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Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array

B&H # DRDRDR5A21 MFR # DRDR5A21
Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array

Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array Front Right View Back View SSD Slot

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Product Highlights

  • Highly Desktop Scalable Storage Array
  • 2 x Thunderbolt / 1 x USB 3.0
  • Holds 5 x 3.5' SATA HDDs (not included)
  • Holds 1 x mSATA SSD (not included)
  • Hot Swappable Drives
  • Battery Backed Memory
  • Any Drive/Manufacturer/Speed/Spindle
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You Pay: $694.00

What item is right for you?

Ask our Experts!

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 and one mSATA solid state drive (drives sold separately). 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 (Thunderbolt cable sold separately). We've talked about Thunderbolt before - it's 25 x 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 200GB file on a USB 2.0 drive, as you're late for an important meeting and running out the door. You'll be delayed for ten minutes or more, trust us. 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.

But Thunderbolt isn't the only option. The Drobo 5D also sports USB 3.0 connections, which is still 12 x 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.

And the Drobo 5D is built on the BeyondRAID 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 carrierless 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.

BeyondRAID Technology
BeyondRaid Technology 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.
Data Aware Tiering
Data-Aware Tiering technology, usually reserved for business-class storage solutions, is also available in this portable 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.
Thunderbolt and USB 3.0
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. This allows even the most portable laptop computers access to high-performance storage while retaining connectivity to other devices and an external monitor. Drobo is the only storage array that offers Thunderbolt and USB 3.0. This latest USB also offers high-performance connectivity and is backward compatibility with computers running compatible versions of Mac OS X or Windows.
Power and Critical Data
Drobo doesn't just protect you from a drive failure, but also from potential data loss after a power outage. Drobo Mini includes a battery that protects all data in memory, or cache, that is, data on its way to the drives. When power spontaneously goes away, the battery keeps the Drobo alive long enough for the data to be written to nonvolatile storage. The battery recharges itself and is designed to last for the life of the product.
Quiet
Drobo 5D is also significantly quieter than previous-generation Drobos due to its tuned, large, variable-speed cooling fan. You can even configure Drobo to spin down drives when they're not in use to further reduce noise and save energy.
Interface Thunderbolt / USB 3.0
Drive Types Supported SATA I/II/II, mSATA
System Requirements Mac OS X 10.7.x Lion
Mac OS X 10.8.x Mountain Lion
Windows 7 SP1 32 and 64 bit
Windows 8 32 and 64 bit
Power Requirements AC Input - 100-240VAC~2A, 50-60Hz
DC Output - 12V, 12.5A, 150W max
Dimensions (WxHxD) Width: 7.3 in x 5.9 x 10.3" / 150.3 x 185.4 x 262.3 mm
Weight 8.5 lb / 3.86 kg (without hard drives, power supply, or packaging)
Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array
  • USB 3.0 Cable
  • 6' power cord with power supply
  • Quick Start Card
  • Limited 2-Year Manufacturer Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    Drobo5D Professional Storage Array
     
    4.3

    (based on 147 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (89)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (40)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (4)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (5)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (9)

    89%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Easy to set up (90)
    • Easy to use (77)
    • Fast (75)
    • Highly compatible (48)
    • Compact (40)

    Cons

    • Heavy / bulky (6)
    • Slow (6)
    • Complicated to set up (3)
    • Loud (3)

    Best Uses

    • High volume (62)
    • Home (54)
    • Sensitive materials (29)
    • Multimedia (23)
    • Small networks (22)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Power user (88), Heavy duty user (20), Casual user (13), Frequent user (13)
      • Primary use:
      • Business (66), Personal (34)
      • Computer Platform:
      • Mac (87), PC (17)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Good But Sow

    ASUS G75VW, Win 7, USB 3.0, DROBO mirrored mode (RAID 6???}, with 5 2TB Seagate Barracuda drives, 256GB Crucial M4 MSATA installed.
    Real World: Sustained sequential large file...Read complete review

    ASUS G75VW, Win 7, USB 3.0, DROBO mirrored mode (RAID 6???}, with 5 2TB Seagate Barracuda drives, 256GB Crucial M4 MSATA installed.
    Real World: Sustained sequential large file transfers ~50GB
    Write ~ 61MBs
    Read ~ 101MBs
    Doesn't effectively use the full capacity of the MSATA drive. Good performance boost for about the first 1-1.5GB.
    Very slow in this mode. About 15-18MBs faster in standard mode (RAID 5???)
    Let's hope it's as reliable as they say it is.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Unimpressive performance; Easy to use

    I use the Drobo 5D every day at work. I've had it for about 6 months now. I've used it on several different computers with various configurations.

    To be brief:...Read complete review

    I use the Drobo 5D every day at work. I've had it for about 6 months now. I've used it on several different computers with various configurations.

    To be brief: This is not a solution for professional grade video editing nor is it likely to increase your productivity as a professional photographer if you're already using good quality external hard drives.

    I've upgraded the Drobo with the recommended 64GB mSATA SSD ("Accelerator" for "hot cache" as Drobo calls it), have 5 drives in the system, and connect via Thunderbolt. Real world performance gets you an average speed of ~60MB/s. Best case scenario is transferring a single large file (zip, mov, etc) and that runs an average of ~100MB/s if you're lucky.

    Priorities for this product are ease of use, data security, and expandability. To get all that you sacrifice performance. Had I known this going in I would have purchased a different product.

    Reviewed by 147 customers

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    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Good Product

    By Jack Mars

    from New York

    About Me Power user

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Set Up
    • Fast

    Cons

    • Complicated To Set Up

    Best Uses

    • High Volume

    Comments about Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array:

    Used for NLE edit suite. Great set up for keeping a back up as you go. Only draw back on swapping drives...you have to swap all 5 as a set. Its a draw back for my purposes anyways.

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

    Share this review

     
    4.0

    Thunderbolt!

    By Matt

    from KY

    About Me Power user

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fast

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array:

        I usually use G-Drive for all my production environment needs however due to budgetary restraints had to go with a Drobo. This works well but noticed a big difference between usb 3 and thunderbolt in just detecting the drive - on the mac the drobo has a dashboard icon in the menu bar that allows for setup and monitoring health among other things. The issue I have is with USB 3 (this is 5gb so a fast connection) it takes a few minutes sometimes to detect the drobo which is directly connected to the Mac Pro! With a Thunderbolt connection (20gb much faster) it took just seconds, but what I would expect when the unit is directly connected. The dashboard appears to scan the network first, so it may be a setting but again odd the default setting would not pop up the unit that is directly connected regardless of interface.

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

        Share this review

         
        1.0

        Terrible warranty and support

        By ahoyboyhoy

        from New York, NY

        About Me Power user

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • High Volume

            Comments about Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array:

            This product comes with just a one year warranty (less than all of my hard drives within it) and once you are out of warranty, the Drobo will not assist you even with questions over the phone in regards to handling a drive failure. I didn't ask to have the product replaced, I asked "what does it mean when the device says this". In my particular case, a drive has failed and the instructions on how to proceed without losing data is extremely confusing. After following the instructions as best I could and getting more errors, I called Drobo and was denied ANY help without purchasing extended care at $[$]/year. There are a ton of bad reviews about Drobo's customer service elsewhere and they appear to be true.All that aside, the device performs pretty well (~250MB/s R/W w/ 5 drives single redundancy) and is flexible with drive configuration (add drives, replace drives, different models, different speeds).

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

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Perfect

            By Multimedia Designer

            from Minnesota

            About Me Power user

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Manage
            • Easy To Set Up
            • Fast

            Cons

            • Bulky
            • Loud

            Best Uses

            • High Volume

            Comments about Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array:

            Our old model died and we needed a new unit. The customer service was amazing for the process of switching things over. Its been fast and exactly what we needed. Does get a little loud but I understand that cannot be fixed.

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

            Share this review

             
            4.0

            Works great

            By CK

            from KCMO

            About Me Power user

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Fast
            • Highly Compatible

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • High Volume
              • Small Networks

              Comments about Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array:

              Takes a while to get up and running, but easy once done. Best used for scratch disk (imo). Start up time is slow, but fast after that.

              I was hesitant to buy at first because I knew it is a proprietary system. (I was trying to avoid buying one if possible) However, I found this to be a great deal and ended up saving some money overall. We'll see how recovery works if ever need be.... that may be where the drobo issues lie.

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

              Share this review

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Never loose your data!

              By Wasey

              from Dallas

              Comments about Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array:

              I've had the 2nd gen drobo for a LONG time and I love it. Has never let me down. This is my 2nd drobo too the place of my primary and I couldn't be happier

              Share this review

               
              4.0

              Great upgrade!

              By PhotoPhil

              from San Francisco, CA

              About Me Power user

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Manage
              • Easy To Set Up
              • Fast

              Cons

              • No Thunderbolt Cable Incl
              • Proprietary

              Best Uses

              • Archiving
              • Digital Asset Management

              Comments about Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array:

              I upgraded to the Drobo 5D from my old gen 2 4-bay. It's a world of difference. Using Thunderbolt, my images load extremely quickly in Lightroom. I'm also able to edit video using the Drobo as a scratch disc. Multicam footage still slows down, but it is fast enough for light editing in Final Cut Pro X.

              Using the mSATA does not provide a huge difference, but it is noticeable and advised.

              It's not as fast as a RAID-0, but it does get the job done, and it is so much easier to maintain.

              I only wish that Drobo did not make everything proprietary. Even the USB cable is proprietary, why not use a normal one?

              Also, no Thunderbolt cable included...

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

              Share this review

               
              4.0

              Simple RAID

              By Jeff C.

              from Cincinnati, OH

              About Me Power user

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Manage
              • Easy To Set Up
              • Fast

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • High Volume
                • Sensitive Materials

                Comments about Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array:

                This is my second Drobo array. Drobo is very simple to set up, and transparent to use. Having had to recover from a failed hard drive in the past, I no longer depend just upon backups. I am using this array to store my primary photo library, and some archived libraries (about 7TB). One of the best features of the Drobo is you don't have to use matching hard drives, which makes expanding much easier.

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

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                A big bad boy

                By DickW

                from Atlanta

                Comments about Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array:

                A dramatic improvement over the 4 drive Drobo fast enough for video editing and remarkable reliability. Moving from the Drobo to the 5D was a breeze.

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                Excellent Product

                By Angelo

                from Houston, TX

                About Me Power user

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Compact
                • Easy To Manage
                • Easy To Set Up
                • Fast
                • Highly Compatible

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • High Volume
                  • Home
                  • Small Networks

                  Comments about Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array:

                  This is my 3rd Drobo and it gets easier to set up and faster to upload every time with unbelievable capacity.

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

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  Perfected over time...

                  By Walt the ProPhotographer

                  from Dallas, TX

                  About Me Power user

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Manage
                  • Easy To Set Up
                  • Fast
                  • Highly Compatible

                  Cons

                  • None

                  Best Uses

                  • High Volume
                  • Home
                  • Small Networks

                  Comments about Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array:

                  I've been a Drobo user for over four years and really like their products. I know that many people don't care for Drobo BUT they have perfected their product both software and hardware. I maxed out the mSATA to 480GB and currently have a configuration of 2Tx2Tx3Tx3T with one more slot to fill. About a month ago, one of my hard rives failed. It alerted me and all I had to do was change it out with a new drive. And that was it. Nothing was lost. I like that its thunderbolt as well because the connection for me is fast. As a professional photographer, I use this Drobo as my main network drive storing thousands of photos and videos. I use my original old Drobo as my backup device and its still working as well even though the connection is USB. But either way, the 5D is great and personally I think its fast. Although their software is only used on their products, it works very well and the performance is superb.

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

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  A very cool tool!

                  By Resistance is Futile!

                  from Rochester, NY area

                  About Me Power user

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Compact
                  • Easy To Manage
                  • Easy To Set Up
                  • Fast
                  • Highly Compatible

                  Cons

                  • Heavy

                  Best Uses

                  • Backup
                  • High Volume
                  • Home
                  • Sensitive Materials
                  • Small Networks

                  Comments about Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array:

                  At the moment, Massive storage. It is very compact and very easy to use. When packed with drives, it is very heavy, I didn't expect this, so don't plan on carting it around a lot.

                  • Primary use:
                  • Personal
                  • Computer Platform:
                  • PC

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  Best Value

                  By jayrock

                  from Brooklyn, NY

                  About Me Power user

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Manage
                  • Easy To Set Up
                  • Highly Compatible

                  Cons

                  • Slow

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array:

                    I popped in 6TB drives in my Drobo for a total of 30TB. You can't beat the price/value if you're just looking for storage and not for a working/edit drive.

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

                    Share this review

                    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Perfect backup - with drive spindown

                    By DefaultIT

                    from CA

                    About Me Power user

                    Verified Reviewer

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Manage
                    • Easy To Set Up
                    • Efficient
                    • Native Thunderbolt
                    • Ssd Accelerated

                    Cons

                    • Slow

                    Best Uses

                    • Backup
                    • Home

                    Comments about Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array:

                    Lots of array experience here, but never Drobos because they're comparatively slow (BeyondRAID simply has a lot of overhead). Nonetheless I've come to the conclusion that these are perfect for backup. Decent price:capacity ratio, and 2 important benefits; 1. Drives spin down. Big deal for me; the efficiency of the new Mac Pro has me thinking more about energy use in my system; doing a nightly backup with drives idle the rest of day saves both power and drive wear (to some extent). I'm not aware of any other array that'll do this.2. Expandable. You know that already, but it's the nature of the time savings that's appealing here: backup migration sucks....often taking days, temporary storage (and lots of it) and sometimes loss of redundancy, which is high risk time. Being able to hot expand eases my mind a lot.Oh, and 3. Super quiet. Drive noise is almost completely isolated, and the fan is only audible from within a couple feet in a silent room. In an open rack shelf under my desk, I can't hear it even a little from where I sit, 3-4 feet away.So...maybe not for color work in 5k, but certainly a painless and efficient backup system, and that's not to be undervalued. After a TON of research and a solid 6 months in use now, I'm a happy customer.

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

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Great Product!

                    By Mark

                    from Lincoln, NE

                    About Me Power user

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Manage
                    • Easy To Set Up
                    • Fast

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array:

                        This is a well-designed product. I've used many other external usb and network backup drives and have extensive experience with enterprise RAID arrays. The Drobo just works. Plug in the drives and there is really only one checkbox - whether you want single or dual drive redundancy, meaning that loss of two drives will cause loss of data. Also it is FAST. With USB 3 it's almost as fast as an internal SATA drive. I highly recommend the Drobo 5.

                        • Primary use:
                        • Personal
                        • Computer Platform:
                        • PC

                        Share this review

                        (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        1.0

                        Drobo Troubles

                        By Saul

                        from DC

                        About Me Casual User

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                          Cons

                          • Complicated To Set Up

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array:

                            I upgraded from a Drobo 2nd gen to this 5D with a Mac OS-X. Computer had problems located the Drobo, so I turned to Tech Support. Called almost every day - got terrible advice that cost me $200 in unneeded programs. After a week and daily calls to Drobo, they raised my problem to level 3 and the tech person solved my problem in 30 minutes. I asked for my $200 back - but am being ignored. I would advise against buying this product!!

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

                            Share this review

                             
                            5.0

                            Amazing security

                            By Pittphoto

                            from Pittsburgh

                            Comments about Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array:

                            Love it

                            Share this review

                             
                            5.0

                            Excellent RAID

                            By Chris

                            from Lakewood Ranch Florida

                            About Me Casual User

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Easy To Set Up
                            • Fast

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Photography

                              Comments about Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array:

                              Works perfectly, now I do not have t worry about losing all my photos. Even if 3 drives fail and my hard drive fail I still have everything.

                              • Primary use:
                              • Personal
                              • Computer Platform:
                              • PC

                              Share this review

                               
                              5.0

                              Your data is worth the price!

                              By Leonard

                              from NYC, NY

                              About Me Power user

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Easy To Manage
                              • Easy To Set Up
                              • Fast

                              Cons

                              • No Thunderbolt Cable

                              Best Uses

                              • High Volume
                              • Home
                              • Sensitive Materials

                              Comments about Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array:

                              So far it's been great, editing huge files straight off the Drobo. Thunderbolt makes transferring files super quick... make sure you get 7200RPM drives for it's full potential! Easy to use easy to install.

                              I wish is when you put your computer to sleep, I wish the Drobo goes to sleep too.

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

                              Share this review

                              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              2.0

                              Great device. Poor service

                              By Papafins

                              from Willis, TX

                              About Me Power user

                              Verified Reviewer

                              Pros

                              • Easy To Set Up
                              • Highly Compatible

                              Cons

                              • Poor Service

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about Drobo 5D Professional Storage Array:

                                The drobo works great BUT after about 6 months the fan began to make noise intermittently. I lived with it for a while but decided to get it taken care of before the warranty ran out. I contacted drobo to get a RMA but have not gotten anything but the runaround. They wanted a video of it. I sent on to them but they said it needed to be with the drives out. Did I mention it was intermittent? Imeadently after removing the drives it was still making noise. But now it is not. Did I mention it was intermittent? The noise is clearly fan. I know what a drive sounds like when it is going bad. Was going to buy extended warranty but may just turn it into a boat anchor and find a device I can get service for.

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

                                Share this review

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