Western Digital are well-known for the storage mediums, most specifically for home use, both internal and external HDDs. With the growing amount of storage space required to run the average desktop PC, storing anything from movies and series, to large-sized games, there is a growing need even more storage, away from, now puny, 1TB. WD attempts to fill this gap with their 12TB My Book Duo.
Design and Build
The WD My Book Duo is based on the same build and design of the previously released, WD My Cloud EX2. All aspects are identical apart for two details, the labelling, and the Ethernet port, notably missing on the My Book Duo. The casing is a matte grey, plastic shell, essentially a brick apart from the curved edges, which is more pronounced along the front. The plastic encases two 6TB disks (WD Red internal HDDs), which can easily be removed by means of the press-to-open lid. The curved, grey plastic theme is broken by the black strip across the lower bottom showcasing the logo, as well as three LEDs to indicate power to the unit, as well as bay 1 and bay 2’s status indicators. The top and rear of the device have a different black plastic finish, which appear more as vents than anything else. The rear of the unit houses the DC power slot, USB 3.0 micro-b port, and x2 USB 3.0 upstream ports. In addition, there is also a Kensington lock slot, and a reset button.
The unit comes standard with Western Digital’s software and utilities for users to install, to better enable manage the drives capacity. The HDD comes formatted in NTFS, essentially joining the two 6TB into one drive (RAID 0 array), to reveal a single 12TB drive. The WD Drive Utilities software allows users to change this default setting between three configurations: RAID 0 (already mentioned), RAID 1 (displays as one 6TB HDD, with the second being a mirrored, backup drive), and JBOD [Just a Bunch Of Disks] (displays as two separate 6TB HDD). You could also use the JBOD with one active drive, but that just seems to be a waste of a 6TB drive.
While WD recommend its own WD Red HDDs to slot into the two slots inside the enclosure, users can swap these out for any other SATA drives, even SSDs if you so wish.
With the amount of formatting and RAID options for the My Book Duo, testing isn’t as simple as copy/paste, even though that’s basically what it comes down to. Testing required file transfers of each of the configurations, as well as different file sizes.
The first test included transferring a large amount of smaller sized files. RAID 0 yielded an average of 250MBps read and 225MBps write, RAID 1 at 150MBps read and write, JBOD at 260MBps read and 230MBps write. Interestingly, switching to JBOD with one drive active dramatically reduce transfer speeds to below 170MBps for both read and write. Switching to larger file transfers again yielded much lower read and write speeds; RAID 0 at 100MBps read and write, RAID 1 at 70MBps read and 100MBps write, JBOD at 90MBps read and 170MBps write, and JBOD (one active drive) at 90MBps read and 110MBps write. Notably, these results aren’t all that close to the factory specification speeds quoted by WD on the box or on its website. Be that as it may, these transfer speeds are still very respectable.
While hoarding is a serious condition in terms of physical object accumulation, the My Book Duo makes digital hoarding a lot easier…fortunately or unfortunately, you can decide. Whichever way you look at it, having 12TB available at your fingertips, with additional capacity optionally being able to connect directly to the HDD, the My Book Duo provides more than enough capacity in today’s terms. Only time will tell how soon around the corner 12TB will no longer be an exorbitant amount.
The My Book Duo has a number of positives, but there’s just one daunting negative. All R9,200 of it. The price is evidence that the My Book Duo is more suited for small to medium businesses, with most households not able to accommodate the hefty price tag. In addition, utilising the unit in RAID 1 means failsafe backup, suitable for most businesses. If, however, storage is what you desperately require, whether it be for home or work, then this 12TB unit is more than capable of meeting your capacity needs.