I used to think that 2TB was a lot of capacity; that was the maximum volume size when we first launched Drobo in 2007. Back then 250GB was a high capacity SATA disk!
Today, 6TB disks are popular, and 8TB drives are the highest capacity you can buy. Drobos work by combining the capacity of all the disks to present a common storage pool (one disk is used for redundancy). A 5D with 5 x 8TB drives provides ~30 TB of storage capacity once the redundancy is taken into consideration see our Capacity Calculator to see how much storage your Drobo can provide
The latest 3.5.0 firmware release for the Drobo 5D increases the default volume size to 64 TB, bringing it into line with the capabilities of the Drobo 5N, B810n, B810i and B1200i.
Drobo’s thin provisioning technology means that Drobo creates a larger volume than there is physical disk storage for, meaning that when you run low on space, you simply add a large hard drive and have immediate access to the extra disk space.
The latest 5D firmware has some other important improvements
* We support 4K “native” disks. A few years ago, the industry increased the size of the hard disk sector from 512 bytes to 4096 bytes (4K). This was called “Advanced Format”. However, they did this in a backward compatible manner such that the disk was still accessed 512 bytes at a time. Recently we’ve been seeing disks in the market which only support 4K access (“4K-native”, or “4KN”), and we now fully support them. Indeed, you can mix and match different sector-size disks in your Drobo.
* There have been a huge number of improvements to improve the robustness, performance and responsiveness of the Drobo, including improved self-repair in the case of data corruptions, and greatly speeding up the rebuild process when disks are replaced. Drobo has a number of mechanisms to monitor and validate the health of your data and we have extended these too.
By: Jason O’Broin
Jason is the Director of Software Engineering at Drobo and is responsible for all software development. Jason was one of the original engineers at Drobo and has over 25 years of experience in storage, networking and operating systems development gained at Wind River and Madge Networks. He is originally from the UK and gained his Master in Computing Science from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne.