On my old set up I was using cheap two and three terabyte drives that were designed for simple storage of files. For reference they were usb three and got somewhere in the range of 75 to 100mb/s. In most cases they were fine for shooting 720p HD from my 60d. Once I upgraded to the fs700, the slowness of the drives really started to show, but I decided that I would just deal with it.
Well, now that I have a new and extremely powerful computer, I wasn't about to let a crappy hard drive slow me down. I started looking into different options for storing my media. I knew i wanted a few things right off the bat, one being that I could user-upgrade the drives if need be, two, that the drive had thunderbolt 2 connectivity for future proofing, and three, that the device had more than one bay for drives. This really narrowed my results down. I saw a few drives that were already set up with raided hard drives with up to 8 or 12 gigs of storage but they were quite a bit out of my price range (upwards of 800 dollars) and they were only getting speeds around 250mb/s which isn't a huge advancement, although it should handle most 4k prores files. I then looked into a pure ssd drive from those same manufacturers and the price was about the same and the storage capacity was significantly less, around 1tb and sometimes as low as 500gb. I realized that I wouldn't have enough space for much more than one working project on those drives. I then figured that I could potentially get one of the smaller ssd drives and then a cheaper 5 tb drive strictly for backup of completed projects. It wasn't until this time until I found a very small selection of thunderbolt compatible, multiple bay hard drive enclosures. These were just what I was looking for. There are a few out there by (most popularly drobo) and a few other brands.
I ended up going with the OWC Thunderbay 4 Mini. This is just the one that I found with the most positive reviews, had all the things i was looking for, and as an added bonus, was already set up for 2.5 inch drives which means that I didn't have to get adapters for the SSD drives that I was planning on putting in. On that note, I got this setup right around black friday so there were a bunch of really good deals on SSDs at the time so i just got two 500gb Samsung SSDs. My favorite part about this setup is that it is completely user upgradable, with room for four drives and thunderbolt 2 technology that claims up to 20gb/s transfer speeds I think it will be a few years at best before I am maxing out the transfer speed.
The setup of the device is extremely easy. The front comes off with the included key which reveals the four bays. Pull the tabs out and insert the drives accordingly. I used a program called softraid to raid my two 500gb drives together in raid 0 configuration for double the performance.
Below I have posted a few pictures of the setup as well as benchmarks. Let me know about any questions in the comments and I'd be happy to answer them. Stay tuned for part three!