Nicholas “Cal” Caldrone of MacSources.com recently did a great review of the Drobo 5N network-attached storage device. In fact, the review tagline is “Professional Data Storage Solution at a Personal Price.” He also gave it 5-star ratings for both design and ease of use. So, what is it about the smallest of the network-attached Drobos that impressed Cal so much? You’re about to find out.
Cal has been a Drobo user since 2009, when a traditional direct-attached hard drive failed on him and lost over 500GB of storage. He has been using USB and FireWire direct-attached Drobos ever since. However, Cal’s needs changed as he juggled between several iMacs and several Drobos. He needed all this data in one place, something that was network attached. Fortunately with the new Drobo 5N, network storage can be had for under $600, plus the 2TB drives he bought at a major electronics chain.
Ease of use is one of the features that keep Cal coming back to Drobo. His setup consisted of plugging it into both the power and the network, inserting the 5 2TB drives, and launching the Drobo Dashboard. From there, it was a matter of formatting the drives and picking single or dual drive redundancy. The Drobo took care of the rest. That’s the beauty of Drobo’s BeyondRAID technology. The 5N was then ready to have the files transferred over from the old DAS Drobo. Once the transfer was complete and Cal set up some user accounts to determine who gets access to what data, any authorized personnel could access the data from any computer attached to the network.
One common misconception is that network storage is slow. Cal debunks that myth right off the bat. With the gigabit Ethernet, the Drobo 5N is faster than his previous direct-attached Drobo. If you want to make the Drobo even faster, it features an mSATA SSD port and data-aware tiering. It will use that little SSD to speed up access to your files. There’s no need to even reformat when using the mSATA.
With Drobo 5N, you can have single or dual redundancy in an easy-to-use NAS device that is extremely efficient, but what happens if the power goes out? Is it still safe? Oh yes it is! Completely unheard of in this device class, the 5N has its own internal battery backup. The Drobo will automatically transfer your data from temporary storage to safe and secure places on the drive before it shuts down. The rechargeable battery has enough charge to safely shut down, and will not need replacement over the life of the system. You don’t have to worry about it; just be thankful it’s there when you need it.
Cal says the Drobo 5N is one of the best investments he has ever made, and he definitely recommends it to others. With the Drobo 5N, powerful network-attached storage is available to everyone.