WD Targets Prosumers, Small Businesses With My Cloud NAS

All of those 4K GoPro videos need to go somewhere. WD launches new NAS devices to help consumers and small business store their growing collections of big files.

cloud storage

WD today launched four new network-attached storage (NAS) devices aimed at two types of technology buyers: prosumers and small businesses.

For prosumers, primarily photographers and other creative professionals who handle large image and video files, the company is making available two My Cloud Expert Series models, the two-bay EX2100 and the four-bay EX4100. Powered by ARM-based, dual-core Marvell Armada processors, the NAS offerings were built to provide digital media enthusiasts with a speedy content storage, streaming, management and protection platform, according to Scott Vouri, vice president of consumer marketing for Western Digital.

Consumers are snapping up high-resolution GoPros and other media devices, causing their NAS and their home networks to feel the strain. During a recent press preview in New York, Vouri remarked that "4K [video] is coming out, everything's in super-high bandwidth, the network starts to get overloaded and the NAS is bogging down."

Supplied by Marvell, the Armada 385 processor in the EX2100 and the 388 processor EX4100 were optimized to handle the rigors of today's media-streaming landscape. "These processors have not been out before, and they're especially designed for extremely high-performance, simultaneous HD media streaming," Vouri said.

The EX2100 and EX4100 are available in capacities of up to 12TB ($749.99) and 24TB ($1,449.99), respectively. Western Digital's Linux-based My Cloud OS is preinstalled on flash memory—which, coupled with the hardware's RAM (1GB on the EX2100 and 2GB EX4100), provide instant access to storage management and data services, including remote secure access to files, as well as enhanced capabilities provided by third-party apps.

A one-touch copy button makes it easy to dump the contents of a digital or video camera onto a My Cloud Expert NAS. Data protection options include NAS-to-NAS replication, NAS to USB backup, and NAS to cloud backup with support for popular cloud storage services, including Amazon S3 and Dropbox.

Small Business, Multi-User NAS

On the small-business front, WD focused on "security, centralization and collaboration" for the My Cloud Business Series two-bay DL2100 and four-bay DL4100, said Vouri.

Outfitted with dual-core Intel Atom processors and sporting a novice-friendly management user interface, the DL2100 and DL4100 are meant to provide small businesses with storage and collaboration services once reserved for larger companies, WD said.

During a live demonstration, in which common user management and configuration tasks took mere seconds to complete, Vouri touted the new hardware's ability to "quickly hook up all the computers on the business network; get [employees] using a centralized file server without having the users need an IT degree; [and] being able to back that up extremely easily and offering multiple RAID options and multiple backup options including off-site."

Network connectivity is provided by dual Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) ports. Other business-centric features include Microsoft Active Directory support, AES 256-bit volume encryption and the ability to act as an iSCSI target and initiator. Customers can add RAM for up to 6GB of system memory.

The two-bay DL2100 and four-bay DL4100 are available in capacities of up to 12TB ($849.99) and 24TB ($1,529.99), respectively.

My Cloud Business Series (DL2100 and DL4100) is currently available at Western Digital's online store. Channel partner availability for both the Expert and Business product lines kicks off in March.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of...