From the horse’s mouth
Previously, I reviewed the Western Digital My Cloud EX2 desktop NAS and found that this was a two-disk NAS in their range that offered a wide range of functionality. This unit and its 4-disk stablemate, the My Cloud EX4, have been positioned as “entry-level” or “foot-in-the-door” NAS units for people who crave a high level of functionality out of these devices.
Now WD have released a mid-tier pair of NAS units that are based on more powerful specifications compared to the EX2 and EX4. These use Armada RISC horsepower and higher working RAM capacity (1Gb for the EX2100 and 2Gb for the EX4100) along with 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports for demanding networks or to serve 2 networks at once. They also even have a “walk-up” USB port on the front so you can quickly “dump” data from an SD card or memory key at the touch of a button.
They also released a business-focused pair of NAS units that are the most powerful of the bunch. These units, known as the My Cloud DL2100 and the My Cloud DL4100 implement Intel Atom processors similar to what would be expected in a Windows-powered entry-level tablet. Their working RAM also start with 1Gb for the DL2100 or 2Gb for the DL4100 but can be taken up to 5Gb or 6Gb respectively to match the machine’s workload.
These NAS units will run on the WD My Cloud OS operating system which has a good supply of third-party applications for uses like UPnP / DLNA, integration in to large storage systems, and the like. As well, systems that come with hard disks will come with the WD Red drives and can mount the newer 6 Terabyte disks.
One way that WD could improve on these products would be to integrate BitTorrent Sync in to the NAS firmware in order to permit vendor-independent NAS-to-NAS syncing. This could then be about allowing for a second NAS to be about off-site backup storage or data replication.
Other directions that I would be seeing for WD’s MyCloud EX NAS units would be to provide audio and video transcoding or even “batch rendering” of audio / video / animation project files. Let alone pushing equipment of the WD MyCloud DL4100 ilk as a games server. I do see a lot of promise in WD’s MyCloud EX and DL lineup of expert and business NAS units not just as data storage but as secondary headless computing systems.