EX2 Ultra comes in 4 variants, including diskless cut
IFA 2016 is coming up, and as is the case with any major event, collaborating with internal teams is of prime importance. As always, at conferences, our teams take tons of images and videos, posting to social media, with a team at the backend on it as well. One common glitch, if you can call it that is storage of these media and the access to it by members of the team for that short period of time.
Which is where Western Digital’s My Cloud EX2 Ultra 2-bay Network Attached Storage device fits perfectly. The new addition to its prosumer line-up the My Cloud EX2 Ultra offers one very obvious upgrade over WD’s prior offering the My Cloud EX2 in that its far more specced up, thanks to a 1.3GHz dual core Marvell Armada A9 processor and 1GB of memory.
The My Cloud EX2 Ultra comes in 4 variants: diskless, 4TB, 8TB and 12TB. The version we received was a 4TB version includes two 2TB WD Red drives which as configured is a RAID 1 (mirror) set-up. That way, if one drive fails, the other drive lives on to preserve the data.
Out of the box, the My Cloud EX2 Ultra falls into the My Cloud design aesthetic, with a matte black finish and 3 LED status lights on the front for power/connectivity, bay 1, and bay 2. One of the immediate things you notice is the ventilated covering on the top and bottom to disperse heat. On the backside, you’ll find the power port, Ethernet port, reset button, 2 USB ports, and a lock slot.
Like other devices in the My Cloud family, the EX2 Ultra is super easy to set up. The online user manual takes you through all of the necessary steps to get the machine up and running, while the WD mobile apps for iOS and Android allow easy access to your content from anywhere.
So how does this get into the most recommended list for any small office or end user? Via the mycloud.com access, the NAS can be used as a remote media server/file server for iOS and Android devices (as well as PC/Mac) with a custom share set-up and user accounts. You can also set expiry dates for temporary access. The built-in Cloud picture ability means that same set of users can access and automatically upload all of their photos, RAW imagfes and GoPro captures. This makes the EX2 Ultra perfect for the small office owner and end user. So I can create accounts for team members with generated access codes, who can in return download images and videos for the rest of the team to access in a continuous flow.
The remote access for mobile devices aside, work collaboration platforms like PLEX, Joomla and WordPress are inbuilt in to the EX2 Ultra, as is Twonky-based DLNA support.
The moment of reckoning came with shoot wherein we coordinated with teams on the ground. The read and write speeds for videos were quite impressive and virtual access via phones proved a cinch as well. Of course, with regard to the EX2 Ultra, access was also helped by the functional yet intricate app interface.
On the downside, we were a little surprised by the amount of noise it generated, and the relative lack of third-party plugins is a bit of a downer.
Yet this doesn’t waver from the fact that the My Cloud EX2 Ultra is one NAS server that blends power, ease of access, price and a range of customization options that pat away the competition.
The Western Digital My Cloud EX2 Ultra is priced $159.99, $349.99, $449.99, and $599.99 for the diskless, 4TB, 8TB, and 12TB respectively.