May 8, 2009 With the advantage of freeing up a server to concentrate on tasks besides file serving, Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices have become an increasingly popular option for small offices and home users over the last few years. LaCie has two new high capacity NAS solutions for anyone considering going this route – the Big Disk Network and d2 Network. The d2 Network supports up to 1.5TB capacity, while the Big Disk Network combines two drives in a RAID 0 setting, for up to 4TBs of storage.

Both units support workgroup environments for up to 50 users (15 at one time) and network administrators can choose from various security levels for user profiles, groups, and public or guest access. An external USB drive can also be connected to increase security through scheduled backups, or even expand capacity. The d2 Network also includes an eSATA connection for storage expansion.

Both solutions support Apple’s Time Machine backup software and come with the LaCie Network Assistant for easy set up, back up and administration. Genie Backup Manager Pro for Windows and Intego Backup Manager Pro for Mac users, are also included for backing up data directly to the NAS device, while computer disaster recovery support provides extra security. Active Directory support allows the Big Disk and d2 Network to seamlessly join Windows domains and also most of the network protocols for Windows and Mac users, including SMB and AFP, are also supported. Wake-on-LAN (WOL) allows the drive to be turned on remotely, and network administrators can set up the system to send email alerts for backups, downloads, and risk indicators.

Sure to appeal to home users is the d2 and Big Disk Network’s ability to download files using BitTorrent without being connected to a computer. Also, the drives’ DLNA support means media can be played through a UPnP-AV compatible device, such as a PS3 or Xbox, directly to a television – again, with no need to be connected to a computer.

LaCie’s association with designer Neil Poulton continues, with the Big Disk and d2 Network drives featuring an aluminum body with a heat sink design that offers natural heat dissipation by providing 60% more surface area. The drives can be placed in an upright or vertical position and multiple d2 drives can be rackmounted using the LaCie d2 rack accessories for desktop and standard 19” IT equipment racks.

While still not as cheap as their USB counterparts, NAS storage solutions have been steadily dropping in price over the last few years. This, coupled with the extra functionality they offer, makes them an increasingly attractive option for home and small office users.

The LaCie NAS solutions are available now, with prices starting at USD$189.99 for the d2 Network and USD$379.99 for the Big Disk Network.

Darren Quick

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