THUNDERBAY FLEX 8
Industry-First Thunderbolt 3 Storage, Docking, and PCIe Expansion Media Workflow Solution
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 U.2/M.21 NVMe and SATA/SAS2 drives for up to 128TB of capacity and real world speeds up to 2,750MB/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
ThunderBay Flex 8 is a groundbreaking workflow solution from the world’s leading Thunderbolt accessory manufacturer. It offers eight drive bays that support a mix of SATA/SAS and U.2/M.2 NVMe drives for up to 128TB of 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.
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 (sold separately) equipped with the OWC Interchange System. It’s a complete solution to safeguard your data while lowering shipping costs.
END-TO-END WORKFLOW POSSIBILITIES
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 2,750MB/s that saturate the Thunderbolt 3 speed threshold. Try any of these options:
- Eight FLEXible drive bays with up to 2,750MB/s real world speed
- Four top bays: install your choice of U.2 NVMe SSDs (one bay PCIe 3.0 x4, three bays PCIe 3.0 x1), 2.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s SSDs, or 3.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s HDDs.
- Four bottom bays: install your choice of 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s drives. Removing the SATA drive controller and replacing with a SAS controller card enables use of faster SAS HDDs.
- 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
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!
SAFELY DISCONNECT DRIVES WITH A CLICK
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.
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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. 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.
- Advanced: create RAID 0, 1, 4, 5, 1+0 (10) volumes (RAID 6, 6+ coming soon) and get email notifications for drive and RAID volume health with SoftRAID Pro (Mac only)
- Verify: volume validation ensures sectors can be read, parity is correct, and any potential volume failure is minimized
- Certified: drives are validated before use to ensure they are safe for data storage
- Vigilant: predictive warnings help protect against unexpected drive failure
- Outperforms: up to 86% faster than AppleRAID
- Thorough: full TRIM support improves internal and external SSD performance in all RAID levels
RELIABILITY AND SUPPORT YOU CAN COUNT ON
From the seamless aluminum enclosure to the slip-resistant feet, the OWC ThunderBay Flex 8 — like all OWC products — is designed and built to the highest standards of reliability and performance. Because 100 percent reliability is always our goal, ThunderBay Flex 8 is rigorously tested for quality and backed by our up to 5 Year Limited Warranty* and award-winning customer support.
- OWC ThunderBay Flex 8
- Thunderbolt 3 cable
- External power cable
- Keys for front panel lock
- Hex key
- Assembly Manual and User Guide
- SoftRAID software bundle
- RAID: SoftRAID XT User Guide
- Any Mac with a Thunderbolt 3 port
- Thunderbolt 3 (Titan Ridge)
- (8) Drive bays supporting 3.5-inch and/or 2.5-inch HDDs and SSDs
- (4) Upper bays for U.2 NVMe, M.2 NVMe1, SATA, or SAS2 drives
- (4) Lower bays for SATA or SAS2 drives
- Docking and Connectivity
- Thunderbolt 3 port (Thunderbolt 2/Thunderbolt backward compatible)3 with 85W power delivery
- Thunderbolt 3 port (Thunderbolt 2/Thunderbolt backward compatible)3
- Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s)
- Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s)
- SD 4.0 (UHS-II) card reader
- CFexpress card reader (Type B)
- DisplayPort 1.44
- PCIe Expansion
- PCIe x16 slot (x16 physical, x4 electrical) for half-length, full-height, and single or double-width cards
- PCIe card must operate with no driver or have a Thunderbolt-aware driver
- GPUs are not supported
Software RAID Modes
- JBOD independent
- RAID 0, 1, 4, 5 and 1+0 (10) via SoftRAID engine
Maximum Data Transfer Rate
- Internal UL Listed, universal auto-switching
- AC Input: 100 ~ 240V, 50/60Hz
- DC Output: 12V, 42A
- Total Wattage: 500W
- Width: 5.9 in (14.9 cm)
- Height: 13.7 in (34.9 cm)
- Depth: 15.4 in (39.0 cm)
Enclosure Weight (empty)
Product Specification Sheet
- 3 Year OWC Limited Warranty
Enterprise Drives Included
- 5 Year OWC Limited Warranty
- 1 Year OWC Limited Warranty
1. Requires M.2 to U.2 adapter
2. Requires SAS drive controller card
3. 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.
4. 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.