Advanced Software Functions
Western Digital seems never to have considered whether a company too small to field a softball team, or a family four, is equipped to access the features of the WD ShareSpace, let alone take advantage of them all.
Features like Microsoft Active Directory support (the Windows 2003 Server flavor), pages of system logs, not to mention RAID settings and quota management, are probably beyond the scope of most users’ interest and ability.
How many of your friends and family could make sense of these system logs ? :
Here’s what the RAID management screens look like :
On the retail box, WD advertises ShareSpace’s ability to function as an FTP server. That’s nothing special. A third-party client software FTP program is required to manage movement of files from the NAS to a computer. First off, this doesn’t add much functionality to a system that can already share files across a network (and even outside of it with WD’s MioNet web based add-on), and second of all, WD doesn’t even provide a built-in FTP client designed for plug-and-play use with the ShareSpace.
Additionally, if the ShareSpace can be used as a Print Server, there’s no how-to provided by WD. The manual occasionally makes references to “printer events,” but makes no mention of how to set the share space up as a print server to manage multiple printers—something almost any small office would need.
One fun part of the ShareSpace’s Advanced mode is the iTunes “media server” access. Computers on the ShareSpace’s network can share their music with everyone else who has access, and can stream music sitting on the NAS. Granted, iTunes already allows fellows in a network setting to view and play what’s inside everyone else’s iTunes, but with ShareSpace, at least it is all sitting in one place rather than in a list of computers. The media server here supports Mp3, WAC and AAC, but we’d love to see a similar feature for video.