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Linux-based NAS stores 2TB

Mar 6, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 19 views

LaCie has shipped a dual-disk, 2TB version of its Linux-based network attached storage (NAS) appliance. The latest “2big Network” device runs an in-house version of Linux called LaCix, and can act as a small business server for FTP, backup, and file-sharing.

(Click for larger view of the 2big Network)

The 2big Network is based on a 400MHz Marvell processor with 64MB RAM, says LaCie, a computer peripheral manufacturer headquartered in France. The device includes a Gigabit Ethernet connection and two USB 2.0 ports.

The “big” in the 2big Network name does not refer to its modest 3.5 x 7.8 x 6.7-inch size, but rather to one of its two storage modes. The NAS device is comprised of two hot-swappable 512GB hard drives that can be mirrored for the greatest data security in RAID 1 “SAFE” mode, says LaCie, or merged in a “BIG” concatenation mode to enable the greatest capacity. An additional 512GB or 1TB can be added via the two USB 2.0 ports to achieve a maximum of 2TB storage, says the company. If a drive fails in RAID 1 configuration, the data can allegedly be rebuilt onto a spare drive without the need for shutdown.

The 2big Network, front and back

Designed by Neil Poulton, the 2big product line recently won an iF Design Award, says LaCie. The system is equipped with a natural cooling heat sink metal design with a thermoregulated progressive smart fan, and can be rackmounted, placed horizontally, or stood vertically. The prominent glowing blue button on the front of the case is actually a one-click data-sharing button. By inserting a USB key or USB hard drive into a free port and pressing the button, the information is copied to a shared folder on the device.

The Linux-based 2big Network is said to be compatible with Linux, Windows, and Mac desktops. It ships with the new LaCie Ethernet Agent (Windows XP/2000 version only), which is said to ease configuration and data access by offering user-defined shortcuts to shared and mapped drives via the network or Internet.

2big Network, open

The following lists the key features of the 2big Network:

  • Processor — 400MHz Marvell CPU
  • Memory — 64MB DDR2
  • Storage — dual 512GB drives for 1TB (expandable to 2TB via USB); 7200rpm; 16MB cache per drive
  • RAID Modes — SAFE 100/RAID 1 (maximum security); BIG/concatenation (maximum capacity)
  • USB — 2 x USB 2.0 ports
  • Networking — 1 x 10/100/1000 Mbps
  • Network Protocols — SMB (Windows/Linux); AFP (Mac); FTP; HTTP; Apple Bonjour; LaCie web-based management and DHCP-compatible auto-IP configuration
  • Dimensions — 3.5 x 7.8 x 6.7 inches (91 x 200 x 172 mm)
  • Weight — 5.8 lbs. (2630 grams)
  • Cooling — Heat sink metal design; thermoregulated, linear smart fan
  • Accessories — Ethernet cable; external power supply; CD-ROM with manual and utilities
  • Embedded operating system (OS) — LaCix Linux
  • Supported client OSes — Linux 2.4 or higher; Windows 98SE, Me, 2000, XP, Vista; Mac OS 9, OS X or higher
  • System Requirements — Ethernet switch or router; PC or Mac equipped with network adapter; Intel Pentium 500MHz processor or G4 with Mac Intel 500MHz processor or greater; 512MB RAM (minimum); web browser
  • Bundled software — LaCie Ethernet Agent; LaCie '1-Click' Backup Software
  • Warranty — 3-year limited

Stated Marie Renouard, LaCie Product Manager, “As the volume of shared data within a company continues to grow, small offices need reliable and user-friendly network-based storage devices. Via HTTP or FTP, an employee at a remote location can easily log on to the device and upload daily reports or download important presentations.”


The LaCie 2big Network is available now with the following prices: $430 (1TB), $640 (1.5TB), $960 (2TB). More information may be available here. The GPL source code for LaCie's LaCix Linux distribution is available for download as a 147MB file here.

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