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Mini Test: Sandisk Professional G-RAID Shuttle 8

Posted on Sep 8, 2021 by Alex Fice

£6394/$7300

Cameras with huge data rates and resolutions chew through massive amounts of storage, even in 4K – but especially if you start 8K, or even 12K, shooting. File sizes are not going to get smaller any time soon, so at some point you will require some serious storage.

Sandisk Professional’s solution is the G-RAID Shuttle 8, which comes in 48TB, 96TB and 144TB versions. We tested the £6394/$7300 product, which houses eight 12TB Ultrastar Enterprise-class, 7200rpm HDD drives inside. These cost around £500/$491 each, so that’s where £4000/$3982 of your hard-earned money is going anyway. The drives are held in quick-remove caddies, so you can always buy new ones, or even faster and larger options when they become available, meaning the G-RAID Shuttle 8 can grow with you.

The eight drives are housed inside a transportable eight-bay hardware RAID, with Thunderbolt 3 connectors for superfast 40Gbps transfers – and a USB-C socket for up to 10Gbps. What limits the speeds are the drives themselves, which have transfer rates up to 1900MB/s read, and 2000MB/s write. 

We connected the unit to a Thunderbolt 3-equipped MacBook Pro – and transferring 8GB of files to the unit in RAID 5 configuration took 96 seconds. That’s not as fast as flash SSDs, but then the price would be stratospheric.

The HDDs are quick enough to allow backups, fast access to files, and real-time video editing. It supports multi-stream 4K, 8K and VR workflows, with RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50 and 60 configurations. 

The Shuttle 8 comes set up at RAID 5, so if just one of the drive units fails, you can plug in a replacement and the data is automatically rebuilt. It means the capacity drops from 96TB to 84TB, though.  

Getting going is very quick. Just take out of the box, plug in the power cord and included Thunderbolt 3 cable. The MacBook Pro instantly recognised the drive and mounted it to the desktop, ready for use. The spinning drives are relatively quiet, too. With two Thunderbolt sockets, you can daisy-chain up to five additional devices, such as other drives and 4K displays. It can also deliver up to 85W of power to charge a MacBook Pro.

Although the unit is a great desktop RAID, it has a rugged build and top-carrying handle, so it can be taken on location and used to ingest, or even edit, while out and about – as long as you have mains power. A dedicated carrying case is also available. With a five-year warranty, it’s a huge capacity and speedy, fully-featured RAID with Enterprise-class drives. If you can afford it, you won’t be disappointed.

Specifications

Capacity: 96TB

Hard drives: 8x12TB Ultrastar Enterprise-class 7200rpm HDD

Max transfer rates: 1900MB/s read, 2000MB/s write

RAID: 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60, JBOD

Interface: 2x Thunderbolt 3, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2

Compatibility: Mac 10.5 or later, Windows 10+

Dimensions (wxhxd): 17.5×38.5×24.5cm/6.9×15.2×9.6in

Weight: 10.99kg/24.23lb

Pro Moviemaker Rating: 9/10

A huge amount of data in a single unit

  •  Pros: Plug and play, massive capacity
  •  Cons: The price and weight, not SSD

For more information, visit Western Digital’s website, here.

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