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Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet

B&H # DRDRDS4A21 Mfr # DRDS4A21
In Stock
Free Expedited Shipping
You Pay: $509.00
Product Highlights
  • 5-Bay Desktop HD NAS Enclosure
  • Holds 5x 3.5" SATA HDDs (not included)
  • Holds 1x mSATA SSD (not included)
  • Gigabit Ethernet Port, Cable Included
  • Mixed Drive Size Utilization
  • Thin Provisioning
  • Hot Swappable
  • BeyondRAID Features
  • Mac and Windows Compatible

The Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet is the optimal solution for small network needs. It features 5 carrier-less, tool-less drive bays that can hold anywhere from a single 200GB to 4TB drives in each bay, for a total maximum capacity of 20TB (drives sold separately). The 3.5" SATA II/III drives can be of mixed capacity, spindle speed and/or cache size, which makes replacing and hot-swapping drives a breeze. It also accommodates one mSATA solid state drive for quick access to any program you need, and allows you to keep the five 3.5" drive bays open for business.

Other features of the Drobo 5N that will command your attention are the features in the proprietary BeyondRAID technology of this unit. BeyondRAID supports RAID 1, 5, and 6 modes (single and dual redundancy for one to four or more drives), but additionally includes Thin Provisioning (the ability to swap a smaller drive with a larger one) Automatic Protection Levels (which uses the best algorithm to protect from drive failure depending on the number of drives that are inserted, without any user configuration) and many more.

Passing all of that data through a USB 3.0 port may be effective, but transmitting over a Gigabit Ethernet 10/100/100MBps port allows you to easily connect to your network without the hassle of transferring, moving a drive, and transferring again. It also keeps the form factor down to a desktop square, convenient for offices short on space. And with the new large, tuned variable-speed cooling fan, it's much quieter than previous Drobos.

When considering consolidating your data, you have to look at cost, space and reliability. Many solutions can offer extras you don't need, and many more don't reach far enough to protect your assets. The Drobo 5N offers you expandability, security and design efficiency.

Data Protection and Expandability Made Simple
Built on award-winning BeyondRAID technology with single- or dual-drive redundancy, Drobo 5N protects your data without any user interaction, even in the event of multiple drive failures. Drives can be added or hot-swapped on-the-fly for storage expansion with zero downtime. If you're running low on space, the lights on the front tell you what to do. Just add a drive in an empty bay or remove a smaller drive and replace it with a larger one.
High-Speed Connectivity
The Drobo 5N is equipped with a single Gigabit Ethernet port for network connectivity and connects directly to your network to make sharing your data easy. Just plug it into any switch or wireless router and you're ready to go. You can even connect the Drobo 5N directly to the Ethernet port on your computer without having to configure any settings.
Capacity AND Performance
Data-Aware Tiering technology, usually reserved for business-class storage solutions, is also available in this networked Drobo. It intelligently uses the high-performance SSDs to accelerate performance of the storage array, allowing applications such as Adobe Lightroom and Apple iPhoto or iTunes fast access to data. To keep capacity of the Drobo at a maximum, the Drobo Accelerator Bay accepts an industry-standard mSATA SSD, leaving all five 3.5" drives bays available for high-capacity HDDs. If getting the fastest performance possible is your thing, you can also load up every drive bay with SSDs. Drobo gives you the flexibility to choose.
Power Protecting Your Critical Data
Drobo doesn't just protect you from a drive failure, but also from potential data loss after a power outage. Often found only in arrays that cost tens of thousands of dollars, Drobo 5D 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 non-volatile storage, ensuring your important information is safe. This battery recharges itself and is designed to last for the life of the product.
Designed for You
Drobo devices have always been space efficient and the Drobo 5N is no exception. It was designed from the ground up to provide very high capacity without taking up a lot of your valuable desk space. It is compact because of Drobo's unique carrierless drive-bay design, allowing drives to be installed very close to each other. Drobo 5N is also significantly quieter than previous-generation Drobos due to its large, tuned 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.
Capacity 0-20TB (Drives not included)
Array Type Desktop external
Bays 5
Drive Types Supported SATA II/III, mSATA
Drives of mixed capacity, spindle speed, and/or cache can be used.
RAID BeyondRAID
Desktop/Rackmount Desktop
Status Indicator • Drive bay indicator lights
• Capacity gauge
• Status lights
Input and Output Connectors 1 x Gigabit Ethernet port
Fan Single, fixed, variable speed cooling fan
Security Kensington Lock Port for Security (lock not included)
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
Electrical Requirements AC Input - 100-240VAC~2A, 50-60Hz
DC Output - 12V, 12.5A, 150W max
Environmental Requirements Not specified by manufacturer
Dimensions (WxHxD) 5.9 x 7.3 x 10.3" / 150.3 x 185.4 x 262.3mm
Weight 8.5 lb (without hard drives, power supply, or packaging)
Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet
  • 6' (1.8m) Ethernet Cable
  • 6' (1.8m) Power Cord with Power Supply
  • Quick Start Card
  • 2 - Year Standard Warranty

  • Included Free

    REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    Drobo5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet
     
    4.1

    (based on 51 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (25)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (15)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (5)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (5)

    84%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Easy to set up (38)
    • Easy to use (27)
    • Compact (23)
    • Fast (16)
    • Highly compatible (13)

    Cons

    • Slow (7)
    • Complicated to set up (3)

    Best Uses

    • Small networks (19)
    • High volume (17)
    • Home (15)
    • Sensitive materials (6)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Power user (25), Avid do-it-yourselfer (8), Casual user (6), Professional (6)
      • Primary use:
      • Personal (28), Business (18)
      • Computer Platform:
      • PC (17), Mac (14)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Much Needed but a tad slow.

    After manually backing up my photographs for years... I had a brand new harddrive fail that wasn't backed up and lost some photos... so I bought the Drobo 5n.
    Read complete review

    After manually backing up my photographs for years... I had a brand new harddrive fail that wasn't backed up and lost some photos... so I bought the Drobo 5n.

    After using it for 2 months, the product is working great. Transfer rates are slower than I anticipated, but since I am ONLY using this as backup, that is only an irritation. I am not sure if I could use this actively with my photography or video.

    Keep in mind, I did NOT purchase an optional mSATA card which will supposedly speed it up when using lightroom, etc.

    Design wise, the product is beautiful. Functional design is very nice as well. The only complaint I have is the power plug is an L-shaped plug and the weight of the cord / adapter pulls down, so ideally the back end should hang off the desk completely... else I feel like it puts unneeded pressure on the plug interface which worries me long-term.

    Setup was a nightmare for the first 3 hours, but I happened to buy the product when their website was transitioning so none of the dashboard links would work. After identifying the problem, their support staff apologized profusely and followed up with my multiple times over the next few days to ensure I was happy and my issue was solved (which is was). As long as the website doesn't change providers again, you should be ok.

    Turning on the Drobo takes between 10-20 secs for the computer to find it each time, but once it is recognized, it shows up as a single drive letter. I installed the dashboard on 2 pcs and 3 macs and it works flawlessly across platforms.

    I bought 3 new 2 TB drives, and used 2 of my old 2TB drives (all different kinds) which gives the Drobo a big advantage over RAID configuations like I use at work which need the same speed, same type, same size, etc.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Outstanding, but SMB is Flawed

    This is a genuinely outstanding product—albeit a flawed one for Apple Mac and Linux users. (More about that below.)

    This network-attached storage device makes provisioning a RAID set...Read complete review

    This is a genuinely outstanding product—albeit a flawed one for Apple Mac and Linux users. (More about that below.)

    This network-attached storage device makes provisioning a RAID set trivially easy. Pop in two or more drives, decide whether you want single-disk or dual-disk redundancy, and the firmware does the rest. The drives are hot-swappable and if you don't populate all five slots right away you can add additional drives at any time. Remarkably, you can even mix drives of different sizes and the Drobo will partition your datasets in a manner that allows you to use all the aggregate storage capacity. If the slots are filled and you start to run out of space, you can just yank out a drive and replace it with a higher-capacity one—or, leaving time between replacements for the array to rebuild, upgrade all the drives in the machine. I've been working with RAID for almost 20 years and I've never seen provisioning made any simpler.

    Performance is quite respectable for a network-attached storage device. Depending on the mix of file sizes, proportion of writes to reads, and aggregated volume of data transferred, I'm seeing between 300 and 400 Mb/s over Gigabit Ethernet. Even over a 100 Mb/s Ethernet or a wireless link, file access speed should be adequate for casual use. Network-attached storage supports simultaneous access by multiple computers and is a good choice for file sharing and for back-ups of even large datasets. But if you're using the Drobo as a primary filesystem for photographic post-processing or video editing, the channel-attached Drobo 5D, which implements Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 direct connections, may be a more appropriate choice.

    The device emits a modest but audible hum and there's a little head-seek noise when it's working hard, but I'm comfortable having it sit on a table a few feet from my working position in a quiet home office. Drobo supplies a cleanly-designed, stand-alone application for managing the device, rather than using the kind of web-based management portal typical of other commercial NAS servers. Sophisticated users may want to install a secure shell service (available as an add-on but not supported by Drobo) for access to command-line scripts that can be used control some functions.

    Unfortunately, Drobo's implementation of the SMB file-sharing protocol is, to put it as charitably as possible, nonstandard—and this may be a significant problem for Mac and Linux users. Although it runs on embedded Linux and uses the open-source Samba software suite to implement SMB, the Drobo's configuration automatically and quite nonsensically modifies the permission bits on files transferred from computers that employ a UNIX-style filesystem. So while the content of a file will be intact after a round-trip between a Mac or Linux client and the Drobo, the file permissions won't be the same as they were before the file was stored on the server. I have several other Samba-based file servers (and have used many more over the years), and this is the first one I have encountered that exhibits this pathology.

    If you're using the Drobo as your primary filesystem—i.e., storing all your files on the Drobo rather than on a Mac or Linux computer—this won't be a problem because the SMB share security model will control user access rights; in other words, the native permissions associated with the file will be irrelevant. But this a serious limitation if you're using the Drobo as a back-up system for Mac or Linux clients, or for archival storage, and the only workarounds are not supported by Drobo. I've been in contact with Drobo customer support about this issue and, while the company acknowledges this nonstandard behavior, the support reps I contacted were not able to provide a schedule for fixing the problem—or even a commitment to do so.

    Reviewed by 51 customers

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    5.0

    NAS storage

    By DJIPHANTOM

    from East Tennessee

    About Me Power user

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

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

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • High Volume
      • Home
      • Small Networks

      Comments about Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet:

      Love the massive disk space and RAID capability!

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

      Share this review

       
      3.0

      Good but flawed

      By Denver Dude

      from Denver, CO

      About Me Power user

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Manage
      • Easy To Set Up

      Cons

      • Slow

      Best Uses

      • Small Networks
      • Streaming Media

      Comments about Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet:

      This is probably a solid unit for storing streaming media and normal files. However, my primary use for it was to be a Time Machine backup for several Macs. The TM sparse bundles for these backups have single directories that can contain tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of small, 8 MB files and that is where the 5N fell flat.Like most NAS boxes, the 5N is woefully underpowered and runs unusably slowly with such large directories. My Drobo 5D (thunderbolt interface) is great and handles such directories with no problems, presumably because the 5D is a block server, not a file server.

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

      Share this review

      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Pray it doesn't fail

      By gmdtoo

      from Phoenix

      About Me Power user

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

        Cons

        • Failure Prone
        • Slow
        • Terrible Support

        Best Uses

        • High Volume

        Comments about Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet:

        I purchased a Drobo S 5 years ago and decided to upgrade to a 5N. Just as I was about to order a drive failed and the entire system went offline. A week has now gone by with no resolve. I was asked if I had the files backed up elsewhere. I thought that is what I purchased the Drobo for. I've been told I need to purchase the new unit before I can get complete support, but they aren't sure they can solve the problem. Why should I invest in another unit that may or may not work? Terrible support. The first unit went bad and after going round and round they sent a replacement, but the original files were lost. Figure out another way.

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

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        what I needed !

        By Eyal

        from NC

        About Me Power user

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Manage
        • Easy To Set Up
        • Fast

        Cons

        • No Web Admin Support

        Best Uses

        • High Volume

        Comments about Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet:

        Great NAS storage.

        Don't like that you need to install a desktop app for managing and there is no phone app ....

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

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        the best small business NAS server

        By Norm

        from Cal City, CA

        Comments about Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet:

        This unit is as fast as your pic hard drive, even though it is shared by ethernet. Remember to get the sad option and five NAS type drives for speed. Well worth the money.

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Works as it says

        By Photos and more

        from Mass

        Comments about Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet:

        Easy connection and streaming fast over wifi

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Drobo 5N is great

        By Data

        from Minneapolis, Mn

        About Me Power user

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

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

        Cons

        • None

        Best Uses

        • High Volume
        • Home
        • Small Networks

        Comments about Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet:

        The Drobo 5n is a great Storage device. I also had the Drobo Pro which gave me 16TB of fully redundant disk.

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

        Share this review

         
        4.0

        Big Storage . . . small footprint

        By Tony-HI

        from Kailua, HI

        About Me Power user

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Compact
        • Easy To Manage
        • Large Storage

        Cons

        • Frustrating Initial Set U

        Best Uses

        • Backup System
        • High Volume
        • Small Networks

        Comments about Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet:

        This is only a 4-star rating due to a less-than-flawless initial setup. I already have a 5D and purchased the 5N after my Synology backup 5-drive system decided to cease functioning for no apparent reason.

        A Drobo is a Drobo is a Drobo in terms of operation and setup so I didn't expect any issues with the 5N and, to be fair, the difficulties were annoying not overwhelming or show stoppers.

        During the initial setup with 4 x 4TB HDD and 1 x 2 TB HDD, the 5N wouldn't recognize any of the drives and all drive lights were red.

        I manually updated the firmware version since that was a potential problem pointed out by the error message but that didn't resolve the problem.

        Some troubleshooting on the Drobo technical support FAQ page found an article which took me through a no-drive-installed boot up sequence, Drobo reset, power down, and reboot with drives installed which was successful.

        At that point, with all five drives recognized, the configuartion was the typical painless Drobo setup and my backups using Acronis True Image 2014 have been proceeding painlessly each day ever since.

        I use the 5N to back up my primary work drive (Drobo 5D) which contains all images, graphic design elements, accounting data, etc, from my photography business.

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

        Share this review

         
        4.0

        It is as advertised.

        By Steve Dave

        from Alexandria, VA

        About Me Power user

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Apps Are A Nice Feature
        • Easy To Set Up
        • Improvement Over Drobo 2

        Cons

        • Mssd Seems Useless
        • Need To Reformat Arrays
        • Slower Than It Should Be

        Best Uses

        • Data Backup
        • Media Server

        Comments about Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet:

        I have been a Drobo user since the beginning. I got involved early with a gen 1, and have used a gen 2 since 2009 with no problems. This spring, I decided to go with a 5D after much deliberation. The speed was impressive (up to 160-180 MB/s), but it would not reliably connect via USB 3.0 for some reason. It would not reconnect after going to sleep, or after pc reboot. I would have to fiddle with it for 15 minutes sometimes to get it to connect. When weighed against the flexibility of the 5N and the available apps, etc., I decided to exchange the 5D for the 5N. Props to B&H by the way; not only did they have the lowest price I could find on the 5D and the 5N, but they let me return the 5D AFTER the 30 day return period with no penalties whatsoever. Their customer service really came through for me. Anyway, the 5N has been pretty good, it performs admirably in its duties as a PLEX server, and runs reasonably cool and quiet. My only real complaint is that the disk array had to be reformatted from the 5D. It required a total reset/format. If I had not had my data backed up elsewhere, all would have been lost. If you are upgrading from a direct attach Drobo, BE AWARE, you will have the same problem. My only other head scratcher is the speeds I see...generally 50-70 MB/s (even with the mSSD). I have a Gb network, and I see 120 MB/s with my other devices. I know the Drobo overhead slows things down, but the 5N could write much faster, and was limited by USB 3.0, not its overhead. The 5D, however, appears limited by its own internal processes rather than network speed. All in all, it is a great buy, but as with all Drobo products, there is a caveat. In the end, their products are good enough for me; but they always have the potential to be great and fall slightly short.

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

        Share this review

         
        3.0

        Easy disk management, poor performance

        By Bob

        from Detroit, MI

        About Me Power user

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Compact
        • Easy To Manage
        • Easy To Set Up

        Cons

        • Slow

        Best Uses

          Comments about Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet:

          I bought the 5N for storing my photo library and work files. It replaces a home built Windows file server, which while it worked fine was a pain to upgrade or replace failed disks.

          The 5N was very easy to setup and get going. My primary reason for getting it was so that I didn't have to deal with failed hard drives. The 5N does that very well, pull a bad drive, plug in a good one. I even have dual disk failure enabled.

          On the negative side, it is noticeably slower than my file server, even using the same disks. That's not a huge problem most of the time, but it is noticeable when opening a large lightroom collection.

          Initially I had the unit set to spin down, but startup time was way to long, 30 seconds or longer and it seemed to go to sleep way too frequently. So I disabled that, it will cost me a little extra power and maybe the drives won't last as long. But I can live with that.

          • Computer Platform:
          • PC

          Share this review

           
          5.0

          Works Better Than I Exptected

          By SpearRanch Multimedia

          from Weatherford, TX

          About Me Power user

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Compact
          • Easy To Manage
          • Easy To Set Up

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • High Volume

            Comments about Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet:

            I'm very happy with this NAS. I own a small multimedia business and was having to delete too many video files and other project source files from events I had shot. So my primary purpose for purchasing this was archival storage; however, it would also be great if file retrieval was quick enough to provide 'first look' and search for specific footage/picture I was looking for. The Drobo 5N is doing both for me, and well. I already had two Seagate 4TB drives in an old server that I was using for archive storage so I reformatted the drives and moved them to the Drobo. When initially connecting the Drobo to your computer, the instructions say you may need to disable anti-virus and firewall software. After waiting about an hour for the Drobo to initialize, and was getting concerned that something was wrong, I went to the Drobo knowledgebase and determined disabling my anti-virus and firewall software would likely resolve the message indicated by the front lights. The knowledgebase suggestion was correct as the Drobo took about 25 minutes to complete initialization after disabling my anti-virus and firewall software. With some of the negative reviews about DOA Drobos, I waited to purchase additional drives until I knew my unit was operational. I purchased three more 4TB Seagate disks after making sure the Drobo was working properly with my two drives. Installing the drives is super easy. The attractive front panel to access the drives is attached magnetically to the chassis and the magnet is strong enough not to be concerned about the panel's accidental removal. After removing the front panel, the drives just slide into the Drobo's rack, blind mounting without any connectors or screws to mess with. So, with five 4TB drives installed, I did a 'pin' reset using a paper clip and following the simple instructions, and 14.5 TB of redundant storage was waiting for me online. The reset wasn't necessary but I didn't have any vital legacy data on them and I wanted to start completely fresh. I have a dual NIC in my computer so I connected the Drobo to the second NIC port providing direct access the NAS without having to go through my router. I also installed an mSATA into the Drobo. I have been very impressed with the speed at which I can write my large video files and many, many smaller picture files. The network performance monitor indicates I'm utilizing a little, on average, 50% of my 1 Gbps Ethernet interface! The read thereafter, is even faster which may be due to the mSATA. I've seen a few sputters when playing full 1080P .mp4 video files from the Drobo but it keeps up pretty well for the most part. Some reviews said the Drobo fan was too noisy. That was not my experience. I know many B&H customers are not IT professionals who may not feel comfortable with setting up less expensive but more 'manual' RAID setup. The Drobo "Beyond RAID' seems to automatically take care of all of the technical housekeeping just letting you focus on your core business without having to get a Microsoft certificate to set things and maintain the array. While having redundant mass storage makes me feel better about not losing my data, I know a Drobo hardware failure could still render my array inaccessible. I know I may sound a little paranoid but I've lost data previously when I thought I was completely immune – best laid plans indeed. But just how does one backup 15.5 TB of data? So I'm going to copy files from the Drobo to my 6 stand-alone external drives until they run out of space. Once that occurs, I'll probably buy another NAS to help prevent the single Drobo hardware failure scenario. Drobo does make other NAS systems that do that automatically but that was too much money to plunk down at one time for mass storage. I purchased the entire 15.5 TB setup for less than half of what I've paid for a lens!

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

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            NAS for my home network

            By bob

            from USA

            About Me Power user

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • File Archive

              Comments about Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet:

              Outgrew USB drives as storage for growing file library. Decided on Drobo5N mainly because of the capability of using dissimilar drives and ease of admin/use. Since you're working with the speed of your network expect to take days or a couple of weeks to move all your files to the Drobo. Plan your file structure before you just start throwing files around. If you create multiple shares and want to move files between them, they will move at the speed of network not the file system.

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

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              Great NAS appliance, easy to use

              By IT Guy from Allen

              from Allen, TX

              About Me Power user

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Manage
              • Easy To Set Up
              • Fast

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet:

                  I needed a solid backup solution for multiple PCs and laptops at my home. Additionally, my multimedia files (pictures, videos, DVDs, etc.) were contantly overtaking my "available" disk space.

                  Moving to a NAS solution has solved all of my problems. 20 TB of storage (14.5 TB usable) has reduced the amount of micro-management of backups any longer (the backup software is finally able to have enough storage to manage each device). Additionally, I've been able to better manage my multimedia on-line (this was not originally planned).

                  The Drobo is each to use and setup (it took a mere 34 minutes to unbox, load up with drives and get on the network). It is easy to manage and set up shares and "mount" from Windows and Linux.

                  Drawbacks are it is bit pricey but so far it is worth the cost for ease of use. The other unintended consequence was I had to upgrade my LAN from 10/100 to 10/100/1000 for optimal operation of my backups and the multimedia experience.

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

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  Not a speed demon, but it is very fast

                  By Frosty

                  from Baltimore

                  About Me Power user

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Manage
                  • Easy To Set Up
                  • Fast
                  • Highly Compatible
                  • Nice Dashboard For 5n

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • High Volume
                    • Home
                    • Small Networks

                    Comments about Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet:

                    Installed in it five (5) 4-TB NAS hard drives and a Crucial msata drive, and began data transfer from the DROBO FS 5-bay. I set it for dual disk redundancy (two simultaneous drive failures).

                    It contains about 5.45-TB of music, movies (.avi's, .iso's), and complete copy of assorted other files from my laptop 1-TB SSD D-drive.

                    It is much faster than the DROBO-FS at all levels of searching, writing and reading. I'm very pleased with the purchase.

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

                    Share this review

                    (20 of 20 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    3.0

                    Outstanding, but SMB is Flawed

                    By Chris

                    from Washington, DC

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Compact
                    • Easy To Manage
                    • Easy To Set Up

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Back-ups
                      • File Sharing
                      • Home
                      • Small Networks

                      Comments about Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet:

                      This is a genuinely outstanding product—albeit a flawed one for Apple Mac and Linux users. (More about that below.)

                      This network-attached storage device makes provisioning a RAID set trivially easy. Pop in two or more drives, decide whether you want single-disk or dual-disk redundancy, and the firmware does the rest. The drives are hot-swappable and if you don't populate all five slots right away you can add additional drives at any time. Remarkably, you can even mix drives of different sizes and the Drobo will partition your datasets in a manner that allows you to use all the aggregate storage capacity. If the slots are filled and you start to run out of space, you can just yank out a drive and replace it with a higher-capacity one—or, leaving time between replacements for the array to rebuild, upgrade all the drives in the machine. I've been working with RAID for almost 20 years and I've never seen provisioning made any simpler.

                      Performance is quite respectable for a network-attached storage device. Depending on the mix of file sizes, proportion of writes to reads, and aggregated volume of data transferred, I'm seeing between 300 and 400 Mb/s over Gigabit Ethernet. Even over a 100 Mb/s Ethernet or a wireless link, file access speed should be adequate for casual use. Network-attached storage supports simultaneous access by multiple computers and is a good choice for file sharing and for back-ups of even large datasets. But if you're using the Drobo as a primary filesystem for photographic post-processing or video editing, the channel-attached Drobo 5D, which implements Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 direct connections, may be a more appropriate choice.

                      The device emits a modest but audible hum and there's a little head-seek noise when it's working hard, but I'm comfortable having it sit on a table a few feet from my working position in a quiet home office. Drobo supplies a cleanly-designed, stand-alone application for managing the device, rather than using the kind of web-based management portal typical of other commercial NAS servers. Sophisticated users may want to install a secure shell service (available as an add-on but not supported by Drobo) for access to command-line scripts that can be used control some functions.

                      Unfortunately, Drobo's implementation of the SMB file-sharing protocol is, to put it as charitably as possible, nonstandard—and this may be a significant problem for Mac and Linux users. Although it runs on embedded Linux and uses the open-source Samba software suite to implement SMB, the Drobo's configuration automatically and quite nonsensically modifies the permission bits on files transferred from computers that employ a UNIX-style filesystem. So while the content of a file will be intact after a round-trip between a Mac or Linux client and the Drobo, the file permissions won't be the same as they were before the file was stored on the server. I have several other Samba-based file servers (and have used many more over the years), and this is the first one I have encountered that exhibits this pathology.

                      If you're using the Drobo as your primary filesystem—i.e., storing all your files on the Drobo rather than on a Mac or Linux computer—this won't be a problem because the SMB share security model will control user access rights; in other words, the native permissions associated with the file will be irrelevant. But this a serious limitation if you're using the Drobo as a back-up system for Mac or Linux clients, or for archival storage, and the only workarounds are not supported by Drobo. I've been in contact with Drobo customer support about this issue and, while the company acknowledges this nonstandard behavior, the support reps I contacted were not able to provide a schedule for fixing the problem—or even a commitment to do so.

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

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                      4.0

                      Good NAS, haven't had any problems

                      By Pleasantly Surprised

                      from Pleasanton, CA

                      About Me Casual User

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy To Manage
                      • Highly Compatible

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Small Networks

                        Comments about Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet:

                        I had a little trouble setting this thing up. After restarting my computer a couple times, my computer found the drobo. It's a little slower than I thought it would be, but it could be my router. I just purchased a 802.11ac router, so hopefully the speeds pick up then. The connection has been steady and I haven't had any problems with it. Time Machine capable! I would buy this again.

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

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                        (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        1.0

                        Stay AWAY from DROBO and this product!

                        By ZONECHASER

                        from Knoxville, TN

                        About Me Power user

                        Verified Reviewer

                        Pros

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

                        Cons

                        • Drobo Support Sux
                        • Proprietary Storage Sys
                        • Unreliable

                        Best Uses

                        • None Paperweight

                        Comments about Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet:

                        If I could give this product a negative rating I would. I have purchased several of these units and have been very happy with them until now. This last one has not worked correctly from day one. The unit seems to work fine until put under a load. As soon as I try to start copying files to it, it stops responding and will not respond until rebooted. I have been working with DROBO tech support for months now and fought with them to replace the unit. I even gave them a credit card number to ensure that they would get the old unit back. They will not give me a tracking number! The replacement unit is a week overdue and now they won't help me any more. Google issues with DROBO and you will see that they use a proprietary drive format that locks up your information when their units brick. This means that you are held hostage to what ever they want to charge to help you. I loaded this unit with 3 brand new WD RED drives. I reset the unit three times and lost the data on it each time. The unit is just a pretty paper weight. You can never trust it and DROBO will not stand behind their products. STAY AWAY!

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

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                        5.0

                        Nice product

                        By CramerTV

                        from Irvine, CA

                        Comments about Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet:

                        Bought this to back my 3 apple computers and to store and stream audio and video files. So far I've only backed up one computer but everything is working well.

                        I would buy again if things keep going as smoothly as they have so far.

                        Share this review

                         
                        3.0

                        Drobo 5 N On a Mac Network

                        By Scott

                        from Southlake, TX

                        About Me Casual User

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Compact
                        • Easy To Set Up
                        • Fast

                        Cons

                        • Complicated To Set Up
                        • Poor documentation

                        Best Uses

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

                        Comments about Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet:

                        The unit with HDD's came adequately packed and protected, no problem. I have a Drobo 5d to compare to, and it has the same excellent aesthetic, and build quality.

                        The HDD's were easy to put in. There are minimal wires to attach, so no problem there. You must download the desktop software to make this work, and this was not a problem....for my computer. However, I am having problem getting the rest of the computers to be able to back up to Drobo using Time Capsule. I have made one call to tech support so far. I will have to make another. I do anticipate it will work- eventually.
                        The documentation is not great on line, and nil in the box.

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

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                        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        2.0

                        Not recommended for Mac users

                        By Guillermo Flores

                        from Guadalajara, México

                        About Me Power user

                        Verified Reviewer

                        Pros

                        • Easy To Manage
                        • Easy To Set Up

                        Cons

                        • Slow

                        Best Uses

                        • Sensitive Materials
                        • Small Networks

                        Comments about Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array with Gigabit Ethernet:

                        This product cannot be used in Mac OS Extended Format, so when you have a folder with many subfolders, OSX can take very long to show the contents of folders.

                        For example, I have a folder containing around 950 subfolders. When I select it, it takes 1 minute for the Finder to show the contents.

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

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                        • Instant Savings: -$10.00
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                        Warranties & Support

                        Drobo -  3 Year DroboCare Extended Warranty for Drobo 5N
                        • You Pay: $169.00
                        Electronic Download i This product must be downloaded from the Manufacturer's website. You should receive the license code to complete your order within 1-3 business days. Orders placed on Weekends or Holidays are processed the next business day.
                         
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