Here's another essay on migrating your existing storage to the new Mac Pro Whats the problem: One of the chief objections from the slots n bays crowd about the new Mac Pro is the cost of migrating their existing storage strategy. Its a valid complaint if not a bit exaggerated. Sure, there are no internal SATA bays in the new Mac Pro but of all the challenges the new Mac Pro presents to existing Mac Pro customers, storage migration is probably the easiest to solve given the plethora of external storage solutions that currently exist (USB 3, NAS, and to a less extent TB). So Im not sure the extent to which this complaint is an emotional response based on resistance to change. I think a lot of people are jumping to a conclusion that goes something like this I have 4 drives in my current Mac Pro so I need a $1000 Promise R4 Thunderbolt enclosure to accommodate my needs. The fact is this is probably far from the truth. I cant pretend to know everyones storage requirements, and Im sure there are some situations which simply cant migrate easily to the new Mac Pro at reasonable cost. For those situations, it will be interesting to hear about them. However, in a lot of cases, people serious about migrating and willing to relook at their storage requirements with an eye for what can be done to simplify and minimize costs should not have serious issues and maybe this thread can help those folks. Anytime you buy a new computer, its a great opportunity to look as simplifying and consolidating your storage requirements. Look at consolidating to fewer drives and being honest with yourself about the performance needs for any particular category of data. It may be no longer practical or necessary to run your old collection of four 1TB drives in RAID0 for your iTunes library (for example). Its probably time to consolidate that and other less performance sensitive data into a single larger disk that can easily plug in with a $50 USB3 interface. Yes, it will require change, and a small investment, but this is a far cry from needing a $1000 Promise R4. As a side bar, not everyone here in this forum is concerned about absolute minimal expense. Some (like yours truly) are spending way more on storage media (like SSDs or large arrays with cached RAID controllers) than they really need. These enthusiasts are not going to mind migrating to a new form factor nearly as much as the seriously price-sensitive buyer. This thread is not really focused on the deep pocket enthusiast. What are the solutions: When you look at the types of data you need to store, it basically falls into one of two categories: 1. Performance sensitive data: - OS/Apps: small size, but high random performance needed - Active work data (FCP, Logic, Aperture, Photoshop projects): medium size, high STR Ideal Options: SSD: In an ideal situation, you have your OS/Apps and active work data on solid state for optimal performance. The new Mac Pro addresses this by offering integrated PCIe SSD storage that should offer capacities to match anyones current setup. If you have multiple SSDs now, this is the ideal opportunity to consolidate to the single high performance SSD in the new Mac Pro, and if you must absolutely have additional SSD storage, use the affordable Promise J4 enclosure for $380. HDs in RAID0: If you simply cant afford an SSD big enough to fit your active work data, then youre likely using a RAID0 array of spinning disks. Anyone looking at spending a few grand on a workstations should really look at partitioning their work data set into small enough chunks to get as much onto an SSD you can afford in order to get the most out of the new workstation. However, I imagine there are some fringe cases where this is just not possible. Thats where a pair of WD Velociraptors in RAID0 can fill this void or even a pair of fast high-density drives might do. If youre using a pair of Velociraptors in RAID0 (STR up to 400MB/s) then you will want Thunderbolt to not be a bottleneck. If youre just using a pair of high-density drives in RAID0 then a USB3 enclosure offers enough performance at a lower price point. If you need more than a pair of drives, then use multiple enclosures (eg. WD TB Velociraptor Duo) or a larger multi-drive enclosure. USB 3 enclosures for multiple drives are typically under $200 and will provide up to 250MB/s based on reviews Ive seen. If you need unconstrained performance of multi-drive RAID0 arrays, youre probably better off getting larger drives in 2 drive enclosures like Western Digitals 8TB Thunderbolt Duo product than investing in a $600-$1000 TB RAID enclosure. 2. Less performance sensitive data: - Archived work data (eg. last months project): large size, medium STR - iTunes/media: medium-large size, slow STR - Backups: large size, slow STR This type of data is typically characterized as being high volume, with either infrequent access, or not demanding high performance. Anyone using RAID0 for this kind of data is (by definition of the performance needs of this data) is not really getting the benefit of the added STR, and is taking added risk. Anyone using RAID0 for this kind of data, is doing so because they can, not because they need to or its smart. Dont do that. Consolidate this data onto one or fewer larger stand-alone drives. Stand alone HD: Any of this less performance sensitive data can live on a single drive of sufficient size without performance implications. If its grown beyond a singe large (3 or 4TB) drive, then you can either simplify your storage with fewer large drives, or look at USB3 JBOD enclosures. As I RAID0 for this kind of data offers little or no advantage in terms of performance and introduces unnecessary risk. eSATA enclosures Lots of folks may be using external enclosures connected by eSATA. If youre just running JBOD, then USB3 should be more than adequate, and most eSATA enclosures probably have a USB3 port as well, meaning the investment is a cable. If you dont have USB3 on your eSATA enclosure, the first thing to do is look at consolidating to fewer and larger drives and moving to USB3. If youre running a large high-perforamnce RAID5 array, then the best options are explained Multi-drive RAID5 arrays: If you need huge high performance RAID5 protected storage, you probably already have invested in an ATTO, Areca or other cached RAID card for several hundred dollars and special RAID ready drives like WD RED, so youre less price sensitive. Obviously you can solve this similarly with an external thunderbolt RAID box, a TB PCIe card box for your RAID card. But, if high performance is not that important (you can live without the cached controller) then USB 3 RAID enclosures with large drives or general purpose SOHO NAS offerings are perhaps a better solution (and the NAS can offer other benefits). What solution is ideal for you depends on your budget and need for speed. But there is a variety of solutions at nearly every budget. Conclusion: Lets discuss storage migration to the new Mac Pro here, Im certain theres migration issues and even solutions I havent considered. My personal situation, like most people, is that I have an old Mac Pro full of drives. But Im going to use this new Mac Pro as an opportunity to reassess my storage needs with an eye towards consolidation and simplification. Im going to consolidate my OS/Apps and working photo library onto the integrated Mac Pro SSD. My archived photo libraries are on a 3TB internal disk that will move to USB3 and my media library is already on a NAS so that can stay as it is. Im interested in what other folks who are planning to do about storage migration who are seriously considering the new Mac Pro. Im also interested in hearing more from those who are dead set they cant possibly migrate their storage affordably as long as youre open to some discussion and debate about your assumptions and requirements.