The network attached storage market is growing by leaps and bounds. While the SMB (small and medium business) / enterprise market is driven by speed, IOPS and concurrent access support, the consumer segment is primarily driven by capacity and ease of use. Vendors have typically targeted the consumer / SOHO NAS platform with RISC-based chipsets, while Atom-based units target the higher-end SOHO and SMB market. Western Digital's SMB NAS units run Windows Storage Server (the Sentinel series), but they also have a Debian Linux platform for consumer units. We have evaluated the Linux-based My Book Live before. Running on the Applied Micro APM82181 PowerPC-based platform, the unit earned our recommendation for the extreme ease-of-use and mobile app ecosystem.

Today, Western Digital is announcing a very ambitious update to the My Book Live. At launch, the new My Cloud lineup will have only one member. This member, a network attached hard-disk, will come in 2, 3 and 4 TB capacities priced at $150, $180 and $250 respectively. However, under the same lineup, Western Digital also plans to bring out two and four-drive configurations to the market soon.

The My Cloud units sport a single Gigabit Ethernet connection and a dual-core processor (WD refused to disclose the identity, but it should become apparent when we receive units in hand). The units are backed by free iOS and Android apps (with direct upload from the mobile device to the NAS as the main feature) as well as well as the WD SmartWare Pro software for PC backups. Time Machine support is also available for Mac users. The units are also compatible with DLNA devices as a DMS (Digital Media Server).

The launch of the My Cloud lineup will definitely heat up the competition in the consumer NAS segment. WD's storage background will also help in making the units hit an optimal price point. Interesting aspects to look forward to would be whether the two and four-drive units will have removable drives and/or hot-swap capabilities. We are looking forward to review one of these when the multiple-drive versions hit the market.

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  • Mech0z - Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - link

    Can you make a raid of 2 seperate units? If this is power efficient I might use a 4bay of these instead of my planned NAS and then have a very small NAS/Media center PC that can access this over lan
  • chubbypanda - Thursday, October 3, 2013 - link

    Not possible. As Ganesh speculates, WD would release soon dual bay (with RAID0/1) edition of the same product.
  • ArthurG - Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - link

    PRISM approved ? NSA backdoor build-in ?
  • darwinosx - Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - link

    Yeah I have the same question. If you want real security of personal data you have to roll your own which isn't hard to do.
  • Wolfpup - Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - link

    IMO there's not a single good consumer unit yet. Would be awesome if this finally does it. Needs to...well, ideally it would be formatted in NTFS and readable without the NAS. Needs to use swapable standard drives. Needs to be accessible in Windows like accessing another Windows system, and ideally the same in OS X...
  • phoenix_rizzen - Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - link

    Sound like you just want a USB harddrive enclosure, and not a NAS. These can be picked up for under $50 CDN at pretty much any computer store, and online for even less.

    We've got a handful of Vantec USB3 enclosures at work. Takes any SATA harddrive, can be formatted with any FS, and connected to any system with USB2 or USB3.
  • twobitcoder - Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - link

    No mention of Samba or FTP support. How would you load this thing or use it as a backup, with an APP? Really. This is no different from any previous existing personal NAS, and none of them work properly. Show me one that can handle file transfers faster than 10MB/s and I'll be impressed. What does not impress me is an iOS app and a catchy name.
  • Gigaplex - Thursday, October 3, 2013 - link

    Any gigabit capable one should easily exceed 10MB/s.
  • g1011999 - Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - link

    I analyze the kernel source WD releases.
    The SoC shall be MindSpeed Comcerto 2000 series.
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - link

    Very interesting! Can't wait to benchmark that one :)

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