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SAS expander solution for new Mac Pro

Thunderbolt 2 to SAS conversion

The new Mac Pro from Apple no longer has PCIe slots which would accommodate a SAS controller card for connecting to external storage. Instead they come with multiple Thunderbolt 2 ports to interface with Thunderbolt 2 enclosures. Luckily, ATTO and Areca have external boxes to convert your existing or new SAS expander JBODs to Thunderbolt 2. See diagram on the left. You connect a Thunderbolt cable from your Mac to the converter box. Then you connect a SAS cable from the converter to your SAS enclosure. That's it!

You can purchase two versions of the Thunderbolt 2 to SAS converter box: one that does hardware RAID, or one that simply presents the individual drives to the Mac OS. The hardware RAID boxes have software that you install which you manage the RAID with. See below.

RAID solutions:
ATTO ThunderStream SC 4808D
Areca ARC-4883T2

non-RAID solutions:
ATTO ThunderLink SH 2068
Areca ARC-4607T2

cables in picture:
2m Thunderbolt cable
1m SFF-8088 to SFF-8088 SAS cable

alternative SAS cabling depending configuration:
1m SFF-8644 to SFF-8088
1m SFF-8644 to SFF-8644

SAS expander JBOD in picture:
RAID Machine 16-bay 6G SAS JBOD


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