WD myCloud Mirror - Optimizing for Mac network - afp, smb, cifs

Well after purchasing a WD MyCloud Mirror I found myself on these forums as the product does not work well out of the box and requires a bit (A LOT) of refinements to get it operating optimally. This thread is intended to outline what I’ve done to set my box up and thre issue I see. Perhaps it will help others.

Out of the box - executing a simple backup script to save Documents and Pictures files took several hours using rsync. This led me to look into various possible issue. 

Testing with Black Magic Disk Speed Test - I was getting speeds under 1 MB/s which is clearly unsatisfactory. 

Identified issues where that this type of copy had the CPU running at 100%.

Physical Network speed

Generally speaking - given the mixed and old network that I have intitally I thought that I had an issue with my router. I have an older Speedport 723 (Lan speed is 100Mbits/s) and decided to first connect it directly to the Mac and set the speed on the WD to 1000Mb.  This improved things, a little. But clearly, seeing the the CPU was still running at 100% during saves and that the network was still very slow, was not the issue.

Mounting Protocol

Various sites and thread discuss issues with different NAS and the protocol used. After testing with my setup (and contradictory to what some people report) I found that, for me, mounting the shared drives with the afp:/server-name was faster than smb: or cifs: . A slight improvement. Still not acceptable.

WD Configuration  

The best improvement to date, that I’ve seen, in terms of reducing CPU usage and fastest transfer speeds is to use the WD control panel and under Settings/General turning off Cloud Access. (And I’ve also turned off Media/DNLA Server and Media/ITunes). This delivers around 75-90 MB/s read/writes which is acceptable with my network.

Unfortunately, this is an unacceptable compromise as this NAS was intended to allow remote backups and turning off the Cloud Access permanently is not a solution.

The issue has been processes running on the the WD that use 100% CPU - SMDB, convert & wdphotodbmerger.

I’ll probably end up stopping these prcoesses during backup scripts - as briefly outlined here:


But frankly a conmsumer product that needs me to ssh over to do that? (shaking my head)

I’ll keep reporting to this thread as I find solutions.

(Firmware is 1.053)


Thank you for sharing this information.

Current backup solutions

I’m currently using Time Machine for general backups but have also written scripts to do specific backups to a read-only partition (also intended for offsiting, and significantly less fragile than Time Machine). If you do use rsync to create backup files you’ll discover that server side processes create ‘hidden’ directories that should NOT be part of your back up. Running rsync with --delete creates extra processing unless you exclude them

Currently I’m excluding .wdmc and … well, I’ll let you know.

Backup script that copies files to a read/write backup partition (but does not perform the day to day stack in a read only partition) is below. It used an updated version of rsync (and not the older version delivered with Yosemite OS):

# ------------- system commands used by this script --------------------
USER= **user account**
# ------------- file locations -----------------------------------------
SNAPSHOT_RW=/Volumes/ **mounted backup** ;

# ------------- start --------------------------------------------------

ECHO Starting up;
ECHO keep mac from going to sleep during backup;
caffeinate &

ECHO Starting copy of Documents
$RSYNC -var --info=progress2 --delete $BASE/Documents/ $SNAPSHOT_RW/Documents/daily.0 ;
ECHO complete > $SNAPSHOT_RW/Documents/daily.0/complete.complete

ECHO Starting copy of Pictures
$RSYNC -var --exclude-from="$EXCLUDEPIC" --info=progress2 --delete $BASE/Pictures/ $SNAPSHOT_RW/Pictures/daily.0 ;
ECHO complete > $SNAPSHOT_RW/Pictures/daily.0/complete.complete

ECHO Starting copy of Bin
$RSYNC -var --info=progress2 --delete $BASE/bin/ $SNAPSHOT_RW/bin/daily.0 ;
ECHO complete > $SNAPSHOT_RW/bin/daily.0/complete.complete

$TOUCH $SNAPSHOT_RW/Documents/daily.0 ;
$TOUCH $SNAPSHOT_RW/Pictures/daily.0 ;
$TOUCH $SNAPSHOT_RW/bin/daily.0 ;

killall caffeinate

Good post. Helpful.

I found switching off iTunes and Media Server has helped. Remote access, will switch that off on your advice.

As a UK user, I have set up both of my WD Cloud Mirror (6TB) up through a a BT Homehub 5, with BT 500 Powerline Adapters. This works fine with the latest OS3 from WD.

Its simply about expectations. If you try and do too much with these things they don’t like it.

I am using smb:// file sharing on my network with each of my families 3 iMacs set to mount their share on the WD cloud at login. Time Machine is fine.

You may find the WD unmounts itself from time to time, esp if your Mac sleeps…

So its best used for back ups and shares of files you won’t need all the time…

Had I had my time again on my network i would have bought:

  1. My Cloud - single drive for network Time Machine
  2. Mac Mini via eBay - for home network shared file server
  3. Synology Nas for media sharing.

Simply put, yes this is a very simple device, don’t expect too much from it, and WD should have made it more “home friendly”…