LaCie 12big

Storage vendor LaCie has been showing off its new 12big rack-mounted storage box aimed at media and graphics companies. LaCie, best-known for its standalone storage systems, says that there's nothing like it on the market, as it brings ease-of-use to high-end professional storage.

Storage vendor LaCie has been showing off its new 12big rack-mounted storage box aimed at media and graphics companies. LaCie, best-known for its standalone storage systems, says that there's nothing like it on the market, as it brings ease-of-use to high-end professional storage.

LaCie's 12big is designed for streaming uncompressed HD video and costs from £3,102 (ex. VAT) for 6TB in six drives with a SAS interface.

With a maximum capacity of 12TB from 12 hot-swappable SATA drives, and the option to link a maximum of three boxes together using either mini-SAS or Fibre Channel (FC), the box is designed to stream uncompressed HD video — the number of streams depends on the number of drives, but ranges from one uncompressed HD stream from the entry-level product to six at the top end.

It's designed to be — and is — easy to set up in a variety of typical scenarios, yet offers a high degree of configurability should you wish to delve into the depths of the GUI.

The GUI offers features such as error reporting, archiving and drive spin-down, plus periodic spin-ups to check drive condition. It also offers reports, including one on how efficient the RAID configuration is given the types of work it's had to perform. For example, video streaming and random file accesses stress a RAID in different ways and require different setups.

You can also set up a partition attached directly to one of the four FC ports, you can share storage across the system, and larger organisations can set it up so it's managed by their storage area network controller. You can also allocate as many hot spares as required, depending on your reliability needs.

The components come from different sources: the box, with its hot pluggable dual power supplies, RAID controller and software are from Xyratex, the host bus adapters are from ATTO, and the drives are by Hitachi. LaCie's role is to integrate the hardware and software, and to take it to market.

The entry-level device offers 6TB from six drives and costs £3,102 with a SAS interface, or £4,432 with FC, up to 12TB with FC for £5,319 (all prices ex VAT).

Manek Dubash