drobo: droolworthy raid alternative

drobo drive enclosureData on a hard drive is a designers life blood. Loosing time because a drive has died and the data went with it is not an option. Even for those of us that have hundreds to thousands of dollars invested in music downloads and thousands of photos from out digital cameras, loosing that special picture because a drive died is heart-wrenching. Enter into your life: Drobo, “The world’s first storage robot.”

Let’s face it, most if all of us are not IT specialists. Most of us just want data storage solutions that are plug and play. US/Firewire hard drives are great and have enabled us to store more and more, but data redundancy is not achieved by just plugging in a new hard drive. Drobo solves that problem by automating the data redundancy with Raid 5 like design, which is very common in larger corporations. The beauty of Drobo unlike Raid 5 is that it is truly a set-it and forget-it solution. Like a Raid 5, if one drive fails, replace it and Drobo will regenerate the data that was on the lost drive!

drobolator.pngDrobo hooks-up to your MAC or PC with USB 2.0, and will take up-to 4 SATA I or II drives of any size. There is Raid Administration and it comes with a utility for monitoring your Drobo. You can use the Drobolator utility on the website to see what storage capacities you get with different drive sizes.

Remember, Drobo is just one part of your storage solution. It is important to also make multiple back-up’s of your information and store it off-site whenever possible.

Drobo costs $499 and comes with a power cord, USB 2.0 cord and the software utility. No drives are included! With the purchase of some SATA drives the total cost of the unit is at least $600-700, which is a bit pricey for the average consumer. In hopes of competition helping bring the prices down, I will wait-off on purchasing one for personal use, but for a business, this is a great scalable design.

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