Promise launched their Apollo Cloud solution back in April of 2017, and we were lucky enough to have a unit sent over for review. I walked away from that article giving the Apollo Cloud an 89% and our Best Value award, due to its easy to use features and low entry cost.
Promise is now back with a refresh of the Apollo Cloud line, the new version dubbed Cloud 2 Duo fits perfectly as this is the first in the Apollo Cloud line to offer redundancy with two drives. With this, the enclosure has received a refresh as well, slightly wider to accommodate the second drive although maintaining that subtle curved exterior. Promise has stayed with the white exterior on the Cloud 2 Duo, adding touches of black top and bottom along with a little branding, but it's not overdone keeping the marketing machine in check.
Connectivity gives us power, ethernet and USB 3.0 keeping things simple for the consumer. Capacity options include a 4TB and 8TB model capacity is split between two drives so you will have 2x2TB for the 4TB model and 2x4TB for the 8TB model. MSRP for the 4TB Apollo Cloud 2 Duo comes in at $369.99 while the 8TB model reaches $449.99, both having two-year warranty.
Packaging offers an image of the Cloud 2 Duo on the front. Capacity is listed at the top right while connectivity at the bottom left.
The side of the box offers specifications, OS support and what's included.
Included in the box we have the Apollo Cloud 2 Duo, power adapter and ethernet cable.
The front has a very small Apollo logo for branding and power button above.
The top of the unit takes advantage of rising heat from the internal components by installing a fan to aid the process.
The back of the Apollo houses the power input at the bottom, Gigabit ethernet above and USB 3.0 port to round things out.
Promise offers apps to control your Cloud 2 Duo for iOS, macOS, Windows and Android. For my testing I setup the Windows application.
During setup and even after, you have to option of using your Apollo Cloud in RAID 0 for higher performance or RAID 1 for data redundancy.
The dashboard gives an overview and categorization of your data stored on the Apollo. On the far right we have an activity monitor and to the far left a sidebar with additional features.
To get an idea of what the Apollo was capable of I ran it through flash benchmark. In RAID 0, we were able to get 110 MB/s read and around 80-85 Mb/s write from the unit.
RAID 1 was similar with just slightly lower write performance. Read performance stayed at 110 MB/s.
Promise has delivered an improved experience with the Cloud 2 Duo with most of this coming from the addition of a second drive for improved reliability but also an improved app and enclosure design.
Build quality of the Cloud 2 Duo is fantastic, although we do have white glossy plastic which will tend to get scratched up but it's not quite as bad as having a piano black enclosure where you see every bit of dust etc. I was unable to get this enclosure open as I normally check the installed drives, so replacement could be an issue if there ever were a problem, however, Promise does mention they use Surveillance class drives in the Apollo lineup.
The performance was on par with my expectations with only a slight dip in write performance we were able to reach 110 MB/s read on both RAID 0 and 1. As mentioned write performance could have been better but was admirable at 85 MB/s.
The app has been cleaned up slightly from our last review of the original Apollo Cloud, now in favor of a more modern appeal. It does give you both an overview and direct relationship with your files using the left sidebar. For deeper settings, like changing RAID array types there is a full settings menu as well.
Turn-Key solutions like the Apollo Cloud 2 Duo take away the mess of setting up and managing a sometimes-complicated Linux platform NAS solution. Promise has taken the steps necessary to ease the average consumer into managing their own data while giving them access to tools for backing up and retrieving their data no matter where they are.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Prime Z370 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i3 8350K (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 32GB 4x8GB DDR4 3200 (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro H115i (buy from Amazon)
- Case: Corsair Air 540 (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Samsung 960 EVO 250GB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
- Wi-Fi NIC: ASUS PCE-AC88 (buy from Amazon)
- 10Gbe NIC: ASUS XG-C100C (buy from Amazon)
- Thunderbolt 3: ASUS Thunderbolt EX3 (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line: The Apollo Cloud 2 Duo is a great solution for those that just want to backup their data with the benefit of cloud access anywhere in the world.
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