Drobo Products Review

Why I made the switch to Drobo data storage products

Since starting my company in 2007, I have had to save my photos, footage and information somewhere other than my computer. In the past, I have used Western Digital Passports and Lacie Rugged drives. Although small and convenient for traveling, I had some unfortunate hard drive failures. What happened to my Dominican Republic footage you ask? Well, let’s just say all I have left of that trip are sunny memories.

I have also used a Lacie RAID drive for storage in my office, but it has also failed on me and once the space is full, you must replace it with another. I had heard about Drobo from several photographers and fellow travel bloggers. I did some research and learned that Drobo is the only digital storage device in the world that allows you to store your data and expand it anytime you want. Basically, Drobo is a smart digital storage device that makes it almost impossible to lose your data. Naturally, I was intrigued.

My first Drobo NAS

In 2012, I purchased a Drobo B800fs to consolidate my data into one machine, replacing my inefficient (and horribly labeled) stacks of rugged drives. I found it extremely easy to use with my i-Mac computer. Last summer, one of my hard drives failed and instead of losing my content, my Drobo SAN saved the day. I was able to order a hard drive from the internet and replace it one week later without losing a minute of footage.

My first Drobo

How Drobo works

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The Drobo B800fs hooks up easily to any computer port and you can use any size (storage capacity) drive you need. Each Drobo model takes a different number of drives, depending on what you are storing. Drobos are a convenient and reliable way to access your information at any time. The Drobo B800fs is particularly user friendly. Once I have filled up each of the drives in my Drobo, all I do is simply replace the drive with the least capacity with a larger one. None of my information will be affected because Drobo is smart enough to save it until I insert a drive with more space. This is exactly the same technology it uses if one of the hard drives happen to fail – it spreads and saves the data throughout the remaining drives until I can replace the defective one.

Where the magic happens

Drobo calls this unique technology BeyondRAIDä. This “protected state” is what attracts thousands of loyal customers to the Drobo brand. Protected data storage is a huge technology concern with the SAN or NAS systems, but Drobo protects your data. Nobody likes losing data. Other traditional RAID products become permanently debilitated once they fail.

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My newest addition

I recently got a Drobo Mini because I wanted to have a way to save my work while traveling. I take a lot of pictures and video, plus I amass a hefty load of contacts and press kit materials from various companies, so it is vital that my data is secure no matter where I am in the world. The best thing about a Drobo Mini is its size! It fits into a backpack or carry-on suitcase and unlike some of my equipment, doesn’t trigger annoying TSA searches. Drobo Mini is a NAS or SAN but in a compact data storage form.

The Drobo Mini is small and so easy to travel with!

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Q&A with Mario Blandini, VP of Marketing for Drobo

1. Why is DROBO different than other digital data storage devices out there?

Protection from hard drive failure is what sets RAID systems apart from basic external hard drives.  Today’s digital media (your photos, memories) are very valuable, and protecting the first copy is very important.  Drobo is different than other RAID systems by being much easier to use while also having the most powerful and sophisticated storage protection available; anyone who knows traffic signals can manage a Drobo.

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2. Why did DROBO decide to create the Mini?

>250,000 customers have been using Drobo storage systems since 2007, with the unique benefit of mixing and matching any capacity 3.5in hard drives for their centralized workstation or network storage.  Those users asked Drobo to bring that same technology to a portable array they could take with them while traveling, so we created Drobo Mini around 2.5in drives and portability, while including the latest high-speed thunderbolt and USB 3.0 connections.

3. Who could benefit from having a DROBO Mini?

Anyone that is creating a lot of media or memories will want to protect those files. Most laptops / ultrabooks have a very small local drive that is not protected.  Drobo Mini allows anyone to store and edit all of their files with assurance their data is protected, and easily take everything with them wherever they go.

At the beach in Riviera Maya, Mexico

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Drobo is for EVERYONE

The truth is that any and every professional who has important data to store can benefit from owning a Drobo. The Drobo Mini is a convenient (and space-saving) machine ideal for a variety of things. Doctors, lawyers, photographers, bloggers, producers and journalists are just a handful of people that could benefit from owning a Drobo Mini.

Tips for using the Drobo Mini

  • Purchase high capacity drives the first time around so that you won’t run out of space too quickly
  • Use a Thunderbolt port to transfer data whenever possible – it’s super fast!
  • For frequent travelers like myself, getting the Drobo Mini carrying case will keep it protected (available most places Drobos are sold)
  • If you value your data as much as I do, get a second Drobo Mini as a precaution

Summary of my Drobo review

Drobo has significantly helped to streamline my data storage and retrieval process. For travel industry professionals like myself, it makes data storage easy, not to mention the constant peace of mind one gets from knowing that Drobo is hard at work keeping all their data safe and secure.

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