Backup devices are essential to content creators like photographers, videographers, digital artists, and many others, safe-keeping of data becomes an integral part of the workflow. With the advancement of technologies around us, even the average individual is now a content creator, especially when imaging equipment is practically available to anyone with a smartphone.
WD’s My Cloud range of Network Attached Storage (NAS) – made for professionals but they work great for anyone who needs an easy to use back-up system. Right out the box the WD My Cloud EX2100 the system is ready to use, and the package comes with an ethernet (LAN) cable, power supply and an Install Guide. No drivers required.
The NAS unit is 108mm wide, 216mm deep and 147mm tall, I liken similar to the size of a shoebox. The small foot print means you are able to place it anywhere that’s convenient, as long as it’s within the reach of the power supply cable and a LAN connection.
The unit in this review comes with 2x WD RED Drives, 6TB each. A door is assigned to each bay. At the front there’s a USB port in case you need to back up the contents of the USB drive (refer to the image above).
On the rear there are 2 LAN ports for fail-over redundancy and it also has a USB 3.0 port.
Setting up the device was easy, though it runs a little loud but that’s expected as there are 2 drives and hard disk drives do generate quite some head. Once you’re in the interface that’s accessed via browser, it’s time to explore what the device can do. I’m a photographer by profession so my emphasis is entirely on the back-up capability, though the unit is capable of streaming to Smart TVs and such, stuff that I do not have in the lab.
The web interface offers all sorts of configuration settings and even hardware monitoring, of course I were to write about every single bit of feature on this device then WD would have to pay me for being a product expert. 😀
If you have 2 drives in place, you could set it to RAID setup. For drives of different capacity, there’s always the option to span the available storage space from both devices.
According to theofficial product page the WD My Cloud EX2100 is powered by MarvellÂ® ARMADAÂ® 385 1.3 GHz dual-core processor – you might think that’s something “Oh so not powerful”, of course it’s not because it doesn’t have to be. We’re talking about a NAS here, not a video-render workstation.
Have a look at the screenshot below just 10% processor load on data transfer, the processor used works great for the intended tasks.
For those interested, I did a quick comparison between between the WD My Cloud EX2 and a desktop machine (AMD A4-4000 APU, 2GB RAM) that has a shared drive with a WD Green, and I did the test on 4 configurations that are available on the WD My Cloud EX2100.
The test involves transferring around 1GB worth of data across the network (wired) from the local machine other machines.
|Local to WD RAID 0||1min 27sec|
|Local to WD RAID 1||1min 45sec|
|Local to WD Spanning||1min 48sec|
|Local to WD JBOD||1min 27sec|
|Local to PC||1min 27sec|
What does the table tell you? RAID 0 setup and JBOD configuration works faster than RAID 1 and Spanning but bear in mind that’s 1GB worth of data, I wouldn’t be concerned of the time difference. Just choose the setup you prefer and you should be pleased with the performance.
The WD My Cloud EX2100 NAS is certainly worth considering, especially with the wealth of features available.
Below are the MSRP for the various configuration available.
â€“ RM 1,099 for diskless unit.
â€“ RM 1,919 for 4TB
â€“ RM 2,529 for 8TB
â€“ RM 3,289 for 12TB