One of the most common misconceptions when comparing protected storage devices is that RAID is an interoperable standard. George Crump with Storage Swiss recently wrote an excellent article on Demystifiying RAID levels. In that article, he wrote:
“At the heart of the assumption that proprietary RAID is bad is the implication that these solutions somehow lock the organization into a particular vendor. That is true. But the real truth is that ALL RAID solutions lock the organization into a particular vendor. There is no way to physically move a four-drive set of RAID 5 disks from vendor A’s to vendor B’s storage system”
BeyondRAID™ technology was created to offer additional flexibility and expandability that is not possible with standard RAID levels. Through the use of thin provisioning, instant expansion, and the ability to change RAID levels on the fly, Drobo offers flexibility not available in any other RAID system.
While Drobo offers a simple upgrade path by means of upsizing disks, if the hardware fails there may also be a direct upgrade to a current model. Unlike other vendors that require replacement with the same device, Drobo users can migrate their existing disk pack to a current model in their same product class while retaining all data. For example, users with a 4-bay that is several years old can directly migrate their disks to Drobo 5D, thereby taking advantage of internal battery backup, Thunderbolt connectivity, and SSD tiering.