The Data Robotics Drobo 4-Bay Hard Drive Array Enclosure delivers an expandable solution for creative professions and small businesses in need of high performance backup storage. Built on BeyondRAID technology with single drive redundancy, the Drobo protects your data automatically, even in the event of multiple drive failures. Able to hold up to four hot-swappable drives, this system ensures you'll have a high-performance connection to virtually any system with available USB 2.0 and FireWire 800 connectivity. With its unique ability to mix and match drives of several different classifications, the Drobo allows you to instantly expand your capacity simply by adding or replacing a drive. With self-healing and drive redundancy technologies, the Drobo helps make sure your data is always safe and accessible.
Drobo Dashboard 2.0.2 via Firmware Update
You'll be able to install the Drobo Dashboard 2.0.2 via simple firmware update. It offers a variety of features not included in the original Drobo Dashboard, including:
View of all of your Drobos in one window
Get capacity and status for each Drobo
DroboCopy tasks run in the background
Get e-mail alerts about your Drobo
Drobo PC Backup
Purchasing unit entitles you to free download of Drobo PC Backup software. It allows you to:
Back up your PC to your Drobo with ease
Supports direct or network connections
Supports backup over USB, FireWire, or eSATA
Every Drobo product comes with the revolutionary BeyondRAID storage technology - the next generation of redundant disk protection. BeyondRAID not only keeps your data safe, but will also increase uptime and availability. BeyondRAID technology offers several improvements over traditional RAID-based storage systems, including the flexibility to replace failed disks and increase capacity, all without costly downtime.
File and Operating System Agnostic
Drobo and its underlying BeyondRAID technology currently support the Windows and Mac platforms, with file system support for NTFS, HFS+, and FAT32. Since Drobo is a block level system, it easily adapts to most any environment.
Mixed Drive Capacity Utilization
Grow storage to meet your data capacity needs with minimal effort. To add capacity, simply insert a new hard disk or replace the smallest disk with a larger one, even when all four disk bays are full. Unlike traditional RAID systems, the BeyondRAID technology enables IT managers to efficiently mix and match disk brands, capacities, and speeds. This allows for continuous expansion as disk capacities grow.
Drobo can ensure your data is safe even if a hard disk fails. You'll feel safer knowing that if disks do fail, Drobo automatically enters a state of self-healing wherein it relays out your data across the remaining healthy disks and sectors.
Proportional Rebuild Times
The time it takes Drobo to rebuild data after a drive failure or removal is proportional to the amount of data stored in the pool - meaning the less capacity that is used, even on a 4TB disk, the shorter your rebuild times will be. This is superior to traditional RAID, which lacks proportional rebuild times, and is forced to relay out every drive block even if it does not contain user data.
Since Drobo is 'Data Aware', it tracks where data is on each disk, so it can differentiate between used and unused portions of disk. This expedites rebuild times and reduces your risk of losing data to an additional disk failure.
When Drobo detects a 'bad' hard disk, it proactively advises you with a series of warnings ranging from a blinking red LED on its front panel, to pop-up alerts in Drobo Dashboard, to email alerts. What Drobo does next is exceptional. It enters a self-healing mode where it repairs around the bad sector or disk, and will work until it returns to the safest state possible. If Drobo has sufficient time and free capacity (indicated by all lights returning to a solid green state), it can even withstand additional hard disk failures - that's the power of self-healing.
BeyondRAID was designed from the ground up to allow the storage capacity of the array to expand and contract. BeyondRAID makes this a simple process by utilizing a technology called 'virtualization.' Virtualization provides a layer of abstraction between the data requested by the file system and the physical location of that data on the disk drives. A given piece of data can be located on any drive, and on any physical location on that drive.
Virtualization is what enables BeyondRAID to effortlessly change the data arrangement on the drives, for example, changing data stored as a mirror into data stored as parity stripe, without interrupting the user access to data. Virtualization completely decouples the physical space available in the array from the space reported to the operating system. This is how BeyondRAID is able to eliminate the need to manually expand/contract the file system as more space becomes available or is removed.
Thin provisioning is a technical term that describes how the BeyondRAID technology communicates with your operating system. BeyondRAID communicates with your OS about how much disk space you have up to 16TB (this varies with older operating and file systems). Specifying a larger amount of storage than is physically available allows you to grow into the volume without having to reformat or migrate your data in order to add capacity. BeyondRAID automatically also reclaims space as you delete files.
Drobo is highly automated storage. There are no complex configuration screens, DIP switches, confounding choices, web consoles or other complications that prevent so many other storage devices from working out of the box.
One long-standing requirement inherent in traditional RAID-based systems was that if for some reason you needed to remove the drives, you'd have to replace the drives in the exact same order. When you remove your disks from Drobo, you can put them back in any order you like.
In the Box
Drobo 4-Bay Hard Drive Array Enclosure
Resource CD (Drobo Dashboard Application / Help Files / Electronic Documentation)
FireWire 800 Read: Up to 52MB/s FireWire 800 Write: Up to 34MB/s USB 2.0 Read: Up to 30MB/s USB 2.0 Write: Up to 24MB/s
Up to four 3.5" SATA I or SATA II hard drives Drives may be from any manufacturer Drives may be up to 4TB capacity, spindle speed, and/or cache
Normal Operation (negligible): 20.9 - 24.2 dB
Idle System (standby, drives off): 5W Typical Idle System - Idle, Drive Spin Down Mode (1 drive): 12W Typical Busy System (4 drives): 40W
Windows: NTFS Mac OS X: HFS+ Cross-Platform: FAT32
Operating Systems Supported
Windows 7 (32/64) SP1 Windows Vista (32/64) SP1 Windows XP (32/64) SP3 Windows 2008 Server R2 (64) SP1 Windows 2003 Server R2 (32/64) SP1 Mac OS 10.5.8 or later (Intel Only) Mac OS Server 10.5.8 or later (Intel Only)