LaCie's excellent 5big NAS Pro has just gotten a big improvement.
The storage vendor released the latest version of its NAS firmware today, NAS OS 3.1, adding speed and more features to its flagship NAS server. The new version promises to increase performance speed up to 25 percent in RAID 5.
I tried out the new firmware and found that performance was indeed improved noticeably. In tests with just one Gigabit Ethernet connection (the server has two network ports), in a SimplyRAID setup, which is similar to RAID 5 in this case, the server now offered 1,08MBps for writing and 1,09MBps for reading. For comparison, the NAS OS 3.0 firmware offered 83MBps and 105MBps writing and reading, respectively.
In addition, NAS OS 3.1 also offers a hybrid cloud feature that makes it possible to sync data between a computer, the cloud, and the NAS server. There's also a new set of management tools. These tools include a hardware-monitoring function that alerts the admin in real time to potential issues involving the fan, CPU, or RAM, and a SMART hard-disk diagnostic that tests hardware status.
Although this is a welcome improvement to the server, compared with others -- such as those from Synology, Asus, and QNAP -- the 5big NAS Pro is still very far behind in terms of features.
NAS OS 3.1 is available now for the 5big NAS Pro and can be upgraded via the server's Web interface, from the Support widget. The upgrade process took a few minutes in my case. In August, NAS OS 3.1 will also be available for the 2big NAS.