OWC is introducing the U2 Shuttle, a novel service module that packs 4 M.2 NVMe SSDs right into a 3.5″ U.2 kind issue. The U2 Shuttle features a PCIe swap to permit the 4 M.2 drives to share the bandwidth of the U2 Shuttle’s PCIe 3.0 x4 interface. OWC will likely be promoting the U2 Shuttle as both an empty service to be populated by the person, or with their very own Aura Professional NVMe SSDs pre-installed for as much as 32TB of storage.
There’s hardly any ecosystem round 3.5″ U.2 drives versus the vastly extra widespread 2.5″ U.2 dimension, however OWC gives help with a number of of their Thunderbolt-attached storage merchandise. Their new Mercury Professional U.2 Twin enclosure can accommodate two U.2 drives (2.5″ or 3.5″) and consequently with a pair of U2 Shuttles put in can maintain as much as 8 M.2 SSDs. OWC’s Thunderbay Flex 8 can accommodate U.2 SSDs in 4 of its eight drive bays. OWC can also be introducing a 3.5″ U.2 retrofit equipment for his or her Mercury Helios 3S PCIe enlargement chassis. The U2 Shuttle can be put in in extraordinary 3.5″ inside onerous drive bays and linked with a U.2 cable, supplied there’s enough cooling—4 NVMe SSDs plus a PCIe swap can probably add as much as fairly a bit extra energy than a typical 7200RPM onerous drive.
The U2 Shuttle is marketed primarily as quick moveable storage for skilled media workflows, the place a sneakernet answer would be the most easy method to transport many TBs of media from the set to the enhancing room. The U2 Shuttle would not have any RAID performance of its personal, however it may be used together with OWC’s SoftRAID software program RAID system. When used within the Thunderbay Flex 8 or an acceptable workstation or server setup, RAID performance can be supplied via a tri-mode SAS/SATA/NVMe controller card.
U2 Shuttle with Mercury Professional U.2 Twin enclosure
The U2 Shuttle’s PCIe swap is ASMedia’s 12-lane ASM2812X, so every of the 4 M.2 SSDs within the U2 Shuttle solely will get a PCIe 3.0 x2 connection to the swap. This makes a RAID configuration extremely beneficial, as a result of no single M.2 SSD contained in the U2 Shuttle will be capable to use the complete 4-lane throughput.
The OWC U2 Shuttle is out there for buy direct from OWC. Pricing begins at $149.99 for the empty U2 Shuttle with no SSDs, and goes as much as $5299 for the 32TB configuration. For the smaller capacities, shopping for the U2 Shuttle with OWC’s SSDs pre-installed is not essentially any cheaper than simply buying a typical 2.5″ U.2 enterprise SSD. Nonetheless, 32TB U.2 drives aren’t precisely a commodity product but, and going the DIY route with the empty U2 Shuttle and cheaper consumer-grade TLC SSDs could be a extra inexpensive method to pack a number of TB of NVMe storage into one machine.
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