One of the most poignant uses for Thunderbolt has always been Direct Attached Storage (DAS). Alongside supporting high resolution displays, Thunderbolt is all about the daisy chaining of both storage and displays. Anand has previously looked at the Pegasus storage options, but OWC is delving more into the mix with a Thunderbolt based DAS using software based RAID 5.

The ThunderBay 4 RAID 5 Edition will support four drives up to 5 TB each (this may change depending on QVL), and is rated at 675 MB/s for sustained data rates. This number is not listed as either the read or write speed, and OWC is keen to point out that their software RAID 5 solution is up to 35% faster than other hardware solutions. If we get a unit in to test, we will let you know if that figure holds true.

Alongside RAID 5, the device will support RAID 0, 1, 4 or 1+0 using the software RAID solution. The software interface will also include drive monitoring, e-mail notification and rebuild capabilities. The dual Thunderbolt 2 ports and the software will allow users to create larger extended RAID arrays, with the example given in this press release showing 16 drives across four devices all in the same array. It would be interesting to see how that large array deals with a power failure in an intermediate device, depending on which RAID option is in place.

OWC will sell the ThunderBay 4 RAID 5 Edition in either a version with the device by itself ($649) or with sets of four drives totaling 4 TB (4 x 1 TB, $870) to 20 TB (4 x 5 TB, $1770).  Each model comes with a one meter certified Thunderbolt cable, and a three year limited warranty.

Source: OWC

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  • coburn_c - Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - link

    650 dollars for a metal box and a power supply? Yuck. Why are these external drive bays so incredibly overpriced?
  • jeffkibuule - Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - link

    Someone has to pay for that Thundebolt controller R&D.
  • Gigaplex - Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - link

    Because nobody has "won" the race to the bottom in this particular market yet.
  • Zinc64 - Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - link

  • boozed - Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - link

    Now that's a use of poignant I never expected to see
  • vdidenko - Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - link

    Still wondering, why no one yet made a cheaper SSD in a 3'5" form-factor with internal resilience. I understand it will need a protocol extension, which can be handled as proprietary encryption commands progressed.
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, August 7, 2014 - link

    You can't make an SSD any cheaper by going to 3.5" (but this obviously gives you more space for internal resilience). I guess the point why noone is doing this is that you already have hardware and software RAIDs, which can take care of this. Feeding this with regular single drives keeps the supply chain simpler and thus more efficient.
  • vnangia - Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - link

    Uh what "poignant" ?

    Ian, that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
  • usernametaken76 - Thursday, August 7, 2014 - link

    It's an appropriate use, "poignant", as in "I deeply regret having bought a Thunderbolt-enabled computer, but having done so, I may as well shove some storage in there."
  • wintermute000 - Thursday, August 7, 2014 - link

    why is this the same price as a full blown 'real' synology/qnap 4 bay?

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