Pros Elegant, quiet, ergo box with plug-and-play simplicity. Very fast in setting up and making drives available. Drobo dashboard works very well, finds the drive and mounts a drive letter on both MAC and PC (didn't try LINUX).
Cons Very upset to find out you can use the USB OR FireWire NOT BOTH. They should warn the consumer that the DroboShare uses the only USB port and if you use DroboShare you can't use FireWire port. Such a great device but no integrated NIC? Rediculous!!
Summary Wonderful solution for a workgroup looking for RAID-protected SAN... home or small business... or even a small department in a large business.
If the manufacturer get's off their duff and makes it so that all of the ports work, this will be a five-star device and would be very recommended.
Without the integrated NIC and with only one port working at a time, I think it's only suited for low-speed data and for archiving.
Pros Expandable, easy to use
Cons Needs an "On" button, pricey
Summary I've had the drobo v2 w/droboshare for about 2 months now and have been very happy with it. I only use USB as my wife's MacBook only has FW400 and I usually have it connected to the droboshare for use by my Vista PC. When directly connected to the Mac, Time Machine backups are speedy and even over USB, editing HD video in iMovie is smooth. Accessing it wirelessly through a wireless hub which the droboshare is connected to is quite slow, however when using an ethernet port on the hug I get about the same performance as a direct connection via USB.
Now if only drobo would have included a power on button so that I could turn it back on from standby without unplugging and plugging back in!
Pros super easy to use, large amounts of expandable storage, fast
Cons haven't found any yet
Summary Hmmm, a big question mark on reviews performance summary. On what planet is a 10GB folder with 37,000 files real-world usage? Maybe earth circa 1990! Man, those are tiny files they used to test with. I would actually call that a very non-real world test methodology.
I use Drobo1 and now Drobo2 daily and performance is great! Compares favorably with all other external hard drives I've tried in the past, and I've used a lot of brands. They did admit that when they used larger files performance increased significantly, so I guess I'm not crazy! My files are typically photos, audio files and various types of video. In the year 2008, those files are true real-world usage.
These guys gave the first drobo an editors choice award and then they come out with a quiter/faster drobo and it rates a 6.6? Hard to understand why given the production unit CNET tested appears to have worked great. Strange.
Anyway, the new generation drobo shows between 30MB/s and 50MB/s for me. MB/s is megabytes per second. CNET is using Mbps (megabits per second), so in their speak my performance results translate to 240Mbps - 400 Mbps. That is definitely faster than the first generation drobo (which is still a super device and has served me well!) so I strongly recommend drobo2 as the perfect way to cope with the large amounts of digital media we all seem to have to deal with nowadays. In the real world.
Pros Unlimited storage capacity. Ease of upgrading drives. As easy to use as a USB drive but with redundant backup protection. Perfect for my needs.
Cons Really can't think of any... It doens't dust itself once a month...?
Summary Just like the other people who responded to this review, there's definitely something not right about the unit Cnet got. I have been using mine for months and loved it from day one out of the box. They must've used the same packaging engineers as Apple because unpacking my Drobo was a rewarding experience in itself. Well thought out and out to impress.
I am a professional photographer and use the Drobo as my main backup device in addition to archiving my photos online. I started off with a total of 300 gigabytes of storage and have since slowly migrated my way up to currently 2 terabytes of photos, videos and documents on my Drobo and it has performed flawlessly.
Reading Drobo's offical response, it seems that Cnet has possibly done an injustice here. I signed up for an account after reading this review just so I could put my 2 cents in and say that as a happy owner of a Drobo, I completely disagree with this Cnet review!
Pros Safe, simple, affordable, and easy to expand additional storage
Cons Only black version is available
Summary Cnet: “First, you will never get the total combined storage space of the hard drives as some space is reserved for data redundancy in the event one of your drives fails.”
Similar to RAID 1 and 5, drobo does not provide total combined storage space (as expected). However, unlikely traditional RAID, when you mix drives capacity drobo takes advantages of different capacity. For example, if I have a 500GB, 750GB, and a 1TB drives drobo gives me an effective 1.250 TB usable while RAID gives me 1TB usable. This is a 250GB less than drobo.
Cnet: “We did notice, though, that the drive took a relatively long time (up to a minute or so) to get started.”
Mine drobo took 29 seconds from a cold boot (power on/off) while a warm boot (waking up from a standby mode) took 2 seconds.
Cnet: “After the rebuilding process, the drive went to standby mode, where it behaved as if it wasn't connected to the computer (though in fact it was).”
This is clearly defective pre-production unit as Data Robotics official responded. Mine drobo does not go into standby mode after rebuild completed. In fact, I can still access my data while drobo is in rebuild mode.
Cnet: To put Drobo's read and write speeds in context, direct-attached external storage drives we've tested before typically register about 200Mbps on our write test and 230Mbp on our read test for a USB 2.0 connection.
It’s unclearly if the author tested direct-attached external with RAID or non-RAID system, if performance numbers were result of a non-RAID, not exactly a direct comparison.
Cnet: “…eSATA and Ethernet connections still absent…”
How many of us experienced auto disconnect or unable to connect to your own NAS device not to mention the complexity involves in configuring a NAS box, I for one like the flexibility to directly connect my drobo to a host then share it across my network.
Highly encourage readers to read Technology section from drobo web site http://drobo.com/Products/drobo.html) and others reviewer sites before you draw your own conclusion about drobo. I love my drobo, I've been using RAID for at least 10 years and mine drobo is just insanely game changer for me.