I’m often invited to participate in various beta programs by vendors. I love to play with the new toys and more importantly help them debug and refine the product to suit its intended market.
The WD DL4100 is no exception. I’ve been fortunate to have this in my lab now for several months, during which WD went through a number of reviews of different features and kept further improving it.
What is the DL4100? Well it’s a NAS designed from the ground up to work well with the cloud and also outside of it. The unit I have includes 4 x 6TB drives which gives it a total of 24TB of capacity – the usable space of course will depend on exactly which of the RAID levels you decide to use. It’s capable of RAID 0,1,5,10 and JBOD with Hot spare (as defined by the different RADI types). It can also do a certain amount of RAID migration therefore allowing you to move from say JBOD over to RAID 5 depending on the initial model you purchase of course. This gives it great flexibility in the long term and makes it well suited for many small office environments, whose requirements often change at the drop of a hat.
The unit connects to the network via 2 x 1GB NICs and offers support for IPv6, Jumbo frames, VLANs and Link aggregation for higher throughput or failover. Features such as SMB, iSCSI, FTP, AFP for Mac OS X are fully supported alongside DFS which works well in my environment. Another nice little feature that I’m playing with right now is Volume Virtualisation which is the ability to map from this unit to OTHER iSCSI devices and present those devices as of they were inherent within this unit itself. this means I have one central location to look at all my data if I choose.
If you are a small office, without a Windows Server, than you will love the fact that you can access your data securely from outside the office using the My Cloud apps on your mobile device of Windows desktop app. From an external perspective, the unit includes a front panel LCD display that tells you if there’s anything critical you need to know about, as well as hot swappable drives that can be changed without need of a screwdriver.
Email alerts are available directly from the unit so you are warned about things such as a drive failure event regardless of you seeing it on the front panel LCD.
There’s a lot packed into this little NAS, here’s a short list of a few key features – you can find out more on the spec here Media Streaming – full uPnP Media server with DLNA certification, support for Xbox, Playstation as well as being an iTunes Server Addon Support for things such as WordPress, Joomla and phpBB, so you can do some cool stuff within your network without the need for external web hosting (I’m not suggesting you host public sites on this, but your development site would work well).
Overall, I’m impressed with the DL4100 NAS. I think it’s a great device for the SOHO environment and has features that some of the much larger Enterprises NAS devices lack. I’m keen to see pricing in the local Australian market and then look to use it in some of our client solutions.
I want to thank WD for allowing me to be part of the Beta program for this unit and the ability to do the kind of testing I’ve been fortunate to be a part of. I love the way they accept feedback and integrate that into the product. You can find out more about the WD DL 4100 here