updated 06:30 pm EST, Tue February 14, 2012
Can be used for RAID or JBOD storage
Drive maker LaCie, having debuted its first Thunderbolt-oriented hard drive with a version of the Little Big Disk, is now expanding the line with the immediate availability of the 2big Thunderbolt series, a dual-drive enclosure that is available in 4-, and 6-terabyte capacities that can be formatted for RAID 0 or 1, or just used as two separate drives in a single housing. The company will make an 8TB version available soon.
The unit features two Thunderbolt ports for pass-through and dual cooling methods, incorporating both a heat-dispersing aluminum shell as well as a quiet fan. Additional Thunderbolt drives or a compatible DisplayPort or Thunderbolt monitor or other Thunderbolt peripherals can be attached using the second port. The 2big offers speeds up to 327MB per second, more than three times faster than Firewire 800, and can be daisy-chained for even higher performance.
The drive can be formatted as RAID 0 (no mirroring) or RAID 1, the latter of which reduced the total capacity by half but automatically serves as a mirror backup of the first drive unit. Drives can be hot-swapped using the built-in RAID management in Mac OS X.
All the drives included in the unit's various configurations are 7,200rpm for maximum speed. The unit has no other ports apart from the Thunderbolt ones, as TB ports can be converted (via the use of adapters or hubs) into almost any kind of connector, including USB, eSATA and Firewire.
The 2big Thunderbolt drives start at $649 for the 4TB (2x2TB) capacity and $799 for the 6TB (2x3TB) capacity, and feature a three-year warranty. They do not include the Thunderbolt cable, which is sold separately by Apple.