Pros Drobo version 2 is a snap to set up, very versatile, fast and an easy to manage. I've had zero problems with this fantastic device. Remove a drive whilst streaming video and it continues to work. The way this thing works is nothing short of magic.
Cons With innovation like this there is nothing much to dislike, except price. $400 would have been perfect. Also, I did my research before I purchase the Drobo and found that most of the problems were due to the firmware update.
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.
We jumped at the chance to get one... why? Because when people need more storage we can simply buy and pop in another drive! (or four!) ;)
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 Faster than expected...... and, can you say Plug 'n Play..?
Cons None yet..... will update when I find some.
Summary I live as an Ex-Pat in Zürich Switzerland.... which means, no matter how long I've been here (over 2 years), I will never feel good about paying inflated prices.
I pre-ordered the Drobo II a couple weeks ago, and paid about $650 for it. I was nervous... actually very nervous.... because the reviews for the 1st Gen Drobo were a bit Hit-or-Miss.... and the reviews for the 2nd Gen were spotty as well. I read and re-read the CNET review.... hoping there would be a third iteration to it that said, "despite our 1st and 2nd attempts with the Drobo... our 3rd attempt reveals that it is the most amazing, lightning-fast, whisper-quiet, energy-efficient, super-secure piece of hardware we have ever tested".
That review never came.... and I was constantly bothered that they hadn't reviewed the Drobo with a Mac / OS X.
I am a storage junkie, and so this is my Drobo experience (thus far) in so many words:
With iMac 2.8Ghz, 4gb RAM, OS X 10.5.5 - ONLY TESTED FIREWIRE 800 - Drobo II with 4tb (4 x 1tb) Seagate Barracuda ES.2
Transfer speeds are not lightning-fast..... but they are certainly AS Fast - if not faster - than the CNET tests. I transfered 100gb of small data files and music, with an average transfer/write speed of 260Mbps. I then transfered 1tb of larger files with an average write speed of 310Mbps. I can't be certain why there is such a significant difference here... but I think it has to do with the file structures.
In Comparison.... I have a 2Tb WD drive that runs at roughly the same speed.
Frankly... to me... this is fast enough. And, the Drobo feels more stable than the WD, as it doesn't go to sleep after 5 minutes, and then completely freeze my operations for the 3 minutes it requires to wake itself up.
I have bad ears from a childhood and adult/childhood spent on/in/around motorcycles. But, I swear.... I cannot here the Drobo from 2ft away. In comparison, I can hear my WD 2tb from up-to 10 feet away. The Drobo is Whisper Quiet.
Took a total of about 7 minutes, once I had inserted the drives (literally, like CNET says... "just like putting a CD into a CD-ROM drive"..... there are no cartridges to assemble!!!) and installed the Drobo Dashboard. The Software tells you that it needs to "initialize" the drives, and then within a couple minutes (maybe 3-4), you have the Drobo sitting on the left of your finder window. Really Easy.
I have moved my iTunes folder over to the Drobo, and I am streaming from my iMac in the den (where the Drobo resides), to my AppleTV in the living room. Strage is currently at 1.9tb. No hiccups... perfect stream.
This is the only area where I believe some of the other manufacturers get higher marks for "Quality". The Drobo looks sweet...!! Don't get me wrong... it looks awesome sitting next to my computer and speakers, and if I could upload a photo to this review, I would. But, my only complaint is the general fit+finish doesn't quite have the same feel as the Netgear, or Lacie..... probably more on par with Western Digital. The drive "trays" feel thin and plastiquey...... and the front panel is a little lightweight. Not a Deal-Breaker.
I don't know how it works. I don't really wanna know how it works. In fact... I don't really care how it works. But, it does.... and it works well. Its fast enough that I would never have any complaints... quiet enough that I can't hear it.... and smart enough that I know not to ask questions. I realize its not RAID..... but it still feels safe, and frankly, it should after eating 1.3 of my Terabytes with its backup function.
Great Product, Highly Recommended for media freaks and storage geeks who aren't geeky enough to know better.
Pros Safe, expandable, reliable storage
Cons None to mention
Summary This review was based on a defective pre-production review unit. We remain puzzled as to why the reviewer published this review despite having a requested a replacement production unit which we agreed to provide. Data Robotics stands by its products. If you're interested in reading reporting that is more representative of the new Drobo please see the following: