LaCie today announced the 5big Network 2 professional RAID network storage unit in a range of new capacities, including diskless, allowing it to be scaled upwards as the needs of the businesses demand. Styled by designed Neil Poulton, this is one device that doesn’t need to be hidden in away in a server room.
With the option to purchase the diskless version and then install already available disks, the 5big is a cost-effective way of getting into professional storage which can then grow as funds and storage needs dictate. Hot-swap is supported too, meaning that in the event of a drive failure, the faulty unit can be replaced without downtime.
In addition to taking 5 SATA drives, there’s a good range of connectivity round the back including a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports, two eSata connectors and two USB (2.0) ports. Protocol-wise, the 5big supports a wide range including SMB, NFS, AFP, FTP, SFTP, HTTP(S) and iSCSI. It also works with Bonjour, Time Machine, iTunes and BitTorrent. The full details are on the specification page.
The remote access features of the 5big cater for off-site staff and there’s a complementary app, MyNAS, for iPhone and iPad owners.
Prices start at $349 for the diskless version up to $1,699 for the 15 TB version.
Mike Mihalik from LaCie shows off their new Thunderbolt-connected hard drives for the Apple Macs, including the previously announced Little Big Disk and the new 2big, which has two internal 3.5″ drives. Also announced was the eSata Dock, a docking station that connects legacy SATA devices via Thunderbolt.
Thunderbolt offers seriously quick data transfer speeds with write speeds of 252 Mb/s and read speeds of 459 Mb/s shown in the video.
The Little Big Disk is available now, but the 2big and eSata Dock units won’t be available until later in the quarter, with pricing to be announced.
Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast network.
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LaCie’s Hard Disk is a USB2 3.5″ external hard drive unit. Designed by Neil Poulton, it definitely comes from the minimalist school of design as it’s a shiny black box with a blue LED. The exterior is marred only by a discrete LaCie logo on one side; USB connector, power socket and on/off switch at the back. You don’t even see the LED itself, only the blue light reflecting off the desk.
And sometimes a box is just what’s needed, if you want stack or store the drives. All too often stylish designs prevent two units from being placed on top of each, taking up more space. This LaCie unit manages to be stylish and functional at the same time, though it’s a bit of a dust magnet at times.
I have two of the 1 TB drives and they form the heart of my backup strategy. Once a month, they get retrieved from storage, plugged in and the files synced with my NAS. Touch wood, I’ve not had any drive failures.
Performance-wise, it’s always hard to test reliably and consistently. I’m on Linux, so I’ve a range of tools including dd, hdparm and bonnie++.
- hdparm gave 32 MB/s for buffered disk reads.
- dd gave write speeds around 43 MB/s, with reading closer to 50 MB/s.
- bonnie++ gave 34 MB/s for writes and 36 MB/s for reads.
Given that the maximum theoretical speed for USB 2 is 60 MB/s, these figures are pretty good. For comparison, bonnie++ gives figures around 100 MB/s for my main SATA drive.
Currently, the LaCie Hard Disk comes in 1 TB, 1.5 TB and 2 TB versions and if you look hard, the 1 TB unit can be picked up for around £50. Recommended.
Andy speaks to Philip of LaCie on the latest USB 3.0 devices from LaCie, including the new highspeed FastKey USB3 SSD memory stick which comes in 30GB, 60GB and 120GB sizes – yes, that’s 120GB in a memory stick, so don’t lose it! Also on show were USB3 upgrades across the range, including ruggedised external drives and designer models.
Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News.
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