LaCie: Reinventing the portable workstation

Wasn’t long ago that editing HD video content required a small dedicated server room with a fiber RAID enclosure. That would set you back tens of thousands of dollars and tether your editing to an equally expensive office space. If you wanted to take your editorial on the road (or work on-location with the dailies) you’d have to settle for some fairly nasty proxy versions of the footage, and the time it takes to create and manage them.

That’s why the idea of a portable 4TB RAID caught me by surprise. Well, not just the fact that it’s portable (and in a very tight form factor) but that it can be powered from the Thunderbolt bus of my Macbook Pro.

What can you do with a 4TB RAID? Well, for starters you can capture and edit uncompressed 10bit 1080p 4:4:4 footage in real-time (I did a speed-test using the Blackmagic design disk speed test). Now bear in mind that this is at RAID0, which means that if one of the two drives dies, you lose everything.LaCiePullquote

Or, you can set the drive up to RAID1, which gives you half the storage and about half the speed, but a whole lot more security. If one drive fails all your data is still protected on the other drive. So if you’re looking for a drive to keep your camera card dumps safe while on location, the 4TB RAID is a must have.

The other drive I fell in love with in the LaCie line-up is the 500GB SSD Thunderbolt. In our benchmarks on a Macbook Pro this gave us well over 360MB/s of read and write, more than enough to capture and playback full aperture 2K plates in real-time. (In comparison, my internal Macbook Pro SSD drive could only write at 150MB/s).

Now you’re not going to get the redundancy or capacity of the 4TB RAID set to RAID1, but if you need speed on the go, the 500GB SSD is the ticket. Especially useful for applications that need fast cache storage (Premiere, After Effects, Resolve, Photoshop, Fusion, Nuke).

If you haven’t looked at LaCie drives lately, look again. Backed by Seagate’s drive tech, their line of rugged drives are the perfect, affordable complement to modern tapeless (and filmless) production workflows.