In my 3rd article looking at Thunderbolt 3 (see part 1 and part 2) I am going to look at some of the storage solutions on show at IBC. My first port of call was storage provider LaCie so see their external Thunderbolt 3 storage devices. They had on show a 12 bay storage device connected up to a laptop, via a single Thunderbolt 3 cable files were transferring data at over 2900 Mbsps which is the equivalent to a full Bluray DVD file in under two minutes. This means you can edit and work on massive files stored directly on external devices. You can also daisy chain up to 6 Thunderbolt 3 devices so you can have multiple storage arrays, displays and IO interfaces.
They also showed me their portable Thunderbolt 3 storage devices. The ruggedized device comes in a range of options including RAID 0 or mirrored storage which is connected a via Thunderbolt 3 / USBC Type C port. Movie production studios are using them for shipping around backups of 4K video footage, the data can be encrypted and once again have super-fast file access times. LaCie also have small storage devices that support 8TB spinning drives with 128GB SSD cache for a hybrid storage solution.
In this video LaCie talk about their Thunderbolt 3 storage products:
Another company offering Thunderbolt 3 storage solutions is Symply. Symply have very high end storage devices like Symply Share which is designed for small teams working on very large 4k videos. Using Thunderbolt 3 there is true shared storage system without having to have special cards in your PC. So you can plug directly into the SAN via a single Thunderbolt 3 cable, their server has the shared metadata controller as a base unit which can then have two of their standalone storage towers docked to it. The system handles the sharing and the PC or Mac connects directly via a single cable.
They also have Symply Store which is a single standalone solution which comes in a 4 or 8 bay versions, each bay can have either a single 3.5 inch drive or two 2 SSD drives and it could be used for editing very large video files. They also have two Thunderbolt 3 ports built in so you can connect additional storage devices so it. In this video Symply show off their storage products:
Sonnet showed me the world’s fastest bus powered hard drive. The Fusion drive connects over a Thunderbolt 3 / USB Type C connector and doesn’t require any additional power, it’s a small portable drive that can handle 2150 MB per second transfer speeds. To give you an idea of the speed lets compare a spinning hard drive connected via USB 3.0, it would transfer data at 150MB per second, and a SSD via USB 3.0 at 250MBps and a Thunderbolt 3 drive is 10x faster so you can really see how much faster Thunderbolt 3 is. A common use for the drive is editing 4k video files in the field via a laptop, so editors don’t need big drive arrays or PC workstations on location. They also showed me their Thunderbolt 3 Cfast card readers. CFast is used in many high end professional video cameras in the world of film and TV productions and the reader is a quick way of getting the 4k or 8K files onto a laptop for editing without special PCIe cards. They also have Thunderbolt 3 high speed network expanders which have two 10GB network ports on them for setting up fast networks. I am going to talk about some of hardware devices in my next post.
In this video Sonnet show off their drivers and their Thunderbolt rack mount unit for a Mac Pro:
My final video about Thunderbolt storage is from Accusys who make shared Thunderbolt 3 storage products: