Electronic news service Electronista reported last week that storage device manufacturer Western Digital (News - Alert) released its first portable, Thunderbolt-powered drive. The hard drive comes in both 2TB and 4TB sizes with two compatible RAID functions for users to backup their data.
Western Digital's Passport Pro Features webpage goes into more detail about the device itself. It confirms that the hard drive is encased in aluminum for durability and shock tolerance. The casing is two-toned, showing off both black and silver with a white label. The device comes shipped in the RAID 0 format that stripes data across two or more disks. It does not provide redundancy, but it does segment sequential data across the disks to improve throughput. Performance for the drive reportedly clocks in as high as 233 MB-per-second for the 2TB model and 230 MB-per-second for the 4TB model.
Buyers interested in backing up their data do have the option of using RAID 1, a “mirror mode for [sic] double safe data protection,” WD reports. This type of configuration will necessarily cut in half the capacity of the drive. This is because it will use one partition to actively read and write data while the other partition maintains an exact copy of the first partition. This choice is useful for people who value data security over data speed.
A Thunderbolt port is capable of providing power to the devices that use it. The Passport Pro is no exception to that rule, and therefore the hard drive requires no extra A/C adapter to operate properly. The drive also has the capability of working with the Apple (News - Alert) Time Machine backup utility, so any user can easily back up files from his workstation onto the portable drive.
Futhermore, the drive can act as a bootable device. It is large enough to hold system files as well as important documents, so a user can potentially use it as a secondary computer, booting his laptop or desktop from the external drive and seeing his laptop's internal drive show up as the slave drive.