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

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
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.

Top Rated Comments

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68 months ago

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.
Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
68 months ago
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.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
68 months ago
RAID 5? Isn't that what people who don't care about data security use these days?
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
68 months ago

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/B00LF87NBK/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_1?pf_rd_p=1944687402&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B00HRKB2F8&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1HRY20QVBRB2ZPVPBS9C

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

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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.
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
68 months ago

Per the OWC website, it looks as though it does have an internal power supply

Internal UL Listed U.S./International Auto Switching 100 ~ 240v, 50/60Hz input, 12 Volt 6.0 Amp output Power Supply (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/TB4MJB0GB/)


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.
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
68 months ago

what like this?
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LF87NBK/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_1?pf_rd_p=1944687402&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B00HRKB2F8&pf_rd_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.


Considering you can get a 5 bay drobo with Thunderbolt for like $100 more and everything is handled by the Drobo with ease of use, expansion, etc... I'd easily pass on this.
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
68 months ago
Oh i was waiting for something like this. This would be perfect for a hand full of 2.5" sad's. @ 300$ for the enclosure, I sure can bet I'll be grabbing one of these.

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what like this?
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LF87NBK/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_1?pf_rd_p=1944687402&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B00HRKB2F8&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1HRY20QVBRB2ZPVPBS9C

There are tons of Thunderbolt portable bus-powered SSD's.[COLOR="#808080"]


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...
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
68 months ago

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:

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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.
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
68 months ago

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.
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
68 months ago
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?!
Rating: 1 Votes
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