Serious concerns that this device is not usable

So in talking to WD support, they have not even considered the need for defrag on My Cloud Ex4’s.  When you have the ability to store 12TB of data in RAID5 and you copy dozens of 10GB files to the drive daily, fragmentation is going to happen.  In fact, I’d say it will get very fragemented in a matter of weeks.  What’s the solution to fragmentation or is it time to just call it a day with this device and pay more for a real NAS?

Our findings so far:

  1. Active Director integration doesn’t work once connected.  In fact, you can’t even joining the AD with a complex username, say “domain\john a. doe”.  It would only join the AD if I used something like “domain\johnadoe”.  Another issue with AD is the AD setup only allows for a single DNS server.  I have four.  Why can’t I use ALL four like I can on every other device I’ve tested?

  2. SMS setup isn’t documented at all and the moderator blames it on Verizon

  3. No defrag options and support says the most they can do is run scan disk.  Last I checked a check disk doesn’t defrag.

  4. Even if AD worked, managing it is impossible.  For each user you enable R/W access it takes 10-30 seconds to enable so you can click on another.  Just do do 4-5 users could take minutes!

  5. WD support doesn’t seem to have a solid grasp on any of the issues.  They had no clue on AD or defrag and one rep last week didn’t even know what a Hot Spare was!  How do you build a NAS that supports hot spares and not know what one is?

  6. Static routes appear to be nonexistent.  This means that a SMB with a remote location that connects via VPN will be unable to access the NAS.

  7. When you turn off AD it does NOT remove the device from AD which means if you try to add it back the AD will baulk at security.

  8. If you’ve already joined the device to AD with its default name and then figure out that browsing to \wdmycloudex4 is way too long and you rename it you will find that the device did NOT ask AD to change the device’s name it added a new device.  A properly configured AD client will ask AD for permission to rename itself and then the change will be reflected in AD.

I’d say it’s pretty clear that WD knows how to many hard drives, they don’t, however, know how to build a NAS for even a small business.  For $1000 WD needs to:

  1. Provide more than 30 days of setup/troubleshooting as we’re 5 days into ours and we’ve yet to get the thing to work.

  2. Properly train reps in the full functionality of the devices.

  3. Make 100% sure that Active Directory integration works.  I’ve been able to show second level support the problems.  They’ve replicated the problems.  We removed AD from the device, deleted all entries in AD, added it back, and still nothing.  WD needs to find a solution to this and returning the device shouldn’t be the solution.

  4. WD needs to account for long term use concerns like defrag.  In a few months this device could be so heavily fragmented that it may be unusable.

I had great hopes for this device but those hopes are fading fast.  Time for WD to step up and address the issues before it’s laughed out of the NAS market.

Hi TubaOrNotTuba, we appreciate your feedback and apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced with your device, as this is not the typical or intended experience with the product and provided support. We have passed your case along to support. 

I’m up to TWO of these devices that exhibit the EXACT SAME BEHAVIOUR!  Two different customer sites bought from two different sellers. 

I’m surprised that you see disk fragmentation as an issue.  I don’t.  And I can understand why WD don’t either.

Whilst fragemntation certainly is an issue on Windows file systems (FAT, NTFS), Linux filesystems (ex2. ex3, ex4) generaly don’t require defragmenting.  If you want to understand the reasons why, there are plenty of links available via google.

I am starting to think also the device is not usable but for a completely different reason.  It has all kinds of modern and sophisticated features.  Things that take a lot of processor power.  The more you put on it the slower it gets.  The processor is totally maxed out.  So maxed out that logging in as the administrator is problematic.  So maxed out that I have even seen it crash once.  So maxed out it is really sssslllloooowwww.

Documentation on these features, even a list of them is totally missing.  I think the software people totally blew away the marketing people with these features.  They also blew away the skills of support.  From several threads I do not think even support has documentation.

What is the file system the EX4 uses?

linux ext4