CES2012: Western Digital’s New WD My Book Live Duo – Your Data, Your Cloud

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According to today’s top tech tipsters, the cloud is the future of personal storage; Western Digital clearly agrees. They’ve been putting out more and more network- and cloud-enabled storage devices, and today’s release is no exception.

With another update to the My Book lineup, the new WD My Book Live Duo takes the public cloud personal, and provides several terabytes of redundant storage for all of your digital needs. Photos? No problem. Videos? Send ’em along! Software? Plenty of room.

We’ve talked about RAID storage before, and by default, the WD My Book Live Duo comes with RAID 1 mode enabled. That means that two drives of equal storage space are run continuously, and as data is written to one drive, it’s instantly and simultaneously written to the second drive in the array.

Why would you want something like this? Well, it’s a stopgap measure against data loss in the case of catastrophic and/or irrecoverable drive failure. If you have a bunch of data on a drive, and that drive dies, then your data is toast. With a RAID array, however, you have a second drive running that you can instantly switch to and recover your data.

It’s important to remember that within the context of a working environment, RAIDed storage is not backed up storage – that is to say, having a RAID array is not a proper backup solution; instead, it guards against downtime. You’ll be able to instantly access the data that’s important to you, but you should still have a backup somewhere else. This, however, provides a RAID array for your backed up storage, offering another layer of protection.

WD My Book Live Duo

The My Book Live Duo includes WD’s own SmartWare backup solution so that Windows users can easily have their data, drives and operating systems seamlessly backed up over the network to the Live Duo. Apple customers won’t need to install any software, since OS X provides some clever backup routines of its own, under the Time Machine guise.

In order to keep your data streaming fast, the unit employs an 800MHz CPU as well as Gigabit Ethernet ports. Currently, the storage bank comes in both 4TB and 6TB capacities, but it’s important to remember that with RAID 1 enabled, your usable space will be cut down to 2TB and 3TB, respectively.

Cloud capabilities and media mastery
As part of their personal cloud initiative, the My Book Live Duo is compatible with WD’s 2go apps available on iPad and other iOS devices, Android-powered smartphone and tablets, and through any Internet-capable devices via the browser pointed to http://www.wd2go.com.

We’ve talked before about how Western Digital has created this whole market for itself through an array of smartTV boxes like the WD TV, WD TV Live and WD TV Live Hub, and that trend continues with the Live Duo. It’s got a built-in media server in it, which makes it capable of sending media to their own boxes, Blu-ray players, game consoles like the PS3 or Xbox 360 or even smart-enabled televisions. The aforementioned WD 2go mobile apps also let users access their movies, music and photos from anyplace they’ve got a data connection.

The My Book Live Duo is available now. 4TB (2TB in RAID 1) models carry a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $399.99, while 6TB (3TB in RAID 1) models will go for $499.99.

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