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20TB Thunderbolt RAID array released by LaCie

The 5big, unveiled at CES, sports I/O speeds of up to 785MB/s

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LaCie announced the 5big storage box RAID array with Thunderbolt that comes in 10TB and 20TB capacities at the CES trade show in Las Vegas.

The LaCie 5big array comes with dual-core 2.13GHz Intel processors. The dual Thunderbolt ports, enabling users to daisy chain up to six Thunderbolt peripherals together.

Thunderbolt, announced by Intel last year, offers twice the performance of the latest SuperSpeed USB (3.0) interconnect. So there is reason to believe it could someday overtake USB, the most ubiquitous external I/O technology ever created.

LaCie, which was acquired by Seagate last year, said the new RAID array features speeds of up to 785MB/sec through the use of five 7200rpm hard disks that have 64MB of cache each.

Three of the 5big Thunderbolt's drives are configured in RAID 0, which writes data to two or more disks in order to increase performance and not resiliency. The remaining two drives are configured in RAID 1, or single redundancy for data resilience. The array can also be set up as JBOD.

Disk drives are also hot-swappable, so the user can simply slide a new disk into the safe volume without switching off the device. The array comes with dual cooling fans.

The box, which comes preconfigured in RAID 0, is being aimed at small businesses and video professionals working in need post-production settings because the array offers them the ability to edit multiple 2K uncompressed 10-bit streams.

LaCie said its 5big array allows video professionals to move from a heavy desktop workstation to more mobile and versatile laptop setup with faster and higher-capacity storage. "Their desktop setup stays in the office while the laptop goes on business trips," LaCie stated.

Configured as JBOD, LaCie's 5big can also be used for daily backup, which one disk assigned for each day of the week, the company said.

"It is an ideal backup companion to a Mac Mini Server for businesses that need a professional IT setup," LaCie stated.

Pricing for the LaCie 5big, which comes with a three-year warranty, starts at $1,199 (around £750) for the 10TB version. A 20TB model retails for $2,199. The Thunderbolt cable included.


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