Western Digital introduced new NAS designed for professionals and businesses in early March. The brand was extremely kind to give me one of its devices for testing for a few weeks. Which ? The My Cloud EX4100 , with four bays occupied by WD RED drives of 6 TB each, for a total of… hem… 24 TB! Not bad is not it ?
As often, this test will be split into two parts. This grip will introduce you to the device, its technical sheet and its specificities, with an unboxing video as a bonus. The real test will be published in a few weeks and it will review all the features of the NAS, with a focus on its speeds and applications of course.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, you know the song: leave a comment at the end of the article.
The My Cloud EX4100 has been designed to integrate into all environments and it will be perfectly capable of acting as a small stand-alone server. Western Digital has provided it with a very interesting technical sheet, with:
- A two-line LCD display (16 characters).
- A Marvell ARMADA 388 dual-core processor @ 1.6 GHz.
- 2 GB of RAM in DDR3.
- 4 x 3.5 ″ hard drive bays.
- JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10.
- EXT2, EXT3, EXT4, HFS + J, FAT, FAT32, NTFS.
- 2 Gigabit ports, 2 power ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports.
It is also compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.x, OS X and it will be able to stream media to all DLNA / UPnP compatible devices. I'm not going to list all the supported protocols but know all the same that the NAS will have no trouble finding its place in a corporate network, especially since it can perfectly register in an Active Directory .
Ah, and AES 256-bit encryption is also in the game.
I will go into more details in my test but the NAS comes with several pre-installed applications: aMule , Icecast , phpBB , Joomla! , SqueezeCenter , phpMyAdmin , WordPress and Transmission . It can also accept third-party tools but I haven't had time to dig into it yet.
Packaging, Design & Ergonomics
The My Cloud EX4100 box is like the NAS: imposing. A lot of visuals on the sides, with an emphasis on the technical characteristics and specificities of the device. The routine, in short.
Inside and outside the EX4100, we will find the power cables, a quick start guide and an Ethernet cable. No disc? It depends on the packs. There are four in Western Digital's catalog: 0TB , 8TB , 16TB , 24TB .
Price side, count between 469 euros and 1,869 euros for the largest pack.
The NAS is pretty big, but not as big as you might think. Western Digital made sure to make it as compact as possible. This is good news for freelancers who work from home, and who often lack space.
The brand has opted for a dark and matte dress, with shiny plastic on the front. The screen is invisible when the device is off, but it is to the left of the two buttons. Without being huge, it will allow you to comfortably read all the information displayed, such as the IP address of the server or the temperature of the disks.
The four bays are placed a little lower. WD has not integrated any locks and it is therefore impossible to block their opening. Pity. Good point, however, the discs are not mounted on rails. You will therefore not need to play with the screwdriver to change them and the time saving is not negligible.
Otherwise, know that an LED is present under each bay to allow us to check if everything is fine.
On the left, we will find the power button and a USB 3.0 port surmounted by another button. It will allow us to copy the contents of a key in an instant. It is really very convenient.
Apart from that, all the connections are at the back of the box. With two USB 3.0 ports, two Gigabit Ethernet sockets and two power sockets. No HDMI output, however, and this is not surprising because this device was not designed to find its place next to your television.
Which obviously doesn't mean that you can't use it to mount a media center .
The offer is solid, it is a fact, but it is obviously not by unpacking a NAS that one can get a real idea of its functions and its performance.
However, I can tell you at least two things about the My Cloud EX4100.
The first is that it is extremely quiet. Its fan is huge, yes, but it doesn't make as much noise as I had feared and you really have to push the beast to its limits to hear it. This is an important point in my eyes and we have to believe that it is also for Western Digital.
So much the better.
So what about the second? I was very surprised by the simplicity of its implementation. After having connected it to the box and to a power outlet (or an inverter), all you have to do is turn it on to start the automatic configuration. Then we will just have to stick to a terminal located in the same network and type a special address in the browser to access the configuration wizard.
And there, no need to worry. All you have to do is create your WD account and it will take care of the rest. He will then refer us to his dashboard and we can then install our applications, configure our access and finally do everything that is possible to do with a professional NAS.
So much for this grip. We end with the video that goes well.