How about all of that Drobo power in an itty-bitty form factor? The sporty and compact Drobo Mini 4-bay Enclosure has all the power of the Drobo 5D, but the footprint of the unit isn't much bigger than a deli sandwich. Made of a cutting-edge metallic carbon fiber with a soft-touch rubberized finish, the unit feels like it's ready to be field-tested right out of the box. And because it uses 2.5" drives, primarily found in laptop computers, the unit is made to moved, from the studio to the worksite to the client's office.
You can fit up to up to four (4) 2.5" SATA I / II / III hard disk drives of any manufacturer, capacity, spindle speed, and/or cache, or solid state drives (enterprise-class hard drives are not supported) that are between 7mm and 9.5mm in height (drives sold separately) and one (1) mSATA solid state drive in the Drobo Accelerator Bay for increased performance.
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, 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. And, the bi-directional 10 Gbps performance of Thunderbolt allows all devices in the chain to achieve maximum throughput. Please note that a Thunderbolt cable is not included and is sold separately.
But Thunderbolt isn't the only option. The Drobo Mini 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 Mini 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.
And the Drobo Mini 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 Mini also includes a battery backup - when power is spontaneously interrupted, the battery keeps the Drobo alive long enough for the data to be written to non-volatile storage. The battery recharges itself and is designed to last for the life of the product.
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.