Clearly positioned in a high-end segment with its NVMe full flash external storage box (12 or 24 TB) called Pro Data, Iodyne targets creative people looking for a platform that combines performance and compactness. Its very high price and its current limitation to the Mac world, however, are detrimental to its distribution.
Created by former Oracle and DSSD, Iodyne recently marketed the Pro Data, an external storage box in Raid mode integrating a dozen NVMe SSDs in M2 format. Which gives a total of 12 TB raw storage capacity with 1 TB SSDs and up to 24 TB with 2 TB models. Equipped with a SoC type controller, supported by 32 GB of ECC RAM, this enclosure works in Raid 0 (12 or 24 TB) or Raid 6 (10 or 20 TB) with encryption, depending on user needs. On the interface side, the Pro Data is equipped with 8 Thunderbolt ports – 4×2 two in fact – providing a theoretical throughput of 5 GB/s thanks to the proprietary Multipathing technology. However, only four workstations will be able to use an allocated storage space. It is also possible to chain up to six Pro Data in series per pair of Thunderbolt ports to increase storage capacities (576 TB maximum).
Longer and thicker than a Macbook, the Pro Data from Iodyne accommodates 12 NVMe SSDs in M4 format on its motherboard. (Credit SL)
Since it is not a NAS, there is no network connector, although this box can compete with a Synology FS2500 (1U rack with 12 SATA SSD slots) equipped with two 10 interfaces GbE and capable of working in block mode with the iSCSI protocol. Why talk about a full flash NAS when the Pro Data is a transportable external box intended for the creative market (photographers, videographers and other musicians) looking for storage capacity and performance? Because of the price. The Pro data is sold at a price of $3,950 excluding tax for the 12 TB model and $7,500 excluding tax for the 24 TB (there is no price in euros yet). Count €3,500 excluding VAT, without Sata SSDs, for the Synology FS2500, while a full flash NVMe model, the TDS-h2489FU-4314, is billed €18,500 – still without SSDs – at Qnap with 24 NVMe slots and 25 GbE ports. Or better a Thunderbolt 3 QXP-T32P card to install on a NAS of the brand. At the cost of greater complexity, we enter another category with advanced administration functions and the possibility of installing numerous services, VMs and even containers with Docker. Note in passing that Pro Data hosts ersatz containers for creating volumes.
Iodyne uses thick aluminum for the chassis of its Pro Data case. (Credit SL)
To seduce creatives, Iodyne relies on the neat design of its external storage box with an aluminum chassis, which borrows its codes from that of the old Apple Macbooks. The components are easily accessible for possible troubleshooting, the top cover disassembles into two parts to reveal the SoC controller, the two PCI bridges and the NVMe SSDs with radiators. There are no fans, so the product is quiet. Compact, this box is perfectly transportable, even if it still needs a power outlet to operate. On a daily basis, Pro data now works with Macs thanks to a dedicated app – support for Windows and Linux is in progress – which allows you to create volumes – called containers – with different file formats and passwords. for different users. Note that the containers are not shared, but transferable from one user to another thanks to the in-house Storage Handoff technology to promote collaboration.
During the presentation of its product in Mills Valley, California, the Iodyne team highlighted a series of benchmarks carried out by third parties and compiled by the supplier with the measurements of the speed of its Pro Data and external boxes. (Seagate Barracuda, Samsung X5, Samsung T7 Touch and LaCie Rugged). A heterogeneous compilation with products at $3950 excluding VAT and others at $300 excluding VAT, which we have decided not to relay: what is the point of comparing a flash system in Raid mode (0 or 6) and readers external (DD and flash) without Raid controller? Iodyne’s product is interesting, but the marketing posture really annoying. Impossible, despite our request to the team, to know the type of controller used in the Pro Data. It’s not very serious, it will be enough to disassemble the cover, to lift the fan and to scrape the chip a little to know its origin. It is within the reach of all users interested in their material.