TerraMaster has unveiled its new D16 16-bay direct-attached storage (DAS) solution that promises to combine high performance, high capacity, and relatively compact dimensions. The DAS can put up to 288TB of storage on your desk and promises read speeds up to 2.8GB/s as well as write speeds up to 2GB/s.
Nowadays many creative professionals need high-performance and high-capacity storage solutions, and often have to choose between high-end SSDs that are fast yet come with limited capacities, and high-capacity HDDs that can store large amounts of data, but which are rather slow. Premium NAS can pack multiple HDDs and ensure good performance, but to get it one needs to use 10GbE connections, which are not optimal for many SOHO environments and which still feature lower throughput than most locally installed SSDs. There is good solution for such users: a multi-bay DAS with a 40Gb/s Thunderbolt 3/4 interface.
Typically, multi-bay DAS (just like NAS) are rather huge, but measuring 13.7 x 6.29 x 19.6 inches (348 × 160 × 498 mm), TerraMaster's D16 is relatively compact. As the name suggests, the unit can pack up to 16 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch HDDs or SSDs. The unit is equipped with a 'professional grade RAID controller,' yet the manufacturer does not mention which one. Meanwhile, the controller supports JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID10, RAID 6, and RAID 50 modes. The DAS has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, so it can daisy chain another TB3 device, one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port, and one DisplayPort 1.4 output to connect a 4K monitor or two.
As far as performance is concerned TerraMaster says that its D16 DAS can offer up to 2817MB/s read speed as well as 2022MB/s write speed. While multiple high-end HDDs in RAID modes can offer such performance figures, TerraMaster still recommends using SSDs for maximum performance (perhaps because there are numerous slow and SMR-based NAS-oriented HDDs on the market that cannot guarantee truly high performance even in RAID modes). The D16 supports SSD caching, so it should be possible to combine high-capacity HDDs with high-performance SSDs to get the best of both worlds and have no performance or capacity constraints when editing uncompressed HD 10-bit and 12-bit videos in such intermediate formats as the ProRes 422 (HQ) or ProRes 4444 XQ.
As far as capacities are concerned, with 16 18TB HDDs installed, the TerraMaster D16 can store up to 288TB of data, but with arrival of newer 20TB of larger drives, its storage capabilities will increase to 320TB (assuming that these HDDs are supported). There is no word about support for hot-swappable HDDs, but usually this feature is supported on most multi-bay NAS and DAS devices.
Being aimed at demanding professionals and featuring a hardware RAID controller, the TerraMaster D16 is clearly not meant to be cheap. The box is equipped with only a 210W PSU and is priced at $3,600 at Amazon.