File transfer performance and reliability on firmware v04.00.00-607

You should be able to transfer your files by either using the My Cloud desktop app or the finder window. Have you tried to transfer files to the My Cloud from another location? 

Yes, I have successfully copied files from both a Mac and a Windows Vista client.  Both of those transfers were from the local client hard disk to the NAS.  Where I have run into problems is transferring files from an external USB drive that was itself connected to a Mac client.  Something’s possibly up with the USB drive.  I’ll try connecting it to my Windows Vista host, checking the disk for errors and then try another file copy to the NAS from there.  The USB drive is either a FAT or NTFS partition but my Mac has been able to use the same drive with a 3rd party driver - no issues for years until now.

I am now reading about known issues with SMB2 in the Mac OS X Mavericks release.  My Mac is running Mavericks so my issues may relate to SMB2 on Mavericks.  I also just noticed that WD My Cloud doesn’t officially support Mac OS X  Mavericks.  Not much I can do about that because that’s what I am running.

Any word from WD support on official support for OS X Mavericks?  When will this happen?

I can’t speak for file transfers using Windows, but (after wdmcserverd and wdphotomergerd were disabled!!!) I haven’t encountered any problems at all transfering files to/from my Mac. I know I originally loaded up volumes/shares on the My Cloud from external drives (mostly FireWire, but I think there were some USB ones, too) that I plugged into my laptop. So, so far Mavericks hasn’t given me any trouble at all.

I don’t really know much about this stuff, but if it’s of any interest, when I launch System Information and look at any of the mounted My Cloud volumes in the Network > Volumes tab, the “Type” for all of them is always “afpfs”. Does that mean it’s talking to those volumes usuing AFP rather than SMB2? Or is that some altogether different issue since apparently Apple switched to SMB2 with Mavericks? I’ve been wondering what that all means.

pinax wrote:

I can’t speak for file transfers using Windows, but (after wdmcserverd and wdphotomergerd were disabled!!!) I haven’t encountered any problems at all transfering files to/from my Mac. I know I originally loaded up volumes/shares on the My Cloud from external drives (mostly FireWire, but I think there were some USB ones, too) that I plugged into my laptop. So, so far Mavericks hasn’t given me any trouble at all.

 

I don’t really know much about this stuff, but if it’s of any interest, when I launch System Information and look at any of the mounted My Cloud volumes in the Network > Volumes tab, the “Type” for all of them is always “afpfs”. Does that mean it’s talking to those volumes usuing AFP rather than SMB2? Or is that some altogether different issue since apparently Apple switched to SMB2 with Mavericks? I’ve been wondering what that all means.

Hi,

This guide should help:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5884

Hmm. I guess I’ve been using AFP all along. It’s been working really well, as far as I can tell (provided wdmcserverd and wdphotomergerd are disabled!!!). I’ll try mounting using smb:// and see if there’s any difference… Thanks.

pinax wrote:

Hmm. I guess I’ve been using AFP all along. It’s been working really well, as far as I can tell (provided wdmcserverd and wdphotomergerd are disabled!!!). I’ll try mounting using smb:// and see if there’s any difference… Thanks.

Hello,

No problem.  If you could provide an update with your experience with smb it would be nice.

Thank you.

So, it sounds like WD My Cloud does support AFP?  Can WD support confirm which protocols are actually supported?  If the answer is yes that is good because if I determine that I am in fact having issues with SMB I can at least try using AFP.

jdeviney wrote:

So, it sounds like WD My Cloud does support AFP?  Can WD support confirm which protocols are actually supported?  If the answer is yes that is good because if I determine that I am in fact having issues with SMB I can at least try using AFP.

Yes the drive supports SMB, FTP, AFP, NFS, and I guess you could use SSH for file transfers.

I remounted everything using SMB, removed the volumes from Login Items (in System Prefs), and readded them by dropping the newly-mounted icons from the finder on the Login Items window (not sure that was necessary, but what the heck).

First impression is that the My Cloud is noticeably snappier. The volumes seem to mount very quickly on restarts. I use CrashPlan to backup my ~1TB iTunes media folder from the My Cloud to an attached My Book Studio (older model, USB 2.0 only), expected time to back up what’s left dropped from a little over a day to 10.8 hours now. Just first impression though, no hard data. But I think I’ll leave it as-is for a while with SMB.

Any other experiences worth reporting, I’ll put them here.

Well, I don’t know exactly what to make of this (again with the caveat that this is all kind of impressionistic, with no real numbers). My CrashPlan backup was writing my iTunes media files from the My Cloud to it’s attached USB 2.0 My Book Studio (previous model) at around 11-12 MB/sec. for most of the morning, with all volumes confirmed (using System Information) as mouted via SMB. Just now, I decided to pause the backup, then unmount and remount the files using AFP, and then resume the backup. Speed jumped up to what looked like an avg. of around 22 MB/sec. (mostly bouncing consistently between 18 and 24). Then I unmounted the volumes and mounted them one more time using SMB. (I always used ⌘-K, rather than clicking on the drives icon under “Shared” in the Finder sidebar.) To my surprise the speeds bumped up a little more, staying mostly in the upper-20s. Here’s a screen shot:

AFP on left, SMB on right. Just eyballing it, to me the average looks about the same. Although the sent speed at the time of the screenshot was 22.9 (using SMB), the numbers were often 25/26 MB/sec, with some peaks over 30. Again, the drives are joined to each other via USB 2.0, and the laptop is hardwired to a gigabit Ethernet router, with Ethernet trumping Wi-Fi in the network service order. The files transferred were similar, with most, if not all of them, being std.-def. .m4v files of similar size (TV shows). And I’m pretty sure that since these formats are already compressed, CrashPlan wasn’t doing any on-the-fly compression/deduplication to this local volume. I’m quite happy with these numbers under these conditions, although I’m curious why it was stuck at 11-12 MB/sec. all morning until I started switching things around. If I had to take a stab at it, I’d say that it depends on the kinds of files that are being written. When transferring the much smaller and more numerous audio tracks, which take up a much bigger portion of my drive, the speeds tend to stay in the low-teens. So maybe songs were mostly getting backed up, and when I decided to do the switcheroo, CrashPlan had decided to do a batch of video files. That’s entirely possible. Here’s another shot from just now, with CrashPlan cranking away on a string of .m4a audio files, with volumes still mounted using SMB:

That’s about as typical as it gets for music tracks.

I dunno. I throw this out for what it’s worth; make of it what you will.

Update on my original post that started this thread.

I moved my USB drive that I was copying 30GB of data from to a Windows Vista computer.  I ran chkdsk and all was fine.  The USB drive has a single NTFS partition.  I performed the same file copy from this computer to the WD NAS and everything did copy but it was slow - averaging 2-4MB transfer speed (I think this is a USB 2.0 drive).  I’m guessing the USB was the limiting factor on throughput?  During the file copy I did get some warnings about files with no properties do you really want to copy them yes or no … I clicked through those and eventually got everything moved over.  So, everything did successfully copy from a Windows Vista computer.  I’m guessing my issues had to do with using a NTFS formatted USB drive connected to a Mac that had a mix of native Windows and Mac files.  My mac has a 3rd party driver to read/write NTFS.  I guess this combination was causing problems and believe this has nothing to do the the WD NAS?

2-4 MB/sec. from a NTFS formatted drive plugged into a Windows computer seems very slow to me, and in the past I’ve used a 3rd party add-on to enable writing to NTFS disks without noticing any problems. Assuming there’s no other bottleneck between your computers and the My Cloud–like an iffy Wi-Fi signal, for example, or an older router that doesn’t support gigabit Ethernet, etc.–I think your results actually *do* suggest the problem lies with the NAS.

When I first copied my data to my My Cloud, everything became excruciatingly slow very quickly, and within a few hours the drive was thrashing so hard, i thought it might wobble itself off the shelf… Everything changed completely as soon as I disabled the “wdmcserverd” and “wdphotomergerd” daemons after stumbling upon this thread:

http://community.wd.com/t5/WD-My-Cloud/Hidden-wdmc-directories-created-by-mcserver-and-photodbmerger/m-p/682091

Now I don’t know if that’s what’s happening in your case. All I can say is that after switching off DNLA  and iTunes serving from the drive’s dashboard, and then entering via SSH those four short command line instructions–2 to turn off the daemons, another 2 to prevent them from starting again upon reboot (I opted for the update-rc.d command rather than the alternative suggested in the thread of fiddling with permissions using chmod)–doing that made the drive behave the way it it’s supposed to: fast, quiet, reliable. What I gave up by disabling those, I’m not sure, but since I do all my media streaming via iTunes itself (Home Sharing), I had zero use for any of the drive’s built-in media serving features. If your data has a lot of photos, and it doesn’t matter where (because in my case they were buried among my iTunes tracks as album art), the WD NAS will not only “index” them, but also generate thumbnails for every single one. It’s completely indiscriminate as to what it thumbnails: if it’s an image–anywhere–it gets thumbnailed.  My hunch is that the drives processors are plenty adequate for running a reliable and quick consumer network drive. If you happen to have a lot of photos in your data, like album artwork or a photo library or two, then then they maniacally start thumbnailing every bleeping image they find… I just don’t believe they have anywhere near the grunt to do that kind of thing. Certainly not with large volumes of media, which–ironically–is why many people buy the drive for in the first place!

Again, this may not have anything to do with your situation at all. But I wouldn’t settle on any conclusion re. the drive’s functionality until you’ve disabled those 2 daemons and tried it that way first.

pinax wrote:

2-4 MB/sec. from a NTFS formatted drive plugged into a Windows computer seems very slow to me, and in the past I’ve used a 3rd party add-on to enable writing to NTFS disks without noticing any problems. Assuming there’s no other bottleneck between your computers and the My Cloud–like an iffy Wi-Fi signal, for example, or an older router that doesn’t support gigabit Ethernet, etc.–I think your results actually *do* suggest the problem lies with the NAS.

 

When I first copied my data to my My Cloud, everything became excruciatingly slow very quickly, and within a few hours the drive was thrashing so hard, i thought it might wobble itself off the shelf… Everything changed completely as soon as I disabled the “wdmcserverd” and “wdphotomergerd” daemons after stumbling upon this thread:

 

http://community.wd.com/t5/WD-My-Cloud/Hidden-wdmc-directories-created-by-mcserver-and-photodbmerger/m-p/682091

 

Now I don’t know if that’s what’s happening in your case. All I can say is that after switching off DNLA  and iTunes serving from the drive’s dashboard, and then entering via SSH those four short command line instructions–2 to turn off the daemons, another 2 to prevent them from starting again upon reboot (I opted for the update-rc.d command rather than the alternative suggested in the thread of fiddling with permissions using chmod)–doing that made the drive behave the way it it’s supposed to: fast, quiet, reliable. What I gave up by disabling those, I’m not sure, but since I do all my media streaming via iTunes itself (Home Sharing), I had zero use for any of the drive’s built-in media serving features. If your data has a lot of photos, and it doesn’t matter where (because in my case they were buried among my iTunes tracks as album art), the WD NAS will not only “index” them, but also generate thumbnails for every single one. It’s completely indiscriminate as to what it thumbnails: if it’s an image–anywhere–it gets thumbnailed.  My hunch is that the drives processors are plenty adequate for running a reliable and quick consumer network drive. If you happen to have a lot of photos in your data, like album artwork or a photo library or two, then then they maniacally start thumbnailing every bleeping image they find… I just don’t believe they have anywhere near the grunt to do that kind of thing. Certainly not with large volumes of media, which–ironically–is why many people buy the drive for in the first place!

 

Again, this may not have anything to do with your situation at all. But I wouldn’t settle on any conclusion re. the drive’s functionality until you’ve disabled those 2 daemons and tried it that way first.

What’s considered a normal file transfer rate for a USB 2.0 drive?

That’s interesting.  I will have to do some more testing from my mac and windows machines.  My file transfers are over WIFI but I have a new n class router that has been working great for all other applications.

That doesn’t sound good and I actually bought this NAS primarily to act as a media server, secondary for computer backups.  I have DNLA and iTunes servers on and intend to leave them running.  I also have separate NAS shares setup for different purposes.  I use Public for media sharing - DNLA and iTunes.  The other shares are for backup purposes only.  In Dashboard there is the option to enable/disable DNLA/iTunes per share, correct?  I only have that enabled for the Public share.  In theory if I am doing large file transfers to a non-DNLA/iTunes enabled share then my performance should not suffer due to file scanning on the NAS, correct?  One thing that is lacking is the ability to tailor when or how often DNLA/iTunes scanning occurs.  It would be nice to have more control over sleep or standby mode as well.

If my slow transfer speeds are due primarily to the DNLA/iTunes servers running I would definitely want a refund on this NAS.  That’s why I bought it.

This is from a recent PC mag review. 

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2401086,00.asp

Of course there are no details on performance test parameters and environment configuration.  I am definitely not coming anywhere close to 50-60MBps.  Again, I will do some more testing from my mac and windows machines (local internal drive) over WIFI to/from the NAS.

 

Performance
Western Digital’s My Cloud clocked the highest performance numbers tested to-date for a single drive, consumer NAS. It tested at 56 MBps for Writes and 63 MBps for Reads. This is great performance and beats Seagate’s Central which impressed with its Read/Write speeds.

While you won’t see this great performance when remotely connected (that speed depends on how fast your Internet connection is) for working within your network, the My Cloud is built for uploading and downloading large files and streaming HD video. It’s a performance masterpiece. Here is a chart comparing it with other NASes in its class:

benchmark

I did a quick test this evening and I must say I am not at all impressed.  I’m getting 9-12 MB/s transfers between my MacBook Pro (2008, OS X 10.9.4, 300 MB/s wifi link speed) and my WD My Cloud NAS.  My wifi router is a new n class Asus RT-N66U.  The NAS volume I ran the test on does not have media serving enabled but the DLNA and iTunes daemons are running for use on my Public share.  No other concurrent NAS clients were connected or active while I ran this test.  It has also been at least a couple of days since any updates were made to my music library under the Public share.  The NAS drive has been up continually so any rescanning of media should have completed long ago.  I have no more than 5 GB of music at this point.  What I don’t know is how much of this is due to SMB2 on Mavericks or the WD NAS itself.  When I have more time I will try similar tests copying to/from a Windows Vista machine using Mavericks SMB2.  After that I may try using AFP instead of the default SMB2 on Mavericks.  Is this about what can be expected for performance for the WD My Cloud?  I hope not.

jdeviney wrote:> What’s considered a normal file transfer rate for a USB 2.0 drive?

 

[Disclaimer: I’m far from an expert on these things, but I’m happy to report what I notice in day-to-day use.]

 

I usually go to Wikipedia for such things; it tells me the effective throughput of USB 2.0 is 35 MB/s. That sounds about right to me. Obviously, actual throughput depends on so many things, but I think that’s a good upper limit to the ballpark. I was getting consistent highs of 25-30 MB/s making file transfers between my My Cloud and the USB 2.0 drive attached to the My Cloud’s USB port. My guess is that it might have been a bit faster had the drive been plugged directly into my Mac’s USB port, but I could be wrong.

That’s interesting.  I will have to do some more testing from my mac and windows machines.  My file transfers are over WIFI but I have a new n class router that has been working great for all other applications.

 

It doesn’t matter. A wired Ethernet connection is always going to be faster than WiFi, unless something’s wrong (with the caveat that the latest WiFi protocal, 802.11ac is approaching wired speeds, from what I’ve heard). It doesn’t matter how new or good your 802.11 router is; an Ethernet cable will be faster. How much depends on a lot of things, but if all your networked gadgets are equipped for gigabit Ethernet, you’d see a jump of 2-3 times that of 802.11n. (Again, i’m no expert.)

 

That doesn’t sound good and I actually bought this NAS primarily to act as a media server, secondary for computer backups.  I have DNLA and iTunes servers on and intend to leave them running. 

 

To be honest, I don’t know precisely what the wdmcserverd and wdphotomergerd daemons do exactly (obvioulsy somthing with indexing/thumbnailing, but I don’t know what does what). Nor do I even know if media serving itself is actually disabled when those daemons are disabled. It kind of sounds like it would be, but I don’t know. Never tried it. Also, I don’t know if you have any DNLA devices you want to stream to; if not, you might consider bypassing the My Cloud’s serving features and instead manage all the streaming from iTunes itself. Works great for me with Home Sharing enabled in iTunes.

 

I also have separate NAS shares setup for different purposes.  I use Public for media sharing - DNLA and iTunes.  The other shares are for backup purposes only.  In Dashboard there is the option to enable/disable DNLA/iTunes per share, correct?  I only have that enabled for the Public share.  In theory if I am doing large file transfers to a non-DNLA/iTunes enabled share then my performance should not suffer due to file scanning on the NAS, correct? 

 

Incorrect, in my experience. When things started going south when I first began transferring data to the My Cloud, I knew it had something to do with the media sharing. I knew it was scanning stuff, not just copying it. So the first thing I did was turn off both the DNLA and iTunes servers from the Dashboard/browser. It had no effect. Perhaps the My Cloud was thinking, “Fine, I won’t serve your media. But I’m still gonna scan and thumbnail it…” So, yes, in my experience performance suffered a lot even when the DNLA/iTunes switches were OFF for all shares.

 

One thing that is lacking is the ability to tailor when or how often DNLA/iTunes scanning occurs.  It would be nice to have more control over sleep or standby mode as well.

 

Indeed it would.

 

If my slow transfer speeds are due primarily to the DNLA/iTunes servers running I would definitely want a refund on this NAS.  That’s why I bought it.

 

Well, as a last resort you might give things a whirl by leaving the media servers switched on for your Public share (or whatever), but still disabling the 2 daemons. The reason I went with the update-rd.c command (rather than the chmod option in the thread I mentioned) was because a) I don’t know squat about permissions, and they make my head hurt, and b) with update-rc.d, I believe that if you can just run it again but with “enable” rather than “disable” to turn everything back on again (may require reboot, I don’t know). No harm done, as far as I can tell.

 

And if you haven’t tried submitting a help ticket, I would encourage you to do so. As much of a fiasco as the v4 firmware release has been, all the of the WD support people I’ve been in contact with, via email and phone, have been incredibly helpful to work with. I don’t think they have much interest in helping Linux jockeys who’ve added all sorts of bells and whistles to the OS running on the NAS. But for regular folks that just want their box to work, they’ve proven in my experience to be very persistent and attentive. Even though I got my drive working again by rolling back to v3, they emailed no less than 3 times for a phone appointment before I finally wrote an email explaining that things were OK on my end. Even then I still got a call-back from a WD cusomer relations guy, who was genuinely sympathetic and nice. There’s a proces in place for problems, which sure seems to me to be working (and others on this forum have reported similar experiences). I’d give it a try if you haven’t already, and emphasize that you just want your NAS to work and are just a regualar guy (or gal, I don’t know) who hasn’t done anything “weird” to their device.

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jdeviney wrote:

This is from a recent PC mag review. 

 

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2401086,00.asp

 

Of course there are no details on performance test parameters and environment configuration.  I am definitely not coming anywhere close to 50-60MBps.  Again, I will do some more testing from my mac and windows machines (local internal drive) over WIFI to/from the NAS.

 

Performance
Western Digital’s My Cloud clocked the highest performance numbers tested to-date for a single drive, consumer NAS. It tested at 56 MBps for Writes and 63 MBps for Reads. This is great performance and beats Seagate’s Central which impressed with its Read/Write speeds.

While you won’t see this great performance when remotely connected (that speed depends on how fast your Internet connection is) for working within your network, the My Cloud is built for uploading and downloading large files and streaming HD video. It’s a performance masterpiece. Here is a chart comparing it with other NASes in its class:

I have seen those speeds. On a regular basis. Gigabit Ethernet router, will all wired devices being gigabit-capable. Computer wired. Confirmed Mac will prioritize Ethernet connections (in System Prefereces you can change the network service order), or I just flipped WiFi off. The highest speeds I’ve seen are when reading/writing large individual files–a 6 GB HD movie, for example.

I love this thing. I’m convinced that it’s a great piece of hardwre, and I’m not surprised by the review you cited above. It’s the software on it that’s got some serious issues. Mine almost got returned, but then I disabled those daemons, and as far as I can tell it works now as it’s supposed. (I’m also sticking with firmware v3 until something reliably better comes along. And even then maybe I still stick with v3…)  I have to say, if I worked in WD tech support or customer relations, I’d have a really hard time right now, given the scale of problems people hare having, resisting the urge to TP the house and/or slash the tires of whatever moronic software team set things up to effectively melt down as soon as large quantities of media got copied to the NAS. The thing has all the features I want (admittedly, DNLA streaming isn’t one of them), with a WD Red drive insite and a fanless enclosure that doesn’t look like an ugly grey box. But they have *got* to fix the software/firmware side of things if they want people to have fun with this.

jdeviney wrote:

I did a quick test this evening and I must say I am not at all impressed.  I’m getting 9-12 MB/s transfers between my MacBook Pro (2008, OS X 10.9.4, 300 MB/s wifi link speed) and my WD My Cloud NAS.  My wifi router is a new n class Asus RT-N66U.  The NAS volume I ran the test on does not have media serving enabled but the DLNA and iTunes daemons are running for use on my Public share.  No other concurrent NAS clients were connected or active while I ran this test.  It has also been at least a couple of days since any updates were made to my music library under the Public share.  The NAS drive has been up continually so any rescanning of media should have completed long ago.  I have no more than 5 GB of music at this point.  What I don’t know is how much of this is due to SMB2 on Mavericks or the WD NAS itself.  When I have more time I will try similar tests copying to/from a Windows Vista machine using Mavericks SMB2.  After that I may try using AFP instead of the default SMB2 on Mavericks.  Is this about what can be expected for performance for the WD My Cloud?  I hope not.

I would definitely submit a help ticket, give these details in your explanation, and see where that leads. The experiences of several users on the point of throwing their NASes out the window have reported great interaction with support staff.

That said, the speeds you’re reporting do seem slow, even if 300 Mbi/s is the rated (theoretical) speed for 802.11n. (In the real world, I think half of that would br pretty good for most home networks.)

One last thing: Mounting the shares in Mavericks using ⌘-K and using smb:// hasn’t given me any problems. That said, yes, you can try AFP (also works for me), but you can also force the Finder to use SMB[1] by entering cifs://. See this article:

http://mactechnicalsupport.com.au/mavericks-smb/

Wish I could be of more help.

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I’ve spent hours trying to find a way to make transfer speeds iMac-WD Mycloud better. I have failed. Tried everything. Max avg speed I got was 15 Mb/sec, while on PC in the same environment I got up to 40Mb/s.

Seems that SMB in Mac OS X is crappy. Deal with it.

I tried NFS as well, a bit better result - more stable (see graphics). By the way I wonder why I got such dramatic speed drops on AFP.

iMac mid 2011, OS X 10.9.5

direct giagbit connection to WD Mycloud 2Tb, firmware v04.01.01-413

AFP screenshot 2014-12-07 at 15.51.19.jpg NFS screenshot 2014-12-07 at 15.52.18.jpg