A data storage system is coupled to a host computer system for the transfer of data between the host and a plurality of data storage devices. The data storage devices are coupled to a plurality of data transfer channels with each data storage channel be coupled to at least a respective one of the data storage devices. Each data transfer channel includes a data buffer and an autonomously operating controller for transferring between the channels data buffer and data storage device. A non-volatile random access storage memory is provided to store cached pages of data. An interface couples the data storage system to the host and through which data is transferred. A reconfigurable data path permits selective data transfer couplings between the data transfers channels, the non-volatile memory, and the interface. A controller directs the configuration of the data path and controls a direct memory access controller for burst transferring data between the interface and the channel data buffers, between the interface and the non-volatile memory and between the non-volatile memory and the channel data buffers.