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I recently wrote about Drobo RAID storage arrays. They provide expandable storage with redundancy for the safekeeping of your data. The units that I reviewed are all available with instant savings from B&H until the end of June, 2010. I've just been made aware that there is an 8-bay unit that comes with free hard drives.
Just to recap, RAID stands for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Drives, and it allows data to be spread across multiple hard drives so that if a drive fails, the data can be recovered from the drives that remain functional. Some RAID arrays cost a considerable fortune, but Drobo storage arrays are quite affordable.
Drobo storage arrays come in various configurations with different numbers of drive bays, different types of interfaces, and with and without the hard drives themselves. The arrays accept SATA hard drives, and you can mix and match any capacity drives you like. Your computer sees the array as a single hard drive, making it easier to manage. The whole point is that the array can automatically restore lost data on a crashed hard drive when you replace it with a drive of equal or greater capacity.
The last post I wrote concerning Drobo storage arrays reviewed 4- and 5-bay units, (both with instant rebates until the end of June), but Drobo also makes an 8-bay unit that allows even greater storage capacity. The DroboPro 8-bay array can connect to a computer via Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire-800 or USB 2.0. It ships in a desktop configuration, but an optional 3U rack-mount kit is available. The DroboPro supports up to eight standard 3.5" SATA hard drives, and if you load it up with eight 2TB drives, you’re looking at 16TB of storage space; less than that if you opt for redundancy, which is highly recommended.
Like the 4- and 5-bay units, the 8-bay array is available without any hard drives. You simply install whatever SATA drives you like, and add more as your storage needs grow. However, B&H is offering this unit with two free 1TB hard drives to get you started. This is a great deal for only $1,495. If you have any doubts about the 4- or 5-bay arrays having enough capacity to meet your future needs, then the 8-bay DroboPro is your portal to greater redundancy.