Drobo has announced a pair of Thunderbolt and USB 3.0-capable storage devices. The company has not released official pricing and availability information, other than saying they will be coming next month.

NewImage

Both the Drobo 5D and Drobo Mini include industry-first SSD acceleration—utilizing the performance benefits of solid state drives (SSDs) and the capacity benefits of hard disk drives (HDDs) to deliver an automated, no-compromise system. In addition to supporting SSDs in any of the drive bays, both units include an additional bay that will accommodate a small-form-factor SSD to achieve significant performance boosts while making all drive bays available for high-capacity HDDs.

The products also support both lightning-fast Thunderbolt (2 ports) and USB 3.0 connectivity, an industry first for storage arrays that will provide flexibility to both Mac and Windows users. The two Thunderbolt ports allow customers to easily daisy-chain devices to accommodate massive growth, and the USB 3.0 port ensures compatibility to millions of USB systems.

Along with SSD acceleration and Thunderbolt / USB 3.0 interfaces, the new Drobo products have been completely redesigned from the ground up with new hardware and software architectures. These enhancements provide a significant increase in processing capability and several optimizations to BeyondRAID™ that will increase baseline performance by at least five times—prior to the addition of SSDs—easily making the new Drobo 5D and Drobo Mini the fastest storage arrays in their class.


Users interested in the Drobo 5D and Mini can sign up to be notified of availability on Drobo's website.

Top Rated Comments

jdodoubleg Avatar
113 months ago
It's RAID for me - not looking for any proprietary stuff here, so Drobo is out.

The idea of losing a drive and having an entire cabinet's worth of drives become borked with only one place that could possibly recover them is a non-starter.

It's great that they've apparently been addressing their slow performance, but give me an enclosure with standard RAID compatibility and Thunderbolt and I'm there.

I don't think you understand how a drobo works, you could actually lose more than 1 drive and the only thing you would have to do is replace with new drives, the drives would integrate and rebuild the information automagically.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
imahawki Avatar
113 months ago
I have a Drobo S and have been perfectly happy with it. I have on-site and off-site backups of the data on it, which you should have for any data you really care about regardless of the device its on.

That said, I find Drobo draws 90% of its criticism from people who have never owned one and say they never will. There are a few vocal people who have had one fail and are pissed because they were too stupid to backup their data. But most of the actual owners are happy with them in my experience.

No storage array is a backup (none, not one you built, not one with two disk failure protection... none. An electrical surge, fire, theft, etc. can always take out the entire thing). A backup is a copy of your data that is in a physically different location.

I like the Drobo because I didn't want an array that had to be built once with all the disks that would be included in the set from the very start and in order to increase the storage pool you had to migrate the data off and start over.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
polaris20 Avatar
113 months ago
It's RAID for me - not looking for any proprietary stuff here, so Drobo is out.

The idea of losing a drive and having an entire cabinet's worth of drives become borked with only one place that could possibly recover them is a non-starter.

It's great that they've apparently been addressing their slow performance, but give me an enclosure with standard RAID compatibility and Thunderbolt and I'm there.

If you're not replicating the data elsewhere, you're still running an enormous risk anyway.

Not if the Drobo itself fails, which happens.
http://scottkelby.com/2012/im-done-with-drobo/

This can happen with any of these SOHO boxes, such as Drobo, Synology, or QNAP. The latter two are "traditional" RAID, but don't use hardware RAID, rather they use MDRAID, Linux's software RAID. If the unit dies, you had best be good at the command line in order to be able to mount the drives elsewhere.

----------

Sure - but I'm fine with 0 at this point.

With 0, I have two identical disks. One fails, I still have another disk. That's all I need right now.

0 is striped. You lose one, you're done.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gregbenz Avatar
113 months ago
Depends...

I don't think you understand how a drobo works, you could actually lose more than 1 drive and the only thing you would have to do is replace with new drives, the drives would integrate and rebuild the information automagically.


Not if the Drobo itself fails, which happens.
http://scottkelby.com/2012/im-done-with-drobo/
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NAG Avatar
113 months ago
Nor should they be for a lot of other people once the risks are understood.
You asked a question and there is your answer. You basically call people ignorant and never fully explain your position well. Essentially, falling back on calling people stupid at the end of every explanation shouldn't leave you surprised when they come back annoyed at you. If you genuinely are interested in that group of people it might behoove you to ask more questions so you can better understand why they like something so you can better explain why those reasons are not something you rank high in your purchasing decisions. Just a thought.

From their web site:
"Drobo Mini is equipped with dual Thunderbolt ports for daisy chaining. Connect up to six Thunderbolt devices and/or a non-Thunderbolt monitor at the end of the chain"

What do they mean by a non-Thunderbolt monitor at the end of the chain?
You can go from thunderbolt to VGA or DVI but not the other way around. Basically they're saying you can terminate the chain after six devices.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bartman01 Avatar
113 months ago
OK. So 4+ HDD's can get FW800 speeds. Not impressive. I know it is not made for actual connected use and should be for backup only but c'mon. I have other things to do and 4+ HDD's should get you at least 250MB/s+ regardless of the RAID level and inherent overhead. Truthfully 4 HDD's should net you 400MB/s. Just saying it is a miserably slow tech.

Got to love the way you are raising the bar here. First you complain that it can't even saturate USB2 (20-30MBps) so it isn't worth buying with a faster interface. Now you are suddenly setting the bar at 250MBps? If you read my earlier posts I note that the current gen speeds are not mind blowingly fast, but they are at least the equivalent of my other internal (non SSD) drives during normal use.

I also think most current gen Drobo users would disagree with your assertion that it is not intended for connected use. That is EXACTLY what mine is used for - it is my central audio/video storage/streaming volume. For that role it is perfect for me. No more dealing with running out of space as my library grows or re-organizing my data across multiple drives as they fill up. Plus as drives reach the end of their 'safe' lifespan, I just swap them out with new and bigger drives one at a time.

I've tried most of the 'roll your own' solutions out there, and for total cost (especially when you factor in the ability to mix and match drives) and ease of use the Drobo won hands down for me at the time I decided to buy it. Is it 'perfect', no. Is it the right choice for everyone, no. But most of the reasons being tossed around for not buying are more fear mongering than fact:

One reason is that it is too slow for normal use, but that has not been true with at least the current Drobo S. It WAS true with the prior gen devices. If your need for this type of device is maximum speed for video capture/edit/etc., a Drobo is NOT the device for you - you want the new Pegasus drives.

Another reason given is that it is proprietary. So are most of the RAID solutions out there. If you have to go disk by disk through the disks in a failed raid array trying to recover data and piece together the bits of files spread across multiple volumes - you have a serious failure in your backup strategy somewhere. RAID is NOT backup, it is redundancy/protection and usually allows for zero downtime with limited drive failure scenarios.

A third reason is that hardware failures corrupt the data. Same is true for any RAID solution. Bet most 'roll your own' proponents would recommend using the on-board MB software raid solutions to keep the cost below a Drobo, and there are plenty of horror stories about data loss and drive incompatibilities/failures with those.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
microsoft edge ios android

Bill Gates Says His Preference for Android Over iPhone is Due to Pre-Installed Software

Friday February 26, 2021 3:35 am PST by
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates this week participated in his first meeting on Clubhouse, the increasingly popular invite-only conversation app, where he fielded a range of questions as part of an ongoing book tour. Gates was interviewed by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, and given that the Clubhouse app is currently only available on iOS, naturally one of the questions that came up was...
flat mbp 14 inch feature yellow

Redesigned 14-Inch MacBook Pro Expected to Feature Brighter Mini-LED Display With Slimmer Bezels and More

Thursday February 25, 2021 7:48 am PST by
Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive supplier of the Mini-LED backlight units, while Quanta Computer is said to be tasked with final assembly of the...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
steam apple logo

Valve Ordered to Give Apple Information on 436 Steam Games As Part of Epic Games Legal Case

Thursday February 25, 2021 1:50 am PST by
Valve, the makers behind popular game distribution platform Steam, will be forced to hand over aggregate historical sales, price, and other information on 436 games hosted on the store to Apple, as part of the Apple vs. Epic Games antitrust case. As reported in a paywalled report by Law360, during a virtual discovery hearing on Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson ordered that...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...
apple store macarthur center

Apple Store at MacArthur Center in Virginia Permanently Closing Following Years of Safety Issues at Shopping Mall

Thursday February 25, 2021 4:45 pm PST by
Apple today indicated that its retail store at the MacArthur Center shopping mall in Norfolk, Virginia will be permanently closing after over 14 years of business, although an exact closure date has yet to be announced by the company. Apple has assured that it will be offering all employees at the store other positions within Apple, and said that it looks forward to continuing to serve...
qualcomm snapdragon x60 5g

iPhone 13 Lineup Expected to Use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 Modem With Several 5G Improvements

Wednesday February 24, 2021 8:10 am PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 13 lineup will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 5G modem, with Samsung to handle manufacturing of the chip, according to DigiTimes. Built on a 5nm process, the X60 packs higher power efficiency into a smaller footprint compared to the 7nm-based Snapdragon X55 modem used in iPhone 12 models, which could contribute to longer battery life. With the X60 modem, iPhone...
anker magsafe powercore battery pack

Anker Releases MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack for iPhone 12 Lineup

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:49 am PST by
Following rumors that Apple is working on a MagSafe battery pack for iPhone 12 models, popular accessory maker Anker has beaten Apple to the punch with the release of its PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank. First previewed at CES 2021, the PowerCore battery pack magnetically attaches to the back of any iPhone 12 model and provides 5W of wireless charging. With a 5,000 mAh capacity,...