Daisy Chaining My Cloud 3TB

WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra dual-bay NAS box

Thinking about buying this with 2 2TB Pro Red drives for media streaming, 100 CD’s.

The My Cloud has no really good media solutions.

Still would like to keep the My Cloud as a secondary backup device and use it for Time Machine on my Mac’s.

Wondering if there is a way to use it as external disk Ethernet connected, need two Ethernet ports.

Anyone have any ideas on the best way to use the My Cloud, and what might be best to buy to compliment it.

I don’t have any more Ethernet ports on my router, and have some devices on a Tripp Lite switch.


Not sure what you mean by “need two ethernet ports”. . . .I presume one for a PC, and one for the NAS? The EX2 has a single non-redundant ethernet connection right?

You don’t need to have a wired connection from the PC to the network for streaming. . . .but for LOADING the NAS, you do want a wired connection to get reasonable transfer speed.

I ran out of ethernet ports on my router long ago. I bought a 1gb ethernet switch from an online retailer. . . they are under $40 I think.

4 port router + 8 port switch = 10 devices.= $75+$35 = $110
8 port router = well over $200.
And my experience is that routers have a “life” and wear out.

I wire everything I can. . . .takes an element of uncertainty out of the network. Printers. . .stereos. . .NAS boxes. . .lots o’ stuff. I even have a powerline ethernet adapter plugs to get a wire to a stereo in another part of the house. Works just dandy.

I still have a PILE of wireless crud. Phones, tablets, sometimes PC’s. . . it’s amazing any of it works. Right now. . .with one person home. . . .probably have a dozen devices logged in.

Lost track. . . ok. . .for media streaming, I tend to use Plex for video. For a few hundred titles that aren’t changing every week. . . it’s fine. The EX2 can act as a Plex server; or if you want to run it from a PC you can have a plex server on your PC - - -but point to the files on the NAS. The “plex client” can be my PC, or a streaming stick (I use Roku; ChromeCasts and whatnot are probably similar).

For video on a tablet; last I checked Plex charges for tablet/phone client software. I tend be simple and just use VLC; which can use DLNA/SMB to “talk” to my NAS on the network.

Full disclosure: Lately, most of my video watching is in a remote location (i.e. not in the same State as the NAS). While Plex can stream across the internet; I have bandwidth issues. . . so I tend to have most of my videos downsampled as mp4’s. . . .which I keep on an external drive which I plug into the computer. From there. . simple HDMI cable to the home theater system.

For music. . . .honestly. . . .I use an ipod touch. SURRE. . .I can run a PC as a media server. . .or I am sure I can do dlna from a Roku stick. . . but honestly Apple AirPlay is quite simple . . .and any apple device can stream without special software (great for guests). My most recent receivers have AirPlay embedded. . . so connection is easy-peasy. (My master library is PC based. . so I do update the ipods regularly)

Most other solutions seem like too much work for playing 10-20 minutes of music.

When I have played with PC as media server, I toyed with both itunes and windows media player. . .running software on the PC, pulling media from the NAS. Both programs seem to find my receivers just fine.

Depending on the My Cloud version one has the option of using Twonky Media Server or the Plex Media Server. There is also the option to enable the iTunes server for audio files.

You don’t need to do anything extra beyond ensuring each My Cloud device has a unique name. The My Cloud devices are network attached storage (NAS) devices. You don’t “daisy chain” them together. Each My Cloud device will show up as an independent storage device on the local network.

If one wants to backup one My Cloud device to another that is something that can be done depending on the specific My Cloud models one has.

So if I install an WD 8 TB (2 bays) My Cloud EX2 Ultra with the older My Cloud devise I can migrate the data from My Cloud.

What would be the best way to use both on the network, or should I just get rid of the My Cloud after data migration.

My Cloud has a long Time Machine share. How to I move the Time Machine files, share to the new unit.

Is there any reason to keep the older My Cloud in service attached to the network?


Of course you can copy the data to the new My Cloud. You simply copy the data/files (using Windows File Explorer or Mac Finder for example) from one My Cloud (or network attached storage device) to another.

Its up to you if you want to keep both My Cloud devices running on the network. You can use the network attached storage device however you want. As extra storage. As a media server. As a backup location for computers. Its entirely up to you and your needs/wants.

Consult with the Apple documentation or Apple support on how to move existing Time Machine backup data to a new location. Or one can reconfigure the Time Machine settings to create a new backup to the new My Cloud.

Again that’s up to you. Its just additional storage and an additional media server that can be used by anyone on the local network.

Right. . .you can easily have many NAS devices on the network as you want. I currently have three.
(They don’t run all the time. . .just when I need them)

Just make sure they have unique device names (i.e. if they are all called “mycloud”; you will have some problems when you put “\mycloud” in an address bar)

Thanks to all for your thoughtful input. I am having difficulty deciding what to buy for a new NAS.

The older My Cloud I own has been OK for a low cost solution, but the blue LED no longer works, had to program it to use the green.
The software does not interface well with other devices, and there is no or little software to support the product.
WD keeps abandoning their older products.

The My Cloud EX2 Ultra I am considering has 10% one star reviews, and only 60% really like it, 5 stars.
Synology 220+ has many good reviews (90% 5 star) but people say it is difficult to set up and use, and Synology is expensive. Synology has good add value added software for their products.

For a backup home device (12 devices), media server, I see no need to spend a lot of money.
The My Cloud does not do a good job of backing up my windows PC’s, certainly not like Time Machine.

Functionality is important, reliability, and usability, and a good music media server.

It seems that the My Cloud EX2 Ultra is an older product been around quite a while.

Any feedback on your experiences with NAS and what you think is a good price performer.


Well. . . .a bit to unpack here.

With regard to brands. . . .bear in mind you are on a WD forum. most people are either WD fanboys. . . or shadow employees. . . so this is not a great place to get a comparison to another brand.

I have a number of WD products. . . don’t know a ton about the major competitors like Syngology or QNap. My impression (not based on owning other units) is that Qnap has better hardware, and Synology has better software. WD is cheap.

. . .the “low cost” aspect of WD shows in the products. Most of them are actually pretty old. The EX2 Ultra. . .has been out for several years. If you look at the hardware - - I think you will find that Synology has been continuing to evolve their products, and WD has not. One could argue that unless you are doing on-the-fly video transcoding. . . .and you just have “home use”, the WD hardware is fine; and you don’t need the ram expandability and fancy processors of the competitors.

On the software side. . . the DSM software from synology seems quite promising. Full featured. . .and undergoing regular updating. The WD OS3 software has been around a LONG time. . .has the security of un-ripened swiss cheese. . .and was LONG overdue for the pasture. The new WD OS5 software. . . .is warmed over OS3 with new web apps and phone apps.

Compared to OS3. . .the “on network, local experience” of OS/5 is a bit smoother (bug fixes), and if you block these devices from the internet. . . are quite functional.

Compared to OS3, the OS/5 webapps/phone apps are brand new. They have gained glitz and lost some important core functionality. There is some potential in the “web” experience. . but development from the original Beta tests has basically stopped (except for a monthly bug-fix).

My overall view at this point is that for 6+ TB drives. . .you have much more money in the drives than the box. So don’t cheap out on the box. And if you have that much data. . .the drives are important. I lost a lot of faith in WD after the SMR/CMR drive debacle (Bottom line: AVOID the red line. Only consider Red Plus or Red Pro. If you can’t tell which flavor of Red you are buying. . .assume that they are crappy SMR red disks). (Mind you - - - other makers have their own problems)

I have a pair of EX2 Ultras and an ancient 1st gen MyCloud. I use the drives casually - not every day. I find the EX2 ultra a fine performer as a file server. They perform as Plex video servers quite well - as long as you don’t try to transcode on the fly. The drives are easily reachable from PC’s and tablets at home.

I have given up on internet access for a variety of reasons (mostly related to security and internet bandwidth) (so this is not totally the fault of WD).

At the moment, I am comfortable with what I have and do not need upgrading. If I need internet access; or more capacity. . . I probably will look elsewhere.

I was starting to ramble. . .apologies.

You know. . .the whole “media” thing has me a bit perplexed.

I had some cash to burn a few years ago. . .and went stereo shopping.
I found that all the stereo stores had disappeared.
I found that CD players had gone extinct.

Heck. . .digging deeper, it looked like everyone was doing pandora and spotify and not even bothering to download music anymore. There was no “big box store” solution for managing your media.

So if you have a big collection of MP3’s. . .I am not sure what good options you have to play the music. I am TOTALLY unclear.

MY solution. . .is a bit old school.
My solution. . .is also based on the fact that I travel a lot for work (internationally) (until March, 2020)
I have found I needed to have it all with me. (Was VERY true in 2010 to 2015. … not as true in 2020).

Basically, I use an iPod for everyday music. The portability is nice. (i.e. Spotify doesn’t work in an Airplane 37,000ft over the Pacific) When home, my various Home Theater systems and cars all have apply airplay. My newest home theater unit has straightup bluetooth connectivity.

For video. … I bit the bullet and transcoded everything to MP4’s at 2K resolution. Everything fits nicely onto a small SSD drive. . . which I plug into a PC. . . .which then can easily plug into a home theater system wherever I am. When at 37,000 ft over the pacific. . .the videos are loaded onto a tablet. 256gb or 512gb memory cards are relatively cheap. (Although. . .in the last five years; airplane entertainment systems have gotten ALOT better. . .especially if you avoid crappy US based airlines). Playing the video I generally use VLC (Both PC’s and tablets) It does well enough.

If I had a zillion music files. . . Hey. . they can go on the SSD as well. Then I can use Windows Media Player or iTunes to stream the music.

(If I am at home; the PC’s can access the NAS for all the files just as easily as the SSD drives.).

SO- rambling again. Blame it on the Jameson’s.

To summarize my solution.

  • Master Video and Music Library on an external HDD.
  • Master Video and Music Library Backed up to the NAS.
  • At home, for video, I use VLC media play to read files off the NAS (on a PC). OR I use PLEX on a streaming stick, (again, video library on the NAS)
  • When travelling, for video, VLC media player reading files on a tablet; OR VLC on a PC reading files off the external HDD, with HDMI to a home theater system.
  • For Music: iPod is always the answer. Master is the HDD drive; synced to the iPod which can stream to a stereo; or use headphones.

Your Milage Will Vary.

The reason for having 2 ethernet ports, is if you are using iSCSI, and hosting LUNs for virtual machines. One of the features of iSCSI, since it is a SAN protocol, is “Dual path access”.

The initiator will utilize as many paths as you configure, and will divide the traffic evenly over all of them. This enables a reasonably high bandwidth connection over ethernet transports, while also providing fault tolerance if any of the transports go down.

Again, this is ONLY really useful for SAN protocols, like iSCSI. While Windows CAN use iSCSI from an EX2 Ultra (or a mycloud gen2 with my hacks added), this is not really user friendly. It is intended to provide network attached LUNs for running VMware or HyperV virtual servers. (or at least, that is the usual use-case for an iSCSI deployment.)

Normal NAS protocols however, like SMB, DO NOT DO MULTIPATH. One could still do a multi-homed network with the same share enabled over multiple subnets for other reasons, but fault tolerance and improved bandwidth are not among them. To get that, you would need to do channel bonding/link aggregation, and that is outside the scope of dealing with a MyCloud type device. (that is getting into switch/router advanced deployment settings, and with professional NAS appliances that cost significantly more than a MyCloud.)

In theory-- it may be possible to get multiple interfaces going with some of the additional modules packages for the MyClouds, by leveraging the USB ports. However, those ports are NOT actually gigabit capable. (we in the community have tested that exhaustively.) You would still need a switch with a higher pricepoint than you probably want to deal with.

If you want to have one device backup to another, setting up an rsync schedule on one of them (either to push down to, or to pull upstream from) is probably what you are looking for.

The support is technically in there in both a gen2 and in an EX2 ultra, but getting it working from the dashboard has been … problematic… in my experience. (Orchestrating it from a network connected linux workstation seems to work best for me, after manually modifying the device(s) in question to run rsync in daemon mode) WesternDigital seems to be promoting a windows utility that does similar.

You do not need to have two ethernet ports for that. As long as both devices are plugged into the switch/router, they can communicate and do the sync operation.