LaCie 6big Thunderbolt 3
It’s no secret that data is the lifeblood of 21st century business. Whether that business involves video editing, bookkeeping services or crypto trading, few things are more cringeworthy than watching someone lose their high value digital assets. There would likely be a few more bitcoin millionaires around today if only they still had the keys to their digital wallets.
Larger organisations generally have (or should have) data back-ups taken care of by a combination of dedicated storage and back-up routines maintained by IT staff. But smaller business owners with large amounts of data to store may be looking for a middle ground somewhere between a full-on data centre and a haphazard collection of thumb drives.
The LaCie 6big Thunderbolt 3 offers up to 60TB of direct attached storage (DAS) in a stylish, unit compact enough to fit on many desktops.
The 6big incorporates six hot-swappable drive bays, each of which holds an enterprise-grade 7200 RPM hard drive of varying size depending on the overall storage opted for (12 – 60TB options available). The unit can then be used to provide different levels of RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) data storage virtualisation, to help ensure data remains available in the event of a hardware failure. Configuration options range from RAID 0 right up to RAID 50, with RAID 5 is the 6big’s default setting – meaning that parity data is distributed across a minimum of three drives and that if one drive fails data can be immediately reconstructed.
Configuration and management of the disk array is conducted by LaCie RAID Manager software which has to be downloaded and installed on your computer before connecting it to the 6big. Full details of the setup process can be found here.
For connectivity the unit comes equipped with two Thunderbolt 3 ports as well as a USB 3.1 port. These both use USB-C sockets – so any appropriately equipped devices (computers, laptops, monitors) should be able to connect to the 6big without needing an adaptor. It is however worth noting that use of Thunderbolt 3 will be needed to deliver the fastest read and write speeds: up to an impressive 1400 MB/s according to the manufacturer. Those of you who prefer not to have a snakes’ nest of cables around their desk may also be interested to hear that the device supplies enough power through USB-C to charge most laptops.
The 6big isn’t exactly small enough for someone to wander out of an office with it hidden under their jacket, but if you’re concerned about physical theft there’s also a Kensington Lock slot on the back of the unit, allowing it to be tethered to a sturdy piece of furniture or staff member.
In terms of physical build the 6big comes as a brushed aluminium unit featuring a prominent blue status bulb, which turns red in the event of an error; a design combination that gives the impression of a sort of friendly Cylon watching over your data. The aluminium construction offers natural heat-dispersing properties and cooling redundancy is provided by two surprisingly quiet fans.
With a large data capacity, blistering transfer speeds, a modest (6.34″ wide / 9.33″ deep) desktop footprint and a sleek appearance that will complement many premium laptops, the 6big is an impressive storage solution for businesses or even households with large volumes of data. For those with slightly more modest storage needs a range of smaller and less expensive solutions like the LaCie d2 Thunderbolt 3 may be of interest.