|Hard Drive||Mechanical Hard Drive|
Drobo 5D: Direct Attached Storage - 5 bay array - USB 3 and 2 x Thunderbolt 2 ports (DRDR5A21)
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- Highly scalable direct attached storage array with 2 x Thunderbolt 2 & 1 x USB 3.0 ports
- Holds up to 5x 3.5” SATA HDDs. Optional mSATA SSD boosts performance (not included). *Units with hard drives include Seagate IronWolf HDDs
- Award-winning BeyondRAID automated data protection. Internal battery backup protects against power interruptions
- Ideal for large media collections and with 64TB volume support. Expandable by adding drives or hot-swapping drives with larger ones.
- The Drobo chassis is uniquely constructed of metal and the magnetic front cover is easy to install or remove.
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From the manufacturer
Drobo 5D 5-Drive Storage Array, Thunderbolt 2/USB 3.0
The Drobo 5D was designed from the ground up to meet the data storage needs of today's media creators and demanding professionals. Leveraging cutting-edge Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0 connectivity along with solid-state drive (SSD) acceleration, the Drobo 5D offers amazing performance in a compact desktop storage array.
But it’s not just fast. The 5D is also easy-to-use, expandable, and automatically protects against hard drive failure(s). Whether you need to edit high-definition videos, store a large photo library, or simply backup terabytes of data, the Drobo 5D delivers the perfect combination of speed, simplicity, expansion, and protection.
Designed with You in Mind
Drobo storage arrays have always been designed with the user in mind. From the tool less design that allows hard drives to be inserted without carriers or screws to the variable-speed cooling fan, the compact and quiet 5D was designed to work just as well on your desk as it does in an office environment. Users can also dim the lights and configure drives to spin down when not in use.
All Your Stuff, Automatically Safe
Built on BeyondRAID technology with single or dual-drive redundancy, Drobo 5D protects your data without any user interaction. Consult the online capacity calculator to determine how the choice of drive size, number of drives, and protection levels affect available capacity at our official website calculator. Drives can be added or replaced 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 slot or remove a smaller drive and replace it with a larger one.
*Units with hard drives include Seagate IronWolf HDDs
Power of Thunderbolt 2, Flexibility of USB
Drobo is one of the few storage arrays that offer both high-speed Thunderbolt and the latest generation USB 3.0 that is both fast and backward compatible. Equipped with dual Thunderbolt 2 ports, the Drobo 5D can connect up to six Thunderbolt devices and the bi-directional performance of Thunderbolt allows all devices in the chain to achieve maximum throughput.
SSD Acceleration Boosts Performance up to 3X
Most storage arrays use either all hard drives or all SSDs. The Drobo 5D delivers the best of both worlds by intelligently combining hard drives and SSDs to deliver both capacity and performance. Using a small form-factor SSD boosts performance of popular applications such as Apple Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Lightroom by up to 3X!
Power Protecting Your Critical Data
Drobo doesn’t just protect your critical data from drive failure, but also from power outages. The Drobo 5D includes a battery that protects all data – whether active or at rest. Should the power go out while using your Drobo, the battery will protect everything until the power is restored. The battery recharges automatically and is designed to last for the entire life of the product.
What's in the Box
Drobo 5D, 6 ft (1.8 m) USB cable, 6ft (1.8m) power cord with power supply, and Quick Start Card.
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|Item Dimensions||5.9 x 10.3 x 7.3 in||9 x 8 x 4 in||8.94 x 8.86 x 5.35 in||8.5 x 5 x 6.5 in||5 x 6.5 x 8.5 in||8.5 x 4.9 x 6.5 in|
Drobo 5D Redefining Professional Storage, Again. Redesigned from the ground up to meet the data storage needs of today's media creators and demanding professionals, Drobo 5D builds on the fully automated functionality of previous Drobos by adding blazing-fast performance. Drobo 5D is the highest-performing personal storage array on the planet. Fast, easy-to-use, expandable, flexible, and protected - exactly what's expected from a Drobo. Built on award-winning BeyondRAID technology with single- or dual-drive redundancy, Drobo 5D protects your data without any user interaction, even in the event of multiple drive failures. Thunderbolt 2 I/O technology provides performance that's up to 5x faster than the previous-generation Drobo is the only storage array that offers Thunderbolt 2 AND USB 3.0. This latest generation of USB also offers high-performance connectivity and is backward compatibility with any computer running compatible versions of Mac OS X or Windows. Data-Aware Tiering technology, is also available in this desktop Drobo. Intelligently uses the high-performance flash in SSDs to accelerate performance of the storage array. To keep capacity of the Drobo at a maximum, the Drobo Accelerator Bay accepts an industry-standard mSATA SSD, leaving all five 3.5" drives bays available for high-capacity HDDs. Drobo 5D includes a battery that protects all data in memory, or cache. 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. It was designed from the ground up to provide very high capacity without taking up a lot of your valuable desk space. Drobo 5D 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 noise and save energy.
Top customer reviews
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Five Seagate ST3000DM001 3TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s
Crucial M4 mSATA 6gb/s 128GB SSD w/ latest firmware 01MG as the cache accelerator drive
15TB drives gave me 10.89 of actual storage. This is after redundancy is factor in.
I did some extensive testing and posted a full review on my website.
Or Do a search for "Fortysomethinggeek Drobo 5D review"
Overall, the USB 3 speeds are not that great. I was getting 90MB/s. I was hoping to get around 150-200 in USB 3.0
With Thunderbolt, I was getting 210-240 MB/s writes and 290-300MB/s reads.
This is better than most eSATA boxes sold here on Amazon (sansdigital/mediasonic) which top out at 180MB/s in super ideal conditions.
My source drive was a 512GB Crucial M4 SSD.
Have in mind, synthetic benchmarks do not tell the full story. The unit does data tiering and after repeated use, the system should tier and accelerate the copies depending on your use.
I did some real world testing (small files) and it fared slightly better than average. In fact, it was quite good for a RAID5 like set-up.
It is not the fastest set-up ( compared to the Pegasus units) but it has a rich feature-set.
The things I like:
-Battery backed cache. This is found in more expensive RAIDs and helpful in case of power failure.
-The software has a nice GUI interface with tools like email notifications.
-Two Thunderbolt ports for daisy-chaining and it does indeed work well.
-Black thunderbolt cable that is slimmer than Apple's cable. Where can I buy another?
-Ability to mix drives and upgrade in the future.
-Ability to boot from Drobo via USB 3
I am hoping they address a few things:
1) improve USB 3 speeds
2) Boot via Thunderbolt.
A few things to note right out of the box. Pun intended, but right out of the box buying a unit with hard drives already figured into the equation does not mean hard drives are already installed in the unit. The unit is shipped with hard drives packaged separately in the shipping box. You have to manually install them yourself.
Installing the drives is easy enough, getting hooked up and underway is another story however. Like many reviews state your initial “boot” of the device has to occur with the usb cord. Thunderbolt does not work right out of the gate. Next the raid is not programmed from the box, and is not plug-n-play ready. You end up having to download a Drobo based dashboard software to initiate a formatting and updating of the raid before it can be used. All easy enough, if you’re not using a Mac like me.
Maybe a Windows user will be quicker out the gate, but on macOS things get a bit sideways and elongated during setup. Case and point, the Drobo dashboard pretty much requires the latest version of Java to be installed in order to actually run. Don’t get me wrong, the Drobo dashboard installed very easily, but will crash every time you try to open it without Java. Now I am on an older-ish Mac mini (current generation body, but maybe 4 years old insides), but I have only every successfully launched and used the Drobo dashboard twice. Thankfully once you use the dashboard to name, format, and ultimately setup the raid to all your liking, thus far I’ve had no need to go back and use it again.
Once setup through the dashboard the raid becomes viewable much like any other attached external hard drive. Software aside (here’s to hoping it never crashes so I won’t have to flail about inside the dashboard) the unit, once setup, is pretty stinking nice. It did take a couple of tries to get the Thunderbolt cord to work properly. Thankfully the raid stays fully recognized if inadvertent unplugged. Also it does not become “de-recognized” during a reboot of the computer, this includes the Thunderbolt connection.
Actual day to day use of the raid is pretty nice. If you have the Thunderbolt option mixed in with your setup it might be worth the $30 cost of the cord. My raid is setup to as a raid-5, essentially meaning everything for all intents and purposes is written to the raid twice. Even with dual writing everything, with Thunderbolt, I’m still experiencing about 13 Gbps. Pretty quick I’d say. As for reading from the raid, we’ll it really does feel like the data is already on my desktop rather than on an external, absolutely no lag. Even though you have to use that aweful dashboard to set the raid up, it does let you set it up as a macOS, journaled drive meaning it will be optimized for use with a Mac and more importantly the Finder app.
All in all, setup aside I’m happy with the purchase. I guess only time will tell if the star rating goes down...
If your strange needs aren't huge ... try buying the Drobo with as few hard drives as possible, at first. Look for high GB per dollar sizes and try to just buy two or three to start. In six months, a year, or longer, when you need more storage, you'll be able to buy a much larger, new (additional) hard drive to instantly and more inexpensively increase the Drobo's storage.
I have posted some scorching reviews against the company's historical failures to fulfill product promises, but this unit has performed very well, without any problems for more than six months. Glad to have it.