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WD My Cloud EX4 8TB: 4-Bay Personal Cloud Storage WDBWWD0080KBK-NESN

  • Reliable, high-performance, four-bay NAS for your home or small office
  • Easy to manage with a powerful dashboard, LCD display and drive status alerts
  • Award-winning desktop and mobile apps
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Learn more about the Western Digital WDBWWD0080KBK-NESN

General

Brand
WD
Model
WDBWWD0080KBK-NESN

Interfaces

Port RJ-45
2 x 10/100/1000M
Port USB
2 x USB3.0

Configuration

Processor
2.0GHz
Default/ Max. Memory
512MB

Hard Drive Performance

Included HDD Capacity
8TB
RAID
RAID 0, 1, 5, 10; JBOD, spanning

Power

Power
100-240 VAC 50/60Hz

Features

Features
PC/Mac compatible

Easy drive install and hot swap

Twonky 7.2 DLNA 1.5 & UPnP certified media server

iTunes support

Anywhere access from computers, tablets and smartphones with My Cloud desktop and mobile apps

Dual power and network redundancy

Optimized for WD Red drives with WD's exclusive NASware technology

Reliable, high-performance, four-bay NAS for your home or small office

Diskless enclosure for ultimate flexibility or a populated system that works out of the box

Get up and running quickly with easy drive installation or buy a populated version that works right out of the box

Easy to manage with a powerful dashboard, LCD display and drive status alerts

Award-winning desktop and mobile apps

Industry-leading third-party apps, including aMule and Icecast

Advanced serving options including an integrated file server

Media streaming to connected TVs, media players and other DLNA/UPnP devices

WD SmartWare Pro for PC users, Apple Time Machine compatible for Mac users

Dual USB expansion port to increase storage capacity

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions
8.67"(L) x 8.21"(H) x 6.30"(W)
Weight
12.8 lbs

Environment

Temperature
0°C - 35 °C

Package Contents

Package Contents
My Cloud EX4
Ethernet cable
Power supply and cable
Quick Install Guide

Quick Info

Warranty

  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 2 years
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 2 years


Customer Reviews of the Western Digital WDBWWD0080KBK-NESN

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Showing 4 of 4 reviews - Clear Filters

5 out of 5 eggsWD My Cloud EX4 Cloud Storage-Making the Cloud Easy

This review is from: WD My Cloud EX4 8TB: 4-Bay Personal Cloud Storage WDBWWD0080KBK-NESN

Pros: boxed and well protected foam padding around the unit. The body of the EX4 is metal and strongly built with a nice black and gunmetal gray appearance. Has a capable feature set and easy to get up and running quickly. Included WD Concierge Service Phone number to aid the customer in setting up the My Cloud service on the network and installation of apps on the customers mobile devices. WD My Cloud EX 4 Learning Center web site helps walk the customer through operation of their server.

Unit supports Apple Time Machine backups and WD Smartware backups for Windows machines. The unit has redundant power ports and Gigabit Ethernet ports. Supplied power supply is not a wall wart but looks similar to a laptop power unit with a tight fitting connector to the unit. The EX4 has two USB 3.0 ports for hooking up external drives.

EX4’s that are populated with WD drives come formatted as Raid 5, but it can run as Raid 0,1,5, 5+Hot Spare,10, or JBOD. WD’s drive of choice for the EX4 is their WD Red NAS drive spinning at 5900 RPM and is made for work in the server environment. This 8TB unit tested has four of these WD Red drives with 6TB free, and 2TB used for parity, so pretty much if one drive fails, all is not lost.

WD supports and has available for download a good number of Apps for Torrent, FTP, HTTP, as well as aftermarket apps like eMule, IceCase, WordPress,phBB, and others. WD includes ten WD Smartware Pro licenses for client PC backup.

Large, silent 92mm fan on back for good airflow through the unit. Drive bays themselves are hot swappable, tool less, and drives can be changed in seconds.

Fully supports DLNA, and streaming to multiple devices connected to the Cloud is easy as pie. Support for Apple and Android portable devices is great. When set up in the Admin control panel, the user gets an email telling them how to download the appropriate app and how to connect to the server.

Cons: I really like the unit a lot, but a NAS/Cloud power user is going to feel limited by the speed of the unit. The unit has only a single core Marvell CPU running at 2Ghz. A lot of other manufacturers with servers in this price range have dual core processors, and rightly so. The memory is not an issue as the 512MB of DDR3 Hynix ram is quite good, it’s just the processor can get really overworked in very large file transfers. Given the price of the unit compared to other 4 bay NAS/Cloud servers, it really should have a better processor. Someone wanting a good home Cloud server should not be swayed by this, as the unit is very capable, but as they progress with the unit and use it more they will want that little extra oomph in the processor speed.

Power On/Off setup: When in the Admin control panel as far as setting the Power Schedule for the server, you are limited to one on and one off per day. The setup uses a sliding bar with blue dots indicating the on and off, with a solid blue line in between. My other server I shut down at different times during the weekdays, and leave on 24/7 on the weekends. I would like to do the same with this, but there is no way to have it come on at 5AM, shut off at 11 AM, turn on again at 3PM, and shut off at Midnight. It would be nice to be able to do that, but you can set it where it’s on all the time, or say maybe on at 5 AM off at 11PM. One on, one Off…that’s it. Something that costs this much I would like a little more control over it.

More explanation of the iSCSI setup would be appreciated and would help the novice user. There is nothing on the Admin panel nor anything in the My Cloud EX4 web site that covers this feature.

Front Panel LED’s are bright y’all. I had to put a piece of paper over the display to act as a diffuser. These suckers are bright at night. Would like to have a dimmer or a lower output adjustment.

Other Thoughts: unboxing the unit, sitting it on a shelf and connecting the power supply cord, the Ethernet cable to the router and turning it on. I opened up the Quick Start Guide and went to the WD URL specified to download the client software and control panel. By the time the software was up and running, the WD My Cloud EX4 had already obtained it’s IP address from the router, displayed it on the front LED display and was busy configuring itself. All I had to do was fill in a few blanks on the control panel, set up the users and passwords, and I was ready to upload data to it. This took only minutes from the time I opened the box. Probably the easiest cloud server I have set up (I already have a Synology server). My son who lives across town, got the email, downloaded the app for his iPhone and was watching a hi-def .mp4 movie while he ate supper. My Cloud anywhere….how cool is that?

Attaching USB 3.0 drives proved to be a non issue. I hooked up a couple of 2 TB external USB 3.0 drives and the unit recognized them with no issues. Though you probably wouldn’t use the USB 3.0 drives to backup the unit, it is a way to add a little more storage to the unit.

Performance benchmarks for the EX4 8TB unit are approximately 59.5MB/s read, and 58.7MB/s write on average. If the processor is getting saturated with a heavy file transfer and other processes are going on, this will drop dramatically. Probably the lowest I’ve seen so far has been about 32MB/s, and the memory and CPU graph on the Admin screen were maxed out. Using 7200 RPM drives really wouldn’t make that much of a difference where you could notice it, and didn’t when I tested it with 7200 RPM Seagate drives. Speeds still stayed about the same as with the WD Red Drives, and the Red drives are really what you want in the EX4 anyway, or a comparable Seagate NAS drive. I really would love that dual core Marvel CPU in this WD. How about it, WD?

Power Consumption is very reasonable for the unit. Digging out my new Kill A WATT (thanks NewEgg) I found the WD EX4 was drawing about 13.5 watts in standby mode. As the drives start to spin up, this peaked at about 46 watts, and with a .mp4 stream and file download download in process it hovered at around 27 watts.

In short, the only drawbacks I really find are the processor only being single core, the inability to only be able to set one on and one off time in the power mode, and lack of iSCSI setup instructions. Most users will never tax the system that much where bogging down will be a major issue, but I do feel that WD should address this in the future updates to the product. The iSCSI setup needs to be added to the tutorial web page.

I find the WD EX4 Cloud Server to be a very well made product overall, and one that I would be happy to recommend to customers. The few shortcomings it has aside, I still give the WD EX4 8TB Cloud Server a 5 Egg Rating.

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

4 out of 5 eggsOutstanding Cloud Media Server, Average SOHO NAS Performance

This review is from: WD My Cloud EX4 8TB: 4-Bay Personal Cloud Storage WDBWWD0080KBK-NESN

Pros: The WD MyCloud EX4 is WD's first foray into the world of the SOHO NAS with multiple swappable HDD bays. WD builds on their MyCloud single-drive enclosure offerings with this good-looking 4-bay NAS unit.

The key feature of this unit is not it's performance, which is pretty lackluster compared to other NAS units, but it's excellent Cloud storage functionality that builds upon WD's existing MyCloud feature set.

Here's a quicker rundown of the unit's Pros:

-Excellent packaging: The NAS unit ships in a large box that is guarded on all sides by a hefty foam skeleton. There's not much else in the box, just an AC adapter and short cat5e cable and a Quick Start pamphlet.

-Quality NAS Build and Components: Has a solid, long multi-part AC adapter similar to a laptop cord rather than a flimsy cord and wall wart. Unit is made of steel, matte plastic front with good looking LED display and indicator lights. 2 Gigabit Ethernet, 2 USB 3.0, redundant AC inputs and 90mm fan exhaust on the back of the unit. The drive bays are excellent quality and do not require any additional mounting hardware.

-Quiet Performance: The NAS is nearly inaudible when it operates, both the fan and NAS drives (WD Red) are whisper quiet. The NAS drives are audible when they spin up but much quieter than WD Black drives and similar to a Seagate SSHD.

-Easy Set-Up and Installation: The Quick Start Guide directs you to a WD URL, which then prompts you to download set-up software. This is really all you need for the most basic functions, as the software installs the basic WD MyCloud PC client and also adds desktop links to other WD features.

-Simple and Fast UI- For the PC, there is basically 2 UIs that you use: 1) WD MyCloud Dashboard for back-end control and 2) WD MyCloud for desktop client "Explorer" interface that shows you the drive shares and allows you to navigate directory and manipulate files. These interfaces do not however, cover more advanced features like iSCSI.

-Outstanding Cloud Support for Portable Devices: Here is where the MyCloud EX4 really shines, imo. The Quick Start guide has a few Qc barcodes that link you to the apps on your Android/iOS device's store that allow seamless integration with your MyCloud from ANYWHERE. All you have to do is authenticate using the account/user you created on the MyCloud, you don't have to set IP addresses, set up any proxy servers, or configure/forward any ports on either end. It is ALL DONE behind the scenes by WD's MyCloud software. Works brilliantly, as fast as your internet connection. I was able to wirelessly stream 1080p video to my Galaxy S4 using the MyCloud Android App over WiFi, but 4G LTE is much slower and takes time to buffer.

-Support for multiple RAID settings: JBOD, 0, 1, 10 and 5 are all supported. Switching between array types is fast (about 10 mins with 4x2TB) but as you can see they are all limited by the unit's CPU and don't really benefit from different RAID settings.

-O

Cons: While I think this unit is a great device for those who do not require top-end NAS or file-server performance to serve multiple concurrent users and mainly want access to their data, anywhere from any device, the MyCloudEX4 does have a number of drawbacks.

-Even though this NAS unit excels in Cloud server support, it's performance is overall pretty lackluster compared to other 4-bay NAS units especially. It is not the cheapest unit on the market either, so for this price I would expect it to perform a slight bit better. As you can see in the Other Thoughts section, this device falls behind even low-end 2-bay budget NAS units.

-As slick and easy as the UI is to use, it is not explained to you that the admin password is blank by default. It is NOT the password you set for admin for your MyCloud account.

-There are no instructions for iSCSI set-up. I also could not find any in the Dashboard. You can create an iSCSI target but unlike other NAS units that provide an auto-mapping function, you have to go into the Windows Admin toolbox and use the iSCSI initiator to initiate your iSCSI target. Then you have to go into compmgmt.msc to configure and format your iSCSI drive. This is more than what you would expect an average user to know how to do, imo, so WD should work to clean this up and make it simpler, or provide instructions on how to do this (it is not in the learning tools either).

-Overall, the CPU is underpowered. Single core Marvell CPU @2GHz. Most 4-bay NAS units are running 2-cores and the results speak for themselves. This unit's UI is fast and snappy when the unit isn't heavily loaded, but during heavy transfers the CPU utilization spikes and everything bogs down. A 2nd core would help tremendously here for both transfer rates and UI performance. It's really a shame WD didn't step it up here with a 2-core version of this Marvell Kirkwood CPU.

-I could not get the USB 3.0 ports to recognize any of my USB devices. I tried numerous devices, USB thumb drives, USB 3.0 enclosures, USB to SATA adapters, USB 3.0 to microSD readers, you name it. Nothing worked.

-As nice as the WD MyCloud Android App was to use, I found it very limited in terms of features and customization. For example, I could not find any way to tell the app WHICH folders to auto-update. It just auto-updated my generic default folder which pointed to phone storage, when I store my photos on my microSD card. I could not see any way to tell it to auto-update my other photo folders.

-While the WD RED drives are certainly designed for 24/7 operation and low power consumption, they are only 5900RPM drives and perform worst than 7200RPM drives.

Other Thoughts: Even though I feel WD has the best offering on the market in terms of Cloud support and mobile device integration, I am a little disappointed because this device could have been so much better if it offered better performance that closer rivaled that of it's competitors. While it doesn't need to be as fast as the Synology and QNAP NAS units of the world, it certainly can't fall so far back that it's competing with the likes of Iomega and lesser-known brands.

I think if WD switched to the higher-end 2-core Marvell SoC that would go a long way in addressing this unit's performance deficiencies, because otherwise the feature-set, quality, connectivity, and ease-of-use you get in this device is outstanding. Without the excellent, seamless Cloud functionality, this device is probably a 3-star unit at it's price point, but with a faster CPU and transfer speeds it is easily a 5-star unit. So instead I compromise and rate it a 4 as I am willing to overlook it's poor transfer performance due to it's ground-breaking Cloud features for mobile devices.

*****PERFORMANCE DATA********

I won't bother you with tons of numbers, Seq. Read/Writes for file transfers will give you a good idea of overall performance.

WD MyCloud RAID 5 R/W: [AS SSD 64/41] [CDM 53/54]
WD MyCloud RAID 0 R/W: [AS SSD 65/53] [CDM 53/54]
WD MyCloud RAID 0 (2xNIC) R/W: [AS SSD 68/52] [CDM 53/54]
WD MyCloud RAID 10 R/W: [AS SSD 71/44] [CDM 54/49]
Iomega IX2 RAID 0 R/W: [AS SSD 68/53] [CDM 69/55]
Seagate SSHD (USB3) R/W- [AS SSD 50/159] [CDM 82/172]

As you can see from the data, it clearly can't saturate the 1Gbps provided from the dual Gigabit Ethernet ports on an all Gbe network. I also did not see a tangible difference using the 2nd Ethernet port, but unfortunately I do not have a mobo that supports Ethernet "teaming". However, I still feel transfer rates are bottlenecked by the CPU rather than bandwidth as CPU usage spikes to 100% during transfers and there was no tangible benefit moving from RAID5 to 10 to 0 as you would expect. Transfer speeds of ~40-60MB/s are also much lower than you would expect from Gigabit Ethernet, with network to network transfers from fast storage devices (SSDs on SATA6G) easily hitting max throughput speeds of ~125MB/s.

This unit ships configured as RAID5 by default. I will probably continue to use it in this RAID configuration as it provides the best balance of redundancy and capacity (only 25% of total storage is lost for the parity bit) and the performance benefit of faster RAID types (0 + 10) is of little benefit on this underpowered SoC.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Timothy W.
  • 11/24/2013 7:32:29 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggsHell of a deal

This review is from: WD My Cloud EX4 8TB: 4-Bay Personal Cloud Storage WDBWWD0080KBK-NESN

Pros: This project, a media server went very well and was simple to setup and access.

Cons: Because of the single core CPU and limited memory the inital copy of several TB of movies can take a long time.

Other Thoughts: My Western Digital My Cloud EX4 is up and running. I have 8.2 TB left after copping most of my movies (and 100 Gb of music). I started with 11.9 TB ((4) 3TB WD green drives) of Disk space. I still have a lot (4-6TB) of nonessential movies that I intend to add.

I have noticed that I have omissions in my collection. For example I have James Burk's Connections seasons 2 and 3 but not season one. I have Kenneth Clark's Civilisation all but disk number two. So I'll start; or I have been filling in the omissions.

I started off reading the EX4 directly from my Samsung flat screen TV and that was disappointing. I could navigate the directory and only hit play, pause or stop. The TV remote lacks Forward and Prior buttons, fast forward and reverse functions don't work. Many of my favorite movies (Water, Perfect Crime, Bandit Queen, Daughter of Keltoum) are in other languages and often even movies in English have dialogue that benefits from subtitles. I greatly miss subtitles, for me quality dialogue is paramount.

Maybe that was to be expected with a Samsung? When I accessed the EX4 from my OPPO 93 Blu-ray player and all the functions work perfectly. So the "flaws" in the system are limitations of the TV not with EX4 or the media server software included on the EX4.

I have been burning DVDs off the air for more than a decade and while I try to group similar programs before I burn 4-5 programs to a single DVD that is not always possible. I've ended up with 50 binders each with 300 DVD and sometimes finding a given documentary was a long tedious process. A media server greatly simplifies even finding what I want to watch and makes handling DVDs or CDs, and risking damage completely unnecessary.

Other minor issues:

The EX4 in 8TB as sold sports: quantity (4) - 2TB capacity rather than (two) 4TB drives so the upgrade path is very difficult and expensive with all 4 bays full of the smallish hard drives. WD was kind and generous enough to send me (4) 4TB drives in exchange for my (4) 2TB drives. I would not expect them to do that for everyone. I might be tempted to purchase the 0TB, 12TB or 16TB unless one is confident that they prefer the four 2TB configuration of the 8TB model.

Much has been unfavorably written in professional reviews about the modest speed of the EX4 single core CPU. File transfers could be faster. Fast background back ups are rarely a problem, but fast file RESTORES could be a priority for some. It takes a long time (a whole day) to load 4TB of movies on to the EX4 (using local network, my PC lacks USB 3.0) I but did that over night while I slept so who cares? In exchange for the lack of performance the EX4 uses very little power and does a great job as media server without being a cost center on my electric bill. I think for me it is a worth while trade off. I don't know how many TV or PC's the EX4 could service at the same time but I suspect "several" is reasonable. I don't think it could service 30 seats at a time as i

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Timothy W.
  • 11/23/2013 10:31:05 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggs5 Thumbs Up

This review is from: WD My Cloud EX4 8TB: 4-Bay Personal Cloud Storage WDBWWD0080KBK-NESN

Pros: lost cost
simple to setup
simple to operate
plenty fast enough as a media server
easy on the electric bill

Cons: 8 drive bays next time?
all 4TB drive might be better upgrade wise
A little more CPU and memory

Other Thoughts: My Western Digital My Cloud EX4 is up and running. I have 8.2 TB left after copping most of my movies on. I started with 11.89 TB ((4) 3TB WD green drives) of Disk space. I still have a lot of nonessential stuff I'll start copping on.

I noticed that I have omissions in my collection. For example I have James Burk's Connections seasons 2 and 3 but not season one. I have Kenneth Clark's Civilisation all but disk two. So I'll start. or I have been filling in the omissions.

I started off reading the EX4 directly from my Samsung TV and that was disappointing. I could navigate the directory and hit play, pause or stop. The TV remote lacks Forward and Next buttons, fast forward and reverse functions don't work. Many of my favorite movies (Water, Perfect Crime, Bandit Queen, Daughter of Keltoum) are in other languages and often even Movies in English have dialogue that benefits from subtitles.

Maybe that was to be expected with a Samsung. When I accessed the EX4 from my OPPO 93 Blu-ray player and all the functions work perfectly. So the "flaws" in the system are limitations of the TV not with EX4 or the media server software included on the EX4.

I have been burning DVD off the air for more than a decade and while I try to group similar programs before I burn 4-5 programs to a DVD that is not always possible. I've ended up with 50 binders each with 300 DVD and sometimes finding a given documentary was a long tedious process.

Other minor issues:

The EX4 in 8TB currently sports : quanity (4) - 2TB capacity rather than (two) 4TB drives so the upgrade path is very difficult and expensive with all 4 bays full of the small hard drives. WD was kind and generous enough to send me (4) 4TB drives in exchange for my (4) 2TB drives. I would not expect them to do that for eveyone.

Much has been unfavorably written about the modest speed of the EX4 single core CPU. File transfers could be faster. Fast background back ups are rarely a problem, but fast RESTORES could be a priority for some. It takes a long time (a whole day) to load 4TB of movies on to the EX4 (using local network, my PC lacks USB 3.0) I but did that over night while I slept so who cares? In exchange for the lack of performance the EX4 uses very little power and does a great job as media server without being a cost center on my electric bill. I think for me it is a worth while trade off.

The EX4 also has the ability to be a FTP server, network Backup, operate a Bulletin Board, work as a SQL server and much more, none of which I've looked at. I've also not done anything with storing any HD (Blu-Ray quality) content on my EX4. Whan I can say is that as a DVD server I have mine running like jack the bear and I love it.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

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