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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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800MB/s
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.


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