Accusys ExaSAN Presents Thunderbolt SAN for Post-production Workhouse in Needs of Shared Storage


Last Updated: January 29, 2015 10:10 pm GMT
(January 29, 2015) Accusys ExaSAN provides an affordable and highly efficient shared platform for media professionals who work on Macs—Thunderbolt SAN. This is a solution that allows multiple Macs to concurrently access 1PB of data on PCIe RAID storage over Thunderbolt connection. Via the help from Thunderbolt SAN, creative artists can share data and consolidate projects in one storage and focus on creating the best artwork without dealing the lousy data transfer job, data backup, and Thunderbolt cobweb.

The composition of Thunderbolt SAN

The main idea of Thunderbolt SAN is to make users build a shared platform for Mac workstations in a workhouse. All these Macs can share, edit, and backup file in this platform. This saves the cost and time for media professionals in management of storages. Thunderbolt SAN solution is composed with these main products: PCIe switch SW16, PCIe storages, Thunderbolt to PCIe converter C1M, and the Mac mini as the Xsan 4.0 server.

The PCIe switch SW16 is a storage area networking device that connects devices together on a storage network. It allows up to 12 Mac workstations or SAN server on connection to access to 1~4 PCIe storages. The PCIe storages including 8-bay, 3U 16-bay and 2U 12-bay, are designed to deliver the highest level of performance and scalability. Users can base on their requirement to choose the required storages then grow the storage capacity by adding more storages or JBODs in Thunderbolt SAN.

The converter C1M makes users simply connect a PCIe cable to PCIe switch, and then plug into the Thunderbolt port of a Mac workstation. In this way, the Mac workstations can be connected to PCIe switch and then access the PCIe storage. This Thunderbolt solution supports Mac mini as Xsan server. By simply upgrading the OS X into OS X Server, users can gain Xsan for server. Xsan enables multiple Mac computers to concurrently access hundreds of TBs of content on PCIe RAID storage over Thunderbolt cable.

The superiority of Thunderbolt SAN

Thunderbolt SAN Solutions is based on PCIe technology and fully utilizes PCIe high-performance advantage. The single host can reach 1,350MB/s and the aggregate performance of 4 storages can reach 5,500MB/s for up to 11 clients’ concurrent usage. Data transfers for backup, sharing, and editing are faster with Thunderbolt SAN technology, significantly reducing times to complete these tasks. For time-sensitive data, such as video during creation and playback, data transfers can be critical to the success of the work.

Comparing with similar solution adopting Fiber Channel or Ethernet, Accusys ExaSAN solution owns higher performance and costs lower budget. Users may choose Ethernet solution for their workhouse, but the transfer rate only reaches about 600MB/s; this would not satisfy the needs in editing 4K DPX files. Fiber Channel SAN provides similar performance to users; but, to reach the same performance as Accusys ExaSAN solution, users have to spend higher budget.

Overall, this Thunderbolt solution helps post-production workers improve their workflow by its shared capability, high performance and scalability without spending much budget. This solves the problem of the external Thunderbolt storage now available in market—high cost, and inconvenience in sharing files. Accusys ExaSAN believes the media professionals will be satisfied with this solution.

About Accusys

Since 1995, Accusys Storage Ltd. has been designing and manufacturing cutting-edge and innovative storage products in order to help customers around the globe to store, protect, and manage their most important media assets. In 2009, while eyes on the need of digital content creation professionals within the post-production industry, the Accusys ExaSAN product family and its wide range of robust workflow controllers, PCIe RAID storages and switches were brought to the market to support post production experts with their creative work. To learn more about Accusys, please visit


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