RAID Drives With ThunderBolt Ports

ThunderBolt Port RAID Drives

Last Updated: February 28th, 2017

To truly leverage more of the 10Gbps, 20Gbps or 40Gbps of available bandwidth that Intel and Apple ThunderBolt ports deliver, you need more than a single mechanical or solid-state drive module. By combining multiple SATA III 6Gbps HDD or SSD devices in a multi-drive storage RAID array and striping data reads and writes across them, you can experience the fastest data transfer rates. Those with PCIe SSD modules will perform even faster. Note that unlike most single-drive, single port consumer backup storage products, these drives feature DUAL, daisy-chain ThunderBolt ports. A few select drives may also include a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port for a bit more flexibility in mixed platform environments.

Dual Drive ThunderBolt RAID Products


The most affordable ThunderBolt RAID solutions combine two mechanical hard disks or dual solid-state flash memory drive modules. For optimal data transfer speeds, they need to be configured in a STRIPED RAID 0 configuration to allow simultaneous read/writes across the two disk array. This may be either using a Software RAID setup configuring the drives using, say, the vendors or Apple's Disk Utility app, or it may be a Hardware RAID where onboard circuity controls the drive setup.

     
Western Digital ThunderBolt DuoLaCie ThunderBolt 2TB RAID DriveThunderBolt Portable RAID
WD TBolt RAID

4GB, 6GB, 8GB Models
2TB LaCie ThunderBolt Drive

Dual 1 Terabyte Drives
Western Digital TBolt RAID

2TB - 4TB Portable Drive


Muti Drive ThunderBolt RAID Products


The highest capacity ThunderBolt multi-drive RAID arrays can leverage anywhere from 3 to 12 hard drives that now currently range up to 4 Terabytes per disk in a STRIPED RAID 0,4 or 5 configuration. Although mechanical hard disks don't deliver impressive Read-Write speeds when only a single or dual drive is used, the efficiencies of striping data across 3 or more modules becomes so efficient that the roatational delay, latency and access times become far less of an issue. More importantly, you can achieve impressive performance and HUGE storage capacity at the lowest cost per Gigabyte that conventional spinning platter drives offer.

       
Quad Drive ThunderBolt Array5 Drive TBolt RAIDBuffalo Technologie SSD RAID
DataTale 4-Bay RAID

JBOD, RAID 0 & 1, RAID 10
LaCie 5BIG TBolt Array

5 x 2TB = 10TB Storage
SSD DriveStation mini

256-512-1TB RAID Options


DIY ThunderBolt RAID Enclosure Options

In addition to pre-configured TBolt drive arrays, we're beginning to see a growing selection of multi-drive ThunderBolt enclosures for self-customized solutions from companies such as Drobo, DataTale, Oyen Digital and others. It's important to note however that you should check with the manufacturer for specific SSD or HDD drive modules and if there are any brands they've officially tested, recommend, certified or support for RAID use with their Thunderbolt drive cases. By and large, both HDD and SSD drives are quite platform-agnostic and assuming they're properly formatted and configured for your particular operating system, they ought to 'just work".