Product WD My Cloud Professional DL2100
Specs Gigabit Ethernet x 2 power supply (DC in) x 1 USB 3.0 expansion port x 1 rear USB 3.0 port with direct copy, x 1 front, 1.7GHz Intel Atom C2350, 1GB DDR3 (expandable), 2 x 3.5in hard drive bays, hot swap capable, tray-less design, WD Red NAS hard drives, (external ports) 2 USB 3.0 ports (1 x back side; 1 x front side with direct copy button), DHCP client or static IP NTP client, dynamic DNS, Apple Bonjour and Windows Rally Jumbo frame support up to 9K VLAN (802.1Q), link aggregation and failover for 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports, UPnP port forwarding, LLTD Link Layer Topology Discovery Protocol iSCSI SSH.
EVER SINCE WD launched the My Cloud range of NAS servers, which act as an on-premise alternative to the likes of Google Drive and Dropbox, they've been seen as likeable, rather than professional. But, with the arrival of the DL2100, the My Cloud comes of age with a version that is strictly business.
Sporting a 1.7GHz Intel Atom C2350 processor and 1GB of DDR3, the performance of this model is aimed at the needs of concurrent users. If it struggles, the DDR3 can be upgraded to 5GB by way of a single SODIMM slot. Our review, however, assumes that the unit in its factory state.
The WD My Cloud DL2100 has a much more grown up design than its predecessors. Gone is the plastic casing, replaced with metal grills and a more minimalist form factor. This comes at a cost in weight but that doesn't matter as it just adds to the more 'grown up' feel of the end result.
It looks far more akin to something you’d find in a server room than at the back of a home router, although it is most definitely not rack-mountable.
Even so, there are several design features which come straight out of the server room. There's a second power supply input, although only one transformer is supplied leaving you free to pick from a range of uninterruptable power supplies. There's a second Ethernet port too, and two USB 3.0 ports, one at the front, ostensibly the 'back up port', and one at the back for longer-term expansion.
WD has a policy of cramming everything into the interface for its products. The home units have fancy features like ISCSI support, and this business unit has many consumer features including iTunes/DLNA support and an optional TV tuner.
The UI has had a complete overhaul visually, but it remains faithful to its predecessors, albeit with a new white paint job. My Cloud OS is intuitive to use, and is capable of supporting a range of apps which can see it running as a WordPress or Joomla server, or a BitTorrent client to sync data to bare metal backup at a remote location.
Desktop users can map drives and folders directly, but expect this to take a huge hit on transfer speeds (of which more later). The supplied file manager software, however, is clunky and irritating, but essential for remote access.
Mobile access comes from the My Cloud app for iOS and Android, which allows access and copying to and from Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive, the latter two not integrated at drive level, which seems a bit odd.
As a backup drive it is peerless, capable of RAID 0,1 and 5, and scheduled backups locally over a network or even over the internet. Drives plugged into the front port can be set for automatic backup too.
Next: Set up and performance