La Cie 5 Big Office Assignment

Today LaCie announced the 5big Thunderbolt™ Series, a massive and lightning-fast five-bay RAID solution. The LaCie 5big features capacity up to 20TB and speeds up to 785MB/s* thanks to five 7200rpm/64MB cache hard disks preconfigured in RAID 0. With this excellent combination of capacity and performance, video professionals have all they need for post-production work including the ability to edit multiple 2K uncompressed 10-bit streams.


With five disks, the LaCie 5big lets the user custom-make RAID configurations. Create a lightning-fast volume with three disks in RAID 0 and a safe volume with two disks in RAID 1. Plus the disks are hot-swappable**, so the user can simply slide a new disk into the safe volume without switching off the device. Use the fast volume for use with Final Cut Pro X™, Adobe® Premiere® or Aperture™, and the safe volume to back up projects.

The LaCie 5big allows video professionals to move from a heavy desktop workstation to a versatile laptop setup with fast and massive external storage. Their desktop setup stays in the office while the laptop goes on business trips. Plus, with dual Thunderbolt ports, the user can daisy chain up to six Thunderbolt peripherals together.


The LaCie 5big can also be used as a JBOD array. With five working days a week, an IT manager can assign each disk to a daily backup. It is an ideal backup companion to a Mac® Mini Server for businesses that need a professional IT setup.


Additionally, the LaCie 5big's advanced dual cooling system ensures long-term reliability by preventing overheating. The system consists of three key components: an innovative heat-dissipating aluminum casing, a Noctua® cooling fan and jumbo heat exhausts. Plus, it's ultra quiet, which makes it perfect for even the most noise-sensitive creative environments.


As a leader in Thunderbolt technology, LaCie has brought to market the largest portfolio of Thunderbolt storage solutions. Additional offerings include the LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt Series, LaCie d2 USB 3.0 Thunderbolt Series, LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt Series, LaCie 2big Thunderbolt Series and LaCie eSATA Hub Thunderbolt Series. Find out more at


The LaCie 5big, design by Neil Poulton, is available in 10TB and 20TB capacities through the LaCie Online Store and LaCie Resellers starting at $1,199.00. Thunderbolt cable included. For more product information, visit


The LaCie 5big is protected by a three-year limited warranty. It includes comprehensive, complimentary web-based resources, expert in-house technical support, and worldwide repair/replacement coverage. Warranty extensions and Advance Care Option can also be purchased. For details, visit


With operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia, LaCie is a leading manufacturer of storage devices for Apple®, PC and Linux. LaCie has differentiated itself through sleek design and remarkable technical performance. Find out more about our products

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©2013 LaCie S.A. All rights reserved. When referring to drive capacity, one terabyte, or TB, equals one thousand billion bytes. Your computer’s operating system may use a different standard of measurement and report a lower capacity. In addition, some of the listed capacity is used for formatting and other functions and will not be available for data storage. Quantitative usage examples for various applications are for illustrative purposes. Actual quantities will vary based on various factors, including file size, file format, features, and application software.

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Kristin Macrostie

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LaCie RAID Manager Features and Terms

Review this section if further details are needed for terms and features found in LaCie RAID Manager.


An array is a combination of two or more physical disks that are presented to the operating system as a single storage device. The hard drives combined in an array are assigned a RAID level, hence the term RAID array.

 Note for LaCie 12big Thunderbolt 3: When creating multiple arrays, please do not use consecutive disks in the same array. Performance for an array that has consecutive disks can be negatively affected. For example, do not create an array with disks 1, 2, 3 and 4. Instead, create an array with disks 1, 3, 5 and 7. You can use disks 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 for the next array.

Where is it?

You can create a RAID array when there are two or more available hard drives. Go to the Overview page and click Create array. The button is not clickable if there are no available hard drives.

Arrays that have been created are available on the Overivew page. To view further details about an array, double-click it on the Overview page or click once on it in the left menu. 

Auto rebuild

When Auto rebuild is enabled, the device automatically rebuilds a degraded RAID array once a spare hard drive is available. A degraded array generally means that one or more hard drives are missing or are experiencing errors. The amount of disks an array can lose depends upon the RAID level. A RAID 5 array can lose one hard drive and while a RAID 6 array can lose two hard drives. The rebuild cannot begin if there are no spare hard drives.

If auto rebuild is disabled, you can rebuild a degraded array by exchanging a defective hard drive with a healthy hard drive and choosing the array’s Maintenance tab. Click the Maintenance button and then choose Rebuild.

 Important info: Data is not protected during a rebuild. The RAID array protects data once the rebuild is complete and all information has been synchronized to the spare hard drive. Therefore, if a second hard drive fails during the rebuild, the RAID array is broken and all data is lost.

Where is it?

Auto rebuild is an option in Device settings. It is enabled by default.


Caching media can improve your LaCie device’s performance by keeping files in a select location rather than sending them directly to the array’s storage. Transfer speeds are faster since your computer retrieves data directly from the cache rather than searching the hard drives. Thus, caching data optimizes your LaCie product for better performance.

Use LaCie RAID Manager to configure caching for your LaCie device. There are two options for caching media.

  • Array cache: Cache media on the array. Data is stored on a buffer before being flushed to the array at the appropriate time.
  • Disk cache: Cache media on the individual disks. Data is stored temporarily on the disks’ caches before it is moved to the array.

While caching data is recommended to improve performance, there is a potential drawback in regard to protecting data and data corruption. In the event of power failure, data integrity can be lost if the data has not been fully transferred from the cache to the RAID array. Therefore, make certain to use a stable power supply that cannot be interrupted, such as an uninterruptable power supply (UPS). A UPS allows you to safely shut down the LaCie device if the electricity suddenly terminates at your facility or office.

Disabling caching

When data caching is disabled, all data is accessed from the array. This option is recommended when data protection is critical to your workflow. While access to data is not as fast when disk caching is disabled, transfer rates remain quite high due to the use of a hardware RAID controller and your version of Thunderbolt technology.

Where is it?

The option to cache data is available when configuring a RAID array and in the Maintenance tab on an existing RAID array’s page. Caching is enabled by default.

Consistency check

A consistency check tests the integrity of parity or mirrored data on the array. Consistency checks are highly recommended as part of regular maintenance for arrays. Consider running a consistency check when an array is not performing as expected.

You can run a consistency check on an array that has had at least one background initialization. The option to choose consistency check is not available for arrays with no initialization or fast initialization. Additionally, a consistency check is not available when a background initialization or a disk is in progress.

Where is it?

To launch or schedule a consistency check, go to the array page and choose the Maintenance tab. Click the Maintenance button to review the options for a consistency check.

Disk check

While a consistency check scans the integrity of parity or mirrored data on the array, disk check searches for errors on a single hard drive. Run disk check on an individual disk as part of regular maintenance.

A disk check is not available when an initialization or consistency check is in progress.

Where is it?

To run a disk check, go the array page and find the disk you want to check in the table. Click twice on and the disk and then click Run disk check.


Initializing an array can help prevent errors while handling data. A background initialization is the only full initialization that guarantees all mirror or parity blocks are checked and updated to ensure consistency of data on the array. Available initialization options are listed below.

  • None: The data check is skipped. This option is not recommended as you can encounter data errors and you cannot perform a consistency check on the array.
  • Fast: Fast initialization is a destructive process that erases all data on the array including the Master Boot Records (MBR) on all physical disks. Use fast initialization if you wish to perform a cursory check before starting a project. However, this option is not a full initialization that performs a thorough check on the array and does not help to prevent data handling errors. Further, you cannot perform a consistency check on an array with fast initialization.
  • Background: The only option for a full initialization. Since it runs in the background, you can use the array during the initialization. However, a background initialization deletes data previously stored on the array. Data written on the array during a background initialization is safe. A background initialization can take several days based upon the total capacity of the array and performance is impacted, especially when working on high-end video or graphic projects.

 Caution: When performing an initialization on an existing array, make certain to back up your files. While it is data destructive for files that have been stored on the array, you can write new data during an initialization. Thus, new files written during the initialization are not deleted while all files that predate the initialization are deleted.

Where is it?

You can choose how to initialize while configuring a RAID array or, go to the array page and choose the Maintenance tab. Click the Maintenance button to choose Initialize

Poll SMART status (Device settings)

Enabling this option tells the system to check the disks for SMART statistics. SMART stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology. When enabled, you can review basic information for each hard drive in the enclosure, including the model number, capacity and overall SMART status.

SMART details can be found on the array page in its table of hard drives. The SMART status should be used for informational purposes only, specifically when diagnosing hard drives.

 Important info: Enabling SMART status can have a negative effect upon performance.

Where is it?

The option to enable or disable Poll SMART status is available in Device settings. It is disabled by default. 

Spare hard drive

A spare hard drive waits to be used in case a single hard drive in a RAID array fails. If Auto rebuild is enabled, a spare hard drive automatically takes the place of a failed hard drive. As part of a rebuild, the device synchronizes data to the spare hard drive so that it can be assimilated into the array.

A hard drive must be assigned as a spare for auto rebuild to synchronize data. The greatest advantage of having a spare hard drive is the reduction of time wasted waiting to rebuild an array. That is, if all hard drives in the enclosure are being used for one or more RAID arrays, there are no hard drives available to assign as a spare to take over for a failed disk. In such a case, you must contact LaCie support to replace a hard drive purchased through LaCie or, find a replacement if the hard drive did not ship with the device. Since a failed hard drive generally means the array is degraded, the RAID can no longer protect your data. Further, if another hard drive in the array fails, the data is lost. Therefore, a good amount of time and, potentially, your data, can be lost if a replacement hard drive is not close at hand.

The clear disadvantage to having a spare is losing storage space since a spare hard drive sits on the side waiting for a hard drive to fail. While sitting as a spare hard drive, its storage space cannot be used.

LaCie RAID Manager has two options for assigning spare hard drives.

  • Global spare drive: Global spare drives can be used by any array. This option is good if you have more than one RAID array.
  • Dedicated spare drive: Dedicated spare drives are used exclusively for rebuilding a specific array.

Where is it?

You can add a spare hard drive when configuring a RAID array or assign an available hard drive at any time.

Stripe size

A stripe is the size of a single data block on the array. The range of stripe sizes includes 64K, 128K, 256K, 512K and 1024K. The choice of stripe size varies by device.

The larger the stripe size, the longer it takes for the RAID controller to read from and write to data blocks on the physical disks. Consider the following when configuring the stripe size:

  • Use a larger stripe size for applications requiring large data transfers, such as audio, video and graphics.
  • Use a smaller stripe size for applications with content much smaller in size, such as emails, documents and other files. For example, archiving applications that manage a large library of small files.

Where is it?

The stripe size can be assigned while configuring the RAID array.


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