I own two drobos and they have saved the day a few times, but also have caused great frustration too. Why buy two of them then? Well, drobo won the american business awards for best product, and many more. The problem is that it’s simply underpowered hardware and that the hard drives can’t be mounted by any other system. Now I can say a few nice things about about these storage devices. I did have a drive fail and the video I was watching off the drobo never even hiccuped. It recovered nicely after inserting a new hard drive (different size and manufacture). The main selling point for me was the ease of swapping and upgrading. The truth is that running linux and a RAID system isn’t difficult, but it can be a hassle to setup. The drobo can take almost any size or type of drive while most other systems require all the disks to match.
Newer versions fixed the performance issues, and added a battery too even. I need a high speed, high capacity raid system to edit video on (scratch disk and render files on the storage, not on my workstations). Do I buy a 3rd drobo, or just setup a high performance raid card? The main concern with Drobo is that I’d need to pay to send my drives away to them, and pay, to get the data off them in the case of a serious drive corruption. Now almost all my archives are password protected winrar or 7zip collections, so I’m not worried about privacy, but of course I’ve had to consider this. I really would prefer to just put my hard disks into a new system and have access with to the files.
The other big draw to the drobo fs was that it could run linux programs like ftp. I want to be able to get access to my files from my phone, or laptop, when away. I use dropbox and google drive both, but I am still never going to put private pictures on those services. I could buy enough storage to stream all my collections, but really don’t want my big 1080p videos to jag. So, really, I should be using something like this kickstarter everydisk, from avatron to answer that need.