.
After searching around for awhile I found the Ready Nas systems and from a few other photographers I know and some great other reviews decided to go for it. It wasn’t a cheap decision to make, their newer Nvx model goes for about $900 on amazon, with a few drives. Readynas Dvx 1TB. But after using it for a few weeks so worth the money. It is a very robust system for the real techies out there but also really easy if you aren’t an IT person. Here is a little more info about the device from their website:
ReadyNAS™ NV+ was designed specifically for power users and home offices. Never before has there been available a cost-conscious network attached storage (NAS) appliance packed with robust high-end server features, including Gigabit Ethernet, hardware RAID, system monitoring capabilities and built-in backup. The NV+ couples out-of-the-box deployment and easy management with robust file serving and data redundancy.
The benefits for me were:
- Very quick and easy to setup, when you are close to reaching capacity you can just take out a drive and plug in a new one. It does everything for you in the background. You can take drives out while the device is still running, quick and easy plug and play.
- Can be setup in many different RAID types for redundancy. I choose their own X-RAID technology, so if a drive ever dies there is no worries I just take it out and plug a new one in.
- It’s plugged into my network so any computer in my network can see the files. For client presentations that we do from our laptop in the presentation room this is perfect, no more copying files over to a portable drive so people can see something from my laptop.
- Speed. The ReadyNas is very fast. Since it’s setup on a your network (mine is plugged into my main workstation with a Gigabit Ethernet cable) it is blazingly fast.
- It’s also smart. Since its basically a mini server it will notify you of certain events. If a drive is having errors you get an email notification so you can swap it out before it dies as well as other nice emails when certain things happen.
Overall it’s a great addition to the studio and has exceeded my expectations. They have some pretty excellent help tutorials, articles and forums over at: http://www.readynas.com/. They have a few new versions out which are faster and come with a new X-RAID2 technology where you can mix different sizes of drives inside. And if you really need a lot of storage check out the Pro line, they hold 6 drives so you can pack it full of photos. Its one thing on my wish list for this year as shooting video with the 7d has started to really max out our drives. Netgear if you are reading feel free to send over a Pro Pioneer for us to test out, or for a Christmas gift 🙂