Goodbye OWC / SoftRAID (yes, this is because of v6 upgrade pricing for OWC owners)
I am shocked to find SoftRAID wanting $99 to upgrade to v6 in order to run hardware purchased from OWC (Thunderbay 4). The alternative is to remain on antiquated macOS versions that are compatible with v5, which is really not an option.
It is simply unconscionable to charge upgrade fees in order to continue to use a piece of hardware I already paid for. In addition, the years of constantly running behind macOS versions and chasing down bugs and incompatibility issues have been tedious. Now this. This is is the last straw.
So goodbye OWC / SoftRAID. For a while you seemed like a reasonable option to get a cost effective RAID setup, while having still manageable amount of crap to deal with.
But no more. You just lose my business. Forever.
SoftRAID is a software application bundled with the hardware. Your enclosure is a JBOD enclosure which used SoftRAID to add functionality. We work hard to keep SoftRAID up to date with macOS releases, especially as fast changing (and in some ways unstable) as MacOS has been in the past few years.
SoftRAID is not a "RAID utility" that sets up a volume, does not do anything further, and you forget about it.The issue with that "better" alternative is there is no hardware support after your warranty expires, and generally you cannot even get parts after a few years, you are locked into high priced hard drives, limited models, etc. Its all about trade offs.
SoftRAID actively manages your disks, predicts future failures and has to be maintained. Its an "Active" application, as opposed to "Passive".
Hence there will be upgrades on occasion.
Sorry that you feel this way.
On the other hand, I have a (unnamed) hardware RAID here in my office that the configuration utility does not launch and there is no upgrade at all.
A set of drives set up by SoftRAID in 2013 for instance, (or older!) will still work and be fully supported, on Big Sur.
You are really going to hate the imminent "vehicle subscriptions", a monthly fee to enable the use of the electronics on your vehicle.
@softraid-support Just in these forums alone I have noted at least 3-4 other users echoing the exact same sentiments over this $99 Big Sur penalty fee. I dearly wish your exec team would concede that this was a very bad idea and they should reverse course.
I thought the cost was $50 to upgrade. After months of suffering with all the problems of incompatibility on the various betas, I finally went to upgrade and was also super upset to see the cost was $100. That is really high. I already own this software. I could live with $50 to support the ongoing fixes, but $100 is A LOT. It feels wrong.
The cost of recent Pro to 6 is $49
The $99 XT upgrade cost applies if your all your Thunderbays are out of warranty (3 years on units with drives)
Management is being given user feedback, but upgrade pricing is not likely to change.
I will never, in good conscience, be able to recommend your hardware products to anyone ever again.
If it were just a matter of adding features and choosing not to upgrade to get new features, that would be one thing.
But without upgrading the software, the hardware has now become unusable...that's just not right.
The SoftRAID app never expires. I think the problem in your case was the upgrade to Big Sur.
To give free upgrades, we have to maintain the bundled version of SoftRAID (forever?) for all future changes to the MacOS operating system.
Think about what you are requesting. Lifetime development efforts for a product that is out of warranty.
(any enclosure in warranty has free SoftRAID upgrades)
It is very engineering in to intensive to maintain driver software. Tech support for out of warranty products is also given to users at no cost, including support for SoftRAID. Should future customers pay for past customers? Its not viable long term.
SoftRAID is a key feature to OWC hardware enclosures, if you choose not to upgrade the SoftRAID software, the enclosure is still functional, although you may need to use Disk utility to manage your disks, or a third party app, but it works fine.
Even my car requires paid software now. No payment, no features. Many Internet routers now charge a monthly fee to keep working. Its the way of the world these days.
When the road is upgraded, you don't have to pay $99 to still be able to drive your car on that road. If you don't pay for your car's upgraded software, it doesn't stop working...like what happened now once Apple's upgrade killed SoftRaid 5.
I did not realize when I spent all that money that I would need to pay again if I wanted to upgrade my operating system and still use the RAID ThunderBay as a RAID 5. Had I understood that, I would have purchased a box with the RAID built into the box, so I could keep on using the RAID Box without having to pay again.
Your website and marketing should make it clear that the hardware has a finite life because the software will eventually fail if we want to upgrade our operating system. Synology does not have that problem. QNAP does not have that problem.
It is misleading advertising...which is why I said that I will never be able to recommend your product to anyone again.
How is the Enclosure still functional as RAID 5 using Disk Utility? If I wanted four separate hard drives, I wouldn't have spent the money on your box.
Your paid upgrade could be more reasonable than $99. If it were $20, I would have paid it and moved on. If it were $50, likely the same. But to have to pay $99 for something that I thought I had already fully paid for, that's how you lose good will and customers for life. And that's how your reputation takes a nose dive.
SoftRAID is software. We are still supporting your hardware/software and offering upgrades to SoftRAID well after your warranty expired (apparently). (in warranty, all upgrades are no charge)
Sorry you feel this way, but SoftRAID is a complex product that has to integrate with macOS, which has begun making major drivers changes constantly because of macOS security. We have to keep up with these changes. Your point is new buyers should subsidize older users.
Hope you change your mind in the future.
That's the thing...I did not buy software...I bought hardware.
And last I checked, SoftRaid (the company and software) is owned by the company that made and sold me the hardware, OWC...as confirmed in your logo at the top of this page.
Had I known that once the software failed on a new operating system my hardware would be useless for the purposes it was purchased without paying a lot more money, I would NOT have purchased this product.
Your upgrade pricing in this scenario is predatory, holding our hardware and data hostage.
Your data is never held hostage. Your volume will mount and operate normally in Big Sur, even if you do not install SoftRAID. You cannot manage your volume, but your volume will mount and maintain itself.
The Thunderbay is a 4/6/8 bay hardware enclosure, generally shipped with drives with a 3 year replacement warranty for drives predicted to fail, not yet failed, (unique to OWC) that comes with SoftRAID Software to enable RAID 5 and other features. Its a package/bundled solution. And occasionally, you will need to upgrade your software.
Lets drop this thread, it has no purpose any longer.
There's one question with a purpose:
How do I mount my RAID 5 on Big Sur without SoftRaid installed? It was not mounting at all before updating to SoftRaid 6 and Big Sur's DiskUtility only saw it as 4 separate drives.
That is what I am here for, to help out.
to back up a bit, unless this is an M1, SoftRAIDs driver is bundled with every mac OS installation, which means any pre-existing volume will mount automatically.
the one challenge here is this: if I have you install the app or beta, either you will get "expired notices" constantly every restart, or you will need to uninstall SoftRAID driver, so the volume cannot mount. I want you to be in a "clean" environment, so you can take your time using the volume until you figure out what you need to do.
If you only want access short term, then just install SoftRAID and send me a support file.
Otherwise, lets do this:
Create a new volumein your startup container, use that to install SoftRAID and send me a SoftRAID tech support file, so I can see what is wrong. Here is how:
In Disk Utility, select your internal disk. Click new volume (+ sign). If prompted, do not create partition, just a volume.
Startup in internet recovery mode (command r) and reinstall macOS, pointing to the new volume.
When that is done, install SoftRAID, and "Allow" OWC as an identified developer.
Send me the supprot file here.
When you are all done and the issues is fixed, it is easy to delete this separate volume. It does not affect your existing System.