The use of hard disk drives (HDD) has come a long way since their introduction by Reynold Johnson in 1956 (IBM 350 Disk File with 50 platters [each 24” diameter], 1200 rpm, 3.75MB capacity, 29” x 60” x 68” cabinet, over 1 ton weight, 1970 patent). By 1980, the size was down to 3.5”, by 1988 reduced to 2.5”, and by 2004 0.85” (from Toshiba, used in the iPod Classic). The first 1TB drive came out in 2007 (Hitachi), and today they are up to 10TB (Western Digital). The RAID (redundant array of independent disks) concept using multiple hard drives to improve capacity, performance and reliability dates back to patents in 1977 and 1986, laying the foundation for today’s powerhouse units.
The OWC ThunderBay 4 mini is a RAID 5 Edition with 4.0TB of storage in a 4-bay (using 1TB HDD in each bay) external drive connected with dual Thunderbolt 2 ports. This configuration results in performance and data redundancy using the first and only software RAID 5 technology developed for the Mac. It is optimized for 2.5" drives and perfect for SSDs which delivers outstanding performance and reliability for the most demanding applications, such as workflows involving 4K/2K/uncompressed HD, and multi-stream SD video.
The OWC ThunderBay 4 mini is preconfigured in RAID 5 for optimal data redundancy which features sustained performance of up to 1010MBs read and 908MBs write speeds. This mode has 75% faster rebuild times than hardware RAID. Such blazing speed and rock-solid reliability is designed for the power user.
With RAID 5, the four drives inside the ThunderBay 4 mini are merged for increased capacity and tremendous performance gains over a single drive. Special redundancy data, called "parity information," is also stored across the drives, allowing my data to remain completely safe so I can maintain my mission critical workflows worry-free.
This unit will expand production capabilities for industry-leading creative platforms like Final Cut X, Avid Pro Tools, and Adobe Lightroom with this incredibly fast and portable storage solution. ThunderBay 4 mini RAID 5 Edition is preconfigured in RAID 5 and supports RAID 0, 1, 4, and 1+0 arrays to achieve the optimal balance of storage, performance, and data-redundancy any workflow demands.
OWC unlocks the incredible performance and flexibility of ThunderBay by pairing the drives with a robust software RAID solution. Powered by the SoftRAID engine, ThunderBay 4 mini RAID 5 Edition delivers advanced RAID modes, real-time health monitoring with email notifications, and best-in-class rebuild speeds. Unlike traditional software RAID solutions, SoftRAID's revolutionary volume optimization allows me to quickly configure my drive for specific workflows. Now, you can experience the absolute best performance whether recording audio, editing 4K video, or creating a multimedia server.
I can take full advantage of this flexibility to easily build and reconfigure complex RAID arrays, or connect multiple ThunderBays to create even larger RAIDs with up to 16 drives for optimal performance and redundancy. Now, users can enjoy robust RAID options with near enterprise-grade storage and performance for a fraction of the cost. Each ThunderBay undergoes OWC's regimented multi-hour drive "burn-in" to ensure that the end user experiences the amazing performance right out the box.
This durable, heat-dissipating, aluminum unibody shell features a "flow-thru" vented design coupled with a 60mm whisper-quiet fan. ThunderBay's drive isolating design reduces sonic resonance, and is aided by rugged, vibration-absorbing, non-skid feet. The dual Thunderbolt 2 ports let me connect any display that my computer can support, including 4K displays.
ThunderBay comes with an OWC one-meter certified Thunderbolt cable (other lengths from 0.5 to 30 meters are available separately). I’m primarily using this unit through my OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock for Time Machine backups from my MacBook Pro 15” retina. This computer is vital to my daily operations, and its important to me to have an up-to-date, fast and reliable archiving of my internal SSD (for applications) and external Thunderbolt hard drive (for data). Performance is flawless while its operations are essentially invisible.
The OWC ThunderBay 4 mini is available for $2,299 at macsales.com/thunderbay. OWC provides award-winning US-based support for both the ThunderBay 4 drive and SoftRAID software which included with the purchase. Also included is a 3-Year OWC Solution Limited Warranty, quick 48-Hour Warranty Service, and 1-Year Level-1 Data Recovery Service.
This is yet another of OWC’s wonderful array of technology products which feature quality, reliability and value. They now also have special Apple user group deals and discounts available for us at macsales.com/AUGdiscounts.