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 2 ports (Thunderbolt 2 cable sold separately). We've talked about Thunderbolt 2 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 2 attached drive—20 seconds.
You can also daisy-chain up to six Thunderbolt 2 devices and/or a non-Thunderbolt monitor at the end of the chain. And, the bi-directional 20 Gbps performance of Thunderbolt 2 allows all devices in the chain to achieve maximum throughput.
But Thunderbolt 2 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 that are faster than spinning-based drives.
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.