Western Digital EX2 2-Bay 8TB My Cloud NAS Review

Introduction


Since the launch of Western Digital’s single bay My Cloud NAS and its bigger brother the four by EX4 is we have seen a strong movement over to cloud-based storage and thought of doing so less daunting. The latest addition to my cloud family comes in the form of a 2-bay system, offering both the benefit of a multi drive setup with the option for data redundancy along with a simple clean design and a small desktop footprint.

Like the other two systems in the cloud family EX2 is optimised from Western Digital’s own red NAS drives and the particulars system that we have today to look at comprises of two 4TB drives giving us a total of 8 TB of storage in RAID0 mode, although out-of-the-box system is configured in RAID1 leaving 4 TB of space to work with. Like the EX for the EX two comes in a number of different capacities including 4, 6 and 8TB models, along with a disk-less option for those who want the flexibility to install their own drives.

At the heart of the EX2 we are given a Marvell Armada 370 single core 1.2 GHz processor, along with 512 MB DDR3 memory, two SATA 6Gbps interfaces, a single Gigabit Ethernet port and two USB three ports. On the software management side we are given the same interface as seen on the my cloud and the EX four along with the same mobile application as previously seen.

with the EX two following in the footsteps of the older MyBook Live in respect to its design, it is suitable for both the consumer and prosumer environment giving the functionality to access our files on the go along with data redundancy, which for some of us is more critical these days and prices starting at around £160 or $190 US.

Inside the blue box which we have come to associate with Western Digital’s My Cloud products and alongside the NAS, we have a single Ethernet cable, DC power adapter with UK and EU tips (regional) and a few bits paperwork with warranty and quick setup information.

Western Digital’s Cloud Services Still Facing Major Disruption

Since March 26th customers who own any of Western Digital’s Cloud storage based products have been facing crippling connectivity issues after a vulnerability in the service was exposed, resulting in the downtime of connections to and from the WD2Go servers and consequently the loss of connectivity by users to their Cloud storage products that are installed in their homes and offices.

We are nearing two weeks since the service was interrupted and in most case lost completely, after an unknown vulnerability in the way that the service operates was exposed and since then engineers have been frantically working away to discover and repair the problem and restore service to thousands of users world-wide. Unlike Cloud services such as Dropbox and Google Drive, Western Digital’s Cloud storage products such as the MyCloud, EX2, EX4 and MyBook World Live offer customers the ability to have all of their shared files stored within the confines of the home or office, whilst offering up greater storage capacities and the peace of mind that data is not being accessed or scanned by any third-party applications or sources.

A recent letter from WD President Jim Murphy stated “We understand how important your content is to you, your business and your family. Our customers are the reason we strive each day to make better products and services that enable you to enjoy this content. Your entire digital life must be safely stored and readily accessible, and is what makes the WD personal cloud, personal. While your data has remained safe and accessible in your home or office, the service disruption may have temporarily prevented some of you from remotely accessing that content. We’ve dedicated the past week to restoring your remote access as quickly as possible.”

Whilst this indicates to us that normal service is being restored to customers on a day-to-day basis, it doesn’t mention what the vulnerability is and how it was discovered. Mr Murphy’s letter went on to say “All of us at WD are committed to minimizing downtime and ensuring the service information we provide is valuable and frequent. We already have implemented important changes to our infrastructure and network capability. While we have validated the vast majority of your remote connections, we continue our focus on providing uninterrupted access from your phone, tablet or computer. Your content deserves nothing less.”

Unfortunately this information nor any official word from WD through the support pages appears to be easy to find, leaving the support channels inundated with requests from users for help and updates on the loss of connectivity to their systems. Although this looks to be a flaw in the network security at the service data centre, data stored on users devices is not at risk and if you feel concerned you can simply turn off your storage until we have confirmation that the service has been fully restored.

Considering I’ve got one of the latest My Cloud systems – the EX2 – currently in for review, I will be keeping an eye on the service status and will keep you all updated accordingly with news that comes to light. What is certain though is that this loss of connectivity will reflect the sales of and reputation of WD’s Cloud systems so they are working against the clock to restore the service and protect themselves from a financial hit.

Source: Press Release