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  • DanNeely - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    On the server management screenshot on page 2, what is the 31MB disk5? Did someone go digging through the junk drawer for the smallest USB drive they could find, or is it something else? Reply
  • ganeshts - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    That is the USB drive I use to quickly transfer files from one review unit to the other (considering that this setup was isolated from the rest of our network) :) Reply
  • mcnabney - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    $1475 for an available 3.5TB ~ $2.37/GB which is about how much SSDs cost for storage.

    Other options for the same money -

    $100 WHS or Vail
    $100 nice case
    $75 nice PS
    $25 1 GB RAM
    $75 nice mATX MB with lots of SATA ports
    $25 optical drive
    $50 expansion cards for extra SATA ports
    $25 fans and extra cables
    $1000 - Ten 2TB drives
    $1475 total

    So at the very least TRIPLE the storage (if everything is duplicated) and superior access times when using my option.
  • ganeshts - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    If I personally want 18 TB of storage, I would definitely go with your configuration :) However, the professional storage appliance market is different. People are ready to pay as long as the seller guarantees uptime of the storage. At my workplace (not AnandTech), vendors have turned up at 2 AM on a Sunday night to replace failed drives in our SAN. Of course, to get such response, one needs to purchase some extended maintenance options. However, these options aren't available unless one purchases the original unit from the company.

    That said, LaCie has had a history of catering to the Apple market. So, you know that the likely customers would be graphics design firm which are heavily Apple oriented. (And Apple customers are those who don't mind spending a premium) -- At least, this is my opinion (not what LaCie told me)
  • mcnabney - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    What you are saying makes a lot of sense, but this isn't a big service oriented server vendor like HP or Dell. I checked out LaCie and the box comes with a 1 year parts and service warranty. For an extra $150 you can stretch that out to two years.
    There is no on-site repair option available. If something goes wrong you check the faq online and then call tech support. Support will go through the usual list (is it plugged in, did you turn it on....) before issuing you a RMA number. There is absolutely no guarantee of uptime or anything close to policies designed to keep the data available at all times. I don't know about you, but once that box is populated it is never going back to a service center for 'warranty work'.
    A product like this is going to require someone in the office to be able to setup and troubleshoot a NAS-like product or the IT support vendor that has been used in the past will need to understand it. I just don't see the LaCie brand to do much more than I would expect of NewEgg. For me, I build my own because I support my own. I get the best price and exactly what I want/need. Since we are talking about critical data here I think that only Dell/HP types can really offer one-stop shopping with guaranteed on-site service. Also, don't forget that there is nothing in this box that could even remotely be considered to be server-grade - starting with the footwarmer power supply.
  • ganeshts - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I believe LaCie has some sort of on-site maintenance plan too. This is mainly targeted towards people who don't have full time IT staff or lack the technical know-how to build and maintain one themselves.

    LaCie also has a Pro line (12-rack NAS server) which fits the 'server' grade criteria.

    All said, I personally don't think the unit is worth that much money, but there are probably features in Windows Storage Server (available only to OEMs) which some small / medium business owners may be willing to pay for.
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    I found something comparable to it. It costs $25 more and is also made of the same grade of consumer parts.

    It also provides 12TB of storage and includes the footwarmer power supply.

    Also, what is it about these consumer-grade NAS appliances and pokey network speed? I assume it is related to the RAID functionality. Every WHS box I have assembled can saturate gigE with large files and runs at over 60MB/s when backing up (which includes lots of small files).
  • ira176 - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Just change the blue to red.... Reply
  • Kaurin - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    If AnandTech did a comparison of this type of commercial solution VS FreeNAS. (Preferably using same hard drives as in the LaCie tested). Reply
  • ganeshts - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Will keep this in mind for a future review. Reply
  • krazyderek - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    throw in an ubuntu file server please! (SMB & NFS) Last i checked it outperforms freenas but is just as free. Reply
  • zsero - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I don't get that why would anyone choose this over say a Synology DS1010+?

    DS1010+ is about $800 without drives, you can supply and repair all your hard drives from your favourite brand, has a much more polished user interface and comes with proper NFS and iSCSI support. Oh, yes and it's expandable with an external 5 disk module any time later.

    For me it seems just an other product where you pay for the styling and not for the reliability or performance which comes with one of those brands who's been polishing their own Linux based OS over the years.
  • ganeshts - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I think most of the extra cost is for the license of the WIndows Storage Server 2008. It has support for DFS (not sure if Synology has it) . Maybe some other features are extra too (haven't evaluated Synology solutions in this space yet) Reply
  • Sharro - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    I wouldn't :-) I have a DS1010+ with the expansion DX510, reading the review of the Lacie there isn't a single advantage in it.

    I got rid of my DS409+ because the expasion was not available anymore in my country and it would take too long to order it (it has been discontinued) otherwise I would still have it, it's simple, quiet and solid.

    Just my 5 cents.

    All the best,

  • HMTK - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    I haven't found a single Linux-based NAS that seamlessly integrates with Active Directory. So for file/print sharing in a Windows network it's probably better to use a WSS 2008 than that Synology or QNAP. I wouldn't use it for NFS though and only maybe for iSCSI. There I would trust the Linux-based NAS's more. The physical design and drives that you have to buy from Lacie are also a serious disadvantage. They should just sell the chassis and list a bunch of supported drives. Reply
  • mkruer - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I have one, and I wish i didn't. most of what Lacie claims are half truths. Most people looking into this would be better off getting a Sans Digital 5 drive bay enclosure and populating it with their own drives and attaching is via esata connection to another system. Reply
  • ganeshts - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Can you please let us know what issues you found with the storage server. I am sure LaCie would be very interested in your feedback. Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    I can't tell you about this, but I do have experience with some of LaCie's more expensive products, as we have a LaCie Biggest 5-drive FW800 external RAID enclosure for our XServe, which I did need warranty service for once when a drive failed.

    My experience with this and several other LaCie products is that LaCie makes some nice products --but even their SMB or "enterprise-like" products get the equivalent of home user support. For a small or medium business, this is a big drawback.

    The 10TB LaCie 5Big looks like a perfect product for some needs here in our workplace; that said, I'd probably spend more and get a Dell PowerVault server, because I know what kind of support Dell will provide me, and I have the option of a three-year warranty which I can choose the response time to fit my needs. I sincerely doubt that if a drive fails in the 5Big that you can get a next-business-day replacement.

    For their SMB market, LaCie at least needs an optional higher-end support package. Without that, you can either go lower and get a Windows Home Server on the small end, or spend more and get an enterprise-grade server with real support, and either way, you're probably better off.
  • mkruer - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    I can send you the case number, but I don’t think they will tell you that their own product suck and their support is non existent.

    In my case I had a LaCie box tied to an AD network (BTW it doesn’t support AD as one would expect which is why I said half truths, it also does not have sub domain support) I was using the LaCie to create backup images of system before I wiped them. However do to the way they implement the permission somehow it lost both the admin (BTW it is not really the admin) account and the AD account that the files were created with. What I ended up with was a few file taking up 800GB that no one could not even the admin could access with no way to change the permission. To make matters worse, in their infinite wisdom, there is no way to SSH backdoor into the box using the real ROOT account

    I contacted LaCie before I did the following to this was their recommend procedure. First flash the system with the latest version. This had no positive effect in fact it made the system more unstable. They had me do a hard reset to reset/reconstruct all the permission. Yes that worked for all non default shares. But like most people I was using the default share, I found out later that the default share on the box should not be used because the reset/reconstruct will not work for that share. But they don’t mention that anywhere in the instructions; trust me I look multiple times afterwards. They then wanted me to then try to downgrade the firmware and try again however I was unable to downgrade the box. I this point I asked them that I can take the drives and mount them in another system and although they do not support what I was about to do they did admit that this was the only option left. I was stuck in the situation where the only option I had, recommend by many people who have had this issue before me, was to pull the drives and mount them in another box. However because LaCie is using software level RAID is not well documented and apparently even the not even the LaCie engineers know how it works. It becomes a crapshoot to get it working. After a week of fiddling with various tools to figure out what RAID construction they were using in an attempt to recover my data, I ended up saying #!@^-it, it is not worth it. I placed the drives back into the box, and yes the system still worked, I ended up I shipping the box to them. About a week later I get a message saying they can not even figure out what is wrong.

    Oh yes the data I had on it was lost, this is the only time I have EVER lost data, thankfully nothing on it was overly important. It just piss me off.

    In the end LaCie to kiss my @$$ ended up sending me the top-of-the-line LaCie box which has been little more then a paper weight because I am not using it until they warranty expires in which case I am pulling the drives and mounting them in a generic box.

    After this event I did a search and found out that this is a long standing issue across multiple LaCie product lines. Do a search for LaCie lost file permission and SSH you will see that I am not the only one that had this issue with LaCie integration and craptastic support.

    Quite literally if LaCie included a SSH into the OS of the box this problem I could have recovered /recreated the permissions in 15 minutes
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    Whoa! I can sure understand your frustration!

    Can you let me know whether this happened with the Windows Storage Server 2008 based model?

    If I understand the NAS correctly, all the AD support and even the software RAID is handled by Windows Storage Server, and any support issues of the sort you mention can be resolved with the help of Microsoft documentation?

    The reason I am asking this is that, while evaluating the NAS, I did face trouble with iSCSI, and LaCie never got back to me with the solution. However, the WSS 2008 documentation and online FAQs managed to clear it up for me.

    On a side note, I didn't have infrastructure at my end to test enterprise level functionality like DFS or AD. If you have any suggestions for testing those out (our testbeds for NAS reviews are self contained and isolated networks), that would be great too. Thanks for your help :)
  • mkruer - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    In this case this was LaCie 5big Network 2 not the one you were reviewing so from that point my comments may not be justified. however considering all the issues they seem to have with the LaCie 5big Network line up it really does not surprise me that they are ditching their quasi linux pseudo AD system for a windows based system. After my experiences the overarching question that MUST be ask is. "If something goes wrong with the OS, is there a way to get to the data bypassing the OS?" historically all LaCie products you MUST use the LaCie UI, and there is no back door if something goes wrong. if this is the case with the LaCie 5big Storage Server i would tell people to avoid it. doubly so if it is RAID'ed I was hoping that if something went worng with the unit I had I would be able to use either USB or estat to attach the device as a local storage (this would bypass the OS), but nope. All the ports on the box are if you want to extend the unit still using the flaky OS running on it. Reply
  • IceDread - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    It looks to have a hard time competing with zfs systems. For the high price it has, why would someone want to purchase one.. Reply
  • Sosh - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    If this is supposed to be professional grade, I don't understand why they would opt for a cheap brick power supply with a Mini-DIN connector.

    These connectors are notoriously loose. That PS is going to be sitting on the floor in a nest of other cables and supplies. All it will take is someone to kick the cable, or pull on it while fiddling around with something else down there for it to drop power to the NAS - possibly loosing data in the process.
  • jabber - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    I do a lot of office upgrades for small finance firms (say 3-4 people) and they want to move on from file sharing between PCs. They dont want to run a server so a NAS box is perfect for centralised file sharing and organisation.

    However, for them encryption is vitally important in case of theft and very few NAS boxes appear to carry decent encryption. Plus NAS reviews that do mention encryption rarely ever test it and report on it.

    For business use, encryption is very important. Customers have all read the embarrassing news reports of stolen data getting into the open. They want to avoid that as much as possible.
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    I think MS Bitlocker serves this purpose and is supported in Windows Server 2008. Can you let me know what sort of testing you would like us to do for this feature? Reply
  • jabber - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    Bitlocker is out as most users are still on XP.

    The dont want servers. So Server 2008/Bitlocker doesnt even figure in this equation.

    They just want simple NAS boxes for encrypted file storage and sharing.

    Set and forget, pretty much.

    What we need to know is does the NAS support encryption.

    If it does how does it implement it (full disk/by share/on the fly/USB key etc.)?

    How does it affect file transfer/read/write performance?

    Customers do not require anything too sophisticated or hard to administer. Its purely to stop anyone who steals the kit to go looking at the data stored on it.
  • jabber - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    For info, I'm currently pushing out Seagate Blackamors to customers.

    They are pretty cheap and use on the fly encryption for any share you set it on. The encryption key is stored on a USB stick that has to be plugged into the back of the NAS box for the shares to work.

    It's pretty simple and once setup needs little work from the end user other than removing the USB key.

    Would be nice to see some alternative solutions.
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    jabber, Thanks for your inputs.

    I will talk to LaCie (and any future NAS manufacturers who want us to review their units) about this. But, as you mention, Server 2008 based solutions are probably not going to work for your requirement unless there is some other specific support from the manufacturer.
  • Rasterman - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    synology has encryption Reply
  • jabber - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    Yes and some of the QNAPs too. However, you usally dont get encryption on them till you are spending in the £400 range for the 4xHDD boxes.

    Ideally we need a RAID1 capable box with simple to administer encryption with HDDs installed for around the £200 price of the Seagates.
  • Guspaz - Tuesday, November 09, 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 09, 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 09, 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 09, 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) Reply
  • 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 08, 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? Reply

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