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Gear & Apps

LaCie Rugged RAID | Bringing A Safety Net To Your Adventures

By Kishore Sawh on January 7th 2015


Arguably the most recognizable hard drive has got to be anything from LaCie’s Rugged line. With its bright, tangerine and silver color combination enclosure, beefy profile, and grippy outer covering, they are hard to miss, and hard to misplace, or mistake. The idea behind the rugged line is to provide the on-the-go photographer with an external storage solution that won’t need to be treated like a frail tea-cup Chihuahua, and more like a Jack Russell you can have a bit of a wrestle with.

I’ve yet to meet anyone who has used them with a disparaging word to say, and that’s saying something. It seems the reliability offered, and general performance is enough to make loyals out of photographers and other techies alike. There’s a price to be paid for this performance though, as they tend to cost a good deal more than other small (ish), portable options. Their newest addition to the rugged line is no different in that regard, except it may be even more tempting than the other varieties – LaCie Rugged RAID.


RAID, for those of you who may not be aquainted with the systems, stands for Redundant Array Inexpensive/Independent Disks. These systems use two or more hard drives in an effort to improve performance in areas of speed and fault tolerance. RAID systems have been around a long time, and there’s been talk over the years about how useful they are as drives grow in size. While that’s a conversation for another time, I think they are becoming much more popular amongst average users, and this offering from LaCie looks like a good one to go with.


This Rugged RAID has two 2TB drives and can be set to run at either a RAID level 0 or RAID 1. RAID 0 is mostly about performance and also known as ‘disk striping’ where the data is written across the multiple disks, and is what this comes pre-configured with. It’s faster since the work being done is being handled by more than one disk, but if something goes wrong it affects all the drives. RAID 1 is the safety net option, which is the essential fault-tolerance setting that does disk mirroring. To be concise, anything written to one disk is duplicated on the other, and so if one fails, the other will have a nice tidy back-up – at the cost of some performance.

[REWIND: An Easy, Future-Proof 4-Step System For Labelling Files & Archiving]

But performance is something taken into real account here with both a Thunderbolt and USB3 built in. Using these, you’re able to get with RAID 0 a 240 MB/s read and 240 MB/s write, or in RAID 1 115 MB/s read and 120 MB/s write. Above that, it’s dust and water resistant, can take drops from 5 ft, and it can hold up under a literal ton of pressure.


While it’s not immediately available, it’s coming soon, and can be yours for the, not insignificant sum of $450; which is a bit steep considering you can get 4TB external drives for around $160. Then again, this is a bit more than your average bear.

Source: Storage Review

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. robert garfinkle

    Guys n Gals – I’m in the middle of writing up documentation on a do-it-yourself remote access kit to your home / office cloud-storage type solution. The idea is to allow you to copy (or move) your images across the net to storage you own…

    I do it now, and have been for the past couple of years, successfully.

    stay tuned.

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  2. Matthew Saville

    Aww damn. I scrolled through this really quick to the very end and the first number I saw was $160. I thought NO WAY!!!! …And then I read the words just before it. Yeah, sounds about right. Ouch!!! ;-)

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  3. Gregory Davidson

    I currently don’t have a need for portable “rugged” and “raid” storage… but I have interest in portable raid systems. I will probably go the route of a Drobo Mini. Now don’t get me wrong… a Drobo mini is $380… and that doesn’t include any storage, but for another $100 you can get a 2 TB hard drive and your just about the $450 of the LaCie Rugged Raid… but now you have the ability to expand and swap hard drives as they go bad. I have a Drobo for my desktop and love it… it’s great. The mini would be a nice addition.

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  4. Mike McAdams

    nice but pricey xD

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  5. Andrew Merefield

    I sort of wish I shot in places that meant I needed something this rugged.

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  6. Austin Swenson

    I would be in favor of these drives were I able to afford them, but you also have to consider carrying those things around too, they are no small thing to carry if you want to be nimble and portable.

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  7. robert garfinkle

    This is nice. and portable. If I were to use any configuration I would pick Raid 1, taking redundancy over size any day. Images, whether or not you end up using them, are always more valuable than hardware, right? So, spending double, for two of these puppies, if you need the space, is not completely unreasonable, yes?

    However, based on what I suggest above, if you get the 2nd drive (used in raid 1), it will land you around 900.00 to seat yourself into that much data storage with raid 1.

    What I usually do, to protect data (images), is send it to a remote location as fast as I can. I connect my camera up to my phone, offload all the images to the phone directly, and if you’re on Android or IOS, you have free utilities which can assist you pushing your images from your phone directly to your home or office right inside your network. This can be done for almost no additional overhead, and if you are using your existing internet equipment (in the home or office) to act as the gateway brokering the data transfer this does three things. 1. No additional cost to you**, 2. No 3rd party (cloud) security / privacy concerns, and 3. your images are “offsite” (and if offsite is the office the images are in a place where they could be worked on etc…)

    ** If you use wifi vs. your cellular data plan.

    So, again, a recap. I’m claiming offsite is the best way to protect your images and facilitating remote connectivity “can” be done for almost no additional overhead if done right.

    Photography is a hobby for me. I am a web developer and systems consultant by trade, so what I propose is second nature to me, yet I’m stating it’s not that hard to do nor expensive to setup. This is not a theory of what you could do. I do it…

    My exact setup is more complex than what I propose above, and there is a cost associated with it, but that was more upfront cost, not ongoing (except my internet connection), yet what I did was no different than what a business would do. my initial cost to setup a storage facility at home, 5TB (Raid 1), was 800.00 for hardware, and it acts as a full blown server for other media as well. I store all my images directly to a database and wrote the software to manage the dataflow. And I use my home router to gain access to it from the outside…

    Not everyone, obviously, can do what I did – not saying you should. But you get my point :)

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    • robert garfinkle

      to add, I will publish a suggested article describing a do it yourself “connect yourself to your home or office” describing a few different approaches (how to’s), the benefits, limitations, and costs associated if applicable…

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  8. Greg Silver

    With the dust, water and bump protection I think I’d go for the Raid 0 configuration to get the better performance and have the full 4GB instead of just 2GB storage.

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    • Kishore Sawh

      I keep toying with what I would do in that scenario – but I’m chicken sh*t in regards to losing data…so.. RAID 1 it is

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  9. David Hall

    Pricey.. but I’m sure it’s worth it.

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  10. Brandon Dewey

    I need to check this out

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