ThunderBolt SSD Drive Enclosures
Shipping External SSD ThunderBolt Enclosure Products
So far, most of the shipping ThunderBolt drive cases are rather high-end products in the $250-$600 price range supporting dual or quad drive mechanisms in various RAID or JBOD configurability depending on the manufacturer. The DeLock laptop SSD/HDD encosure is the first single-drive ThunderBolt enclosure to reach the market. (Note it requires A/C power and does not include a ThunderBolt cable!) The 2 x 2.5" drive Akitio Duo enclosure is the most affordable Thunderbolt RAID case so far. With solid-state drive prices collapsing, it might offer a reasonable and very fast 512GB or 256GB (128GB or 250GB x 2) striped RAID 0 ThunderBolt solution.
|Laptop ThunderBolt Enclosure||2-Drive ThunderBolt Enclosure||4-Drive ThunderBolt Enclosure|
|2.5" SATA III SSD Case
AC Power Supply Included
|Akitio Thunder Duo Case
For Two SSD - HDD Drives
|Promise Technology J4
Quad SSD - HDD Support
You'll really need to examine the technical specifications of each of the above ThunderBolt drive cases closely at the manufacturer's weibsites. Especially with these 1st-generation products, they may have extremely specific system and supported models and brands of drives required to function properly! For example, Promise's J4 ThunderBolt enclosure is curently NOT BOOTABLE (uncertain about the others in regards to bootability) - and suitible only for auxiliary data storage, not as a startup disk! How well Data Tale's enclosure works with 2.5" to 3.5" drive adapters is uncertain. Know what you're getting into before commiting to a big investment in either the drive enclosure or when purchasing multiple SSD's.
ThunderBolt SSD Drive Docks
Just slide a bare 2.5" laptop SATA SDD or HDD onto Delock's TBolt adapter or ThunderBolt Seagate's Backup+ drive sled -- or plop a 2.5" laptop or 3.5" full size drive into Rockstor's dual-slot ThunderBolt dock for a quick ThunderBolt data backup solution.
|Delock ThunderBolt Adapter||2-Drive ThunderBolt Enclosure||4-Drive ThunderBolt Enclosure|
|2.5" SATA III SSD Adapter
AC Power Supply Included
|RockStor ThunderBolt Dock
Dual Drive 2.5"and 3.5" Slots
|Backup+ ThunderBolt Drive Dock
For 2.5" Laptop SSD or HDD
By far the simplest SSD ThunderBolt drive solution is using Seagate's Backup Plus ThunderBolt drive dock. With it's universal SATA connector, any 2.5" laptop size SSD or hard drive presses on in a split second and you have an instant ThunderBolt backup solution for around $89 USD. It may not be elegant with the bare drive mechanism exposed, but it's certainly workable and reasonably affordable. It's helped many folks performing solid-state drive upgrades as a reasonably affordable data transfer solution to ease the migration of your operating system, apps and data to a new SSD drive.
ThunderBolt SSD Transfer Cables
We've yet to see any dedicated ThunderBolt quick-connect transfer cable products like we've seen for USB 3 and USB 2 when a case or enclosure isn't absolutely needed. Their univrsal connectors allow any 3.5" or 2.5" SATA drive to be immediately usable. Particularly for PC and Mac computer technicians who need to transfer, clone, or backup client data, these are handy gadgets to have. It will only be a matter of time before a ThunderBolt interface transfer cable hits the market - although expect them to cost 3 times what current USB solutions do.