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WD NAS

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JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Not sure if this is the right forum for this, but it's a "storage" question.

I'm looking at getting a NAS for my home. The main uses will be:

1. PC backup
--- I'm backing up now to an external USB drive. I like the idea of RAID 1 (or 10) to keep my data safe.
--- Would like to add in my wife and kids' PCs too
2. Movie/Audio storage & streaming
--- I have a large DVD collection...that's taking up space. I'd like to rip it and put it on this device, and then stream to watch from my PS3, Xbox One, iPad, etc. I have a Netflix account...but sometimes I get the urge to watch a movie, it's not on Netflix, and I have to pull out the DVD.
--- DVDs go bad (I can't watch the first 2 episodes of Stargate SG-1, season 1 anymore!)

Right now I have narrowed it down to the WD EX2 or the EX4.

The EX 2 let's me do RAID 1.

The EX 4 let's me do RAID 10 (or RAID 5), and has a faster processor. The EX 4 also has a "Disk management" feature...but I can't find any info on what that is.

As far as load/usage...I will be the heaviest user by far. (I'm still crying over losing the speed of the USB 3.0 connection for GB Ethernet).


Help me choose please! :D
 

tachi1247

Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
There really isn't going to be any benefit to RAID 0 on a NAS.

Post up some links to the ones you're considering. When I googled it I saw a ~$330 EX2 and the EX4 looks to be almost a $1000. That seems to be quite the spread in price....for me it's not even a decision.

That said, I haven't always seen the most positive things said about WD NAS enclosures. No idea about these two in particular, but Synology and QNAP both seem to be more favorable NAS brands.
 

Mighty_Miro_WD

Western Digital Representative
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Hi @JrClocker!

Both EX2 and EX4 will do a perfect job for the usages you've planned and described. In the matter of fact, there are few more things EX4 offers besides the more powerful processor that EX2 doesn't have:

- Two ethernet ports. They can increase bandwidth by combining these ports, and if one fails the other will resume to work.
- 2 power ports.
- Automatic power recovery feature, that will restart the device once the power is restored.
- You can setup a RAID 5 and RAID 10.

However, in this case, as far as I understood, the question is how many drive slots you need to have. IMO, RAID 1 will provide sufficient enough redundancy to your data, and the main things you may consider in this case is the budget part and how much storage you intend to have.

Hope this helps and feel free to ask any questions you may have.

Cheers! :)
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Thanks for the responses.

@tachi: The difference in price of the base unit is not too much ($159 and $376). The price range you see is how many drives the unit comes with (you can order with no drives, or various drive options). Links:

EX2: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I2P53NY?keywords=wd ex2&qid=1452261174&ref_=sr_1_2&sr=8-2
EX4: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G4JZ2T0?keywords=wd ex4&qid=1452261186&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

@mighty:
- What does the "Disk management" feature in the EX4 do?
- If I purchase the EX4, can I start with 2 drives (in RAID 1)...and then add 2 more drives (in RAID 1), and stack the 2 RAID 1 arrays as JBOD?
--- Example: I start with 2 3 TB drives in RAID 1 for redundancy. In the future I want to upgrade my storage, so I buy 2 more drives, set them up in RAID 1. Can I add the new RAID 1 array to the existing RAID 1 as JBOD to give me more storage?
--- In the example below, I start with 2 3 TB drives for 3 TB storage. In the future, I buy 2 5 TB drives for RAID 1, add into existing 3 TB RAID 1 for 8 TB of storage...can I do this?

.......+-- 2 3 TB in RAID 1 (start point)
JBOD --+
.......+-- 2 5 TB in RAID 1 (future point)
 

Mighty_Miro_WD

Western Digital Representative
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
There's a feature called Drive Management and it's related to the RAID array selection you prefer - RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, spanning and JBOD modes. You can access this by going in Storage -> RAID mode. There you can also monitor the health of the HDDs in Storage -> Disk Status. Here's a link to the manual of the EX4, you can check all the features starting from page 67:

http://products.wdc.com/support/kb.ashx?id=a7VqlT

Yes, you can setup two separate RAID arrays that are independent from one another - the system will see them as two separate volumes within the NAS. Since you're going to add the 2x5TB drives at later point, when you connect them you'll receive a notification asking what to do with the HDDs, and from there you just have to repeat the described steps in Storage -> RAID mode with the newly added disks.
 
OP
JrClocker

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Probably going to go with the EX4 with 4 2 TB drives in RAID 5.

I still have some more research to do.

Thanks!