We’ve seen Thunderbolt products from Promise before, and we’ve even heard about some of their upcoming Thuderbolt 2 offerings. Today, Promise is formally announcing four upcoming Thunderbolt 2 products. These range from a 4-bay enclosure (R4) up to an 8-bay enclosure (R8), with the Pegasus2 R8; the Pegasus2 is also available in a 6-bay (R6) variant. Of note is that all of the current solutions continue to use hard drives for storage; the target is primarily video and image editing workflows where large amounts of portable storage are important as opposed to ultra-high-speed external storage using SSDs – specific mention of 3D and 4K video is made, and raw 4K video can chew through storage at an alarming rate (up to 15Gbps).

As discussed previously, Thunderbolt 2 effectively doubles the transfer rate of Thunderbolt, up to 20Gbps; it does this by bonding two 10Gbps channels into a single channel. That means aggregate bandwidth for a single Thunderbolt controller remains unchanged, but if you’re primarily reading or writing you effectively double your transfer rate. Interesting to note is that Promise also has their SANLink2 product, which  is a portable bridge with dual 8Gbps Fibre Channel ports and dual 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 ports. This allows the use of the new Thunderbolt-enabled systems with existing high-speed Fiber Channel SANs (e.g. the Promise VTrak x30).

All of the Pegasus2 products support RAID 5. Pricing has not been revealed, but the new Pegasus2 products will be available at the Apple store in November and will either replace or augment the existing Promise Thunderbolt offerings. The Pegasus2 R4 is the entry-level solution with four 2TB hard drives. The Pegasus2 R6 is available with either 2TB (12TB total) or 3TB (18TB total) hard drives, while the R8 will ship with 3TB (24TB total) and 4TB (32TB total) drives. The SANLink2 will be available starting in December, again via the Apple store. Below are the highlights for the new devices.

Pegasus2:

  • Supports maximum throughput allowed by Thunderbolt 2 interface
  • Supports simultaneous streaming, editing, and backup of 4K video
  • Dual Thunderbolt ports for daisy chaining
  • Hot-swappable drive bays for effortless drive access and serviceability
  • Portable hardware RAID protection for offsite shoots
  • Massive storage capacity for backing up creative projects and digital libraries
  • Thunderbolt cable included

SANLink2:

  • Enables Fibre Channel connectivity on systems with a Thunderbolt 2 port
  • Dual 8Gbps Fibre Channel Ports
  • Dual 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 ports with DisplayPort and device daisy-chain support
  • Supports OS X and OS X Server
  • Supports Xsan and StorNext filesystems
  • Supports all VTrak storage subsystems (4Gbps 8Gbps Fibre Channel)
  • Thunderbolt cable included

Source: Promise Technology News Release

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  • HisDivineOrder - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    Where are those Thunderbolt to PCIe GPU external boxes we've been promised for years?

    Same place as the affordable peripherals using Thunderbolt, I guess.
    Reply
  • lin2log - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    Oh yeah. Seeing what complete TURDS the TWO GPUs that come with each and every Mac Pro are, you'll just be hurting' for a third at an astronomical price point to get that "real pro" performance.

    Thanks. That's really using your head! *applause*

    But hey, at least you got your daily dose of mindless, no rhyme nor reason Apple hatin' out of the way, so not everything's lost. Be sure to come back tomorrow.
    Reply
  • lin2log_gay_lover - Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - link

    Yeah, you tell him, lin2log! Don't you know AMD makes the best products? (Just like their CPUs). They really allow me to be my best. Just the other day, I got my top score on solitaire because my smokin' fast dual AMD Firepros. Also, stop being such Apple haters you guys! The Mac Pro is for professionals, that's why they named it the Mac Pro. Here's a tip: Don't buy a Mac Pro unless you're a Pro! I love you, lin2log! Reply
  • ThreeDee912 - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    Interestingly, on Apple's Mac Pro "Performance" page, they specifically mention a "a PCI expansion chassis connected via Thunderbolt" among other things if you scroll down a bit.

    http://www.apple.com/mac-pro/performance/

    It appears Apple might be working with some other companies to get Thunderbolt 2 products out there, but they're not quite ready to release any specifics yet.
    Reply
  • ThreeDee912 - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    Interestingly, 10.9 enables IP over Thunderbolt, and people have been reporting speeds of over 700MB/s over Thunderbolt 1. This is without any special cards or extra equipment, except for maybe the expensive cabling. Corning is also finally ready with their 100m optical Thunderbolt cables, so length isn't an issue anymore. It would be nice to see a review of how well networking over TB works. :) Reply
  • nerd1 - Sunday, October 27, 2013 - link

    Why cant we just use a single big box that has 4-8 drive bays and enough slots for 3 GPUs, All powered by a single PSU? This all thunderbolt thing is so silly. Reply
  • lin2log - Saturday, December 7, 2013 - link

    Hmmmm... because you're too thick to grasp simple basics?

    Yeah.
    Reply
  • lin2log_gay_lover - Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - link

    C'mon guys, stop being Thunderbolt haters. Lin2log is the only one on here making any sense and that's why he's my true love!!! Thunderbolt is the best because it's plug and play and can transmit all kinds of secret data back and forth at super fast speeds. It is also a sexy sounding name, way sexier than PCIE. PCIE? What the heck? Only a PC turd would make up such a name. Thunderbolt is the best. That's why lin2log has a thunderbolt tattoo on his right bicep and a thunderbolt air freshener in his new Ford Fiesta, because he's sexy. So like lin2log just said, stop being too thick in girth because it will prevent you from grasping simple basics. Be like my true love, lin2log, who has a microscopic penis but knows how to use it so much better than all you hateful PC guys! Reply
  • romaz - Friday, December 20, 2013 - link

    I was almost ready to bite. I almost bought into lin2log's rhetoric as some of his statements made sense despite his vitriolic and uncivilized tone (I notice that some diehard Mac worshippers often behave like this when they feel their beloved Macs aren't getting the respect they feel they deserve...kind of like how men with complexes about their short stature or small penises behave). I am neither a Mac hater nor Mac lover. I am fortunate to have a large hardware and software budget to work with each year and so when I evaluate and purchase equipment, I do so based on performance much more than cost. I own a 15 inch MacBook Pro with retina display that I believe to be the best laptop available today and is a credible platform for light “on the field” video editing on Adobe Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC (sorry but FCP X is crap). I edit videos professionally and once upon a time used a custom modified 12-core Mac Pro that I now use exclusively as a very expensive and pretty to look at paperweight. As Apple has ignored their workstation market for several years now, I was forced to migrate to PCs for the bulk of my work as it is the only viable platform for editing large ProRes 444, Epic 5K/Red 4K and uncompressed files as far as I'm concerned. I was excited when the specs for the new Mac Pro were released and believed that Macs might become viable once again although like many who have made comments here, I had some concerns about lack of PCIE expansion slots and relying only on Thunderbolt 2 for connectivity. As anyone who edits complex codecs knows, some codecs require considerable CPU/GPU/memory horsepower (AVCHD, DSLR QT) while other codecs require high disk throughput (uncompressed files) while other codecs require both (ProRes 444, Epic 5K, Red 4K).

    The new Mac Pro with Intel's 12-core Xeon E5-2600 and dual AMD D700s is no doubt a potent and very capable combo (I say this as one of the machines I edit on has this same 12-core Xeon and dual Firepro W9000 GPUs and compares favorably to another machine I use with an NVidia K6000 gpu). It's no secret that the Thunderbolt (version 1) RAID arrays currently available are not suitable for professional video editing as they have dismal throughput capabilities. I was hoping Thunderbolt 2 would be better. Unfortunately, Promise (despite its claim to being the "absolute fastest") posts no actual performance data which automatically makes me skeptical. Finally, a review has become available on CNET on the Pegasus2 R8 Raid 5 array (32GB) which is their fastest configuration and unfortunately, the results are very disappointing. Read throughputs are only 376.02 MB/sec and write throughputs are 361.92 MB/sec. These are paltry performance figures and I highly doubt a professional editor can edit a 4k production with this kind of an array unless they enjoy stuttering. Maybe Promise is using a substandard RAID card and maybe CalDigit, G-Raid, OWC or LaCie can come up with something better but if this is as good as Thunderbolt 2 gets, then only the clueless Mac worshippers need apply.
    Reply
  • AVentheusiast - Thursday, February 13, 2014 - link

    After receiving a new Pegasus2 2/24 RAID DOA due to a defective Drive (Preinstalled by Promise Technology) and pathetic customer service / support from Promise Technology; I'd caution others from seeking any technology solution from Promise and searching elsewhere.

    After my RAID reported errors almost immediately after installation (on a new MacPro 2013) I immediately contacted technical support. (First, I had to register the unit online; which automatically assigned a warranty expiration date based upon the date the unit shipped from their warehouse to the authorized reseller, not based upon the sales / ship date to me.) Regardless of the detailed information I provided regarding the multiple bad sector detections and subsequent designation of the drive as being bad (by the promise RAID management software) Tech support would not even begin cooperating until I generated a specific HTML based report via their software & uploaded it to Promise's Tech Support.

    They did immediately (upon receipt of the report) acknowledge that the drive I reported as being DOA was indeed dead. In order to receive a warranty replacement I was informed that I could either return the defective drive; after which I would be shipped a replacement or I could provide a credit card # for them to place a hold of about $250.00 (on a drive that can be purchased on Amazon for $109 with free 2-day shipping) and that they would only provide complimentary GROUND shipping. If I wanted Next Day or 2-Day shipping; it would be at my expense. Considering that this was a defective unit shipped from Promise; I was astounded by the lack of support on a $3,500.00 piece of hardware. I provided the Credit Card # and finally received the replacement drive, only to discover that I was expected to pay the return freight on the defective drive.

    This was bad enough; but part of my dissatisfaction is rooted in the fact that such a high-end RAID system was equipped (once again by Promise Technology) with consumer grade Segate Baracuda Drives. Considering the premium price they charge on storage size; one would think that they would at least use the higher grade Enterprise Grade drives from Seagate. In fact; at the time that tech support authorized the drive replacement, I asked if it would be a problem if I simply installed a 3TB Western Digital Red drive that I had on-hand as a spare for a separate RAID system. I was informed that the WD Red was not on their list of approved drives; and would not be supported. I later downloaded Promise Technology's complete list of approved drives for the Pegasus2 system and discovered that only 2 drives (in 3 TB capacity) were on the approved list; both of which were lower-tier consumer grade models. There is no indication that they ever tested any higher quality drives or what system requirements of the Promise2 RAID would limit full compatibility with any other drive; just a failure to reference any other models. My personal opinion / interpretation is that they leave the higher quality (higher priced) drives off of their list as a convenient excuse as to why they do not provide better drives in the first place. It seems counter-intuitive to produce an ultra high-speed storage system aimed largely towards video editing, then supply that system with anything other than enterprise level hard drives. Based upon this experience, I will NEVER purchase another product produced by Promise Technology. I have purchased products from a number of other manufacturers over the years and have never had such a poor experience with any other companies tech support staff.
    Reply

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