Back in March 2010, Intel announced an Atom based platform optimized for storage applications. Using either a D410 or the dual core D510, paired with an Intel 82801IR I/O controller, it was touted by Intel to have been picked up by various NAS vendors such as LaCie, LG, QNAP, Synology and Thecus. We have had the LaCie 5big storage server in our labs for the last few weeks. Aimed at catering to the needs of small and medium businesses for a professional file sharing appliance, the server brings in a wealth of features thanks to the Windows Storage Server 2008 platform on which the NAS runs.

The LaCie 5big storage server runs a dual core Atom D510 at 1.66 GHz with 2 GB of RAM. The Atom processor also handles the RAID management. While the RAID configuration can be changed by the end-user, it ships with the disks in RAID5. Thus, the 5big with 5 1TB hard drives has 3.5 TB of available space for data (after 100 GB is allocated for the OS installation and swap space).

The 5big storage server comes in two capacities, one filled with 1 TB drives and the other filled with 2 TB drives. Dual GbE NICs capable of link aggregation make sure that the performance of the NAS is no slouch. Let us wrap up this section with a brief look at the marketing specs from LaCie:

Unboxing and Setup Impressions
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  • Guspaz - Tuesday, November 9, 2010 - link

    What's with the crazy partitioning scheme? They've got 102.54GB dedicated to swap...

    It looks almost like they decided on 34.18GB system partitions, and decided to just throw the rest into swap to use up the space. They could have shrunk that to 20GB, and put four of the partitions in RAID-10, with swap on the system partition. Or they could have had four 17.09GB partitions in RAID-10 for the system, and the remaining 17.09GB partition as swap; do you really need redundancy on the swap partition?
  • LoneWolf15 - Tuesday, November 9, 2010 - link

    Are you sure that's for swap?

    I'm not sure about Server 2008, but Win7 has a partition meant to aid in recovery of the OS in case it bombs. I believe that partition is about 100MB in size. Perhaps Server 2008R2 has the same?
  • DoveOfTheSouth - Tuesday, November 9, 2010 - link

    Somerthing you didn't cover and I think is very important for a small business NAS, is automatic client backup software.
    Does the LaCie come with any? If it does, how many licences? If not, I think you should mention it - some of the competitors do.
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, November 9, 2010 - link

    I suspect not. LaCie sells a 5big Backup Server for this purpose. I will try to clarify with them (there was no explicit software for backing up clients, though you could obviously backup the server itself using an WSS 2008 option in the server manager)
  • jabber - Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - link

    For NAS boxes I use Cobian. Its the only solution simple enough for folks to get to grips with and that will easily do backups to or from a NAS box.

    So many back up apps go mental if you introduce NAS boxes. Why they should in this day and age I have no idea.

    Cobian just works.

    I think a lot of manufacturers forget this aspect. That many small businesses (1 ro 6 people) dont either have the funds to run a continuous IT support contract or want to have to call in an IT support guy every 5 minutes if they want to change something.

    With the economy the way it is, there are a lot of new small firms like this that the IT manufacturers really are not catering to and they are missing a trick.

    Cut the IT babble front ends and just let it do the simple stuff in a logical manner.
  • unblocktheplanet - Saturday, January 8, 2011 - link

    I use a Mac and I’ve always had good luck with LaCie. I want to stream my movies and music to a networked DVD player as well as using my NAS for backup.

    I’m evaluating LaCie 5big Network, Synology DS1010+ or Seagate BlackArmor 4-bay NAS 440. My needs are pretty simple.

    But then I got to SOFTWARE RAID on LaCie! Sure about that? That would be a deal-breaker for me, the cause of numerous problems on my current external storage.

    As I live in Bangkok, I don’t have the ease of returning the unit to the US for service or warranty.

    Thanks much.
  • Hrel - Thursday, January 17, 2013 - link

    Can you guys review a few of those new NAS boxes built on ARM processors please?

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