By Larry Jordan
This is a fast, capable Thunderbolt drive that is unnecessarily difficult to set up. As long as you allow time for setup – or have someone else set it up for you – the storage and performance will be worth the effort.
One of my BIG frustrations with Thunderbolt as a protocol is that there are so few really high-speed RAIDs – specifically RAID 5's – available today; almost two years after the protocol was launched! As video editors, we have a huge “need for speed.” And, while two-drive RAID 0's are nice, they are not sufficient for a lot of video editing.
NOTE: This device supports RAID levels 0, 1, 3, 5, 6, 10, 11, 50, 60 and a few others I haven’t heard of. Here’s an article that explains RAID levels.
The current workaround is to use a MacPro tower, put in an ESATA, or mini-SAS connector and connect a big, honking enterprise RAID. Which is great if you have a MacPro, but, the last time I checked, there were far more laptops and iMacs doing editing than MacPros and all these systems only support Thunderbolt.
NOTE: Yes, I know that ATTO, Sonnet, and others have external interface cards that convert Thunderbolt into a different protocol. But both you and I know this isn’t a solution, its a stop-gap.
Recently, Ricardo Reyes, VP of Sales and Technical Marketing, for Areca Technologies contacted me to see if I was interested in reviewing their ARC-8050 Thunderbolt RAID. I immediately said “YES!!”
Areca Technologies is not a company I’ve heard of before. Based in Taiwan and founded in 1999 by engineers they have a wide range of storage products. Shortly before and after Ricardo contacted me, several readers also mentioned this device. So, a couple weeks ago, a unit showed up on my doorstep. Today, I finally had time to put it through its paces. read more...
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