Syntech (a South African-based IT hardware distributor) and ATTO Technology, Inc., (a global leader of storage and network connectivity and infrastructure solutions for data-intensive computing environments) have announced full Thunderbolt interoperability and certification with Windows 7 and 8 for ATTO’s line of Thunderlink™ and ThunderStream™ storage connectivity products. The line includes the Thunderlink Thunderbolt to Fibre Channel, Thunderbolt to SAS/SATA, and ThunderStream Thunderbolt to SAS/SATA RAID Desklink devices. As the industry’s only connectivity provider that allows Thunderbolt access to enterprise class storage, ATTO offers a full suite of software-based productivity and performance-enhancing solutions that support Windows 7 and 8 platforms. “Thunderbolt delivers unparalleled performance, flexibility and simplicity to professional computing,” said Jason Ziller, Intel’s director of Thunderbolt Marketing. “Products like the Thunderlink and ThunderStream from ATTO help highlight what Thunderbolt makes possible.”

What is Thunderbolt?

Thunderbolt superficially resembles familiar technologies like USB. However, the speed, simplicity and versatility of Thunderbolt sets it apart from older technologies. Thunderbolt carries both data and display signals bi-directionally over a single cable while simultaneously providing 10 watts of power to peripherals. It’s also dual-protocol, meaning that it works with PCI Express and DisplayPort — established technologies designed for connecting computer components and external displays, respectively.
Thunderbolt’s data transfer rate of about 10 Gbps is twice the speed of USB 3.0 and more than 12 times faster than FireWire 800 (allowing users to download a high-definition movie off an external hard drive in about 30 seconds) which makes Thunderbolt one of the fastest data ports available for consumer devices. Thunderbolt daisy chains up to six devices together (including a mixture of high-resolution displays and devices like hard drives, RAID devices and Blu-Ray recorders).

The ability to support multiple drives and multiple devices is robust on Thunderbolt, and MacBook Pro owners can now edit uncompressed digital video in real-time on an external Thunderbolt hard drive (moving huge amounts of data very fast between your computer’s processor and hard drive, something not previously possible).

ATTO Desklink devices represent the latest in next generation, high-performance storage and network connectivity products for Thunderbolt-enabled platforms, including mobile devices such as laptops and Ultrabooks. These solutions allow professionals to use high-end, data-intensive applications on Thunderbolt-enabled platforms and portable computers in highly-mobile environments. “Based on our 15 plus year relationship with Microsoft, ATTO continues to offer Windows users a tremendous advantage when utilising our devices within their storage infrastructure,” said Wayne Arvidson, Vice President of Marketing at ATTO Technology. “ATTO’s support of Windows 7 and 8 through our Thunderlink and ThunderStream products make it possible to work with content in a variety of environments anywhere, any time. We are excited to be at the forefront of technology with the only available products that offer Windows users Thunderbolt-enabled access to enterprise class storage on a level never before possible and recent announcements indicate that Thunderbolt will be widely deployed on workstations and servers as well.”

Ryan Martyn, Director of Syntech and the President of EO Cape Town (Entrepreneurs’ Organisation) comments: “ATTO’s Thunderbolt connectivity products incorporate the versatility to handle virtually any protocol and host while addressing the demands of rapidly evolving work environments and allowing access to enterprise data centre networks.”

Included in ATTO’s broad portfolio of Windows 7 and Windows 8 certified solutions are:

  • The ATTO ThunderLink FC 1082 acts as an external Thunderbolt to Fibre Channel adapter, connecting all-in-one systems and mobile computing platforms to 8Gb/s Fibre Channel SANs and storage devices. With dual port configurations, the 8Gb/s Fibre Channel Desklink device is an ideal solution for users looking to achieve the highest I/O and data throughput for advanced video and access to IT applications.
  • The ATTO ThunderLink SH 1068 Desklink device gives you the freedom to connect your Thunderbolt-enabled platform to SAS/SATA storage devices. In addition, SAS tape drives can be connected to the ThunderStream to provide access for backup software and LTFS tape applications.
  • The ThunderStream SC 3808D adds ATTO’s industry-renowned RAID protection to SAS/SATA disk arrays. This protection may be enhanced by adding tape devices for use with backup software and LTFS tape applications.

The ATTO range is distributed by Syntech, and is now available for purchase via resellers. You can contact Syntech via e-mail on [email protected], on the Twitter handle @syntechsa, or via Facebook