Selecting Drives

For Your Drobo

Drobo lets you take advantage of mix and matched drives to maximize your storage capacity and minimize up front investment and costs overtime. While the Drobo Mini utilizes small form factor 2.5" drives the rest of the Drobo products use the large form factor 3.5" drives. This guide will focus on the 3.5" drive and SSD technologies to help you select the right drives for your application, allowing you to balance acquisition costs and performance requirements versus capacity requirements.

Matching Drives to Your Application

Before deciding on which drive to choose, it is important to understand which drive types are best for your application. The table below shows which drive types are best suited by usage.

  • Drive Type
  • Green SATA
  • Desktop SATA
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • Enterprise/NL1 SAS
  • mSATA SSDs
  • Consumer SSDs
  • Enterprise SSDs
  • Bulk Online Storage
  • Back up
  • File Sharing
  • Media Editing
  • Database SQL/Exchange
  • Virtualization

Notes:
NL SAS or Nearline SAS drives have a SAS interface, but leverage the same head, media, and rotational speeds of traditional Enterprise SATA drives. They are ideal for Enterprise applications that have high capacity requirements.

Which Drives Should I Use?

Drobo’s BeyondRAID technology is designed to work with any drive depending on what is most important to you. Drives have varying cost, performance and reliability characteristics. Below is a recommendation of drive types by Drobo model:

  • My Drobo
  • Drobo
  • Drobo 5D
  • Drobo 5N
  • Drobo 800fs
  • Drobo 800i
  • Drobo B1200i
  • Green
    SATA
  • Desktop
    SATA
  • NAS
    Optimized
  • Enterprise
    SATA
  • Enterprise/
    NL SAS
  • mSATA
    SSD
  • Consumer
    SSD
  • Enterprise
    SSD
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 3/4

  • Drobo
  • Green SATA
  • Desktop SATA
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise/ NL SATA
  • 2 mSATA SSD
  • 2 Consumer SSD
  • Drobo 5D
  • Green SATA
  • Desktop SATA
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • 2 mSATA SSD
  • 2 Consumer SSD
  • Drobo 5N
  • Green SATA
  • Desktop SATA
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • 2 mSATA SSD
  • 2 Consumer SSD
  • Drobo 800fs
  • Green SATA
  • Desktop SATA
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • Drobo 800i
  • Green SATA
  • Desktop SATA
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • Drobo B1200i
  • Green SATA
  • Desktop SATA
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • Enterprise SAS
  • 3/4 Enterprise SSD

Notes:

  1. Consult the Drobo.com Knowledgebase for a list of mSATA SSDs and SSDs with the corresponding 2.5″ to 3.5″ converters that are qualified with the Drobo Mini, 5D and 5N.
  2. Consult the Drobo.com Knowledgebase for a list of Enterprise SSDs and the 2.5″ to 3.5″ converters that have been tested and qualified for use in the B1200i.
  3. Configuration note for B1200i: If being used for running databases, or hosting virtual machines, a minimum of six (6) hard drives and (3) SSDs is recommended.

Note on Drive Performance:

For optimal performance, it’s best not to mix drives that have different rotational speeds (RPM). Faster spinning drives will maximize total system performance. Leveraging SSD technology for caching, tiering or as primary storage will provide the best performance when deployed as recommended.

Below is a list of popular SATA Hard Drive models and how they are categorized

  • Drive Model
  • HGST Deskstar
  • HGST Ultrastar
  • Seagate Barracuda Green
  • Seagate Desktop
  • Seagate Barracuda
  • Seagate NAS
  • Seagate Constellation
  • Seagate Terascale
  • Toshiba DT01ACA Series
  • Toshiba MG03Axxx Series
  • WD Green
  • WD Black
  • WD Red
  • WD RE
  • WD SE
  • Green SATA
  • Desktop SATA
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA

Notes:
4K sector drives are supported. Consult the Drobo.com Knowledgebase article describing 4K sector drive support for Drobo products.

How Many Drives Should I Use?

With only two drives in your array, Drobo will protect your data against a single drive failure. With a minimum of three drives, Drobo’s have a user selectable option to protect against two simultaneous drive failures. Consult the online capacity calculator to determine how the choice of drive size, number of drives, and protection levels affect available capacity at: drobo.com/products/capacity-calculator.

Other Resources

Smart storage that grows with you and protects what matters.