Drobo mini: Direct Attached Storage - 4 bay array - USB3 and Thunderbolt ports - Designed for portability. (DR-MINI-1A21)
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- Portable RAID
- Holds 4 x 2.5" SATA I/II/III Drives
- Holds 1 x mSATA SSD
- 2x Thunderbolt & 1x USB 3.0
- Includes USB 3.0 Cable (Thunderbolt Cable Not Included)
- Hot Swappable Drives
- Any Drive/Manufacturer/Speed/Spindle
- Battery Backup
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Mini in size only. It's a Drobo, so by definition it's easy-to-use. Now it's also the fastest portable storage array. Along with the power of BeyondRAID, delivering all the power and flexibility of the Drobo 5D, in a miniaturized package. Made of a cutting-edge metallic carbon fiber with a soft-touch rubberized finish, Drobo Mini is small and rugged. Weighing in at 3 pounds (fully loaded with drives installed), you can now carry up to 3TB of usable and protected data in your travel bag. To make Drobo Mini as portable as possible, there's an optional carrying case that holds the Drobo, power supply, and a connectivity cable. Drobo Mini takes 2.5" drives, four hot-swappable drive bays support drives of any capacity. Built on award-winning BeyondRAID technology with single- or dual-drive redundancy, Drobo Mini 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. Connect up to six Thunderbolt devices and/or a non-Thunderbolt monitor at the end of the chain. The bidirectional 10 Gbps performance of Thunderbolt allows all devices in the chain to achieve maximum throughput. Drobo is the only storage array that offers Thunderbolt AND USB 3.0; 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 portable Drobo. This drive uses the high-performance flash in SSDs to accelerate performance of the storage array, allowing applications such as Adobe Premiere and Apple Aperture 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 four 2.5" drives bays available for high-capacity HDDs. Drobo Mini includes a battery that protects all data in memory, or cache.
Mini in Size Only
It's a Drobo, so by definition it's easy-to-use. Now it's also the fastest portable storage array--with cutting-edge Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 connectivity and innovative use of solid state drives (SSDs). Along with the power of BeyondRAID, it delivers all the power and flexibility of its larger sibling, Drobo 5D, in a miniaturized package.
Whether you're working at your desktop, shooting and editing photos or videos on-site, or traveling to the next location, it's the world's first high-performance and protected portable storage array. So now you can take and access your valuable digital assets wherever you go. Easiest, fastest, safest, smallest--Drobo Mini is very unique and unexpected--but frankly that's what you should expect from Drobo.
Drobo Mini has everything that's in the high-capacity Drobo 5D in a package that's the size of a deli sandwich. Made of a cutting-edge metallic carbon fiber with a soft-touch rubberized finish, Drobo Mini is small, ruggedized, and feels as cool as it looks. From the modern materials to the wraparound light indicators to the drive bay design, Mini is truly big storage in a small box.
Weighing in at about 3 pounds (fully loaded with drives installed), you can now carry up to 3TB of usable and protected capacity in your travel bag. (When drives with more than 1TB capacity become available, you will have greater capacity.) To make Drobo Mini as portable as possible, there's an optional carrying case that holds the Drobo, power supply, and a connectivity cable.
First Drobo with 2.5" Drives
Drobo Mini takes 2.5" drives--that's what makes it portable. Four hot-swappable drive bays support drives of any capacity. No carriers or screws are needed to insert drives into a Drobo and the Drobo Mini is no different. An innovative new design allows drives to click in and out like a ballpoint pen.
Since 2.5" drives are primarily used in laptop computers, they're designed to be portable. Because of this, you can pick up and move Drobo Mini around with confidence.
Data Protection and Expandability Made Simple
Built on award-winning BeyondRAID technology with single-or dual-drive redundancy, Drobo Mini 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 wraparound 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.
Power of Thunderbolt, Flexibility of USB
Thunderbolt I/O technology provides performance that no personal storage has been able to achieve, especially one that's portable. This allows you to move large amounts of data in a fraction of the time it used to take. Visit the Thunderbolt technology site to learn more about this exciting new way to connect devices.
Drobo Mini is equipped with dual Thunderbolt ports for daisy chaining. Connect up to six Thunderbolt devices and/or a non-Thunderbolt monitor at the end of the chain. This allows even the most portable laptop computers access to high-performance storage while retaining connectivity to other devices and an external monitor. The bidirectional 10 Gbps performance of Thunderbolt allows all devices in the chain to achieve maximum throughput.
Drobo is the only storage array that offers Thunderbolt 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.
Capacity and Performance
Data-Aware Tiering technology, usually reserved for business-class storage solutions, is also available in this portable Drobo. It intelligently uses the high-performance flash in SSDs to accelerate performance of the storage array, allowing applications such as Adobe Premiere and Apple Aperture 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 four 2.5" 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. Now that would be a screaming fast, portable Drobo.
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 Mini includes a battery that protects all data in memory, or cache, that is, data on its way to the drives. Yes, Drobo Mini actually has room for a big battery (barely).
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.
Top Customer Reviews
I've submitted a ticket with Drobo Technical support. I'll update this review once I hear back from them. In the meantime, I'm going to have to research another solution to get faster speeds.
Update: I've added a image containing some screenshots comparing the performance of the Drobo Mini against my internal Samsung EVO 1TB SSD and my Promise Pegasus R6.
Update: I received a call from Drobo technical support rep on 4/14 requesting my concerns and performance data. I submitted that information to them and was given a prompt reply (less than 2 hours later) informing me that the Drobo is not designed solely around performance. He mentioned that the Drobo mini uses software RAID and implied that hardware RAID based systems will out perform it. He also mentioned that the max speed on the Drobo Mini will be limited to the SATA II spec of 3 GB/s. Unfortunately with the 4 EVO SSDs it still only managed to achieve 60% of that speed in reads and 74% of that speed in writes. He recommended looking at their B series units (B1200i and B800i).
It's a shame, since this unit would be the perfect size unit if one is looking to leverage SSDs in a RAID configuration. If you are looking to achieve blazing fast SSD speeds in a RAID configuration, then regrettably this is not the device to look at.
The unit is not exactly plug and play. It is commonplace to need a number of attempts to mount and use the Drobo Mini. I've tried resetting, reformatting, no difference.
The case looks good, but is no use as a portable unit as the magnetic cover on the front falls off all the time.
oh… and I own a Drobo 5S which has been reliable over the past two years.
We apologize that performance is not the same as a single SSD. The Drobo RAID provides maintenance and redundancy that single standalone drives can't provide.
If you would like you can email us directly at email@example.com to discuss any details and make sure your product is setup properly.
Drobo Support Team
Revised after 18 months: The Mini failed and the sent a RMA's replacement about a month later. THAT replacement failed in less than a year... BUT after two weeks waiting on tech support, they refused to replace the replacement because "it is their policy" .
RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN FRO DROBO...
BTW... I run a DATA CENTER and am not a novice. MCSE, CCNA, CCNP, VCP-DCV.
I bought one, added a short of two thousand dollars of Samsung 840EVO SSDs and the base failed.
Calling tech support was easy, getting results sucked. They have a call center that starts you off with Tier One for idiots. As expected, they made sure it was not a user problems and sent it up to Tier Two: for smarter idiots. Tier two recovered all the same stuff, which took another week, so I ordered another, replaced it and sent the bad one back and that solved the problem. Then tier 3 called back and said they were going to trouble shoot some more and I said I fixed it my swapping.... which is what I asked tier 1 to do 10 days earlier.
The unit actually work good (except it won't boot for MacMavericks on the Thunderbolt, so I have it booting on the USB.
Ok I thought I was good to go, so I ordered another DroboMini and another $2K of SSDs and set it up as a clone.
Then that box failed and I am in the middle of another 10 days of tech support slowness and since I have had the device since May 2014, my return options are gone and I have to wait for Drobo to finally decide to replace the Mini chassis.
Tech support for Drobo even asked me to go out an spend another $2,000.00 on drives so they could make sure it was not their $300 box.
While I think they product has promise, two purchases have failed on me in 6 months and their tech support is outrageously slow and ineffective.... unless all you need to do is have Tier One ask you if you have the unit plugged into AC and have paid your power bill.
I am looking for another solution for Raid SSDs.... Drobo has screwed this pooch. Buy with a 50% chance you will loose your data. Other than that, they have a box just a bunch of pretty lights.
We apologize for the inconvenience you had with the product. Is it possible for you to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org ?
Please include your case number and contact info. We can look into this and would like to hear your feedback whenever possible.
Drobo Support Team
Most Recent Customer Reviews
From the start, the drobo has never worked properly.