BeyondRAID®

Storage Without Limitations.

Built into every Drobo is the incredibly innovative next-generation of redundant storage technology. BeyondRaid leaves the limitations of traditional RAID behind while unifying simplicity, enhanced protection, reliability, and unparalleled expandability. BeyondRAID will change everything you know about traditional data storage.

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Don’t Think RAID, Think BeyondRAID

Developed in the 1980s, RAID was designed to pool disk drives together for increased capacity and reliability for data storage. It has been preventing single disk drive failures causing data loss, and has been used in almost every enterprise data center for decades.

While reliable, the complexity of RAID is a huge challenge for small businesses and consumers. RAID has a high learning curve with many options, levels, and unfamiliar terminology like striping, mirroring, and parity.

There are several primary challenges with traditional RAID:

Lock-in of RAID Levels

To change RAID levels, most storage arrays require the data to be moved off, reconfigured, and then moved back on. If you want to move to RAID 6 from RAID 5 for protection against two drive failures, you need to reinitialize and start over. This process could take days to complete.

Lack of Expandability

Once drives are configured into a RAID pool, expandability is impossible unless you have a lot of time, or experience. If you want to add more storage capacity, the solution is to create a new RAID pool, leaving you with another chunk of storage to manage – or you can just reinitialize and start over.

Drive Failures Create Big Risks

When a drive fails, most RAID implementations enter a state where data loss will occur if another drive falters before the user replaces the failed drive. Also, performance is hampered when in this debilitated state.

Moving Beyond RAID

Drobo’s BeyondRAID technology solves the fundamental issues that traditional RAID can’t. Built on the foundation of traditional RAID, BeyondRAID adds a layer of virtualization that chooses the correct protection algorithm based on data availability needs at any given moment. Since the technology works at the block level, it can write blocks of data that alternate between RAID protection levels.
If you need to add storage capacity to a Drobo, simply insert additional disk drives or replace the smallest disks with larger ones – no need to change RAID levels, purchase a new storage array, or go through the complex administration of pooling RAID groups.

The BeyondRAID feature can even switch from single to dual disk redundancy with just the click of your mouse through Drobo Dashboard. This ensures enterprise-level dual parity data protection, when needed. If a drive happens to fail, Drobo will automatically re-layout the data to the remaining drives, returning it to a protected state with no user interaction.

For additional information about how Drobo is changing the way people deploy, manage and protect data – or to learn more about BeyondRAID you can read about it in the RAID 25 Years Later: New Innovation in Storage eBook.

BeyondRAID: It’s RAID, Only Better

  • Available Features
  • Supports Two Drives (RAID 1)
  • Supports Three Drives (RAID 5)
  • Supports Four Drives or More (RAID 5 & 6)
  • Single-Disk Redundancy (RAID 5)
  • Dual-Disk Redundancy (RAID 6)
  • Mixed Drive Utilization
  • Thin Provisioning
  • Instant Expansion
  • Smart Volumes
  • Automatic Protection Levels
  • Virtual Hot Spare
  • Data Aware
  • Drive Re-ordering
  • BeyondRAID
  • Everyone Else with RAID
  • *

*Some vendors (e.g. Synology) offer some options, though they require manual choices / configuration.

Thin Provisioning with Smart Volumes

Our volumes are smarter just smarter. Thin provisioning through Drobo’s Smart Volumes provides on-demand allocation of storage providing maximized capacity utilization. Smart Volumes are a virtual volume architecture that pull needed storage, on-demand, from a common pool (thin provisioning) and then return any deleted blocks back to the common pool (thin reclamation), allocating these newly available blocks to free space immediately available for new data.

Space allocation is automatically managed, maximizing storage resources. For example, if a large file on a volume is deleted, the free space of the Drobo gets larger. The freed up space is then available to other volumes. Our Volumes are Smart, even enterprise-class arrays with thin provisioning do not return consumed storage back to a common pool at this granular level.

Smart storage that grows with you and protects what matters.