Drobo 5D

Drobo 5D: Speedy, expandable Thunderbolt storage for professionals

Data Robotics (now Drobo) was the first company to make expandable RAID storage easy, and with the current Drobo line of BeyondRAID devices they’ve now made the devices faster through the use of Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 connectivity, as well as the Drobo Accelerator Bay’s ability to use an mSATA SSD for fast caching. In this TUAW review, I’ll take a look at the Drobo 5D (US$664 on Amazon), a five-bay device designed to give creative professionals fast and inexpensive RAID storage.

Steve Sande, from The Unofficial Apple Weblog, gives us a great review of the Drobo 5D – a simple RAID solution. The Drobo 5D is a user-friendly option for anyone who needs more storage than a single hard drive would allow. In theory, it also provides more reliable storage with it’s BeyondRAID technology.

Unfortunately, we ran into way too many issues with Drobo’s BeyondRAID technology in their first few products. We’re scared to try their new products. After a device loses an entire array due to volume corruption, it’s hard to come back from that.

We’re generally using and recommending OWC’s RAID solutions right now. It’s basically the same concept (at least to the average user). The OWC boxes are limited to FireWire 800 right now, so that should certainly weigh into your decision. We’d really like to see OWC expand into USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt, but they’re slow moving when it comes to adopting new storage connectivity.

If you need a RAID solution, please give us a call so we can help you figure out what’s best for your scenario.