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The Ford F150 has been the emperor of trucks for years. Ford has not only had the bestselling pick-up truck in the U.S. for years, but the F150 has also been the bestselling vehicle in the United States for the past 35 years.

What is it that enables Ford to hold this coveted top-selling spot year after year? I believe that it is quite simply because the Ford F150 is an outstanding piece of machinery. It is purpose built to deliver on expectations of what a truck should be. It is big. It is practical. It is powerful. It is unassuming and provides the basics of what one would expect from a truck. Ford also provides a range of engine sizes and models to address the diverse needs of their customers. And, although it is a great looking truck, there are no gimmicky features that are superfluous.

So why doesn’t Ford go through fancy redesigns every year? Why do they not implement trendy features and trim with a number of buttons, Kevlar or carbon panels and self-driving features?

The answer is simply that the customer for a Ford F150 does not look for these gimmicky types of features. They purchase this truck because of its reliability. And, they know they can depend on this from Ford.  And this also means that dependability carries over to the load you are carrying and the passengers in the cab. Dependable, trustworthy, durable and safe are the words that define the F150.

As we enter the 10th year anniversary of ReadyNAS as a NETGEAR brand, you might find this odd, but I happen to think of Ford’s F150 every time people ask me about our ReadyNAS feature set.

It was the spring of 2007 when NETGEAR acquired a startup called Infrant Technologies; which were the inventors of ReadyNAS back in 2003. The name was (and is) very straightforward – a ready to use piece of Network Attached Storage.

And yes, it was built like a truck, with a steel chassis and steel covers, metal drive trays, heavy power supplies, multiple cooling fans. Heavy. It was not loud or obnoxious but very much… present, constant and dependable. The dashboard was also designed like that of a truck – straight forward, with an intuitive row of buttons and settings. I would often hear discussion during tradeshows that ReadyNAS is not that sexy of a product. In response, I would often ask them to pick it up (‘why?’), “Pick it up”, I said, “just PICK IT UP!” Finally, they would get it.

ReadyNAS are built like trucks.

Over the many years, I became a fanatic ReadyNAS user at home and at work. I appreciate the features designed for both consumer and business applications that have been added to each new iteration of the NAS – greater storage capacity, higher transfer speeds, full HD video streaming, surveillance storage and lots of other data hungry applications. In the end, however, there was, and continues to be, only one really important thing – ReadyNAS keeps your data safe -100% safe. I know ReadyNAS will take care of business 24/7, keeping my data secure, whether that data is my work-related files or the baby pictures of my daughter.  An avid photography hobbyist, I still use a 2008 ReadyNAS PRO to archive my digital negatives.  This legacy 2008 ReadyNAS is faster than many current consumer-grade storage products available – and it is a lot more reliable!

Over the past 3 years, the entry level market for Network Attached Storage has been shrinking because consumers have moved their storage to the cloud streaming their audio and video. In many aspects it has become more of a rental model than an ownership model for media consumption. This is fine, when there is no private or business critical data on a public server.  A highly publicized example around the concerns with security and the public cloud was when actress Jennifer Lawrence became the poster girl of a security breach.  With a lack of adequate security, her account was hacked, and images that were never intended to be public were littered all across the internet.

The idea of public cloud storage did come to the SMB space, but most companies left due to concerns around accessibility and security.  Today, nearly 90% of businesses run on a hybrid mix of private cloud, on premise storage with limited public cloud.  Business users obviously understand the risks, and they have also found that upload/download speeds are a bottleneck for a speedy backup as well as a restore and disaster recovery.

The original recipe at NETGEAR was to bring enterprise technology to small business and homes.  And, it is still one of the foundations of what we do with our SMB product portfolio. Over the past decade, NETGEAR has experimented with lower price points and entry level processors in order to better address consumer market needs. But, we never compromised on the build and software quality. We have chosen to go with data safety over feature creep. By the end of 2012, we moved from EXT4 to a BTRFS based file system, and today, more than 4 years later, we are still leading with that technology.

By adding file-level replication and block-level replication (ReadyDR), we have brought enterprise Disaster Recovery technology and cloud sync to the SMB. For free. That means you can replicate your data on premise, to another location or to the cloud without additional cost. That eliminates data loss due to technical or power failure, flooding or whatever Murphy’s Law has in store for you.

With processors getting smaller and the collapsing of complete systems onto a chip (SoC’s), along with the eruption of flash memory into enterprise storage, one would expect these storage systems to get a lot smaller through miniaturization. However, we at NETGEAR have made a conscious choice not to take that route.  We continue to build them like a truck. No frills, just solid architecture – the security and the capacity you need to hold all your stuff.

Good old rotating storage HDDs are still far less expensive per gigabyte than flash memory. While HDDs have grown to over 10 Terabyte in capacity, they have also become extremely fast. At this point there is still no real need to move over to flash memory for small businesses. Today, our 12 bay rackmount flagship is only 3.5-inch (about 9cm) high and it can store up to over 100 TB of data. It can transfer data in and out at over 16 GB per second, while conducting multiple executions at the same time for over 150 concurrent users. The rackmount runs on one of Intel’s fastest new 4-core XEON processors and comes with VMWare certification right out of the box.

And, most importantly, it is built like a truck.

This week, we introduced a new version of ReadyNAS to serve the needs of the most data hungry among you. And that product is not built like a truck. That one is built like a tank.

Oh, and ReadyNAS – Happy 10 year anniversary as a NETGEAR brand!

 

 

Richard Jonker

Vice President of SMB Product Line Management

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    1 comment

    Nick

    All well and good but you have crippled Storas by taking mystora.com off line. Why should ReadyNAS users trust you not to do the same to them?

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