LaCie recently added a new model to its line of Windows storage servers. The 4big Rack Office is positioned next to the 5big Office and the 5big Office+, and, like the name suggests, is made to fit in a rack.
Most rack models are not exactly the most attractively designed products, but LaCie has put some real effort into this design, like it does with all its products. The chassis is made entirely out of aluminium, and while it's intended for a 19in rack, it wouldn't look out of place on a table either.
The front of the server rack has a sleek design with only an on/off switch. On the back, there is the connector for the power supply, VGA, 6x USB 2.0, audio connectors, and a PS/2 port for mouse or keyboard. Most of these you probably won't use; all you really need is a network cable and power supply cord. You can remotely configure it from any Windows computer connected to the same network.
Unlike the other big Office products, the 4big Rack is only available with hard drives. It makes sense, because it's much less practical to add hard drives to this rack model than to the large NAS devices with lots of space. It does make the price of the 4big less appealing compared to the 5big models. The 5big Office costs an average of £480, the more advanced 5big Office+ £590, and each of them comes with a single 2TB disk. With four Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB disks, the 4big Rack costs around £790.
The 4big Rack Office comes with Windows Home Server. While Microsoft has announced that Windows Home Server 2011 won't receive a direct successor, Windows Server 2012 Essentials fills that role, except that it's more expensive. You can read the rest of LaCie 4big Rack Office preview on Hardware.info.