If you haven't heard of the Drobo, you're probably not being as productive as you could be. The Drobo 5D is one of the easiest to use, simplest to maintain and most effective enclosure bays in its field of data storage. The Drobo 5D offers room for up to five 3.5" SATA I/II/III drives (sold separately) and one mSATA solid state drive. It handles drives from any manufacturer, at any capacity, spindle speed and cache. You can add drives on the go - hot-swapping drives is not a problem for the Drobo 5D.
But what puts this unit ahead in the storage game are the dual Thunderbolt ports. The Thunderbolt is 25x faster than USB 2.0 - and its data transfer rates almost approach warp speed, but more importantly, for disk arrays of this size, it reliably and safely transfers big-project data across multiple disks. Imagine having to put a crucial 200 GB file on a USB 2.0 drive, as you're late for an important meeting and running out the door. The same crucial information on a Thunderbolt attached drive - 20 seconds.
You can also daisy-chain up to six Thunderbolt devices and/or a non-Thunderbolt monitor at the end of the chain. With six Drobo 5D arrays in a chain, you can have up to 96 TB of usable capacity. And, the bi-directional 10 Gbps performance of Thunderbolt allows all devices in the chain to achieve maximum throughput. They even throw in the Thunderbolt cable so Mac users can get started immediately. But Thunderbolt isn't the only option.
The Drobo 5D also sports USB 3.0 connections, which is still 12x above the transfer rates for USB 2.0. This interface allows PC users to utilize the power of the Drobo 5D right out of the box.
The Drobo 5D also uses their proprietary Data-Aware Tiering technology, usually reserved for business-class storage solutions, but also available in this desktop Drobo. It intelligently uses the high-performance flash in SSDs to accelerate performance of the storage array, allowing applications such as Adobe Premiere and Apple Aperture fast access to data. If you want a total, all-out speed/storage solution, you could load all the bays with solid state drives. Minimal seek time, no drive spinning - pure zoom.
The Drobo 5D is built on the Beyond RAID technology, which features single- or dual-drive redundancy. This added layer of protection will create mirrors of one drive so that you'll always have a backup. Paired with the ability to hot-swap drives, this conceivably allows you to formulate a game plan on the fly in the case of a drive failure or power outage. Speaking of power outages, the Drobo 5D also includes a battery backup for all data in memory or cache, - anything on its way to the drives, in other words.
The design of the unit has you in mind as well - it's sleek, sturdy and has a carrier less drive-bay design, so that hard drives fit closer to each other and the unit houses a significantly quieter variable-speed cooling fan. The Drobo 5D is the perfect choice for content managers or data archivists that need speed and performance and room in one easy-to-use desktop enclosure.
Reviewed by 2 customers
My iMAC's hard drive (1TB) was filling up with big photo files, and it was slowing down. I was desperate for a solution that would allow me to store the coming terabytes. I went to a local store and a helpful tech named Mike told me he had a Drobo. Showed it to me on-line. I read what I needed, did more research, talked to the Drobo tech people, and then bought the machine from Adorama at the lowest competitive price. I can't say how happy and relieved I am with the product. I can keep on photographing and storing now til kingdom come.
Easy to set up.