Enterprise organisations are constantly being asked to do more work with fewer people, as the size and complexity of infrastructure and applications continue to grow unabated. While previous WD devices have had a nod to accessing your files on the move, with the My Cloud devices functionality moves front and centre with cross platform software to make the concept of a "personal cloud" more than marketing jabber.
To get a full understanding of how this product works, we decided that we needed to give it an in-depth analysis, so we've been living with it for a month while at home and away.
The casing, which has roughly the dimensions of a modest hardback book, is a glossy white with silver trim.
Of course a unit like this tries to be as quiet and unassuming as possible, and the My Cloud is certainly that. On the rear are a power connector and Ethernet port, along with a USB 3.0 interface to add an extra external drive and a reset cavity so small that we could barely get a paper clip into it once we found it. This forum is moderated by volunteer moderators who will react only to members' feedback on posts. I liked Western Digitala€™s My Cloud network-attached storage device when I reviewed it late last year, but relying on a single-drive NAS can be risky. WDa€™s My Cloud Mirror solves that problem by putting a second drive in the same enclosure, and configuring the drives as RAID 1.A All the same data is written to both drives, so that if one drive fails, you can recover everything from the other. The My Cloud Mirror will also let you back up its contents to another storage device via its USB 3.0 port, but an even better data security strategy would be to deploy a second My Cloud Mirror (or a My Cloud EX2 or EX4, but it must be a Western Digital device) at a remote location and back up the contents of each drive to the other (you can also do this over your local network, but thata€™s not as safe as having backups at different physical locations). If you dona€™t want to go either of those routes, WDa€™s software will let you back up your My Cloud Mirror to the cloud (using either your ElephantDrive or Amazon S3 account, though youa€™ll need to pay for whichever service you choose). Unlike a Dropbox account (or Connected Dataa€™s Transporter line), which maintain a folder on your local device that is synchronized with your cloud storage, files are stored only on the My Cloud device. As with the original My Cloud, Western Digital is marketing the My Cloud Mirror to consumers, and this box has most of the features that audience will want. Consumers will appreciate the My Cloud Mirrora€™s simple graphical user interface, which makes this machine very easy to set up.
WD publishes a number of Android and iOS apps that will help you derive maximum benefit from the My Cloud Mirror. As we saw with WDa€™s original My Cloud and its prosumer-oriented My Cloud EX2, the My Cloud Mirror is no barn-burner when it comes to performance. The My Cloud Mirror isn't the fastest NAS box we've testeda€”by a long shota€”but it offers plenty of features and is very easy to use. If you think youa€™d benefit from the additional features that the prosumer-oriented My Cloud EX2 has to offer (dual Ethernet, dual power-supply inputs, and 10 licenses for WDa€™s SmartWare Pro), that box is street-priced just $18 higher than the My Cloud Mirror. The original My Cloud is a very gooda€”if a bit slowa€”consumer-oriented NAS box, and the My Cloud Mirror adds a valuable feature in RAID 1. Over the last few years, the concept of cloud storage has been growing rapidly around the globe. Bringing all this back down to earth and to the home, I will now refer back to the [above mentioned] worry that many people have when it comes to cloud file storage such as Dropbox and Google Drive – Security. The My Cloud comes with a very concise set of accessories, there is simply a quick setup guide, Ethernet cable and a power adaptor with UK an EU tips – no bits of unnecessary paperwork to be found here. WD’s Personal Cloud Storage devices aimed at home network-attached storage (NAS) users has been steadily growing since the My Cloud was first announced in October 2013. The WD My Cloud EX2 is available in four different storage capacities to help fit the storage criteria of various business and home user capacity needs. Inside the WD My Cloud EX2 retail box you’ll find that the NAS comes securely packaged in thick foam and there is also a card letting you know there is toll-free phone setup help if you need any assistance. Inside the retail box you’ll find the two-bay My Cloud EX2, Ethernet cable, the power supply brick (AC Adapter) and the quick install guide. Since we are looking at the 4TB model it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that it is populated with two WD Red 2TB hard drives. One of the really nice features of the WD My Cloud EX2 is that all of the hot swappable hard drive bays are trayless!


The front of the WD My Cloud EX2 has three blue LED lights on it that show power and the status for each drive. Can the files be accessed by removing a drive from the enclosure and installing it in a PC?
I didn’t seen any temperature measurements from the enclosure during various operations. Can the firmware of an installed hard-drive (WD Red or Seagate NAS drive let’s say) be updated when in this NAS? This guide is intended for companies, organisations, and IT professionals who are looking for a network and application monitoring tool that provides a holistic view of application performance, including performance monitoring, from the end user perspective. The My Cloud range is a new product line, an offshoot of the long running My Book series built with an emphasis on remote access.
To make it even more interesting, we avoided other music, video and photo streaming devices and all cloud storage for the duration of My Cloud testing. While predecessors have had light trails reminiscent of the front of Kit from Knight Rider, this small unassuming white box has just one tiny LED that's blue when all is working well.
It will blend in well with any system, though we would like to have had the option of a black version.
Its primary functions are to protect the hard drive and look out at you from a shelf as if to say "look but don't touch", and it manages to achieve the right balance between fulfilling those functions and keeping its cost modest. If that drive fails, and you dona€™t have a backup, you could lose all your dataa€”forever. Therea€™s nothing to stop you from reconfiguring the drives in RAID 0 for blinding speed and 4TB of storage, but that would throw your data-redundancy strategy right out the window. What it wona€™t let you do is back up a client to the My Cloud Mirror itself over an Internet connection; the client must be attached to the same local network as the My Cloud Mirror.
The benefit to this approach is that you dona€™t consume the limited storage on your device. Therea€™s an integrated FTP server, for instance, and peer-to-peer file-sharing (BitTorrent). It comes from the factory with both iTunes and DLNA media servers for streaming media to PCs, smart TVs, mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), and media-streaming boxes in your home.
It wasn't terrible at dealing with very large files (we test read and write performance with a single 10GB file), but it was considerably slower reading and writing our 10GB collection of files. The SmartWare Pro licenses are probably worth it if you have enough Dropbox capacity to take advantage of that feature, but few consumers will. Now obviously the internet is online, but for the most part, the website that you are accessing, such as us at eTeknix for example, is stored on a single server in a single data centre. When you upload a file to the cloud, how can you be sure that someone else has not had access to your data? WD followed that up with a 4-Bay model called the My Cloud EX4 in November 2013 for those that were looking for data redundancy and more storage capacity. All of the cables that are included are color matched, which is nice for those that don’t like to have a million different colors. The body of the enclosure is made from plastic and while it has some give, it doesn’t feel too cheap or like it will fall apart on you.
WD ships all the models with a standard RAID 1 array (an exact copy of a set of data on two disks.) This means that it has 2TB of usable storage space as one drive is just a mirror of the other.
This means that when a drive fails that you just unscrew the top drive plate with your fingers and slide the drive out.
There are four rubber feet on the bottom of the WD My Cloud EX2, so it shouldn’t slide around or scratch the surface you place it on. Note that neither side has any ventilation holes located along the top edge and the bottom of the enclosure has thick rubber feet to keep from scratching whatever it will be placed on.
Once the device is stopped I don’t know how the NAS will behave when you want to rebuild it.


It's weighty enough that you would not like it to fall on you from a shelf, and sturdy enough that, despite it being plastic, you would more than likely come off worse than the device if it did. I wouldna€™t recommend that unless youa€™re absolutely fastidious about backing up your NASa€”and nobody is fastidious enough to avoid Murphya€™s Law.
Finally, there a number of apps you can run right on the box, including Joomla and WordPress, if you want to host your own website. Unlike the more robust My Cloud EX series, this box has just one gigabit Ethernet interface and one power connector, so therea€™s no failover protection on either count. WD provides free basic backup software (WD SmartWare) for your client PCs, and the box supports Applea€™s Time Machine technology for backing up Macs.
You can store all your photos on the My Cloud Mirror and display them on your smartphone or tablet without needing to download the images to your device. I imagine even fewer will be able to take advantage of the EX2a€™s additional hardware features. Before I get on to the reason why some people are put off the cloud, its worth noting that it has a huge number of advantages.
Whilst there is a certain element of redundancy with the likes of RAID10 drives setups in place and of course backups are taken care of, what happens when the data centres link is lost to the outside world?
After all you are not able to pinpoint exactly where your files are being stored at any given point. The one obvious product that was missing was a 2-bay product, but that all changed with the announcement of the  My Cloud EX2 today.
All of the My Cloud EX 2 Personal Cloud Storage servers that come with pre-installed drives feature WD Red hard drives that are optimized for high-performance NAS devices. To replace the drive you do need a screwdriver though as there are a couple stand-offs and a pull tab that need to be swapped over to the new drive.
Overall the WD My Cloud EX2 looks good and has some cool features, so let’s take a peek inside and see what it looks like.
Upgrading to SmartWare Pro ($20 per license) adds the ability to back up to non-WD drives and to Dropbox.
You can do the same with your music and videos, although your media-streaming experience will vary depending on your network connection (youa€™ll have the best experience when the NAS box and your device are connected to the same network, versus streaming over the Internet). Firstly, when we start at the smaller scale options and look at the likes of Dropbox and Google Drive, there is the obvious advantage that you can access your files wherever you are with ease. This whole worry over security and knowing where your files are being stored is what has driven Western Digital to come up with a simple, affordable solution. The My Cloud EX2 is WD’s answer to those looking for a fully featured 2-bay NAS device. The diskless solution is aimed at the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) crowd and supports a wide variety of drive brands and models. If you are concerned with drive failures you might want to purchase a spare drive to quickly rebuild the RAID 1 array should a drive failure occur in the years to come.
I personally use both Dropbox and Google Drive for on the go storage and with the added factor of being able to access both services from my Nexus 4 smart phone, I’ve not go to worry constantly about having to copy files to a flash drive so that I can access them at home.
Downtime for us is something that we dread and cloud web-hosting is built to solve this conundrum.
The My Cloud EX2 uses the same firmware and user interface as the other My Cloud products, but utilizes a different hardware platform and obviously is a different form factor. With the cloud, as soon as I save them in the respective online folders, they are almost instantly available at home. With cloud hosting, a website is stored on a number of different servers that are located in different data centres – the result of this is near 100% uptime.



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