Manufacturers Of ThunderBolt SSD Backup Drives
Below is a sampling of some of the major computer technology companies that make and sell Thunderbolt interface storage devices. Some focus on solid-state flash memory hardware. Others offer either a variety of mechanical HDD and flash SSD storage products. A few others are primarily HDD hard disk focused but may offer Build-It-Yourself Thunderbolt enclosures or drive docks to use the drives or modules of your choosing.
Thunderbolt drive solutions from a far-eastern newcomer Akitio have come to the forefront recently. With a high-caliber sense of design and style they are highly appealing to Apple Macbook and Macintosh desktop users wanting storage solutions that are both functional and stylish. Their Akitio Palm-RAID portable Thunderbolt dual drive array was one of the first to incorporate a pair of mSATA SSD modules into a sleek, aluminum portable Thunderbolt enclosure with integrated cable. Akitio is also known for it's multi-port Thunderbolt drive adapter with FireWire, USB3 and eSATA connections for legacy storage devices.
California storage specialist Cal-Digit has long provided high-speed multi-drive RAID arrays to demanding professional consumers in the audio and video production marketplace. They offer both HDD for high-capacity storage and SSD solid state drive solutions for high-speed data transfers. They too have a great design aesthetic and make good-looking machined aluminum enlclosures to compliment your computing hardware beautifully. They rapidly transitioned to 20Gbps Thunderbolt2 chipsets as the specification advanced, and are likely to embrace Thunderbolt 3 as demand increases.
After a recent merger with Hitachi Storage Technology (HST), G-Technology has become a premiere manufacturer of ThunderBolt storage solutions using both ThunderBolt and in some models, USB3 combo interfaces for additional flexibility in varied computing environments.
Arguably the most diverse lineup of ThunderBolt storage products comes from longtime market leader LaCie - who are now owned by Seagate. They were one of the first companies to embrace the initial 10Gbps original Thunderbolt interface. They continue with a vast range of single and multi-drive RAID array solutions using both HDD and SSD storage technologies - in both portable and desktop storage configurations. They quickly updated to 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 chipsets when it was introduced. And of note: LaCie is leading the way with both high-bandwidth PCIe SSD module based drives, and with the emerging 40Gbps Type-C Thunderbolt 3 interface.
Monster Digital is a new player in the computer storage marketplace - but has come up with a series of portable ThunderBolt backup drives - some of which are 10bps ThunderBolt, others USB 3.0 - and some combo-interface TBolt and USB3 drives.
Other World Computing
OWC has been an agressive 3rd-party player in both the SSD and ThunderBolt marketplace. They ecel at taking other companies OEM reference designs and getting custom manufacturing done to tackle small but lucrative Apple compatible product niches. Custom upgrade SSD modules for MacBook Air and Pro's is one example. A line of OWC ThunderBolt enclosures, docks and drives is another.
Geared more for high-end AV production and enterprise computing environments, Promise was the very first company to offer a ThunderBolt storage solution when Intel and Apple introduced the first Mac's with 10Gps ThunderBolt ports. They were also early adopters in bringing 20Gbps ThunderBolt2 RAID solutions to market quickly when the specification was revised. Thier product line focuses on 4, 6, 8 multi-drive Thunderbolt RAID 0,1,4,5 HDD drive arrays, but also sell their RAID enclosures bare to configure with the SSD or HDD drive modules of your choosing.
Though not a drive manufacturer per-se, HighPoint does make the RockStor Thunderbolt drive docking station
that let's you plunk bare 3.5" or 2.5" SATA SSD or HDD drives into it's slots and connect via Thunderbolt. Such drive docks are favored by Mac and PC bench technicians for quick mounting and easy drive cloning, backup and file transfer tasks.
Seagate has a long history with both PC and Mac computer users - since the dawn of personal computers really. They were an early player in the ThunderBolt drive market with it's versatile, exchangable multi-interface 'Go-Flex' and 'Backup Plus' desktop and portable drives. However, these have been discontinued after Seagate acquired LaCie. As a brand, Seagate is now leaning towards Enterprise and Cloud solutions that don't involve ThunderBolt.
A far-eastern manufacturer exclusively focused on solid-state flash memory storage hardware, Silicon Power is most noted for making the physically smallest ThunderBolt backup drive to date. It's T-1 external Thunderbolt SSD drive uses a single mSATA module for an ultra-compact portable PC or Mac compatible TBolt drive the size of a matchbox.
An expert in flash memory storage, Transcend has been in the solid-state storage market longer than any of the others mentioned here. They've been making SSD drives for the military, government and industrial applications long before a consumer market for internal or external SSD drives even existed. Recently they expanded into the consumer space with USB3 and ThunderBolt backup drives - as well as SSD drive module upgrades for MacBook Air and Pro laptops.
WD - Western Digital
A long-standing hard drive manufacturer for both OEM and consumer markets, WD has a good track record for ThunderBolt HDD storage solutions particualarly with it's MyBook HDD RAID array's. But it's only recently that it's acquired and introduced solid-state drive products to the market. It remains to be seen what Thunderbolt based external drive products Western Digital plans to introduce.