At e92plus, we have just started distributing the Drobo range of products and like any technical person, the technology interested me, but hands on experience with a product is much more fun!
A number of things drew my attention to the Data Robotics (Drobo) range of drive enclosures, even before we signed them up to distribute their products. I was aware that different makes and sizes of hard drives could be used within one enclosure. This goes against the things that I have learnt about RAID technology and have been using for over 17 years, but then again RAID is over 25 years old!!
I was also aware that some of the Drobo range would allow applications (Drobo Apps) to be run on the device, so it could be a web server, FTP server, iTunes server, etc.
There was a boast that it was easy to set up without the complex configuration normally associated with RAID systems. I think I had a head start as I have worked with RAID for a number of years, as well as already owning a Netgear NAS appliance at home. I've been looking to replace this with a device that support the storage of an iTunes library, which my current device does not do.
After plenty of research, I came to the conclusion that I need a Drobo FS at home, and all of this was decided before I was even aware of it at work. It was good to see that something I had researched a while ago was not only good enough for home, but have a number of devices suitable for business uses.
Here's the box that arrived today:
The box contained a number of items:
- Drobo FS Device
- Drobo FS User Guide
- Drobo Resource CD
- Straight Ethernet Cable
- AC Adapter
- Power Cords (UK & European)
The instructions on the box were very straight forward:
- Install Drobo Dashboard from the Drobo Resource CD
- Insert at least two 3.5" SATA hard drives, metal side up (Note: Any data on the drives would be wiped)
- Connect an Ethernet cable and the AC adapter, then follow the dashboard instructions
I had four 1TB SATA hard drives spare, so this is what I'm using as part of this test.
Software installation to follow in the next post: