For the longest time, Fibre Channel DAS were at the top of the external storage "food chain", with 16 Gbps data rates there just was not anything that could compete. With the launch of Thunderbolt 2, Intel laid the groundwork for a 20Gbps pipeline, and now a few years later we have a whole host of devices taking advantage of this technology.
One of the higher-end devices that use the superhighway called Thunderbolt 2 is the LaCie 8big Rack. This solution as a few others we have seen allow for eight drives but what make this solution different is those eight drives are in a 1U enclosure. Similar to the way the Seagate Business 8 Bay NAS is configured, the 8big has its SATA backplane in the center of two rows of drives, and as you will see in the images on page two, this allows for double the storage in the same amount of space.
The 8big Rack is designed for 4K workflows and with Thunderbolt 2 as the pipeline between your storage, and computer bottlenecks should no longer be an issue. The LaCie 8big does have several flavors including a 12, 24 and 48TB models lending a variety of options depending on your budget. Performance is said to reach upwards of 1300 MB/s, and while the standard 8big unit does use desktop drives for those that need even more reliability, LaCie has launched an Enterprise Class version alongside.
Diving into the spec sheet, you see all three standard models listed across the top. Hardware for all three should be the same minus the drives used. There is no diskless option with this solution, so for those wanting to go higher than 48TB, you will have to purchase your drives separately. With that said, in the case you do go that route, the product warranty will sadly be void.
Diving down through the specs, you will find both of the Thunderbolt 2 interfaces listed as this unit enjoys the ability to daisy chain. Further down LaCie has published expected performance for each of the model listed and with our unit being the 8 x 6TB or 48TB unit we should peak around 1330 MB/s read and 1060 MB/s write. Moving on this solution supports a whole host redundancy with both the power supplies and the internal fans being hot swappable if they should ever fail. Acoustics are putting this device around 50 db at idle and a maximum of 69 db.
Compatibility extends to Windows 7, 8 and 10, along with OS X 10.9+. MSRP is coming in at $4599.99 for the 48TB solution in house today. For those on a tighter budget, you can grab up the 12TB solution for $1599 or the 24TB at $2599. Warranty is listed at one year.
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