OWC ThunderBay Flex 8
Flexible 8-Bay Storage + 8-Port Connectivity + PCIe Expansion
The Industry’s First Thunderbolt 3 All-in-wonder
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.
Dock + 85W Charging
ThunderBay Flex 8 8 x HDD Maximum Capacity
Ideal for taming the voracious drive space appetite of RAW, 4K, large format, and VR workflows. Arrives pre-set with RAID 5 speed and protection. Plus, select a recommended PCIe card or add your own.
ThunderBay Flex 8 4 x SSD + 4 x HDD Maximum Flexibility
Get the best of both worlds: a blazing-fast, high-capacity SSD RAID 0 project drive for large-format, multi-stream workflows along with the added long-term storage capacity of an HDD RAID 5. Plus, select a recommended PCIe card or add your own.
ThunderBay Flex 8 1 x SSD + 7 x HDD Maximum Workflow
Ingest and edit live on a hyper-fast U.2 SSD or use the drive as a swappable transport for fast lab processing while being able to edit and store entire projects on the ultra-capacity HDD RAID 5 array. Plus, select a recommended PCIe card or add your own.
Flex 8 4 x SSD + 7 x HDD Maximum Shuttle Workflow
Featuring an OWC U2 Shuttle with four NVMe M.2 drives in one bay, you can RAID them to ingest and edit live with incredible performance. Then use the U2 Shuttle as a transport drive for lab processing. Edit and store entire projects on the ultra-capacity HDD RAID 5 array. Plus, select a recommended PCIe card or add your own.
Eight Universal 3.5/2.5-inch Drive Bays
Use SATA/SAS1 and U.2/M.22 NVMe drives for up to 172TB of capacity and real-world speeds up to 2750MB/s.
The top four bays can utilize U.2 SSDs...the emerging M&E industry storage standard.
Powerfully Easy RAID
Create, manage, and monitor advanced RAID sets with SoftRAID, the world's most advanced RAID management solution with easy setup, e-notifications, and drive integrity monitoring.
Convenient front mounted USB-C and (2) USB-A 10Gb/s ports for peripherals and mobile devices.
DisplayPort 1.4 for connecting up to an 8K display3
Fast Media Ingest
Frontside SD 4.0 and CFexpress card readers with up to 985MB/s speed
Flexpandable for Unique Needs
A second Thunderbolt 3 port4 for daisy-chaining devices or additional display(s).
Play Your Card
PCIe x16 connector/x4 lane 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 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 up to 172TB of storage capacity. Next, there’s a plethora of ports including two Thunderbolt 3, one USB-C, and two 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 85W of power to keep your laptop ready to go at a moment’s notice.
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.
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
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 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 Thunderbolt cable included
- Free lifetime expert support
- Worry-free ownership with up to 5 Year OWC Limited Warranty5
RAID Made Easy
Harness the full capability of your OWC drive array with the included SoftRAID XT, the most powerful, intuitive RAID management software on the market for macOS and Windows. SoftRAID’s RAID creation and management technology has been finely tuned to perfection with over 20 years of development to provide rock solid protection of your data and optimize drive performance.
Packed with Features
SoftRAID XT provides an unbeatable combination of speed, protection, and compatibility:
- Advanced: Create RAID 0/1/4/5/1+0 (10) arrays1
- Protected: SoftRAID Monitor constantly watches your disks and alerts you if problems are detected
- Validated: Volume validation ensures sectors can be read and parity is correct
- Certified: Checks disks before use to ensure they are safe for data storage
- Vigilant: Error prediction helps protect against unexpected failure
- Universal: Move SoftRAID arrays seamlessly between Mac and PC2 with built-in OWC MacDrive technology
Beyond Hardware RAID
SoftRAID provides a level of storage performance that you simply can’t get with hardware RAID. Software RAID gives you increased power and control over your RAID drives and disks that hardware RAID can’t deliver and doesn’t lock you into technology that you can’t upgrade or expand.
- RAID 4/1+0 (10) is available for Mac only at this time.
- SoftRAID serial numbers work on both Mac and Windows. SoftRAID is licensed per computer. In order to use SoftRAID on multiple computers, you will need a unique, valid license per computer. Additional licenses can be purchased anytime.
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 a flexible 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.
End-to-End Workflow Possibilities
- + OWC Interchange System Carrier Tray with SSD
- + OWC ThunderBay Flex 8
Protects U.2 SSD drive connectors from install/removal wear to improve drive longevity and extend your drive ROI.
Transit To Post
- + OWC Interchange System Carrier Tray with SSD
- + Small and economical. Ship only what you need.
Lightweight protective carrier safeguards data while lowering shipping costs vs shipping the entire enclosure.
- + OWC Interchange System Carrier Tray with SSD
- + OWC Helios 3S (sold separately)
- + OWC Interchange System (sold separately)
Desktop U.2 NVMe SSD swappable storage for fast processing of footage.
Thunderbolt Made Easy
We make it easy to choose the right gear. Our Thunderbolt Certified products offer the same performance and functionality whether they are Thunderbolt 3 or Thunderbolt 4. And if you’re rocking a beloved Thunderbolt 2 machine, we offer an adapter so you can plug into our universe of award-winning solutions. No hassles, no confusion. That’s the OWC Difference.
Apple Mac models with Thunderbolt 2/Thunderbolt ports can be connected using an Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter and a Thunderbolt 2 cable (available separately). This configuration provides data transfer at up to 20Gb/s but does not support notebook charging.
Learn More About U.2 Technology Benefits on the Rocket Yard Blog
Professional Grade = Ready to Work
We understand having confidence in gear reliability is paramount to creative professionals. That’s why every ThunderBay undergoes OWC's multi-hour "burn-in" performance certification prior to shipping. This ensures your ThunderBay arrives operating properly and immediately ready for demanding use.
OWC Thunderbolt Cable Included
OWC ThunderBay solutions come with a certified 0.7M OWC Thunderbolt (USB-C) Cable. But if your workflow demands a different length to make the connection, OWC Thunderbolt (USB-C) Cables are the perfect choice.
Disconnect in One Click
Safely disconnect multiple drives in a single click. OWC Dock Ejector was designed by OWC hardware and software engineers to ensure all data is written before disconnection, saving time and protecting against data loss. It makes losing your hard-earned work a thing of the past.
Stabilize Thunderbolt and USB-C Cables with OWC ClingOn
Active workspaces expose gear to bumps, shoves, or even the random tail wag from a pet. OWC ClingOn custom cable stabilizers (sold separately) screw into the OWC ThunderBay’s housing to reduce – if not completely eliminate – cable strain on Thunderbolt and USB-C connections so you can work with confidence even in the highest traffic environments.
OWC, Trusted by Pros & Enthusiasts the World Over
We build our hardware to the highest standards of reliability and performance. Because 100% reliability is always the goal, we rigorously quality test and back our hardware with up to a 5 Year OWC Limited Warranty and award-winning customer support.Learn More
- 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).
- 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.
- Thunderbolt 2/Thunderbolt compatibility requires a certified Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 (mDP) adapter and a Thunderbolt 2 cable (available separately). This configuration provides data transfer at up to 20Gb/s but does not support notebook charging.
- 5 Year OWC Limited Warranty for Enterprise Hard Drive and SSD solutions. 3 Year OWC Limited Warranty for enclosure only.
- The LED function of this product will be disabled and not function if used with a 4TB and/or 8TB OWC U2 Shuttle (OWCU2SHUTTLE04), (OWCU2SHUTTLE08).