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OWC today expanded its ThunderBay lineup of storage devices with the new ThunderBay 4 mini and ThunderBay 4 mini RAID 5 Edition. These new portable RAID devices are designed for 2K and 4K video editing with fast Thunderbolt 2 performance and SSD support.
"Our new ThunderBay 4 mini is perfect for mobile workflows involving demanding applications and large mission-critical files," said Jen Soulé, OWC President. "The combination of RAID-ready capabilities and Thunderbolt 2 technology makes working with large 2K and 4K files easier, faster, and more flexible and affordable than ever before. Now users can get big performance in a small footprint - all in a portable, production-grade 4-Bay enclosure."
The ThunderBay 4 mini and mini RAID 5 Edition both include four 2.5-inch drive bays that are compatible with either HDDs or SSDs, allowing owners to build a storage solution suitable for their needs. The new ThunderBay minis also include Thunderbolt 2 transfer speeds of 1,284MB/s, the ability to connect multiple ThunderBays into a RAID array and OWC's signature drive "burn-in" reliability.

owc-mini-4.png
Similar to earlier ThunderBay models, the ThunderBay 4 mini is available in a base bring-your-own-drives model for $379 with configurations from 2 TB to 8 TB available at additional cost.

While the ThunderBay 4 mini and the mini 4 RAID 5 Edition share the same internals, the RAID version ships preconfigured for RAID 5 with support for RAID 0, 1, 4, 5, and 1+0. Pricing on the RAID model starts at $479 when you supply the necessary drives and climbs to $2,499 for the 4 TB SSD model.

Both the ThunderBay 4 mini and ThunderBay 4 mini RAID 5 Edition are available now at OWC's website. The larger desktop ThunderBay 4, introduced last year with support for 3.5-inch drives, is still available starting at $449 for the bring-your-own-drives configuration.

Article Link: OWC Introduces New ThunderBay 4 Mini Portable Storage With RAID 5 Option
 

calaverasgrande

macrumors 65816
Oct 18, 2010
1,291
161
Brooklyn, New York.
I like the form factor and everything, but I'd rather my raid not be using my CPU for the raid math. I know OWC has been selling this idea for a while. But it just seems kind of cheeky to charge that much for dumb disk caddy that leans on your computers processor, even if it is only an infinitesimal load.
There are comparable NAS and DAS products in the same price range that don't rely on your computer at all for raid parity calculation.
 
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rickdollar

macrumors 6502
Mar 12, 2007
466
17
It would be nice if they would release a Mercury On-The-Go Pro TB with an SSD... or an empty Mercury TB carcass which would take an SSD.
Someday.
 
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Butler Trumpet

macrumors 6502
May 26, 2004
482
50
Dekalb IL
Yeah this is great an all... but I think a solid portable SSD with thunderbolt would sell like crazy. I just want a single portable SSD that connects with thunderbolt. Thunderbolt has been out for what... 4 years or so? Why is this so hard to find?!
 
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mysteryzone

macrumors newbie
Nov 17, 2014
3
0
I like the form factor and everything, but I'd rather my raid not be using my CPU for the raid math. I know OWC has been selling this idea for a while. But it just seems kind of cheeky to charge that much for dumb disk caddy that leans on your computers processor, even if it is only an infinitesimal load.
There are comparable NAS and DAS products in the same price range that don't rely on your computer at all for raid parity calculation.

Actually, SoftRAID has done an absolute tremendous job with their implementation of RAID 5. There are several advantages of their software RAID 5 over hardware RAID 5.

1. SoftRAID is fully multicore aware and will take advantage of how ever many cores your machine has.
2. With the power of today’s processors, the CPU overhead is so low as to be unnoticeable.
3. Rebuild times are a fraction of what they would be on a hardware RAID.
4. Because the software handles all the parity, disks do not need to be the same size, make, model or firmware, like they would in a hardware RAID.
5. Additionally there is no data loss if you want to resize the disk, in any of the RAID modes, even RAID 5.

There are a lot more benefits to SoftRAID than even I listed here. Definitely worth checking out for anyone who could benefit from a RAID setup.
 
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JoEw

macrumors 68000
Nov 29, 2009
1,531
933
Yeah this is great an all... but I think a solid portable SSD with thunderbolt would sell like crazy. I just want a single portable SSD that connects with thunderbolt. Thunderbolt has been out for what... 4 years or so? Why is this so hard to find?!

what like this?
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0..._m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1HRY20QVBRB2ZPVPBS9C

There are tons of Thunderbolt portable bus-powered SSD's.

----------

Actually, SoftRAID has done an absolute tremendous job with their implementation of RAID 5. There are several advantages of their software RAID 5 over hardware RAID 5.

1. SoftRAID is fully multicore aware and will take advantage of how ever many cores your machine has.
2. With the power of today’s processors, the CPU overhead is so low as to be unnoticeable.
3. Rebuild times are a fraction of what they would be on a hardware RAID.
4. Because the software handles all the parity, disks do not need to be the same size, make, model or firmware, like they would in a hardware RAID.
5. Additionally there is no data loss if you want to resize the disk, in any of the RAID modes, even RAID 5.

There are a lot more benefits to SoftRAID than even I listed here. Definitely worth checking out for anyone who could benefit from a RAID setup.

Agree with all thee above, but I think what he means is how can someone justify $450 for a thunderbolt controller and hard drive carriage? The margin on this must be incredible.
 
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calaverasgrande

macrumors 65816
Oct 18, 2010
1,291
161
Brooklyn, New York.
what like this?
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0..._m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1HRY20QVBRB2ZPVPBS9C

There are tons of Thunderbolt portable bus-powered SSD's.

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Agree with all thee above, but I think what he means is how can someone justify $450 for a thunderbolt controller and hard drive carriage? The margin on this must be incredible.
That is my point.
Then I just noticed they sell the same device sans raid software for $100 less. I suppose it is not a bad deal compared to Areca and Promise TB boxes.
I am thinking about trying the larger TB4 to supplement/replace my Drobo.
The Drobo has been reliable and quiet, but it's performance is merely adequate.
 
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mysteryzone

macrumors newbie
Nov 17, 2014
3
0
Agree with all thee above, but I think what he means is how can someone justify $450 for a thunderbolt controller and hard drive carriage? The margin on this must be incredible.

Absolutely for a USB 3.0 or FW box I would agree completely. However, Thunderbolt is still pretty expensive to license and this is using a FalconRidge chipset (Thunderbolt 2). Plus I’m sure they are licensing SoftRAID which probably carries a hefty price tag. I don’t know the margins, but I would say they probably aren’t too out of line.
 
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Jcknows0

macrumors regular
Aug 14, 2013
106
57
0 Infinite Loop
Yeah this is great an all... but I think a solid portable SSD with thunderbolt would sell like crazy. I just want a single portable SSD that connects with thunderbolt. Thunderbolt has been out for what... 4 years or so? Why is this so hard to find?!

You're joking right? Besides the several Pegaus/OWC offerings, the cheapest method is a $29 TB cable and a $70 Seagate Backup Plus Thunderbolt adapter. I used this on my iMac for the last year since it only had an internal HDD.

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That is my point.
Then I just noticed they sell the same device sans raid software for $100 less. I suppose it is not a bad deal compared to Areca and Promise TB boxes.
I am thinking about trying the larger TB4 to supplement/replace my Drobo.
The Drobo has been reliable and quiet, but it's performance is merely adequate.

I've been using the Pegasus J4 for 18 months now and it is the perfect video editing platform. I'm upgrading the internal drives from 120 GB to 240 GB now as I will need more space with 4k but the cost/performance ratio can't be beat. I also think the form factor is a lot more portable and nice looking.
 
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bxs

macrumors 65816
Oct 20, 2007
1,141
517
Seattle, WA
Power bricks ?

Do any of these ThunderBay devices come with power bricks ? The Ads indicate a 3-prong for the wall socket so I'm wondering if the power transformer is integral with and inside the casing. Thanks.:)
 
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Rog210

macrumors regular
Mar 23, 2004
195
3
I like the form factor and everything, but I'd rather my raid not be using my CPU for the raid math. I know OWC has been selling this idea for a while. But it just seems kind of cheeky to charge that much for dumb disk caddy that leans on your computers processor, even if it is only an infinitesimal load.
There are comparable NAS and DAS products in the same price range that don't rely on your computer at all for raid parity calculation.

After reading about the problems with Drobo's hardware RAID, I disagree. I'll take the tried and tested Disk Utility RAID every time.
 
Comment

burne

macrumors 6502
Jul 4, 2007
302
43
Haarlem, the Netherlands
I like the form factor and everything, but I'd rather my raid not be using my CPU for the raid math.

XOR-ing bytes is something even a Pentium II did at more than a gigabyte per second. An i5 or i7 would saturate your disks without noticing the effort.

(Then again: I'm a longtime user of linux lvm and soft raid, trusting them to keep about 1.75Pbyte of data safe..)
 
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longofest

Editor emeritus
Jul 10, 2003
2,870
1,502
Falls Church, VA
Actually, SoftRAID has done an absolute tremendous job with their implementation of RAID 5. There are several advantages of their software RAID 5 over hardware RAID 5.

1. SoftRAID is fully multicore aware and will take advantage of how ever many cores your machine has.
2. With the power of today’s processors, the CPU overhead is so low as to be unnoticeable.
3. Rebuild times are a fraction of what they would be on a hardware RAID.
4. Because the software handles all the parity, disks do not need to be the same size, make, model or firmware, like they would in a hardware RAID.
5. Additionally there is no data loss if you want to resize the disk, in any of the RAID modes, even RAID 5.

There are a lot more benefits to SoftRAID than even I listed here. Definitely worth checking out for anyone who could benefit from a RAID setup.

In addition, we've experienced data loss from more than one controller failure. Taking the controller out of the equation is nice.

But then again, so is having a SAN do the work, but not everyone has $70-100k to throw at the problem :cool:

----------

RAID 5? Isn't that what people who don't care about data security use these days?

so true... since disk failures like to happen in batches of 2 or 3 at a time... Have seen RAID 5 arrays lost because the stress of rebuilding the array after a drive failure causes a second drive to die.
 
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dashpuppy

macrumors member
Nov 4, 2014
41
0
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JoEw

macrumors 68000
Nov 29, 2009
1,531
933
Oh i was waiting for something like this. This would be perfect for a hand full of 2.5" sad's. @ 300$ for the enclosure, I sure can bet I'll be grabbing one of these.

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Why would you spend 500$ on a tb 500gig drive when 1tb sad drives are 489$.. All you need is a TB enclosure & a Raw SSD drive...

I would never spend that much on an SSD above, but the OP appeared to not be aware thunderbolt portable SSD's existed, there are many.
 
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bart4u

macrumors member
Sep 9, 2008
35
3
So far I have been happy with OWC products. Just bought a 20TB storage bay to store my thousands of my RAW images with a my new Mac Pro. Just setting up everything now. Hopefully someday large storage Thinderbolt SSD drives will be portable and cheap in price. I am looking for a cheap Thunderbold CF card reader. I cannot find one similar to a 3.0 USB reader.
 
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unplugme71

macrumors 68030
May 20, 2011
2,827
754
Earth
what like this?
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0..._m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1HRY20QVBRB2ZPVPBS9C

There are tons of Thunderbolt portable bus-powered SSD's.

----------



Agree with all thee above, but I think what he means is how can someone justify $450 for a thunderbolt controller and hard drive carriage? The margin on this must be incredible.

Considering you can get a 5 bay drobo with Thunderbolt for like $100 more and everything is handled by the Drobo with ease of use, expansion, etc... I'd easily pass on this.
 
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scottsjack

macrumors 68000
Aug 25, 2010
1,905
310
Arizona
Do any of these ThunderBay devices come with power bricks ? The Ads indicate a 3-prong for the wall socket so I'm wondering if the power transformer is integral with and inside the casing. Thanks.:)

Unfortunately it looks like the ThunderBay 4 for 2.5" storage uses a power brick. I bought a full-sized ThunderBay 4 and am loving it.

It is not as quiet as my Mac Pro 5,1 was. The fan is very quiet while the drives can be very noisy. I use individual drives, not RAID so the ThunderBay 4 has been perfect for me. A USB3 connection would not have hurt my feelings.

Being non-RAID it is a little cheaper than the RAID boxes. Photography, television and movies are stored in my ThunderBay 4. That means that most of the time, like right now, it is shut off. If left on it sleeps when the mini sleeps or is shut off and always wakes perfectly.

It does not work with Windows 8.1 though, something about four drives, the mini's TB1 port and Windows as I recall. That problem might have been solved with the new mini, like I would buy one of those for Windows.

If the new 2.5" version just had an internal power supply it would be perfect.
 
Comment

jdphoto

macrumors 6502
Jan 13, 2014
302
43
so true... since disk failures like to happen in batches of 2 or 3 at a time... Have seen RAID 5 arrays lost because the stress of rebuilding the array after a drive failure causes a second drive to die.

I've seen this happen too. I've started ordering my drives (same model) from different stores (Newegg, Amazon, B&H, etc) so they come from different production batches, just in case one batch has a small defect that effects reliability. Hard to prove it helps, but makes me feel better.
 
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hfg

macrumors 68040
Dec 1, 2006
3,598
285
Cedar Rapids, IA. USA

However ... if you look at the photo of the back of the unit, it has a barrel jack labeled "DC 12V", so it does have an external power supply. I guess that external power brick has a standard 3-prong power plug cable included with it. Looks like a "cut & paste" error when they created the spec page.
 
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calaverasgrande

macrumors 65816
Oct 18, 2010
1,291
161
Brooklyn, New York.
XOR-ing bytes is something even a Pentium II did at more than a gigabyte per second. An i5 or i7 would saturate your disks without noticing the effort.

(Then again: I'm a longtime user of linux lvm and soft raid, trusting them to keep about 1.75Pbyte of data safe..)
it isn't about whether your CPU can handle the load, but rather whether doing so will get in the way of other more time sensitive processes that are more central to your work.
I have a long background in DAW recording.
Often I've found that while the data throughput is more than adequate over a given buss, a minor configuration change is all it takes to induce instability and timing errors.
Because of this I'd say it is best practice to keep things like your external data storage, video rendering and signal processing delegated to subsystems. The CPU and chipset often can handle all of these simultaneously. But IME a system is more stable when you are operating with a performance margin.
 
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SteveW928

macrumors 68000
May 28, 2010
1,786
1,344
Victoria, B.C. Canada
it isn't about whether your CPU can handle the load, but rather whether doing so will get in the way of other more time sensitive processes that are more central to your work.

I guess it depends on your priorities for that kind of special application.

But, I think the big factor is when something goes wrong, there are pros and cons to having to deal with a self-contained RAID (hardware) vs a 'dumb' RAID where the computer it handling it. If the computer and OS is messed up, it's more fun to have a hardware RAID, but if something goes wrong with the RAID hardware, you'll be *really* happy you had a software RAID.

I used to be a fan of hardware RAID, but I've heard too many stories of issues with aspects of the hardware (controller type, drive firmware, etc.) that I think I'm leaning towards software now. And, a bit part of that, I think, is that computers and OSs have become so much more stable that they are now usually the less troublesome side of the equation.
 
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