The Western Digital (WD) My Cloud EX2 Ultra is a high performance, pre-configured, 2-bay Network Attached Storage (NAS) device. It comes with an integrated Marvell ARMADA 1.3 GHz duel-core A9 processor, 1 GB RAM and runs My Cloud OS 3, making it perfect for an ultra-fast data transfer experience.
When looking for a NAS device (esp. in South Africa), there are a couple of features one must consider before spending large amounts of cash. Western Digital is a well known hard drive brand, and the WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra has plenty of online support, coverage and is actually commercially available in South Africa. Before buying this device, here are the important features one might want to know about.
The WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra comes standard (as with Western Digital’s previous My Cloud versions) in gun metal black.
The plastic container measures in at 10 x 16 x 17 cm (LxWxH) and includes the hardware, hard drives and a (silent) fan on the inside. The front has three blue LEDs (power, disk 1 and disk 2) to indicate function.
The WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra comes in a variety of storage sizes. If you have some spare hard drives lying around, the 0TB version would be perfect. To make make use of its ultra-high performance abilities, 4 TB, 8 TB, 12 TB, 16 TB and 20 TB versions are also available.
Its two Western Digital Red hard drives are specifically built for NAS systems to provide improved and reliable performance within 24×7 environments.
On the back
On the back, the WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra have cooling vents, a reset button, two USB 3.0 expansion ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, a cable lock port and a power port.
The reset button has two modes: 4 second reset and a 40 second reset. The button itself if hidden above the USB ports and can only be pressed by using a small sharp object (such as a paperclip). Resetting is done to restore the device to a degree of its factory default settings, and not only to reboot the device.
The storage capacity of the WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra can be expanded by adding compatible USB hard drives to the USB 3.0 expansion ports. To take full advantage of the port speed (5 GB/s or 640 Mbps), the added drives also needs to be USB 3.0 compatible. The added hard drives will be mounted as Shares and will be available to the rest of the network as separate locations (i.e. won’t be striped according to a RAID configuration with the rest of the drives).
A cable lock port is available to enable the unit to be secured using a standard laptop locking device.
The WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra has a Gigabit Ethernet port able to run at a maximum speed of a 1000 Mbps. The packaging includes a CAT5 Ethernet cable able to transfer data at this speed.
The back of the unit also has a 2.5 mm male power socket. A 12 V DC / 3 A (36 Watt) power supply with an adjustable wall socket connector was distributed with my 12 TB unit. Some sources report that 16 TB and above will need power that matches 48 Watts.
Setting up the WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra is as simple as connecting the power and the Ethernet to a local network. After connecting, the settings are accessed from any device on the network using a web browser.
The steps are supplied on the simple installation guide included in the box. The initial setup is done through a step-by-step Wizard interface. All the settings, including creating the admin account, additional users, groups, Shares (shared folders), backups, Cloud access, IP settings, etc. are easy to set up via this interface.