Our First Look At The My Cloud EX4
The WD My Cloud EX4 is a 4-bay NAS that is targeted at the prosumer market. Hence, it has a stylish design that features an blue LED display in the front, and simpler setup and configuration. The blue LED display is very useful, because it allows you to check the NAS' key information directly - from available storage capacity, drive status, fan speed, internal temperature and the NAS' IP address.
The WD My Cloud EX4's most interesting feature is arguably its "Easy-Slide-Drive" technology, which allows for the easy installation or replacement of hard disk drives, even by noobs. The process is completely tool-less. It doesn't even require the use of drive trays. All you need to do is unlock a bay door, slide the drive in and close the bay door to lock it into place. That's it!
We tried it out ourselves and it was really very easy and foolproof. WD even designed the bay doors with a rubber stopper to prevent the drive from sliding right out of the bay. To remove the drive, you have to lift it up and away from the stopper. The only downside is that the bay doors cannot be locked. Check out how easy the installation of a drive is in this "Easy-Slide-Drive" demonstration by Albert.
The My Cloud EX4 runs on Linux and is powered by a 2 GHz dual-core Intel Atom processor as well as 512 MB of RAM. Even though it has 4 drive bays, it is a very compact and well-built NAS. We were pleasantly surprised to note that My Cloud EX4 actually features redundant Gigabit LAN ports and redundant power supplies!
According to Western Digital, if either one of the LAN ports or cables fail, the My Cloud EX4 will automatically switch to the other LAN port and cable. However, the two LAN ports do not support link aggregation. The additional LAN port is only included to provide redundancy in case of failure of the port or the cable attached to it.
Similarly, if one of the power supplies fail, the My Cloud EX4 automatically switches to the alternate power supply. We have to point out though that the My Cloud EX4 ships with a single power supply. If you want power supply redundancy, you will need to buy a second power supply (it's just an AC/DC adaptor, like the type that powers your laptops) for RM 69 (US$ 22).
The My Cloud EX4 comes with two USB 3.0 ports, but they are both located at the back. It also doesn't come with any integrated card readers. This design is partly due to the fact that the My Cloud EX4 is based on their business-grade WD Sentinel DX4000 NAS, and partly because WD felt that this NAS would be mostly kept out of sight and accessible via LAN.
Western Digital is offering the WD My Cloud EX4 in a variety of options. You can buy just the NAS system and install your own drives, or you can buy the My Cloud EX4 pre-installed with four pre-formatted WD Red hard disk drives, offering raw storage capacities of 8 TB, 12 TB and 16 TB. My Cloud EX4 NAS systems with pre-installed hard disk drives are configured with RAID 5, so the actual storage capacities would be 6 TB, 8 TB and 12 TB respectively.
The WD My Cloud EX4 NAS system has an MSRP of RM 1,359 (USD 439) while the 8 TB model costs RM 2,699 (USD 869), the 12 TB model costs RM 3,259 (USD 1,049) and the 16 TB model costs RM 3,999 (USD 1,289). They all come with a 2 year limited warranty.
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