The world's leading system suppliers of enclosures, power distribution, climate control, IT infrastructure and software & services. Innovative solutions and services to enhance information exchange and business process integration beyond the borders of the enterprise. WD’s My Book Live Duo comes in 4, 6 and 8Tb varieties, each one using two drives with half the rated capacity. WD’s My Book Live Duo is a NAS box with server smarts and cloud integration, and makes some lofty promises. On the back of the unit are just three ports – a power inlet, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and a USB 2.0 port. The USB port on the back mounts a connected external drive, which is very handy for expanding storage and backups, but there’s only one port, and it’s not fast USB 3.0.
So one can access their files from a smartphone, and even stream media from it, as well as sharing data with other users.
And since the system apparently runs Linux, there’s quite a lot of basic functionality that could be enabled without the developers breaking much of a sweat, like a print server or integration with Active Directory for permissions.
But those limitations aside, this is a good, solid performer that achieves what it promises: reliable storage with cloud integration.
Storage isn't a black box anymore - join Mark Young, senior director systems engineering EMEA, at Tintri for a new look at smart storage.
If you’re looking at rands per terabyte, stop reading now: for the price, you could probably get more than double the same capacity elsewhere.

It comes in 4, 6 and 8Tb varieties, each one using two drives with half the rated capacity.
And the front sports a single LED, which lights up in different colours to indicate activity or problems. It offers a Web interface for management, FTP access for file transfers (but no SFTP, natch), and CIFS – Windows filesharing.
By default, the whole drive is shared publicly on the network, but you can easily create users and restrict access to shares. There are times where the black box approach lets it down, though, and the system doesn’t do a great job of recovering. Some basic access controls can be set for external drives, but mostly, it’s just a handy way to get external storage on the network. And media streaming is built in, allowing a user to stream movies and music from the device across the network. The My Book products include free subscription to Western Digital’s WD 2go personal cloud service, which essentially creates a gateway allowing users to access devices from the Internet at large.
For roughly the same money, if you wanted a storage server, you could buy a micro-server, pack it with drives, and run FreeNAS. By default, it ships with a single storage volume spanned across both drives, but the device offers software-enabled RAID-1, mirroring the drives and effectively halving the capacity while providing peace of mind for drive failure. The clean design is immediately attractive – we’re just surprised there’s no white version to appeal to the Apple crowd.

There’s no support for external user directories, though, so if you have lots of users, you’ll be creating them all one by one. If the software on the CD can’t find the drive on the network, you’re basically just out of luck. That’s the part where the price of the box makes sense: you can get cheaper storage, and probably build a storage server yourself, but the cloud service is easy and it works well across every major smartphone brand and Web browser. What makes WD’s offering attractive is its network software, in particularly its cloud integration. The manual doesn’t even detail a way to connect the drive to a PC directly, though it’s certainly possible. It’s not unique – other manufacturers have similar products – but the basic principles are solid. Reconfiguring the drives for RAID was also a non-starter – the unit gave us a vague error number and, well, that was that. But it is nice to know that live data won’t be lost if a drive melts down at an inopportune moment.

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