Western Digital My Cloud EX2 is an easy to manage and a very affordable data backup solution for every consumer. The user interface of My Cloud EX2 is designed to one of the simplest personal cloud storage anybody can use to manage their files.

"My Cloud EX2 has the driving force for your remote data access"

With My Cloud EX2, there will be less complication when you try to connect to your local network via cloud. It is also one of the first NAS to have a mobile application whether you are on iOS or Android. My Cloud EX2 has the technical capability for storage applications that can be accessed via remote at your home, office and on the road via laptop, tablet and your favorite smartphone. This sets Western Digital My Cloud EX 2 apart from other cloud services that is offering secured personal data over the world wide web with its added ability for personalization. 

What's inside the box?

Standard Issue kit :)
  • My Cloud EX2 NAS Appliance
  • 12volt 4 Ampere Power Supply (Including Socket Plug Adapters for Other Wall Plug Types)
  • Standard Issue CAT 5E Ethernet Cable
  • Hard Drive Plug Mounts
  • Screws
  • Quick Installation Guide
  • Socket Plug Adapter Guide

The Backup Fundamentals

Western Digital Smartware Pro backup Software supports up to 10 computers for Windows PC users. On the other hand Macintosh users is also fully supported with Apple Mac OSX Time Machine application for backing up procedure. I wasn't able to test it to Time Machine though.

Western Digital My Cloud EX2's added arsenal is the industry standard Redundancy Array of Independent Disks (RAID). Setted up as RAID 0, Server is inserting datas on both hard drives this process is called "Striping". Redundancy was not created but it is speeding all the way in terms of any type of RAID setup. 

I carefully placed the MyCloud EX2 on RAID 1 the main reason is fail safe. Why? RAID 1 replicates all information loaded from one hard drive to the secondary hard drive but speed is not affected. By the best practices amongst System Administrators across Operating System specializations by allowing a certain hard drive without any information loss or hardware malfunction that comes along the way and I can just replace one hard drive on the fly. For demonstration purposes I'll be configuring them on RAID 0 and RAID 1 for data comparisons on Performance. 

Write performance of RAID 0 is blazing fast due to the nature of data is being sliced into half and written to the other drive in parallel. On the other hand, RAID 1 configuration is reduced compared to RAID 0 because the whole information is written into two hard drives simultaneously but in parallel. 

Read performance in RAID 0 is amazingly fast. In normal conditions, the transfer speed of the array is the transfer of speed of all the disks added together, limited by the speed of the RAID Controller (It varies on certain controllers like Promise and Such). Reading from a certain disk on RAID 1 Configuration may vary on performance operation determined by the RAID Controller. "Smart" type of controllers slices the reading operation in a fashion that takes the vantage point of data redundancy and reading certain blocks from other disks. Remarkably similar to the Performance of RAID 0 although certain controllers are in capable reading speeds and multiplexing are identical as a single hard drive. 

The Cloud Fundamentals

Western Digital My Cloud EX2 captures the professional's market and the consumers. Their needs may differ from what they usually do, from backing up Virtual Machines, videos, music and project applications like i normally do for Geeky Pinas. Western Digital carefully designed the drive for SOHO (Small Office Home Office) setup or Small Enterprise with head counts of 10. Actually this is perfect for videographers and photographers also that who loves archiving their work.

Western Digital My Cloud EX2 has the capability of streaming media information via Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), Plug and Play Devices. From media players, Smart TV's, gaming consoles and computers. Even the Jurrasic Windows XP Operating System using a test Virtual Machine, performs properly and discovers the My Cloud EX 2 via UPnP Search. 

Operating in versatile fashion on any platform from Windows to Mac OS X and to Linux / Unix Based Platforms. You need web browsers to set the information on My Cloud EX2 Dashboard.

Energy Saving Feature

My Cloud EX2 saves energy as disks spin down due to inactivity in 10 minutes. System Administrators may create a plan or timetable to power down the My Cloud EX2 after office operational hours.

In an event of power outage, the WD My Cloud EX2 restarts automatically. The mere fact that the appliance itself doesn't have a switch to turn on and off, It is designed as always ON. Another attribute of this appliance is that it is supported by a third party peripheral - the Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) allowing the device to shutdown properly if power is completely lost.

My Cloud EX2 Specifications
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz
  • Memory: 512 MB DDR3
  • Fan: 35 mm x 35 mm, 9500 RPM
  • Interface: Gigabit Ethernet / Power supply Socket 3.5mm Jack / USB 3.0 Port Expansion x 2
  • Drive bays: 2 x 3.5 inch hard drive bays, hot swap capable, trayless design
  • Internal hard drives: WD Red NAS hard drives (Included in 4 TB, 6 TB and 8 TB populated systems only)
  • System requirements: Windows 8.1 or earlier, Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP (SP 3) operating systems Mac OS® X Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Lion or Snow Leopard operating systems DLNA/UPnP devices for streaming / Router with Internet connection / Switch
  • Supported web browsers: Internet Explorer 8 or higher / Safari 6 or higher / Firefox 21 or higher on supported Windows, Mac OS and Linux platforms / Google Chrome and later on supported Windows, Mac OS and Linux platforms
  • Network protocols: DHCP client or static IP, NTP client, Dynamic DNS (DDNS). Apple Bonjour and Windows Rally Jumbo frame support. VLAN (802.1Q), UPnP port forwarding iPv4/iPv6. iSCSI, SSH, Network file services
  • OS Supports: Windows XP Home / Pro Service Pack 3 / Windows Vista (All Versions) / Windows 7 (All Versions) / Windows 8 (All Versions) / Windows 8.1 (All Versions) / Mac OS X Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Lion and Snow Leopard / CIFS/SMB for Windows, Mac OS X Linux NFS v3 for Linux and UNIX / AFP for Mac OS X / Microsoft Distributed File System (DFS) WebDAV Server
  • Security: Active directory support for Windows server 2003/ 2008/ 2012 Volume encryption (256 bit AES)
  • File System: EXT4 for internal HDD / Supports the following formats for externally attached USB drives: Windows FAT/FAT32, Windows NTFS (read and write capability), Apple HFS+J (case sensitive), Linux EXT2, EXT3, EXT4
  • FTP server: Support port setting / Set port range of passive FTP / Option to report external IP in PASV mode / Client language selection / Anonymous FTP / Secure FTP support / Support File eXchange Protocol (FXP) / FTP bandwidth restriction (upstream/downstream) / IP address block (block access from undesired IP address)
  • Download management: HTTP downloads from a URL to a user specified folder on the NAS / FTP downloads of files or folders from an FTP server to another files/folders on the NAS / P2P torrent download manager
  • Disk management: Disk roaming / Array roaming / Power management: / RAID 0/1 JBOD;  Spanning / Raid Migration: JBOD to RAID 1 / Hot swapping (RAID 1)
  • Power management: Fan control / Network UPS / Wake On LAN / Drive spin-up/down (including attached WD USB drives) / Automatic power recovery / Scheduled power on/off / Graceful shutdown on UPS low battery
  • Remote Access: My Cloud and WD PhotosTM mobile apps / My Cloud desktop app / Web access
  • User/Group Management: Max no. of users: 512 for Samba, 800 for ADS / Max no. of user groups: 64 for Samba, 200 for ADS Max no. of network shares:128 / Supports up to 10 concurrent CIFS connections / User/group assignment for network sharing/FTP / Quotas for groups or users / Assignment of users to multiple groups / Batch assignment of users to groups/ Batch user creation / Importing users (CSV delimited format) 
  • Backup Management: Remote backups: Backup to a My Cloud EX2 or My Cloud EX4 locally or remotely / Apple Time Machine support / Backup internal files or folders of the device to other files/folders on the NAS / Cloud-based backup services / Amazon S3 (http://aws.amazon.com/s3/) / ElephantDrive (http://home.elephantdrive.com/welcome/wdc/) Disk sync management for the attached USB ports
  • System management: System/FTP log (syslog client) / HTTP/S (web) administration interface (HTTP server) Firmware upgrade / Configuration backup and restore / SNMPv2 / System information: CPU percentage / RAM usage / Network performance
  • Alert notifications
  • Event UI messages: UI alerts (with message acknowledgment required) / Email notices / QuickView pop-up messages
  • Network recycle bin: Supports Windows CIFS / Supports Apple AFP
  • USB Support: Supports MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) and PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol) / Supports external storage device / Supports UPS monitoring
  • Media streaming: Supports WD TV Live, Xbox 360, PlayStation®3, Windows 8, connected TVs, Blu-ray® players & digital picture frames iTunes support / UPnP AV media server (Twonky v7.2) / DLNA 1.5 certification
  • Add-on support: Icecast - media streaming app / phpBB - Internet forum application / phpMyAdmin - My SQL administration tool / WordPress - blogging tool and content management system NZBGet - NZB file / aMule - peer-to-peer file sharing application / Transmission - BitTorrent client / download management software / Joomla! - content management system / SqueezeCenter - streaming audio server / Git - revision control and source code management system For the most recent apps available,visit wd.com/ex2
  • iSCSI: Volume virtualization: NAS can be configured as an iSCSI initiator and capable of mapping any iSCSI target of the other device to be one virtual volume. / Virtual disk drive (via iSCSI initiator) / Max number of virtual disk drives supported is eight (8) / iSCSI target / CHAP authentication / iSNS (Internet Storage Name Service ) / Up to 64 iSCSI targets 
  • Power Supply: AC input voltage: 100V to 240V AC / AC input frequency: 50 to 60Hz / DC output voltage: 12V DC, 3A 
  • Power measurements with WD Red Drive Configurations: Power off (WOL enable) No Drive: 1.05W / 2 x 2 TB:  1.05W / 2 x 3 TB:  1.05W / 2 x 4 TB:  1.05W
  • Standby mode (AC power cord plug-in only, HDD in sleep mode) / No Drive: N/A / 2 x 2 TB:  10.2W / 2 x 3 TB:  10.2W / 2 x 4 TB:  10.2W
  • Idle No Drive: 8W / 2 x 2 TB:  16.7W / 2 x 3 TB:  16.7W / 2 x 4 TB:  16.7W
  • Full operation: No Drive: N/A / 2 x 2 TB:  21.3W / 2 x 3 TB:  22.3W / 2 x 4 TB:  23.3W
  • Temperature: Operating temperature: 5° C to 35° C ( 41° F to 95° F) / Non-op temperature: -20° C to 65° C (-4° F to 149° F) 
  • Available capacities: 0 TB / 4 TB / 6 TB / 8 TB 

Physical Dimensions
  • Height: 6.75 in (171.45 mm) Length: 3.9 in (99.06 mm)
  • Width: 6.1 in (154.94 mm)
  • Weight: 0 TB: 1.8 lbs (0.8 kg) 4 TB: 3.4 lbs (1.6 kg)
  • 6 TB: 4.6 lbs (2.1 kg) 8 TB: 5.0 lbs (2.3 kg)

As I get along with the technical specification, I noticed that it's very versatile device. From Web Development Application such as Wordpress, phpBB and PHPMyAdmin to my favorite P2P Torrent and finally to Media Streaming Locally via DLNA which means I can also connect WD Live for my everyday usage for the dose of movies and series that I regularly download and watch! Provided that we are connected via Internet to access the files that you want wanted. You can also check if it's progressing while you download stuff at home or even verify if the files are done downloading.

That's it for now geeks, in the next part of this article I will show how the set up was made on this device, using the WD Red hard drive and benchmarking it to see how it performs, comparison of the results and data.

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