Advantage Video Systems, AKiTiO, and Axle – Storage Visions 2014 Update

Getting you prepped for CES 2014, Technology X continues our coverage of Storage Visions 2014 as we head over to the Advantage Video Systems, AKiTiO and Axle booth.

Advantage Video Systems is a company that focuses on providing video solutions across a variety of markets. Everything from production to post-production work, Advantage Video Systems will help you get set-up. Specifically on showcase with Advantage Video Systems was AKiTiO, who focuses predominately on external storage options for Mac’s, and to accompany your storage was Axle, who focuses on media management.

AKiTiO – Storage Expansion Options for Mac’s

AKiTiO is a company that focuses on various storage options, from cloud-based storage to portable storage. At their Storage Visions booth, they featured a Mac Pro with various external storage options, and we got to check a few out.

With the new Mac Pro’s being released this year, it’s obvious that Apple is continuing to stay away from eSATA and firewire ports. We met with Richard Wright, the Director of Global Distribution for AKiTiO, who brought the Apple Certified AKiTiO Thunder Dock, which supports Thunderbolt 1. The AKiTiO Thunder Dock gives the user the option to connect which ever external device via almost any connectivity (E.g., USB 3.0, eSATA, and FireWire) to their Mac via Thunderbolt.

AKiTiO also brought their soon to be released Thunder Dock 2. Similar to the Thunder Dock 1, but now with the incorporation of Thunderbolt 2 connectivity. Of course, as Apple has noted, Thunderbolt 2 is twice as fast as Thunderbolt 1, reaching speeds of up to 20Gb/s.

AKiTiO Thunderbolt 2 Dock Featured

AKiTiO also had their new Thunder Box, which features PCIe expansion slots for your Mac Pro. Using a Thunderbolt 2 cable, you can have a Thunder Box equipped with PCIe SSD storage attached to your Mac Pro.

The Thunderbolt 2 controller in the Thunder Box is ingeniously designed. If, and when, Apple develops Thunderbolt 3, the upgrade should be as easy removing the old controller and installing the new one.

Lastly, AKiTiO showcased the Palm Raid. The Palm Raid is a Thunderbolt powered external storage device which features two mSATA SSD’s running in RAID. AKiTiO notes the Palm Raid to reach read speeds of 700 MB/s and write speeds of 380 MB/s.

The picture below gives an accurate comparison between the size of the Palm Raid and Apple’ Magic Mouse.


We met with Tasia Smith, the Technical Pre-Sales rep for Axle, who explained that Axle has produced a media management program to accompany your external storage device. Axle Media Management is a web-based software that allows for the collaboration of multiple parties on a media production.

The concept is very similar to Google Docs, such that the media is stored on a device that you already own, and those who are collaborating on specific project can add and edit media across multiple platforms. Editors and contributors can even note on a specific project what was edited, and when it was edited. Axle Media Management also includes a bunch of other features, such as automatic cataloging and proxy generation, cloud option, extensive file formats, customizable metadata fields and smart searching capabilities. All of this is available for $1295 per year.

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