Ahh, finally what I've been asking for: a 4-bay Thunderbolt enclosure that allows you to bring your own disks. I'm reserving excitement until I see just how much QNAP's JTB-400 is going to be, but for now I'm cautiously optimistic. The drive bays are hot swappable and can accommodate both 2.5" and 3.5" form factors. The chassis doesn't feature any hardware RAID controllers (Marvell is on SATA duty internally) so you'd have to rely on software RAID but it should be cheaper than Promise's Pegasus R4. The JTB-400's release is set for sometime in the next quarter. 

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  • nephrostar - Thursday, June 7, 2012 - link

    can it go below 200?
    anything below 200 would be great price in my opinion.
  • hansfilipelo - Thursday, June 7, 2012 - link

    For 200$ I'll have one as soon as it drops.

    This is the perfect companion to my Mac Mini Server and Z-410 (waiting for developers edition).

    Finally I'll be able to replicate my NAS, and with ZFS replication.
  • Souka - Thursday, June 7, 2012 - link

    With no built in hardware RAID...might as well get a DROBO.

  • Azethoth - Thursday, June 7, 2012 - link

    I am not an expert, but software raid is just as good as hardware raid these days. In most cases today software raid outperforms hardware raid because the CPU is more performant than the hardware raid controller which usually uses your grandpas refurbished 8088 or some such collectible antique. Especially if it is just an enclosure with no server duties.

    Your link sucks, but it did make me get the efTwo plugin for Chrome so I can finally find pesky hidden keywords like "Thunderbolt". Here is the Drobo Thunderbolt announcement:

  • enealDC - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    Actually this isn't always the case. Modern RAID controllers have specialized ASICs or CPUs specifically designed and optimized for RAID5/6 calculations.
  • bobcov - Friday, December 21, 2012 - link

    Don't forget that if you have software based RAID, you won't be doing any rebuilds without your computer being on and available. This could be a true pain for laptop users who for whatever reason need to do a rebuild but would also like to go somewhere with their laptop.
  • Tanclearas - Thursday, June 7, 2012 - link

    You can get a 2-bay USB 3.0/eSATA right now for less than $200. Probably even a 4-bay if on sale. You aren't going to saturate the bandwidth with mechanical drives. In fact, I've been running just such a 2-bay enclosure for well over a year now (November 2010).

    Really, REALLY, getting tired of all the TB hype. When I can plug in any PCIe discrete GPU to a device that lets me connect to any laptop with TB, let me know. Until then, TB is a ridiculously over-hyped feature.
  • repoman27 - Thursday, June 7, 2012 - link

    Well, if you happen to own a 2011 Mac, you've got Thunderbolt built in, but not eSATA or USB 3.0.

    Some of us are getting REALLY tired of people who aren't even necessarily the target audience complaining every time there's a post about a new Thunderbolt product.

    And if you're running in RAID 0, not that you'd want to, or connecting multiple devices to the same host controller, 4 spinning disks can easily exceed the sub 400 - 410 MB/s limit of USB 3.0 or most implementations of eSATA 6 Gb/s. If you're using SSD's, even a single drive can fill the pipe, let alone 2 or more.

    The sad thing is, in a best case scenario, the Marvell controller in these boxes has a PCIe 2.0 x2 interface which would limit them to about 820 MB/s real world performance. If they used the cheaper controllers that only have an x1 back end, they won't be able to do more than 410 MB/s anyways.
  • dananski - Sunday, June 10, 2012 - link

    I don't own anything Apple or anything TB, nor do I plan on moving to it for a good while yet, but I can see how useful it'll be to people. Devices are getting smaller and more mobile and we won't have room to plug in every peripheral separately, so the ability to hook up everything to one port is going to make docking so much nicer.

    However if that is the goal of TB, companies should try to make TB -> USB 3.0 port hubs so we could just use it with our existing gear.
  • repoman27 - Thursday, June 7, 2012 - link

    QNAP doesn't seem to be in the business of selling enclosures for less than $200. Based on the list prices of their other 4 bay enclosures, this one will most likely be in the $399-$499 range.

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