Author: Bob Buskirk
Drobo, maker of award-winning data storage products for businesses and professionals, today announced the general availability and shipping of the Drobo Mini and Drobo 5D. The Drobo Mini and 5D products are the industry’s first storage arrays to include high-speed Thunderbolt connectivity, USB 3.0, automated tiering that supports solid state drives (SSDs), enhanced reliability features and true storage-array portability. The new products are designed to intelligently and seamlessly use high-performance SSDs with hard disk drives (HDDs) to rapidly accelerate workflows for creative professionals managing rich-media catalogs and Mac enthusiasts who need fast, high-capacity and portable storage.
“With the Drobo Mini and 5D, we’re adding speed to Drobo’s well-known ease-of-use. They are the industry’s first storage arrays that automatically and affordably mix and match high-speed SSDs, HDDs and Thunderbolt support,” said Tom Buiocchi, CEO of Drobo. “We created these products with the needs of creative professionals and Mac enthusiasts in mind. They’re faster and more reliable than ever before.”
For Creative Professionals in the Office or On the Go
The Drobo Mini and 5D are the most modern and complete storage arrays for creating and working with large amounts of rich media. In particular, professionals who are power users of Adobe and Apple applications, including After Effects, Aperture, Final Cut Pro, Lightroom, Photoshop and Premier Pro, will find the Drobo Mini and 5D ideal for storing catalogs and backing up files of all types.
Both new products include Drobo’s unique Data-Aware Tiering technology, which embraces the use of affordable SSD storage in conjunction with traditional HDDs to deliver both accelerated performance and substantial capacity. For as little as under $100, customers can add SSD technology to the new Drobos, increasing transactional performance by up to 12 times over previous Drobo models. In addition, Drobo is the only storage array that offers both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0, providing flexibility across the industry’s fastest, most modern and most widely accepted interfaces. The Drobo Mini and 5D are of the first in an elite group of innovative, more sophisticated and accelerated hybrid-storage products; like the Apple Fusion Drive, leading the hybrid storage movement for professionals.
The Drobo 5D is designed as the desktop workhorse to the meet demanding data storage requirements of professionals and media creators. Without the need for complicated RAID setup or configuration, Drobo 5D makes storing and protecting valuable data very simple, with enough storage for more than 90,000 16 Megapixel raw photos, 650 Blu-ray discs, and up to 5,000 hours of 1080p HD video.
Compact, powerful and designed for the mobile professional, Drobo Mini accommodates four 2.5-inch drives, an SSD Accelerator Bay, two Thunderbolt ports and a USB 3.0 port in a package that is small enough to fit in a portable travel bag. The product weighs in at about 3 pounds, fully loaded with drives installed, and can hold up to 3TB of usable and protected data – enough to accommodate data protection for 15,000 raw photos and 1,000 hours of HD video.
“I’ve been using Drobo now for years, and it’s provided the best protected storage and most reliable backup solution for my business, but I’ve been anxiously waiting for a unit that is both fast and portable,” said Jeff Cable, Drobo fan and official photographer for Team USA Water Polo at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. “Now, with the release of the Drobo Mini, I will finally have a unit that supports SSDs and delivers Thunderbolt performance and RAID protection in one portable, easy-to-use, compact solution.”
Drobo for Home and Personal Use
For home media enthusiasts looking to consolidate and accelerate video, photo and music files, the Drobo Mini and 5D provide a plug-and-play accelerated storage option with the real-world performance to seamlessly run rich media libraries like iTunes and iPhoto, as well as to safely store and back up personal data. Both products are compatible with a wide range of local and cloud backup solutions to deliver remote access and off-premises data protection.
Thunderbolt Power and Flexibility
Thunderbolt I/O technology provides performance that is up to five times faster than the previous-generation Drobos. This enables users to move large amounts of data in a fraction of the time previously required. Drobo Mini and 5D are equipped with dual Thunderbolt ports for daisy-chaining; users can connect up to six Thunderbolt devices and a non-Thunderbolt monitor at the end of the chain. The bi-directional 10 Gbps performance of Thunderbolt allows all devices in the chain to achieve maximum throughput.
Enhanced Reliability and Data Protection
Like all Drobos, the Mini and 5D protect users from a drive failure by enabling them to add or hot-swap drives on-the-fly for storage expansion with zero downtime. When drives are running low on space, the traffic-style lights on the front tell the user what to do: just add a drive in an empty bay or remove a smaller drive and replace it with a larger one.
New with the Drobo 5D and Mini is an additional feature often found only on enterprise-grade storage for extended data protection: a larger battery and intelligent software that automatically protects all data in memory or cache in the event of a spontaneous or unexpected power loss. The battery keeps the Drobo alive long enough for the data to be written to non-volatile storage, ensuring all important information is kept safe, and then recharges itself. The battery is designed to last for the life of the product.
Pricing and Availability
The Drobo Mini starts at $649 (U.S.) and the Drobo 5D starts at $849 (U.S.). Both include a Thunderbolt cable.