Product Review: Areca 8050 Thunderbolt RAID

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...

Check out these items featured in this post and available to BUY NOW at Click here for all our Areca CineRAID Thunderbolt Storage Solutions
Areca CineRAID Pro Series Enterprise-Level 8 BAY 16TB Thunderbolt RAID TOWER $3,199.00 Areca CineRAID Pro Series Enterprise-Level 8 BAY 24TB Thunderbolt RAID TOWER $3,899.00 Areca CineRAID Pro Series Enterprise-Level 8 BAY 32TB Thunderbolt RAID TOWER $4,499.00

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