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Promise Pegasus series RAID enclosures  (Source: Promise)
First hardware RAID enclosures for Thunderbolt

When Apple adopts a new bus interface, you can bet that there will be companies waiting in a line to support the standard with new peripherals for users. The new MacBook Pros debuted yesterday and along with the new machines came a new I/O interface called Thunderbolt.

Promise has announced that it has the first new hardware RAID solution for the Thunderbolt interface with its new line of gear in the Pegasus series. The Promise line was designed to provide users with raw speed and is optimized for media and entertainment users. The Pegasus gear will come in 4-bay and 6-bay enclosures and will support up to 12TB of storage.

“Intel is excited about the superior performance and simplicity Thunderbolt technology and PROMISE’s Pegasus family of products will bring to consumers and media professionals trying to keep up with the explosion of digital media,” said Jason Ziller, Director, Thunderbolt Planning and Marketing, Intel Corporation.

The Thunderbolt interface supports speeds of 800MB/s sustained, which is 12x faster than FireWire 800 and 20x faster than USB 2.0 ports. The RAID solutions are aimed at professionals that need to store and edit video and play multiple streams of uncompressed 8 and 10-bit HD video on the new MacBook Pro notebooks. The storage solutions are compatible with Time Machine as well.

“PROMISE is thrilled to deliver one of the first peripherals to feature the blazing speed of Thunderbolt technology,” said James Lee, CEO, PROMISE Technology. “Pegasus brings groundbreaking RAID performance to creative professionals in the studio, on location and in the home. Pegasus is the ultimate complement to PROMISE’s extensive storage offerings ranging from the Apple qualified VTrak subsystems to DS4600 – Direct Attached Storage for home, SOHO and AV professionals.”

Multiple Pegasus enclosures can be connected to one another to extend storage capacity up to 72TB or a display can be connected to the storage device as well. RAID modes supported include RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50 and 60. Each Pegasus device has two Thunderbolt ports onboard. Pricing is unannounced at this time, but the solutions will land in Q2.

LaCie unveiled a smaller storage solution yesterday with a Little Big Disk version with Thunderbolt support.

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By Da W on 2/25/2011 10:01:24 AM , Rating: 2
Top rated SDD is currently the OCZ Z-Drive R2 M84 rated at 700MS/s read access for a mere 1029$. If you want cheaper you can always go the dual-raid 64GB SDD route with corsair rated at 270MB/s speed for 129$ a piece.
Of course there are internal drives
I don't know how fast you can get with standard HDD for serious storage space but it seems to me that thunderbolt is overkill.

RE: 800MB/s
By MeesterNid on 2/25/2011 10:02:19 AM , Rating: 5
Right, because it's not like hdd tech is going to evolve and improve over the years...we should just focus on what's available now!

Silly forward-looking technologies, LET'S BRING BACK THE ISA BUS!

RE: 800MB/s
By Taft12 on 2/25/2011 10:29:12 AM , Rating: 3
It seems like overkill to you because you know nothing about real storage.

Optical tech has been used for storage interfaces for many, many years (mid-90s was the first time I recall seeing fibre channel SANs).

RE: 800MB/s
By theapparition on 2/25/2011 10:38:22 AM , Rating: 2
Absolutely correct. Fiberchannel systems have much higher bandwith than LightPeak\. The poster above is only considering the transfer rate from one hard drive, but on machines with more than 1 drive, or banks of drives providing information, that bandwith becomes essential.

RE: 800MB/s
By kattanna on 2/25/2011 10:51:48 AM , Rating: 3
and just how many end users are going to be using JBOD's or multiple at home?

for your average home user, it is overkill

for those of us who do need such bandwidth, we aint giving up fiberchannel anytime soon now are we?

also, being an electrical interconnect instead of the optical we use, distance is very much shortened, rendering it even more useless for those of us who use such connections

RE: 800MB/s
By AssBall on 2/25/2011 10:57:50 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know the answer to that, exactly, but I do know folks who have over 10 TB of personal data (mostly media) that this could be useful for.

RE: 800MB/s
By JHBoricua on 2/25/2011 11:20:47 AM , Rating: 2
In the bandwidth department, Thunderbolt beats 4Gb FC interfaces and only 8Gb fiber channel interfaces have a higher bandwidth, so it could handle a bank of drives just fine from a bandwidth perspective. However, this technology is not meant to compete against FC. That said, the cost of a 4Gb FC card, let alone an 8Gb one is very high and outside of the range of the average consumer. Thunderbolt not only sits between 4Gb FC and 8Gb FC from a bandwidth perspective, but it also has the potential of encapsulating multiple protocols (which FC cards can't) at a fraction of the price of a FC interface. You can see why this technology looks like a winner for the consumer.

RE: 800MB/s
By JHBoricua on 2/25/2011 11:25:08 AM , Rating: 2
Actually I'm correcting myself, Thunderbolt has more available bandwidth than 8Gb FC.

RE: 800MB/s
By Azethoth on 3/1/2011 4:42:09 AM , Rating: 2
Actually Thunderbolt has 2 x 10Gbps (for a total of 20).

RE: 800MB/s
By Argon18 on 2/25/2011 6:54:00 PM , Rating: 2
Not quite right. The fastest Fiber Channel connections are 8 Gb/s while Light Peak is 10 Gb/s. This is theoretical maximum of course. Who knows what the actual file throughput will be. I guess it depends on how efficient the Light Peak protocol is. Hopefully it doesn't completely suck like USB, where you're lucky if the actual throughput is 50% of theoretical.

RE: 800MB/s
By mckirkus on 2/26/2011 11:45:20 AM , Rating: 1
The author gets it wrong "The Thunderbolt interface supports speeds of 800MB/s sustained"

MB = MegaByte (8 bits)
Mb = Megabit

I expect commenters to get this wrong when the journalists are off by almost an order of magnitude.

RE: 800MB/s
By TypeS on 2/26/2011 1:45:13 PM , Rating: 5
Actually it is you who is wrong. Think about what you just said. Yes every 8 bits makes a byte. So what's your point? How is a sustained rate of 800MB/s wrong?

Let me do some quick math for you. The current iteration of Thunderbolt/Light Peak has a theoretical maximum of 10Gb/s bi-directional. That is 1.25GB/s. That is 1280MB/s. Now we all know you never get the theoritical maximum with any bus, so 800MB/s seems to be the number Intel has found that is sustainable and expected.

Your post is trying to imply the the author should have either posted 100MB/s or 800Mb/s... can I simply ask, are you ignorant of what Light Peak is? You currently can get 100MB/s sustained out of most of WD/Seagate HDDs on a SATA I (1.5Gbps) bus.

The journalist got it right and you are wrong.

RE: 800MB/s
By mckirkus on 2/27/2011 12:04:23 PM , Rating: 2
My bad, you're correct.

RE: 800MB/s
By TypeS on 2/26/2011 1:52:47 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not entirely sure why you brought up SSDs to counter the practicality of Thunderbolt with a RAID setup. You know what RAID is right? Array of multiple disks for either redundancy or performance in striping?

The reason why the huge bandwidth of Thunderbolt is useful is for a multiple disk setup such as, drum roll, a RAID array. An external RAID array, one that is probably more affordable than what is out there without looking at the SAN offerings of OEMS with Windows Home Server. And even then you're limited to Gbit Ethernet at best.

There are probably lots of home users who have large stores of media that they would prefer never too lose considering a hard drive can die anytime. And yes, a hard drive, because when it comes to mass storage, you don't need the performance of a SSD.

You had to do it, didn't you?
By bug77 on 2/25/2011 9:42:27 AM , Rating: 5
You had to put Apple in the first sentence about Promise implementing technology from Intel.


RE: You had to do it, didn't you?
By KayDat on 2/25/2011 9:51:38 AM , Rating: 2
It's quite true though, before yesterday Thunderbolt was still only known as Light Peak, and no consumer products had been announced yet.

RE: You had to do it, didn't you?
By AnnihilatorX on 2/25/2011 10:03:50 AM , Rating: 1
I am suprised this article doesn't clarify thunderbolt is light peak, does the author not know or what, as it's pretty wrong to omit it and light peak is more well known.

By MeesterNid on 2/25/2011 10:13:22 AM , Rating: 2
Sheesh...the announcement on the Promise site doesn't have any mention of Light Peak and instead used Thunderbolt since that's what it appears will be used in product marketing. I'm pretty sure he knows they are one and the same.

RE: You had to do it, didn't you?
By ksherman on 2/25/2011 10:41:56 AM , Rating: 2
Hey, read up. INTEL changed the name from Light Peak to Thunderbolt.

RE: You had to do it, didn't you?
By Kurz on 2/25/2011 11:04:31 AM , Rating: 2
Thunderbolt is the Copper verison.
The Optic verison may be called Light Peak.

RE: You had to do it, didn't you?
By Belard on 2/25/2011 11:49:26 AM , Rating: 2
Er... no.

The optics version isn't out yet due to costs and durability. As of now, the copper version is just as fast if it were optical.

When Thunderbolt 2.0 comes out, THEN it will be optical required and is backwards compatible with the copper version.

Either way, I never heard of this until yesterday... I can't wait to get it for my Windows7 systems.

RE: You had to do it, didn't you?
By michael67 on 2/26/2011 1:12:16 AM , Rating: 2
Either way, I never heard of this until yesterday... I can't wait to get it for my Windows7 systems.

Na, thank you, i will skip this, and that is for some different reasons!

1. Its a Intel closed standard, so it will cost more then USB3.

2 USB3 is only half as slow with 5Gbit/s, and i don't see any use ware i need more speed then that.
(unless you going to fill up a external storage box with SSDs 0_o)

3 Its properly only going to be popular for Apple products, as buyers of Apple products have never mind to pay more for the same product as a PC user.
(True, there are some benefits of using Apple products, they look very nice, and there closed ecosystem has also benefits as making things work better together)

I think this tech will only be very popular under Apple users, and think most PC users will opt for the just as good USB3 versions for there use of this product.

By Azethoth on 3/1/2011 4:56:08 AM , Rating: 2
You are incorrect.

1) It is not a closed standard. The spec is open. Apple got on board precisely because all the adoption issues Firewire had in this respect are solved.

2) It replaces ALL the cables coming out of your PC. Video, usb etc.

3)You are right, a superfast connection (10Gbps now, optical should scale to 100+Gbps), is totally not attractive to PC users. PC users demand slow access to peripherals, always have, always will.

By NellyFromMA on 2/25/2011 12:36:44 PM , Rating: 2
It's pretty wrong? Thunderbolt is the name of the technology now. Presumably, Lightpeak is saved for the optical medium version. What makes it wrong that he referenced the actual name of the product? Because you're ultra-tech saavy and knew it as a different product name? But you already know its Thunderbolt, so why are you complaining? Your complaint is irrelevant because anyone who knew it as Lightpeak (most likely by reading yesterday's articles at that) most likely has figured out that Intel has released Thunderbolt in its stead for now. And anyone who doesn't probably deduced it not long after questioning it. Go back to sleep

RE: You had to do it, didn't you?
By nafhan on 2/25/2011 10:16:48 AM , Rating: 2
I'd say Thunderbolt was known as Light Peak before yesterday because they announced it yesterday not because of some Apple magic.

Anyway, a shipping product is a big deal, but I wonder if the one year gap between Apple and everyone else getting it is due to Intel screwing everyone else over or everyone else not caring a whole lot?

By NellyFromMA on 2/25/2011 12:39:45 PM , Rating: 2
Intel has a sort of silent vendetta against Microsoft after Intel was outted as a major contributer to the baffled "Vista Ready" program. Since then, Intel has gone to Mac and Microsoft is now trying to push out an ARM compatible Windows. So, Intel doesn't really care who it screws over or who it lays in bed with for the time being, it just likes to exert its force, typically at the expense of consumers as a whole.

RE: You had to do it, didn't you?
By Argon18 on 2/25/2011 10:51:01 AM , Rating: 2
Why wouldn't the article mention Apple? If you're shopping for a Thunderbolt RAID enclosure, you are using an Apple Macbook Pro. No other laptops have this new technology yet.

By MeloManiac2 on 2/27/2011 1:53:55 PM , Rating: 3
Because, you know, some people are just allergic to the word "Apple". They see red everytime mentioned and they will not admit that Apple and their products have a big impact on the tech market and innocations today. So to not upset those mentally unstable individuals, we should rather avoid using the word, for the sake of their well being :)

As an Apple (and PC/Microsoft) user, I think it is great to see this hopefully new standard coming to life. I am however disappointed that they didn't put two or more ports in the new Macbook Pro's. I hope they will do that on the next gen, and the next Mac Pro's. It's not always ideal to daisychain. Who wants to plug their monitor into their storage unit or vice versa? Cabling wise and such I don't think it's the most elegant solution. So I hope the standard can run multiple ports on the same controller like USB and FW, because narrowing it down to one standard for displays, storage etc. would be a step in the right direction.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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