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thunderbolt roundup IBC 2014

Thunderbolt is becoming the interface of choice when it comes to peripherals. Lots of new boxes on show with Thunderbolt 2 connectivity now making the news.

Let us start off with something we would have loved to have left with at the show and to be fair, it could have fitted very nicely in our computer bag!

promise pegasus m4

We have tested the Promise Pegasus2 M4 before, but that was with spinning disks. At the show, Promise were displaying a 2TB M4 populated with four 500GB SSDs. Using Thunderbolt2, read speeds of over 1300 MB/s were being measured in the now 'over clocked' Blackmagic speed test.

promise pegasus m4 2

If we were to go on location for a DIT job or just simple card archives and loading of footage, this is the drive we would want. Super-fast SSDs in a RAID5 configuration for protection with Thunderbolt 2. It will also fit very easily into your hand baggage if you were catching a plane. One final thought, the M4's power cable is just that, a simple figure of eight connector, no bulky transformers or wall warts to cart around.

promise pegasus m4 1


At the other end of the scale, G-Technology announced the new eight-bay G-SPEED Studio XL.  

G-Tech GSpeed Studio XL 1-


Sitting next to the similar shiny black Mac Pro for scale, the new drive holds up to eight removable enterprise-class 7,200 RPM hard drives to offer colossal capacity and performance of up to 1350 megabytes per second.

G-Tech GSpeed Studio XL 3-

The drive can be supplied in a number of capacities and matching prices, 24TB for £2,699, 32TB for £3,479, 40TB for £4,199, 48TB for £4,499 and a massive 64TB for £5,250.

All of course have two Thunderbolt 2 ports, so you could daisy chain a few of these together for well over a quarter of a Petabytes worth of storage down one cable!

 G-Tech GSpeed Studio XL 2-


Vincent Laforet sees the new G-SPEED Studio XL as a replacement for his ageing Xserve RAIDS. You might be able to hear a conversation in that apartment now.


Stardom displayed a new product that hasn't been released yet. They have expanded their ST4 range of 4 bay 'empty' units by adding Thunderbolt 2. Although they say the unit will be available soon, no word on price, but we expect it to be very competitive. By populating it with your own disks, this could be the cheapest way to build a Thunderbolt 2 RAID.

Here you can see it sitting on the rack mountable DR8-TB which at the moment has only Thunderbolt 1 connectivity.

stardom raid 1

The 'sleds' pull out for easy drive swopping. The trays can accommodate different widths of 3.5" HDDs, 2.5" SSDs, and 2.5" HDDs

stardom raid 2


ATTO had a whole new range of Thunderbolt products on their stand. The star for us was the Thunderlink FC 2162 which offers dual 16Gb Fibre Channel to Thunderbolt 2. Possibly the quickest box on the market at the moment to connect a new Mac Pro via fibre channel to a SAN.

atto ibc 2014 01

At the back, the unit has two Thunderbolt ports, not for sharing the fibres across machines, but for loop through. This could be important as the Mac Pro has 6 Thunderbolt 2 ports, but only three busses.

atto ibc 2014 02


Also on the stand were three ThunderLink Desktop devices offering Thunderbolt conversion to Fibre Channel, SAS or 10GbE. The 10GbE would be a good fast choice if you want to connect a Mac Pro to ISIS storage.

atto ibc 2014 03

atto ibc 2014 04


Finally in the roundup is mLogic. We didn't manage to catch up with them on the show floor, but they did very kindly send us a press release. 

Their new product is mTape Extreme, faster than LTO it offers high capacity reliable backups.

mTape Extreme is a 2U rack-mount backup/archiving solution offering unparalleled capacity and performance. mTape Extreme fuses the latest in enterprise class digital tape technology with the ease of use of LTFS. The system also features RAID 6 disk storage and dual bus Thunderbolt connectivity. mTape Extreme provides data transfer rates up to 360MB/second and 10TB (native) of storage capacity per tape cartridge. mTape Extreme is over twice as fast as LTO-6 and offers four times the storage capacity per tape.

mTape Extreme is designed for maximum reliability for 24/7 mission critical environments. The enterprise level error checking on mTape Extreme means that the chance of a bit error occurs only once every 12,499 Petabytes - this is five orders of magnitude greater reliability than enterprise SATA hard drive technology.

  • The world’s first 10TB tape drive with Thunderbolt connectivity
  • Supports LTFS for drag and drop functionality
  • Integrated high-speed, 8-drive Thunderbolt RAID
  • Compact 2U rack-mountable enclosure

 mTape-Extreme IBC 2014



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