LaCie Updates RAID Systems

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Storage vendor LaCie has upgraded two of its RAID disk array solutions, adding USB connectivity to its Two Big two-disk RAID and converting its four-bay Biggest FW800 array to SATA and lockable drawers.

"LaCie believes RAID technology is the best way to safely back up large amounts of data,"said LaCie Product Manager Emanuela Boila in a statement. "Our goal is to simplify this complex technology so anyone can reap the benefits without hassle. The improved Biggest FW800 is at the higher-end of that scale, with the target market being IT managers who need to back up email, web servers or imaging systems, whereas solutions like the LaCie Two Big are intended for the mass consumer market."

LaCie’s Biggest FW800 offers both FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 connectivity, and now comes with internal SATA drives for transfer rates up to 70MB/s via FireWire 800. The system also features lockable drive doors to prevent "unintended" removale or damage to the drives. The unit is available in capacities of one or two terabytes, supports RAID 0, 0_1, 5, and 5+spare configurations, and offers a built-in hardware RAID controller so the host computer doesn’t have to worry about managing the system. Drives are (of course) hot-swappable in RAID 5 or 0+1 configurations, and the system sports an LCD panel to monitor status. The Biggest FW800 is available immediately at $1,299 for the one terabyte system, $1,799 for the two terabyte block.

The Two Big ESATA & USB system offers a two-drive RAID solution auned at digital content creators, power users, and consumers who might happen to have a lot of digital media to back up. Now featuring USB 2.0 connectivity, the Two Big is available in 500 GB and one terabyte configurations. The USB connection lets users take their data anywhere, but the system needs LaCie eSATA II PCI card to support 3Gbits/s transfer. Disks are hot-swappable, and the unit is hot-pluggable so it can be removed without having to power down the host computer. The unit comes with disks pre-formatted in fast mode (RAID 0), but can be configured to safe mode (RAID 1), big mode (concatenation, or JBOD mode where each disk appears as an independent volume. The Two Bit ESATA & USB system will be available in early December for $399 (for 500 GB) or $599 (for one terabyte); LaCie is liquidating its older ESATA-only Two Big drives: the prices are higher than the new USB-enabled products, since they come pre-bundled with the eSATA PCI-X interface card.

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