Drive Enclosures With Thunderbolt 2 Ports

There's a decent selection of Intel and Apple Thunderbolt 2 drive cases, enclosures and docks to allow users to assemble their own TBolt2 backup drive solutions with the off-the-shelf hard disk HDD or solid-state SSD drive of their choosing. As we saw when external backup drive manufacturers RAPIDLY switched from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 SuperSpeed based drives, the ThunderBolt storage market made a rapid and relatively painless transition to 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 chipsets with minor modifications to their existing product lines.

Thunderbolt 2 SSD RAID Enclosure

For many computer storage hardware manufacturers, the transition to TBolt2 only involved minor modifications to the PCB - Printed Circuit Board to accommodate next-gen 20G Thunderbolt 2 chipsets and spec-tolerant component modifications. The enclosures and backplanes didn't change much, so TBolt2 capable hardware reached the consumer market rather quickly.

Akitio ThunderBolt 2 SSD Enclosure

Akitio Thunder2 RAID Enclosure

Quad SSD or HDD Enclosure


This 20G Thunderbolt 2 four-bay external drive case from Akitio is designed for both 2.5" SSDs where speed is the priority -- or for full-size 3.5" desktop hard drives when you want to maximize the storage capacity. A durable dark aluminum casing provides excellent heat dissipation. It also has a large rear fan to keep the drives cooler for longer life and reliability. By combining the latest generation Thunderbolt 2 interface in combination with four SATA III SSD drives that can be configured to a RAID 0 software RAID using Apple's Disk Utility app in OSX, the Thunder2 Quad from Akitio is poised to deliver extremely fast Read/Write throughput over 1300MB/s. The Thunder2 features dual Thunderbolt 2 Ports for daisy chaining with other 10G and 20G ThunderBolt peripherals and displays.

OWC ThunderBolt 2 Drive Enclosure

Thunderbolt 2 Quad-Drive Case

Versatile RAID & JBOD Configs


OWC offers a similar quad-bay Thunderbolt 2 enclosure with RAID and JBOD configuration flexibility. You could use the software RAID utility of your choosing to configure a multi-drive RAID 0 array for maximum, high-performance or in a RAID 1 config for data-redundancy. With four drive bays at your disposal you can opt to install all hard drives, all SSDs, or a combination of both. One might setup two or three drives using a sofrware RAID app, but perhaps leave any remaining drives in independent JBOD mode, or setup two completely independent dual drive software RAIDs.

Black Magic Rackmount ThunderBolt 2 Drive Rack

Thunderbolt 2 Rackmount Enclosure


4 - 2.5" SATA SSD/HDD Drive Bays


For dead-serious, enterprise and Pro video editing studio needs, Black Magic's Quad Thunderbolt 2 enclosure for data center rack-mount cabinets. It's a 4 disk docking station for Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 based computer environments. Housed in a low-profile 1U rack-mount chassis, it supports up to 4 x 2.5" SATA III SSDs or HDDs with rear-mounted Thunderbolt 2 port connectors for data transfer speeds up to 20 Gbps. We recommend these current Apple compatible solid-state-drives from OCZ, Sandisk or Samsung for optimal performance. With this Thunderbolt 2 rack, you can configure RAID 0 option to stripe multiple disks together into a single storage volume, which is ideal for 4K HD video editing, color correction and effects work. Pass-thru Thunderbolt 2 ports on the back lets you daisy-chain up to 5additional Thunderbolt 1 or 2 devices and connect to your computer with a single Thunderbolt cable. A software CD with OSX disk configuration and management utility software is included.

It should be noted the charcoal grey DARK case enclosure used by OWC - Other Word Computing, Akitio, and by Promise Technologies in their Thunderbolt 2 RAID drive line - may be a trend and hopefully a standard that these next generation TBolt2 products follow. It'd be nice if 2nd-generation Thunderbolt 2 devices were easily recognized by their dark graphite/gray color to help with product differentiation. Otherwise, it's going to be tough to tell which drives are 10G ThunderBolt and which are 20G Thunderbolt 2 peripherals.



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