The Rackmount Workflow Game-Changer
Since the launch of the OWC ThunderBay desktop storage line in 2014, computer users across the planet have continued to fall in love with it. They embrace its massively powerful RAID capacity and intense performance fueled by time-tested OWC reliability. Its appeal skyrocketed when it was infused with industry-first FLEXibility to create ThunderBay Flex 8.
Now businesses, institutions, studios, and creatives can go beyond the desktop with the OWC Flex 1U4. This innovative 4-bay rackmount solution is ready to fuel your endeavors with the best combination of storage capacity, Thunderbolt transfer performance, drive flexibility, and device expandability. With FLEX in its name, you can count on the OWC Flex 1U4 to be your rackmount workflow game-changer.
Rack Up Workflow Flexibility
You’ll turn your expandability and connectivity dreams into reality when you add the OWC Flex 1U4 to your rack or cart. Use a mix of 2.5 or 3.5-inch SATA/SAS and U.2/M.2 NVMe drives with four quick-access, hot-swappable drive bays. Connect mixers, keyboards, cameras, and other gear to your heart’s content as well as charge mobile devices with an ample variety of Thunderbolt and USB ports. Add up to an 8K display via DisplayPort. And when you have a custom capture, recording, networking, or storage need, the OWC Flex 1U4 lets you install a PCIe card to conquer specialized tasks.
When your workflow needs change, the “FLEXpandability” of the OWC Flex 1U4 easily adapts. Add new drives, connect different devices, and install a half-length full-height single-width PCIe x16 card of your choice like a 10Gb Ethernet networking card or the blistering fast OWC Accelsior 4M2 SSD for expanded performance storage capacity. By not locking you into an inflexible single-task design, the OWC Flex 1U4 extends its useful life and maximizes your investment well into the future.
Ideal for All Rackmount Environments
The OWC Flex 1U4 is like a bolt-in productivity supercharger for new or existing rack environments powered by a rack Mac Pro, rack PC, MacBook Pro, PC notebook, or even a Mac mini. Whether you build your own custom drive and card configuration or select one of our convenient ready-to-run solutions, the OWC Flex 1U4 is ideal in a wide variety of settings:
- In School: perfect for taming ever-growing collections of digital files with easy integration and future drive capacity and performance scalability.
- At Work: adds Thunderbolt speed and swappable drives to server closets, server rooms, or colocation center backup capabilities.
- On Stage: handles all the storage and peripheral connectivity needs “front of house” pros require for live performances.
- On Set: easily fits into mobile DIT carts to capture multi-stream, hi-res footage at full framerate while daisy-chaining up to five additional Thunderbolt devices.
- In Studio: expands storage and connectivity options of fixed racks.
- At Home: great for installers creating a high-performance home entertainment server closet.
Do It U.2 It
A hallmark of OWC FLEX technology is the ability to use U.2 NVMe SSDs as well as the OWC ecosystem of U.2 drives and adapters. U.2 NVMe drives are specifically designed to maximize the PCIe bus and when combined with Thunderbolt, you’ll blast past fast with up to 2750MB/s real-world transfer speed. Whether you use your rackmount setup to complete massive backups faster, stream content during a live performance, edit large format video, or run high transactional and complex calculation applications, you can do it U.2 to it with the OWC Flex 1U4.
A Complete Swap and Share Ecosystem
The OWC Flex 1U4 goes with the flow when needing to move data outside or beyond the local network. With the OWC U.2 ecosystem, moving and sharing data is fast and easy. Swap out and ship a project from field to post in video production workflows. Move backup data to an offline colocation for backup workflows. The combination of OWC Flex 1U4 and the OWC U.2 ecosystem opens a new dimension to data transfer possibilities.
- OWC U2 ShuttleOne: Convert an NVMe M.2 “blade” style SSD into a swappable 2.5-inch U.2 SSD with the peace of mind that your drive – and its content – are protected by the full metal, heat dissipating adapter.
- OWC U2 Shuttle: Combine four NVMe M.2 SSDs into the world’s first 3.5-inch U.2 carrier shuttle to create a swappable, massive capacity RAID solution.
- OWC Helios 3S with Interchange System: Create an external Thunderbolt powered set to post U.2 solution that safeguards your data while lowering shipping costs.
- OWC Mercury Pro U.2 Dual: Put blazing fast Thunderbolt powered storage and backup on a desktop with a compact two bay footprint that can use U2 ShuttleOne and U2 Shuttles.
- OWC ThunderBay Flex 8: Take control of your media workflow with the world’s first 3-in-1 Thunderbolt storage, docking, and PCIe expansion desktop solution. Easily swaps U2 ShuttleOne and U2 Shuttles to/from the Flex 1U4.
Ready to Rack
Flex 1U4 comes complete with hardware for mounting into most racks and cabinets.
RAID Made Easy
Harness the full capability of your OWC Flex 1U4 drive array with the included SoftRAID XT, the most powerful, intuitive RAID management software on the market for macOS and Windows. SoftRAID’s RAID creation and management technology has been finely tuned to perfection with over 20 years of development to provide rock solid protection of your data and optimize drive performance. It is packed with features like multiple RAID options, validation and verification of drives, and predictive disk failure with SoftRAID Monitor.
SoftRAID provides a level of storage performance that you simply can’t get with hardware RAID and is ideal for anyone who needs to safely store and backup massive amounts of data, including educational institutions, government agencies, businesses, content creators, and M&E professionals. If you need even more power and flexibility, you can upgrade to SoftRAID Pro to spread volumes over two or more disk enclosures – impossible with hardware RAID – for incredible performance!
Certified for Demanding Use
We understand having confidence in gear reliability is paramount to creative professionals. That’s why OWC Flex 1U4 solutions go through a multi-step performance certification prior to shipping. This ensures they arrive operating properly and immediately ready for demanding use.
Secure Your Connections
Unexpected disconnects during file transfers or a work session can be devastating. The OWC ClingOn (sold separately) easily reduces – if not eliminates – cable strain on the OWC Flex 1U4 Thunderbolt connection ports.
OWC, Trusted by Pros & Enthusiasts the World Over
We build our hardware to the highest standards of reliability and performance. Because 100% reliability is always the goal, we rigorously quality test and back our hardware with award-winning global customer support.
- SAS drives are supported with SAS drive controller card (available separately).
- Up to four U.2 drives are supported. M.2 drives are also supported with M.2 to U.2 adapter such as the OWC U2 Shuttle and OWC U2 ShuttleOne (available separately).
- Full DisplayPort 1.4 capabilities depends on host computer support of DisplayPort 1.4 specification through its Thunderbolt 3 connection, host computer GPU capabilities, and connecting cable capabilities.
- Thunderbolt 2/Thunderbolt compatibility requires a certified Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 (mDP) adapter and a Thunderbolt 2 cable (available separately). This configuration provides data transfer at up to 20Gb/s but does not support notebook charging.
OWC Flex 1U4 External HDD Specs
|Storage Capacity||16 TB|
|Included Drives||4 x 4 TB 3.5″ HDD|
|Cache Memory per Drive||128 MB|
|Initial RAID Configuration||None|
|Rotational Speed||7200 rpm|
|Number of Bays||4 x 2.5″/3.5″|
|I/O||2 x USB Type-C (Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gb/s))
2 x USB Type-C (USB 3.1 / USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gb/s))
3 x USB Type-A (USB 3.1 / USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gb/s))
1 x DisplayPort (DisplayPort 1.4)
|Compatible Drive Interface||SAS (Unspecified Version), SATA (Unspecified Version), NVMe, U.2|
|Form Factor||Rackmount (1 RU)|
|PCI Expansion||1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x4 Electrical)|
|Supported PCIe Form Factor||Low-Profile, Half-Length|
|Transfer Rates||5000 MB/s
|OS Compatibility||macOS 12
*As of April, 2022: Check with manufacturer for the most up-to-date compatibility
|AC Input Power||90 to 264 VAC, 50 / 60 Hz at 1.8 to 3.5 A|
|Power Source||AC Adapter|
|PSU Wattage||1 x 300 W|
|Operating Temperature||42 to 67°F / 10 to 35°C|
|Operating Humidity||8 to 90% (Non-Condensing)|
|Storage Temperature||-40 to 149°F / -40 to 65°C|
|Storage Humidity||5 to 95% (Non-Condensing)|
|Certifications||BSMI, CE, FCC, RCM, VCCI
*as per Manufacturer
|Status Monitoring||LED Indicator|
|Cooling||3 x Fans|
|Cable Length||2.3′ / 0.7 m|
|Dimensions||18 x 16.9 x 1.7″ / 45.7 x 42.9 x 4.3 cm|
|Weight||16.3 lb / 7.4 kg without Drives|