ThunderBay Flex 8
0TB Thunderbolt 3 Enclosure
The Industry's First Thunderbolt 3 All-In-Wonder
FLEXible 8-Bay Storage + 8-Port Connectivity + PCIe Expansion
Tame your workflow with this highly configurable productivity platform for digital imaging, VFX, video production, and video editing professionals. With unrivaled FLEXibility, you can choose drive type(s), enjoy docking convenience, and expand your capabilities with PCIe cards.
- Eight drive bays: use a mix of SATA/SAS1 and U.2/M.22 NVMe drives for for virtually limitless capacity and real world speeds up to 2750MB/s
- Future ready: top four bays can use U.2 SSDs…the emerging M&E industry storage standard
- Powerfully easy RAID: create, manage, and monitor advanced RAID sets with SoftRAID
- Do more: second Thunderbolt 3 port3 for daisy chaining devices or additional display(s)
- Connect more: (1) USB-C and (2) USB-A 10Gb/s ports for peripherals and mobile devices
- See more: DisplayPort 1.4 for connecting up to an 8K display4
- Fast media ingest: front-side SD 4.0 and CFexpress card readers with up to 985MB/s speed
FLEXpandable for Unique Needs
- Play your card: (1) PCIe slot for audio/video capture, networking, SSD storage, hardware RAID card, or I/O card
Flex Your Way Through Every Workflow
Whether you call it a workflow workhorse, a productivity platform, or a configurable command center, one description of the ThunderBay Flex 8 says it best. It’s a groundbreaking 3-in-1 workflow solution for digital imaging, VFX, video production, and video editing professionals from the world’s leading Thunderbolt accessory manufacturer.
ThunderBay Flex 8 offers eight drive bays that support a mix of SATA/SAS and U.2/M.2 NVMe drives for virtually limitless storage capacity. Next, there’s a plethora of ports including (2) Thunderbolt 3, (1) USB-C, and (2) USB-A for device docking and charging.
See your work in greater detail by adding up to an 8K display via a built-in DisplayPort 1.4 connection. Ingest hi-res images and video via front-side SD 4.0 and CFexpress card readers. And when you want to expand your desktop capabilities, there’s a PCIe slot waiting for your specific project needs.
ThunderBay Flex 8 is the one Thunderbolt 3 desktop device that rules them all. With an irresistible economy of scale, this consolidated solution is ideal for anyone waiting for the right moment to invest in Thunderbolt technology.
NVMe. PCIe. What’s It Mean to Me?
At the heart of the ThunderBay Flex 8 capabilities are two cutting-edge technology standards: NVMe and PCIe. Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) optimizes the performance of modern flash technology over the Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) standard. It enables significantly faster SSD performance with a more direct and optimized path to a computer’s processor.
Tying both of these technologies together is the Thunderbolt 3 interface which uses the PCIe bus. This interface offers the fastest data transfers possible on a single cable between computers and peripherals like storage solutions, docks, and expansion devices while also supplying charging power.
The Future Standard of Storage Available Today
Right out of the packaging, all eight bays can utilize SATA 6Gb/s 2.5-inch SSDs or 3.5-inch HDDs. To take advantage of 40Gb/s PCIe technology, the top four bays are NVMe U.2 SSD ready. These emerging super-fast SSDs enable ThunderBay Flex 8 to meet the future storage needs of content creators and video production pros.
A Protective, Economical Post-Production Solution
Sending a drive from set to post-production typically entails tedious and time-consuming drive enclosure disassembly to access the storage drive or costly shipping of the entire enclosure to the post lab. But ThunderBay Flex 8 offers yet another option.
By installing an OWC U.2 NVMe Interchange System carrier tray (sold separately) with a built-in U.2 connector into a ThunderBay Flex 8 drive tray, you can protect the U.2 SSD drive’s connector from repeated install/removal wear for improved drive longevity and investment. When done with your shoot, just ship the lightweight protective carrier and drive to the lab where the carrier can be installed into an OWC Helios 3S equipped with the OWC Interchange System. It’s a complete solution to safeguard your data while lowering shipping costs.
Muscle-FLEXing Data Performance
Are you a video pro working with 4K/8K and even Phantom high-speed files? The ThunderBay Flex 8 offers a variety of drive configurations that deliver real-world read/write speeds of 2750MB/s that saturate the Thunderbolt 3 speed threshold. Try any of these options:
- A single U.2 NVMe SSD in Bay A
- Multiple U.2 SSDs installed in top four bays (A-D) in RAID 0
- Six or more SATA SSDs in any bays in RAID 0
- Swap out the built-in SATA drive controller card with a SATA/SAS hardware RAID card and configure 8 x SATA/SAS drives in hardware RAID 0
Done with the drives but need the docking connectivity? Eject the ThunderBay Flex 8 drives and any external drives in a single click with the free OWC Dock Ejector
app. It ensures all data has been written before any drive is unmounted to protect against data loss. It will even warn you from accidentally ejecting an in-use drive.
A virtual buffet of productivity-enhancing possibilities awaits you with the docking connections built into ThunderBay Flex 8. Power your notebook with up to 85W power delivery while capturing multi-stream hi-res footage at full frame rate. Connect audio and video mixers, digital camera, keyboards, and other peripherals and charge mobile devices via one USB-C and two USB-A 10Gb/s ports. Ingest and work with 4/8K RAW video and RAW photo files immediately at speeds up to 985MB/s with frontside SD 4.0 and CFexpress card readers. Add more viewing space with up to an 8K monitor via the DisplayPort 1.4 interface. And if all that’s not enough to satisfy your project needs, daisy-chain up to five additional Thunderbolt 3 devices!
FLEXpandable for Unique Needs
By removing the enclosure’s side panel, you can expand your capabilities by installing a half-length, full-height, single-width expansion card in the PCIe x16 connector/x4 lanes slot. Add a 4K video capture card for direct ingest of multi-stream high-res footage. Record high-quality tracks with an audio card and then edit and archive tracks. Create a powerful file server with a high-speed networking card. By replacing the built-in SATA drive controller with a SATA or SAS RAID card, you can even turn ThunderBay Flex 8 into a hardware RAID storage solution while keeping a PCIe slot open for other cards.
A FLEXtraordinary Platform
ThunderBay Flex 8 is a user-configurable platform that you can use to launch into projects with a new realm of time and money-saving results. To get you started, we suggest three sample configurations that make the most of the extraordinary highlights that have made OWC solutions the choice of performance enthusiasts and cinematographers around the world:
- Plug and play with no drivers needed and includes Thunderbolt 3 cable
- Free lifetime US-based support
- Worry-free ownership with up to 5 Year OWC Limited Warranty
FLEX Empty– An empty enclosure that lets you add your choice of drives and PCIe cards. You can remove the SATA drive controller card to add a RAID or SAS drive controller card.
FLEX Open – The bottom four bays populated with SATA drives and top four bays left empty for use with U.2 NVMe drives, M.2 NVMe drives with adapter, or SATA/SAS drives
FLEX Full - All bays filled with SATA drives, one bay left as cold spare, the other seven preconfigured in RAID 0 or RAID 5 with SoftRAID
Includes Softraid: Easy and Complete Drive Management
Now you can quickly access and robustly protect your data with SoftRAID for Mac and Windows. SoftRAID makes it a breeze to create RAID volumes by helping you through the entire process. With multiple RAID options, you decide what you’re using your RAID volume for and how much space to allocate to it. It's that simple to create your preference of speed and/or redundancy for your data volume.
- SAS drives are supported with SAS drive controller card (available separately).
- Up to four U.2 drives are supported. M.2 drives are also supported with M.2 to U.2 adapter (available separately).
- Apple Mac models with Thunderbolt 2/Thunderbolt ports can be connected using an Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter (sold separately). This configuration provides data transfer at up to 20Gb/s but does not support notebook charging.
- Full DisplayPort 1.4 capabilities depends on host computer support of DisplayPort 1.4 specification through its Thunderbolt 3 connection, host computer GPU capabilities, and connecting cable capabilities.