Published on Friday, 17 June 2016 22:33
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Network attached storage devices have gone a long way since their early days so whereas even just 10 years they featured low-end single core CPUs and could just be used to house and share your crucial data on the local network today they have enough firepower to compete straight on even with full size server systems and can be used for a plethora of tasks. Of course at the end of the day NAS devices have yet to reach a point where they can replace regular servers all together but they can be used to host and shares files with other devices (file server), download files/data either directly or via the BitTorrent file distribution system, backup your system files, host your very own FTP server of website, connect one or more IP cameras and use it as a network video recorder and of course you can also use one as a complete home media DLNA server via which you can enjoy your media library on your TV screen (as long as it features an HDMI output) or stream it to compatible android/iOS devices. WD may not be the first manufacturer name that comes to mind when talking about NAS servers but they do own a respectable market share and with their latest My Cloud Expert series they aim even higher.
WD, a Western Digital company, is a long-time innovator and storage industry leader. As a storage technology pacesetter, the company produces reliable, high-performance hard disk drives and solid state drives. These drives are deployed by OEMs and integrators in desktop and mobile computers, enterprise computing systems, embedded systems and consumer electronics applications, as well as by the company in providing its own storage products. WD’s leading storage devices and systems, networking products, media players and software solutions empower people around the world to easily save, store, protect, share and experience their content on multiple devices. WD was established in 1970 and is headquartered in Irvine, California.
Just like with the My Cloud EX4 at first glance the EX2100 feels a lot like a mid-end NAS since falls somewhat short in terms of specifications compared to the competition (although it's definitely a step up compared to the EX4). So at the core of the EX2100 we find a Marvell Armada 385 (88F6821) dual-core CPU running at 1.3GH and 1GB DDR3 SDRAM. Two trayless 3.5" SATA 3 hot-swap drive bays are also present on the EX2100 along with 2 USB 3.0 ports and two RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet Ports (unfortunately unlike the EX4 the EX2100 doesn't have two DC in power ports thus you can't enable the power redundancy feature). WD currently sells the My Cloud Expert Series EX2100 either diskless (meaning you can use your very own drives) or ready right from the factory equipped with two WD Red 2/4/6TB drives (4/8/12TB total capacity) which you can configure either in JBOD or RAID 0/1. Today we'll be testing the 8TB model so let's not spend any more time in the introduction page.