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  • Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array, Gigabit Ethernet (DRDS4A21)
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Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array, Gigabit Ethernet (DRDS4A21)

by Drobo
| 46 answered questions

List Price: $599.99
Price: $485.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
You Save: $114.99 (19%)
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Base Unit
  • Five storage bays, each of which can hold one standard 3.5 inch SATA I / II / III hard disk drives or solid state drives and one mSATA solid state drive in the Drobo Accelerator Bay
  • Connectivity - One Gigabit Ethernet port with Ethernet cable included
  • Network Protocols - Common Internet File System (CIFS)/Server Message Block (SMB) and Apple Filing Protocol (AFP)
  • Drobo BeyondRAID - Provides thin provisioning, instant expansion, mixed drive size utilization, automatic protection levels, dual disk redundancy, virtual hot spare, data aware and drive reordering
  • Additional Software Features - Data aware tiering, OS X Time Machine Support, drive spin down and dim lights
  • Operating System Support- Mac OS X 10.7.x Lion, Mac OS X 10.8.x Mountain Lion, Windows 7 SP1 32 and 64 bit, Windows 8 32 and 64 bit
56 new from $471.99 9 used from $376.61

Frequently Bought Together

Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS Storage Array, Gigabit Ethernet (DRDS4A21) + WD Red 3 TB NAS Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, SATA III, 64 MB Cache - WD30EFRX
Price for both: $606.99

Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Capacity: Base Unit

Technical Details

Capacity: Base Unit

Product Details

Capacity: Base Unit
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 5.9 x 7.3 inches ; 8.5 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 13.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • Item model number: DRDS4A21
  • Batteries 1 Lithium Metal batteries required. (included)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (187 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: December 14, 2012

Product Description

Capacity: Base Unit


Drobo 5N 5-Bay Gigabit Ethernet Network-Attached Storage Array

Drobo 5N
Single or dual drive redundancy.
Data Protection and Expandability Made Simple

Built on award-winning BeyondRAID technology with single or dual-drive redundancy, Drobo 5N protects your data without any user interaction, even in the event of multiple drive failures. Drives can be added or hot-swapped on-the-fly for storage expansion with zero downtime. If you're running low on space, the lights on the front tell you what to do. Just add a drive in an empty bay or remove a smaller drive and replace it with a larger one.

Gigabit Ethernet Port
Single Gigabit Ethernet port for network connectivity.
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High-Speed Connectivity

The Drobo 5N is equipped with a single Gigabit Ethernet port for network connectivity and connects directly to your network to make sharing your data easy. Just plug it into any switch or wireless router and you're ready to go. You can even connect the Drobo 5N directly to the Ethernet port on your computer without having to configure any settings.

Data-Aware Tiering Technology
Data-aware tiering technology accelerates performance of the storage array.
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Capacity and Performance

Data-aware tiering technology, usually reserved for business class storage solutions, is also available in this networked Drobo. It intelligently uses the high performance SSDs to accelerate performance of the storage array, allowing applications such as Adobe Lightroom and Apple iPhoto or iTunes fast access to data. To keep capacity of the Drobo at a maximum, the Drobo accelerator bay accepts an industry standard mSATA SSD, leaving all five 3.5 inch drives bays available for high capacity HDDs. If getting the fastest performance possible is your thing, you can also load up every drive bay with SSDs. Drobo gives you the flexibility to choose.

Power Protecting Batter
Protection from potential power loss.
Power Protecting Your Critical Data

Drobo doesn't just protect you from a drive failure, but also from potential data loss after a power outage. Often found only in arrays that cost tens of thousands of dollars, Drobo 5N includes a battery that protects all data in memory, or cache, that is, data on its way to the drives. When power spontaneously goes away, the battery keeps the Drobo alive long enough for the data to be written to non-volatile storage, ensuring your important information is safe. This battery recharges itself and is designed to last for the life of the product.

Space Efficient Design
Compact, space-efficient design.
Designed for You

Drobo devices have always been space efficient and the Drobo 5N is no exception. It was designed from the ground up to provide very high capacity without taking up a lot of your valuable desk space. It is compact because of Drobo's unique carrierless drive-bay design, allowing drives to be installed very close to each other. Drobo 5N is also significantly quieter than previous-generation Drobos due to its tuned, large, variable-speed cooling fan. You can even configure Drobo to spin down drives when they're not in use to further reduce

What's in the Box
  • Drobo 5N
  • 6 ft (1.8 m) Ethernet cable
  • 6 ft (1.8 m) power cord with power supply
  • Quick Start Card

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Very simple setup and easy to use NAS.
Drobo only has a 1 year warranty, and will not repair the unit, only ask you to buy another when that warranty expires.
I have had my Drobo 5N for a month now.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

131 of 141 people found the following review helpful By John Pozadzides on January 16, 2013
Size Name: Base Unit
I suppose I'm one of the first people in the world to get my hands on the new Drobo 5N, so I figured I'd share my first impressions with everyone in case you're considering purchasing one. First a little background...

Like many people, I've owned several Drobos in the past. And I've enjoyed ownership enough to continue upgrading and using them. Drobos have always been exceptionally reliable and simple to use, although with some of the previous models we had to trade speed for those other benefits. Well, those days are gone! Because the Drobo 5N, as well as its sibling the Drobo 5D (not network capable) are FAST!

We've had a Drobo FS in our network for years. It's the previous version of the Drobo Fileserver, which the 5N replaces. When I first fired up the 5N in our network and booted it alongside a reboot of the FS, it was WAY, WAY faster!!! In fact, it was so much faster that I actually giggled like a child! The old FS was certainly adequate, but compared to an internal drive it was slow. For example, a hard drive in your laptop should get at least 75-80 MBps read/write speeds. The FS would only do about 35. However, the new 5N is performing at 2-3 times those speeds! It's like having an internal drive, only through the network!

Combine this speed with the fact that you can:
a) Take the disks out of on old FS and upgrade instantly by slotting them in the 5N
b) Use ANY old 3.5" drives you have sitting around, even mixing and matching sizes and brands
c) Manage the drive with a dead simple graphical user interface

The craziest thing of all is that the Drobo 5N is less expensive than all the other 5-bay NAS devices!
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76 of 80 people found the following review helpful By hiroprotagonist on January 22, 2013
Size Name: Base Unit Verified Purchase
I also own the FS, which is another 5-bay Drobo. The FS is pretty slow, so it's best used as a backup / archive device. Using a disk speed utility, the FS measured in at about 25MB/s read and write, using WD Caviar Green Drives. That's on a gigabit wired network with a good switch.

I loaded the 5N with WD Caviar Red drives this time (5x3TB) and put it on the same network. The speed test is now hitting 89MB/s write and 109MB/s read. That's definitely faster than the FS. So they don't lie.

I haven't utilized the SSD cache option yet, but may consider that in the future for certain things.

If you get this, you MUST get the updated Dashboard. At the time of this writing, the version is 2.4.0. Get it from the 5N site. If you don't, and you are using an older Dashboard, mounting new drives in the 5N isn't likely to work properly. I did it on an older version of the Dashboard and it wouldn't mount up properly. Once I got the correct version, the setup went perfect.
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92 of 99 people found the following review helpful By H. K. Melton on October 30, 2013
Size Name: Base Unit Verified Purchase
My new, out of the box Drobo 5N refuses to mount the partitions as outlined in the manual. After more than hour of work with Drobo customer service, they asked for a Diagnostic report and promised to send a replacement unit if the report showed the 5N to be defective. Today, ten days later, I called again and had another agent take me through the exact same steps as before... run another Diagnostic report, and promise that a senior service rep (level 2) would call today/tonight with a solution, or to confirm that a replacement Drobo 5N has been sent. The day has ended and still no call! My time is wasted and the 5N is still not functioning. Because of my travels, the 30 days have now elapsed since my initial purchase from Amazon, and it is too late to be returned to them. I regret attempting to work with Drobo customer service and should have shipped the non-working unit back to Amazon immediately! I urge caution to anyone considering a purchase of the Drobo 5N.

Update: another 48 hours have passed without resolution or even a call-back from Drobo's Level-2 support. I called to Drobo support again yesterday, but Level-2 support is "always on the phone" and unavailable. The level-1 techs agree that my NEW 5N is DOA and needs to be replaced, but this must be approved by a level-2 tech.... who are always unavailable. In a final attempt last evening, I emailed the CEO of Drobo ("Tom") and politely asked for his intervention in my case and assistance in finding a resolution. Unfortunately, despite his request on the website to send suggestions directly to him, there is no response. I seem to have been abandoned by Drobo! Fortunately my ace in the hole is to have purchased a warranty with Square Trade. They have offered to refund my money and I am shipping the Drobo 5N to them today.
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139 of 161 people found the following review helpful By gadget-o-holic on February 1, 2013
Size Name: Base Unit Verified Purchase
UPDATE (2/23/2013)
Drobo 5D speeds are much better now!!! I think it has to do with the caching the ssd offers but not sure... either way I was surprised to see such a boost! At the speeds I'm getting now it clearly blows everything else out of the water!!!

NOTE: I'm assuming the 5N speeds would have also shown speed improvement over time as well given the performance boosts I've seen on my 5D but unfortunately I did not have the drive long enough to find out. The DS1512+ features were too much for me to pass up...


Drobo 5D with Crucial m4 128GB SSD - WD Green Drives
Initial Setup Test
- Write - 201.7 MB/s
- Read - 254.8 MB/s

Synology DS1512+ - WD Red Drives
- Write - 81.8 MB/s
- Read - 107.4 MB/s


Drobo 2nd Gen vs FS vs 5D vs 5N vs Synology DS1512+

First let me state that I'm not a professional reviewer by any means. I am doing this purely from an amateur point of view. Nonetheless, as I was doing my research on NAS and DAS units, I did not see many reviews comparing popular models on the market so I decided to do my own to share with you. I realize this isn't an apples to apples comparison by any means due to technology differences but I already had the Drobo 2nd gen and FS and am choosing between the 5N, 5D, and DS1512+. The 5D, with thunderbolt, should be leaps and bounds faster than the rest because of it's ability to connect via thunderbolt but that aside I thought it'd still be interesting for people to see a comparison of all the drives. In any case, on to the review!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews