Seagate just responded to Western Digital’s acquisitions of Hitachi’s Global Storage Technologies subsidiary by acquiring LaCie. The â‚¬49 million transaction solidifies Seagate’s presence in the retail space, especially on the Apple side of things. In this way, Seagate will use LaCie to offset Western Digital’s G-Tech offerings.
NAB Show remains one of my favorites, and one of the only trade shows I’d unreservedly recommend attending on one’s own dime. From Thunderbolt to post-HD video to solid state storage, NAB has it all.
Apple is not in enterprise storage company to be sure, and news from WWDC dashes any hopes we had for ZFS and iSCSI support. USB 3.0 seems a foregone conclusion, but Apple seems intent on ignoring it as long as possible. Although I welcome the new storage features included in Lion, it is disappointing that these were left out.
I remain impressed by CalDigit’s USB 3.0 products. My own tests show that these cards are fast and compatible, and I was pleased to see that CalDigit recently updated their driver for Mac OS 10.6.7, which changed some of the core features used by the previous driver. This is the kind of commitment I expect, both in terms of interoperability and support.
That NAB Show is a hotspot of Thunderbolt interest should come as no surprise: The broadcast and media professionals present represent a nexus of Apple customers and storage power users. Because they have been dragging their feet on eSATA and USB 3, Apple ran the risk of alienating this core customer group. But Thunderbolt promises to deliver a new level of performance and a whole world of peripherals. The excitement was palpable!
When Apple announced the new MacBook Pro at the end of February, there were just two Thunderbolt peripherals featured: The LaCie Little Big Disk and the Promise Pegasus. Both of these storage devices were on display at the NAB Show in Las Vegas last week, and each appeals to a different market segment. The 2-drive Little Big Disk is a portable matched up with the MacBook Pro, while the Promise Pegasus is a 4- or 6-drive desktop RAID system. Promise expects to deliver the Pegasus to the market sometime after the summer.
LaCie looks to be the first out of the gate with a Thunderbolt storage system. They promise to deliver their Little Big Disk portable RAID storage device sometime this summer, and the polished look of the devices on display at the NAB show suggests that they will meet this target.
Apple unveiled their new line of MacBook Pro laptops today, complete with “Thunderbolt”, the trade name for a production packaging of Light Peak and Mini DisplayPort. After much speculation, we finally have some concrete information about Light Peak, and perhaps a peek into the next generation of I/O technologies!
My experience using USB 3.0 on a Mac has been wonderful. It’s so well-integrated you might not notice it except for the performance. At over 200 MB/s, it blows FireWire out of the water and is even faster than nearly any device you’re likely to throw at it. CalDigit sent me their Mac OS X-compatible USB 3.0 PCI Express card for evaluation, and I’m pleased as punch with the card.
Steve Jobs isn’t too keen on USB 3.0, apparently, but other vendors are stepping in to fill the void. CalDigit was first with a USB 3.o driver, but it was tied to the pricey PCI Express and Mini-PCIe cards they sell. Now LaCie is out with a free driver for just about any USB 3.0 card, but it’s locked to LaCie’s storage products. Let’s hope we get an unlocked driver soon!