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I use a DROBO 5D in my print studio for primamry storage of client files as I am confident in its abbility to keep that data safe. I have had one of the drives in this array fail and it was a simple process of ejecting the failed drive and installing a replacement drive, all the time being able to continue working.
I also use a Drobo-800FS as a secondary backup over the network as well as having sveral shared volumes for data transfer within our building. These are very easily set up using the Drobo dashboard software
DROBO storage robots are a new inovation in the area of RAID storage solutions. Data Robotics refer to their technology as BeyondRAID.
A RAID array (Redundant Array of Indepedent Disks) provides either a speed increase in access to data (striping) or security (mirroring) by spreading data accross multiple disks. In the event of a drive failure data can be recovered from the other disk(s). Traditional RAID requires matched pairs of disks and complex management. The DROBO BeyondRAID system uses all of these underlying stratagies but packages them in a easy to setup and use system which provides speed and security with zero managment. It is a robot in the sense that it takes care of the maintenance and rebuilds when required.
The new Drobo 5D, and 5N allow the mixing of traditional platter drives with SSD drives, while the drobo mini is a fast portable SSD Beyond RAID system
The DROBO is also an easily scalable storage solution using easlity obtainable SATAII or SSD drives. Because it takes standard internal drives, you are not paying for power supplys and interface cards every time you buy a new storage unit. You can start with two drives of whatever capacity you initially require. As you need more storage you simply add another drive to the robot. DROBO will take up to 4 drives. You can mix and match drive sizes and brands. The blue lights on the bottom of the drive indicate the remaining capacity of the drive.
If a drive fails, DROBO allerts you and you simply pull out the failed drive and insert a new replacement drive. DROBO then rebuilds the data from the remaining disks. You can still have access to your data at all times.
DROBO can be used with Apple's Time Machine to turn it into a automatic backup system with redundancy.