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Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation)

B&H # DRDDR3A21 Mfr # DDR3A21
In Stock
Free Expedited Shipping
Price: $329.00
Instant Savings: $40.00
Offer ends: DEC 27 '14

You Pay: $289.00
Product Highlights
  • 4-Bay Desktop HD Enclosure
  • Holds 4 x 3.5" SATA HDDs (not included)
  • USB 3.0 Port, Cable Included
  • Mixed Drive Size Utilization
  • Thin Provisioning
  • Hot Swappable
  • BeyondRAID Features
  • Mac and Windows Compatible

The third generation 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array from Drobo is capable of holding up to four 3.5" SATA I/II/III hard disks from a variety of manufacturers, with differing capacities, speeds, and memory allocations. You can install each drive without the need for additional tools or accessories. Each drive bay is also hot-swappable allowing you to replace drives without shutting down your system.

The Drobo storage array comes equipped with one USB 3.0 port to plug it into Mac computers running Mac OS X 10.7. or higher, and Windows computers running Windows 7 (32- or 64-bit), or Windows 8/8.1 (32- or 64-bit). Once connected, you can take advantage of the HFS+ file system for use with Mac computers and the NTFS file system for use with Windows computers. Additionally, you can see the status of the Drobo as represented by the drive bay indicator lights, the capacity gauge, and status lights to ensure your Drobo is functioning properly.

This Drobo storage array comes compatible with Apple Time Machine allowing you to create complete system backups directly from your Apple computer. You can even allocate a specific amount of data you wish to use for each system backup. Additionally, the included Drobo Dashboard software provides an intuitive user interface to manage all aspects of your Drobo from monitoring the status of the drives, to administrative tasks, and more.

Data Protection Made Simple
This third generation Drobo storage solution is built upon the enhanced BeyondRAID technology. BeyondRAID can be configured to protect against one or two simultaneous drive failures with just one click, automatically protecting your data without any user intervention. In addition, you can purchase the capacity that you need now and increase space by adding drives into empty slots, or by swapping smaller drives with larger ones. When you do, the additional capacity is instantly available.
Investment Plan
You can increase drive capacities with no downtime by adding or swapping in larger drives. You can also seamlessly upgrade to the latest platform Drobo has to offer by removing the existing disk pack from your previous generation system and moving them to the new Drobo. Upgrading to the latest technology not only provides an instant performance boost, it also delivers all the new features and benefits offered by the new Drobo.
Enhanced Time Machine Support
Apple's Time Machine can consume all of the capacity of an external storage system without a simple way to set capacity limits. By utilizing Drobo Dashboard users can easily allocate a specific amount of capacity to be dedicated for backups and preserve the remaining space for data storage.
Designed for You
This Drobo device has been designed to provide high capacity without taking up a lot of desk space. Its compact design is made possible through the use of Drobo's carrier-less drive bay design allowing drives to be installed very close to each other.
Power Protecting Your Critical Data
With integrated battery backup technology your data in memory or cache is protected. When power spontaneously goes out, Drobo moves any in-flight data to onboard flash in your Drobo so it will be protected. The protected data will be moved to your disk drives once power is restored. This ensures your important information is safe and sound. Additionally, the battery recharges itself and is designed to last for the life of the Drobo.
Drobo Dashboard
Drobo Dashboard is the single tool used to centrally manage all of your Drobo devices. Drobo Dashboard displays status as if all of your Drobos were right in front of you with the same status lights and capacity gauges that are on the front panel. All administration tasks are a single click away.
Integrated LEDs
Lights on the front panel tell you what's happening. Each blue LED along the bottom represents 10% utilization letting you know exactly how much capacity is consumed. Green, yellow, or red LEDs keep you informed of each drive's status at all times. You can also take off the magnetic cover to see exactly what each LED indicator means.
Drives Up to four 3.5" SATA I/II/III hard disk drives or solid state drives
Drives of any manufacturer, capacity, spindle speed, or cache
No carriers or tools required
Expandable by adding drives or hot-swapping drives with larger ones
(Drives sold separately)
Connectivity 1 x USB 3.0
Operating System Support Mac OS X 10.7. or higher
Windows 8/8.1 32 and 64 bit
Windows 7 32 and 64 bit
File System Support Mac OS X: HFS+
Windows: NTFS
Management Drive bay indicator lights, capacity gauge, status lights
Drobo Dashboard version 2.6 or later
BeyondRAID Features Thin provisioning
Instant expansion
Mixed drive size utilization
Automatic protection levels
Dual disk redundancy
Virtual hot spare
Data aware
Drive re-ordering
Power Requirements External power supply
AC Input: 100-240 VAC-2A, 50/60 Hz
DC Output: 12 V, 12.5 A, 150 W max
Fan Single, fixed, variable speed cooling fan
Additional Software Features Drive spin down
Dim lights
Hardware Features Carrier-less drive bays
Power fail protection
Kensington lock port for security (lock not included)
Dimensions (WxHxD) 5.0 x 6.3 x 10.7" / 152.4 x 160.0 x 271.8 mm
Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation)
  • 6.6 ft / 2 m USB 3.0 Cable
  • 6.0 ft / 1.8 m Power Cord with Power Supply
  • Limited 1-Year Manufacturer Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    Drobo4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation)
     
    4.3

    (based on 6 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (4)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    83%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Quiet (4)
    • Reliable (3)

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Back-up (5)
      • Large projects (3)
        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Multimedia professional (4), Tech savvy (3)
        • Primary use:
        • Business (3), Personal (3)
        • Computer Platform:
        • Mac (5)

      Reviewed by 6 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-6

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      5.0

      DROBOs ROCK!

      By Kirk

      from Cincinnati, OH

      About Me Power user

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Attractive Design
      • Compact
      • Easy To Set Up
      • Easy to use
      • High Capacity
      • Portable
      • Quiet

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Additional Storage
        • Backup
        • Photo Storage
        • Video

        Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

        This is my fifth purchase of a DROBO enclosure (3 for office and 2 for home) Needless to say, if I wasn't satisfied I wouldn't keep buying them.

        We have a Drobo 800 as our main video storage drive at my office. It is currently filled with approximately 24 TB worth of drive storage and we replace with larger drives as needed. We also have a Drobo 5s and this Drobo 4 for individual storage of ongoing projects.

        I also have two Drobo 5n enclosures at home. One is specific to storage of digital movies and the other photos and other stuff.

        The main draw to the Drobo was the infinite storage capacity which has been wonderful. Their support is top notch and extremely quick in the rare case that there is an issue we can't figure out (usually caused by us).

        I highly recommend Drobo for everyone's storage needs.

        • Primary use:
        • Business
        • Computer Platform:
        • PC

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Easy to use storage

        By obphotographer

        from North Carolina

        About Me Tech Savvy

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Reliable

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Backup
          • Large Projects

          Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

          This is my primary storage drive for my photos, it's easy to set up and drobo support is very helpful

          • Primary use:
          • Business
          • Computer Platform:
          • Mac

          Share this review

           
          4.0

          Easy Breezy

          By TomF

          from Seattle, WA

          About Me Multimedia Professional, Tech Professional, Tech Savvy

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Quiet
          • Reliable
          • Versatile

          Cons

          • Difficulty Connecting

          Best Uses

            Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

            Does what it advertises, takes various size drives and creates raided solution, simple and easy.

            • Primary use:
            • Personal
            • Computer Platform:
            • Mac

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Excellent product made better by USB 3.0

            By Stu

            from Walla Walla, WA

            About Me Multimedia Professional

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Fast Connectivity
            • Quiet
            • Reliable
            • Versatile

            Cons

            • Proprietary Format

            Best Uses

            • Archival Storage Of Digit
            • Backup
            • Large Projects

            Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

            I use my Drobo for my (huge) digital music library as well as to archive digital media and documents.

            The ability to upgrade capacity on the fly is extremely useful. The speed of USB 3.0 is a definite improvement over models limited to USB 2.

            The unit is well made and quiet. It's nice to be able to turn off the LEDs in an age when electronics make a room look like the deck of a spacecraft.

            The proprietary file system is a bit of a concern as it locks you in to Drobo hardware and can recovering from the total failure of a unit a problem.

            In addition it would be nice to be able to partition the unit into separate logical volumes; this would amke using the unit to hold clones of other disks straightforward.

            • Primary use:
            • Personal
            • Computer Platform:
            • Mac

            Share this review

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            2.0

            mixed feelings

            By art

            from Birmingham, Alabama

            About Me Multimedia Professional, Tech Savvy

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Inexpensive

            Cons

            • Slow Connection

            Best Uses

            • Backup
            • Laptops
            • Large Projects
            • Multimedia

            Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

            I used a Drobo 5D for the past 13 months to back up my photographic files. I do not keep files on my MacBook Pro running 10.9.4 since the SSD is not large enough. Working from the 5D via Thunderbolt was as fast as working from the hard drive of the laptop. Wonderfully quick. Six weeks out of warranty the Drobo quit mounting on the desktop and access to my files was impossible. Drobo support prefers to work through emails. Trading one email a day with me was too slow and accomplishing nothing. I eventually got them to talk to me on the phone. After almost 10 days working together we were able to temporarily mount the unit. I bought the Drobo 4-bay so I had somewhere to move the files off the 5D. It's USB3 and not nearly as fast. I eventually got most of my 7 TB of work off before the 5D stopped working again. I could not face spending more time with support and let the rest of the files go. Drobo is currently evaluating the 5D to repair or replace. The 4-bay is not as fast but working fine mostly. There are still times when it'll suddenly disappear from the desktop and require a restart. The 4_bay also makes a slight rumble/rattle at times as the drives spin. The fan is quieter than the 5D.
            ...Drobo support-decent but not fast
            ...Drobo 5D fast and great until it isn't.
            ...Drobo 4-Bay, not as fast and only fairly reliable.
            Drobo's 4-Bay is not very expensive and will be fine until I get something else.
            I'll use it and the 5D to back up my back up.

            • Primary use:
            • Business
            • Computer Platform:
            • Mac

            Share this review

            (6 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Drobo finally gets it right!

            By Jay

            from Austin, TX

            About Me Multimedia Professional

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Fast Connectivity
            • Quiet

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Backup
              • Multimedia

              Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

              I own two 2nd-generation Drobo 4-bay devices, and I've definitely had a love-hate relationship with them. Both Drobos had to be replaced at one point because of issues with the Firewire connections. Fortunately Drobo's customer service did a good job of working with me (the second time around at least), but it was still a frustrating experience.The biggest problem by far though with the first two generations of Drobos, and a constant source of frustration for me, was the speed of the devices, or the lack thereof to be more precise. Both of my Drobos were ridiculously slow for both write and read speeds. I quickly realized I would only be able to use them for backup and storage of music, photos, and video footage (and NEVER for video editing), and cringed every time I had to make a large file transfer to or from my Drobos.Then I got an e-mail a month ago from B&H offering me $50 off a new 3rd-generation Drobo (since I was a previous Drobo purchaser), with the new Drobo claiming to have a new architecture three times faster than the last generation. I of course scoffed at this, remembering claims of increased speed in the 2nd-generation upgrade with the new Firewire connection, which never even came close to reaching the full potential of Firewire speeds (in fact the Firewire connection on my devices never surpassed USB 2.0 speeds). At the same time, I will admit I was a bit curious about the claims, and very much wanting them to be true. Not finding a single hands-on review of the new Drobo online to back up the new speed claims, I decided to be the guinea pig and pre-ordered one from B&H, thinking that if the speed claims were false, I could always return it (a dangerous assumption since the hard drive migration process is only one-way and I would not have been able to migrate my drives back to my older Drobo, something I'll get to in a moment). My new Drobo arrived yesterday afternoon. Drobo claims all you need to do to migrate your hard drives from an existing Drobo 4-bay to the new Drobo 4-bay is to make sure the firmware on both Drobos is updated, then with the power off on both devices just move your hard drives from the old one to the new one. I did this, powered up the new Drobo, gave it about 5-10 minutes for hard drive activity to die down a bit (the Drobos have different firmwares and different "architectures", so I figured it would need a little time to reconfigure things internally), and then ran my speed tests (which I also ran on the old Drobo right before migrating, and also periodically over the lifetime of the Drobo).I ran my speed tests with Blackmagic Disk Speed Test (and checked results with iStat Menus disk usage menu) with stresses of 1TB and 5TB (and ran the tests several times). For reference, these tests were run on four identical 3TB Western Digital Green drives with a combined usable capacity inside the Drobo of 8GB, of which I was using almost 6.5GB (so they were pretty full, which partially explains the super slow speeds on my old Drobo, though the speeds weren't much better when the drives were mostly empty). These were also tested on a 2013 15" Retina MacBook Pro (using Firewire connection of 2nd-generation Drobo and Firewire to Thunderbolt adapter... which I've actually gotten slightly better results out of than connecting the Drobo Firewire directly to my 2009 MacBook Pro). I migrated these hard drives from the old Drobo to the new one, and ran identical tests before and after the migration. These are approximate AVERAGE speeds:Drobo 2nd-Generation results (before migration):Read: 15 MB/s (peak 30MB/s)Write: 10 MB/s (peak 22MB/s)Drobo 3rd-Generation results (after migration):Read: 130 MB/s (peak 200MB/s)Write: 80 MB/s (peak 180MB/s)Again, I did nothing else to these drives but move them from the 2nd-generation Drobo to the 3rd-generation Drobo, and I was seeing way more than just Drobo's claimed 3x performance improvements. I'm not claiming that everybody will see such drastic improvements (though I hope they do), as not everybody may have been experiencing such horrifically slow speeds on their 2nd-generation Drobos. And of course there are a ton of other factors to take into consideration.The main point here is that this new generation of Drobo does seem to be a vast improvement over the previous generation in terms of speed, and it's clearly internal architectural improvements and not just the addition of the USB 3.0 port (as the Firewire connection was not the limiting factor on the last generation of Drobos). It took them long enough, but it seems that Drobo have finally gotten it right this time with their original namesake device!IMPORTANT NOTE FOR PEOPLE MIGRATING TO THIS NEW 3RD-GENERATION DROBO FROM EITHER 1ST-GENERATION OR 2ND-GENERATION DROBOS: If like me you are interested in buying one of these new Drobos for performance improvements over your current Drobo and want to migrate your hard drives, based on the migration charts on Drobo's website this is a one-way road... i.e. once you take your drives out of your old Drobo and install them in the new 3rd-Generation Drobo, you WILL NOT be able to migrate these drives back to your older Drobo.Also, for people wanting to migrate drives over from another type of Drobo (i.e. not the standard 4-bay Drobo) to this Drobo, you are out of luck, but interestingly you can migrate drives from this new 3rd-Generation Drobo to the Drobo 5S if you are considering moving up to the 5S in the future. Here is Drobo's official migration chart that shows which devices you can migrate drives to and from drobo. There are a few other things I've noticed about the new Drobo. First of all, there is a new feature that lets Mac users format part of the Drobo for use specifically with Time Machine (this way Time Machine won't eventually use up the entire Drobo capacity), but this option seems to only be available when you are first setting up new drives in the Drobo... i.e. this option is not available for people migrating drives from an existing Drobo. There are also a handful of new features in Drobo Dashboard (that only appear when a 3rd-generation Drobo is selected) that may be useful in some cases. Under 'Status', there is now a drop-down menu that gives you two extra displays on top of the original 'System Information', one of which is 'Drive Information' that allows you to check the status and info of your hard drives in each individual bay (it even displays the serial number and firmware of each installed hard drive), and a 'Performance Load' display that shows read, write, and IOPS speeds. Under the Tools menu, the 'Standy' button for older Drobos becomes a 'Shutdown' button for the new Drobo, which ejects your Drobo from your computer and then turns it off (rather than leaving it on in standby mode like it does with older Drobos). And a new option now appears on the left column called 'Drobo Settings', which gives you the option to rename the Drobo (but only for internal naming in Drobo Dashboard... it will not change the name of your Drobo in Finder), a new option called 'Dual Disk Redundancy' that takes up more space for backup (doesn't say how much, so not sure if this is similar to a RAID 1 setup) so that you can have up to two drives fail at once and still be able to recover all your data. This is grayed out for me because I migrated an existing disk pack... you would have to set this up when you initially install your drives in the Drobo. There is also a 'Disk Drive Spindown' option that will spin down the disks after a period of inactivity (again, it doesn't specify how long, and doesn't allow you to set this) to save power and disk life. And lastly there is an option to dim the lights on the front of your Drobo, and this one you can adjust, using a slider that goes from 1 to 10. These are the only additions for the new Drobo that I've run across in Drobo Dashboard.On top of the above additions to the new Drobo, there is also new battery backup technology included in the Drobo, but only time and bad electrical wiring in my house and neighborhood will tell how well this works.The exterior of the new Drobo is nearly identical to the old one, having the exact same dimensions and almost same materials. The only noticeable changes are the addition of a much-needed power button on the back of the Drobo (I always had to unplug my old Drobos if I didn't want them to stay on in standby mode all the time), and the presence of only a single USB 3.0 port compared to the two Firewire ports and one USB 2.0 port on my old Drobos). Overall I'm very pleased with the performance of my new Drobo, with even a simple task like browsing files on the Drobo in Finder feeling almost as snappy as viewing files on my internal SSD (a huge improvement over often waiting several seconds for a folder to open on my old Drobos). And obviously transferring large files to and from the new Drobo will be a delight compared to days of yore. Lets just hope that this Drobo is more reliable and durable than my last two have been.

              • Primary use:
              • Personal
              • Computer Platform:
              • Mac

              Share this review

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