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Features

Here’s a summary of the 5bigPro’s feature set for quick reference. Browse the image Gallery below to explore of the actual screens.

  • Supports network file access via SMB,AFP, FTP, HTTP, HTTPS, NFS (without authentication)
  • Other supported protocols – Apple Bonjour, BitTorrent, NTP, iSCSI, DHCP, Apipa, 802.3ad
  • Hot swappable SATA drives configurable for RAID 1, 5, 5+hot spare, 6, 6+hot spare and SimplyRAID (for automatic migration, expansion and support for mixed capacities)
  • HTTP and HTTPS (with self-signed certificate) admin access and AJAX browser based file access
  • Dynamic DNS (DDNS) support – 2 providers Lacie or DynDNS
  • Active Directory/Windows domain support
  • Configurable iSCSI target (client initiator not included)
  • Bit Torrent downloading
  • Email (limited) alerts
  • UPnP AV and DLNA media server
  • iTunes (DAAP) server
  • Eco Modes including automatic standby, deep sleep and scheduled on/off
  • Dual Gigabit Ethernet ports – second port can be used for bonding or for fail over
  • 2 USB 3.0 expansion ports
  • 2 USB 2.0 expansion ports
  • Print server for supported printers
  • 3 licenses for Genie Backup Manager Pro for Windows
  • 3 licenses for Intego Backup Manager Pro for Mac
  • UPS shutdown sync support
  • Scheduled share backup to another share or external drive, or NAS (NAS must be Rsync-compatible)
  • Apple Time Machine target
  • Automatic Firmware update
Image Gallery 1

Drive Pull Test/Expansion

Tim performed the drive pull test. The filesystem and shares remained available during the entire test.

The 5bigPro was configured as a four-drive SimplyRAID volume with two drive protection. A large file copy was started and then drive 1 was pulled after about 10 seconds. After 30 seconds a DEGRADED indication appeared on the Dashboard and on the RAID page.

There was no audible alert (the 5bigPro has no buzzer) and no email was sent, even though email alerts had been configured and successfully tested. The front panel LED also changed from its continuous blue to a slowly pulsating red to indicate a problem with the RAID array.

Approximately a minute later, drive 2 was pulled, leaving only two drives in the array. Operation continued without a problem.

LaCie 5big NAS PRO drive pull - 2 drives removed
LaCie 5big NAS PRO drive pull - 2 drives removed

After a few minutes, drive 2 was reinserted. First it indicated Busy on the RAID page shown above and then Synchronizing. After about a minute, drive 1 was reinserted. At first the drive indicated Busy and then changed to Spare.

After Tim finished performance testing on his standard test bed, he sent the 5bigPro to me. It arrived as a four-drive SimplyRAID configuration with an unused "New" drive recognized. With the 4 X 2 TB drives available, there was 4 TB for data and 4 TB for fault tolerance. I decided to expand the array with the unused drive.

I clicked on Expand, and after being warned that the data on the fifth drive would be lost, I added the drive. Synchronization started immediately. During the synchronization process, which took slightly over 22 hours, all shares remained available and I didn't notice that the performance of the Web UI degraded. When the synchronization finished, I had 6 TB available for data storage and the array was fault tolerant for two disk failures.

Backup

To check out the backup features, I connected a 2 TB USB 3.0 drive to one of the USB 3.0 ports. The drive was automatically recognized. I created a backup job to copy my private share (cellison) to the attached drive. Your schedule options are improved from what we saw in the previous version– you can choose to copy manually, daily (choose time) weekly (choose day of week and time) monthly (choose day of month and time) or custom.

With Custom, you can choose the days of the week the backup runs, the start time and how frequently it runs. Your choices include once, every 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 hours. The 5bigPro also ships with three client licenses for Intego Backup Manager Pro for MacOS client backup and three licenses for Genie Backup Manager Pro V8.0 for Windows client backup.

I created a new share (Netbackup) and configured it for Time Machine backups. On my Mac, after mounting the Netbackup share, I changed Time Machine preferences to point it. Time Machine sucessfully successfully completed an initial backup of my MacBook.

Backup performance was also tested, with the results posted in the charts and discussed in the Performance section.

Media Serving

The 5bigPro has built-in UPnP AV and iTunes servers. I copied a number of image files as well as a number of directories out of my iTunes library to a public share on the 5bigPro. Initially, the 5big Pro didn't show up in the iTunes client either on the Mac or the PC. I stopped and restarted the service and then it showed up. Later, when I checked again the 5bigPro had disappeared again. After a service restart, it reappeared, but I was unable to play any music from it. Perhaps it was because the library was too large. Between the music that I copied, and the music on the external USB3 drive, there are over 120K tracks.

I was able to connect to the 5bigPro's DLNA server with my WDTV Live as well as with a program in my Mac. Videos and music played properly, but the images displayed were 160 X 120 thumbnails - not the full resolution photos.

iSCSI

The 5bigPro can also be an iSCSI target, but LaCie does not provide iSCSI initiators (clients). You can change the size of the iSCSI target without reformatting the entire RAID array, but the iSCSI target is automatically reformatted when you change the size.

Remote Access

The 5bigPro supports remote access using a file browser. The File browser is full-featured and gives you the ability to copy, move, delete, rename, create, upload and download files. Remote access is enabled and configured in the Remote Access tab of the Network page. You have a choice of using LaCie's own DDNS service (mynas.lacie.com) or DynDNS. You just have to provide a name and, in theory, the 5bigPro will do all of the port opening for you. In addition to ports 80 and 443, you also need to open port 35402.

With UPnP enabled on my router, ports 80 and 443 were added. However, the LaCie remote setup failed because the router wasn't forwarding the third port. I manually added the port to the router's port forwarding table and the remote access self-tested OK.

I wanted to test remote access from an offsite network to confirm that it would work. I used the supplied url, http://mynas.lacie.com/smallnetbuilder. This did a redirect to a secure connection: https://my_public_ip:35402.

The image below shows that there was a certificate error. The NAS has a self-issued certificate, so the root CA isn't trusted. This didn't impact my ability to use the file brower remotely, but all browsers will pop up this error. There doesn't appear to be an easy way to install a certificate to fix this problem.

Remote access via LaCie's File Browser

Remote access via LaCie's File Browser

As you can see, this remote access method requiring dynamic DNS and port forwarding is not as easy to use as more current methods. For example the WD 2go remote access that comes on its WD's Live and Live Duo NASes requires no port forwarding or dynamic DNS configuration and works through multiple levels of NAT.

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