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- NAS!Hot-swappable drivesGreat software
- Only 5 HDD slotsOnly supports SATA drivesNoisy
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The Data Robotics Drobo FS network attached storage device is easy to use, hugely flexible and will appeal to anyone who wants to keep their data safe from harm
AVERAGE CRITIC SCORE
The Drobo FS offers pretty much everything I could ask for in a NAS
AVERAGE USER SCORE
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- Critic Reviews (3)
- User Reviews (14)
- 87AVERAGE CRITIC SCORE3 ReviewsCNET UK90Data Robotis drobo fs reviewThe Data Robotics Drobo FS network attached storage device is easy to use, hugely flexible and will appeal to anyone who wants to keep their data safe from harm.TUAW90TUAW review: Data Robotics Drobo FS NasIt provides Data Robotics' expandable BeyondRAID technology in a network-attached version that is well within the financial reach of prosumers or businesses. If you're looking for a way to add shared, expandable RAID storage to a home or office network, consider the Drobo FS.USA Today80Review: Drobo FS a price way to back up and shareThe new Drobo FS (which stands for file share) aims to offer the easiest way to both back up data successfully and share it easily on your home network. It does both of those things effortlessly, but you will pay dearly for the price of success.
- 81AVERAGE USER SCORE14 ReviewsEngadget Reader70October 19, 2012Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!The Drobo FS offers pretty much everything I could ask for in a NAS. Large drive capacity, tons of configuration, and well thought out design. Would it bother me if it was 10-20 MB/s faster? No. But speed is something I'm definitely willing to trade away for how incredibly easy it is to setup, use, and manage.Edit: I dropped the score from an 8 to a 7, here's why:Speed degraded over time.Virtually no tools.Limited media capabilities.Got louder with time.Engadget Reader80July 20, 2012Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!I use this drive with Dual Disk redundancy. 4 x 2TB drives. 2 laptops sync over wifi for Time Machine. Have luckily not lost a drive yet! When I do I have heard rebuilding and propagating the data can take > 24 hours (depending on how full drives are).I JUST found out about: http://www.droboports.com/ -- a place where you can find software to install on your DroboFS. Software is updated and maintained by the Drobo user community. Gives my drobo another 2-3 years!Engadget Reader40July 12, 2012Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!My Biggest issue with the drobos are they customer service and support policies. You have to pay for firmware upgrades (upwards to $199 a pop) even when the firmware contains just a bugfix. Also in my experience the support people were rude and accusatory and even when finally admitting to an existing issue would state that as I customer I should cope whatever the bug is or fix it myself. I would never buy another drobo again and would suggest Synology as a MUCH BETTER RAID alternative.Engadget Reader80April 26, 2012Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!I heard of Drobo from TWiT shows and realized I needed to replace my janky solution of - simple span across using native Windows disk management (risking failure to get the most storage) and then using multiple consumer external drives as the redundant backup (and manually updating the backup). So I started with a 4-bay Drobo 2nd gen in 2009 and started with 3x 750GB drives in the initial array and began adding/replacing drives with no issue. Replaced them all with 1TB drives, then 2TB drives. The Drobo ecosystem can add new drives into empty bays in a matter of seconds and replace drives into an existing array over the course of a few hours upwards of 15 (that's really not bad when the data is still usable). The BeyondRAID makes drive replacement super simple and requires no intervention. Just pull drives and put new ones in, and the LED indicators let you know when it's done. Your data is still accessible with drive failure or during a rebuild, just don't get crazy.The Drobo Dashboard software has come a long way and brings a lot of control over the device. For the FS, you can easily configure it to send out of a mail server (Gmail using your creds) in the event of alerts, plus sharing access controls. It has native Time Machine functionality that just needs to be enabled and it creates a specific directory for it and allows OS X to find it. The visualization of disk utilization is clear and understandable, so you can get a good idea of how much of your drives you are using. However, Drobo does not natively come with any media support. It's a file server, not a media server. But there are 3rd party plugins available, including Apache web server and a UPnP server. It works, but I wouldn't recommend this for a broadcasting server; you're better off getting your client side (like Boxee) to mount the data and interpret it. that much works great. So I give this a poor grade in media support, when that isn't what it's supposed to do anyway. Gigabit Ethernet means plenty of bandwidth for streaming off the array.Word of warning: although BeyondRAID has its advantages, array (called "packs") compatibility between devices is select. You can transplant a pack from one kind of Drobo to another as long as it recognizes the file system. Because the 4-bay Drobo allows all major file systems and the FS only supports ext3, you cannot transplant an NTFS pack from a 4-bay Drobo 2nd gen into a Drobo FS. I learned this the hard way. So I had to buy all new drives for the new FS and just sell my old Drobo with drives. But should I need a larger Drobo, I can get the DroboPro FS (8-bay) and transplant my pack into that. There's a compatibility chart on Drobo's website, as well as a capacity calculator that comes in handy when you need a quote of how much usable space you'll get with your drives.As pretty as this device is, it's not meant to sit on your desk, especially if that means your bedroom. This thing can get loud, especially if you disable power saving to spin down the disks.As cheap as this may sound, Drobo is the Apple of storage. It just works. I never have to tinker with it and it's never failed. Could it fail? Sure. But everything can fail. Feel free to compare failure rates (on the device itself to other devices, not drives). Sure, Drobos are more expensive than the competition that has the same number of bays, but you pay for functionality and reliability. This is definitely more aimed at business to enterprise than consumers, but if you have TBs of data worth protecting, you might want to investigate this. My 5x 3TB drives (15TB = 13.64 actual = 10.84 usable after RAID math, with 60% used right now) aren't complaining, and neither am I.Engadget Reader90April 7, 2012Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!I upgraded from a 1st gen Drobo to the Drobo FS and honestly wish I'd done it sooner. The Drobo FS is much easier to manage since you don't need to worry about the device's format and the networking is extremely easy to use. I particularly like the ability to add shares and limit their size "on the fly", which makes splitting the storage on the Drobo FS into pools quite easy.The included Drobo Dashboard software is a little "glossy" for my tastes (I'd prefer an app that shares the look-and-feel of the operating system it's running on), but all the major functions you need are there and easy to find and use. Drobo's stated intention for their professional line of devices is to make NAS easy to use, and I'd say they've knocked it out of the park with the Drobo FS.Rick90March 26, 2012Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!Great NAS box so far with a few limitations. First, one issue is that if the device fails, you can't throw drives in a non-Drobo box to use the data (bummer). Also, you are forced to have redundant data, there is no non-redundant mode (which would be useful for transferring data to the Drobo initially with drive re-use). Speed isn't amazing, but is good enough (faster than my old DNS-323). Love the fact that you can use a mismatched variety of drives!Engadget Reader70December 24, 2011Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition. - EngadgetEngadget Reader80May 15, 2011Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws. - EngadgetEngadget Reader90April 15, 2011Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!Once I set up the device and restored if after playing with to many low level system files it's been running like a champ. I've had one drive fail in the device. I ejected the drive and turned it off until the replacement arrived. It took a long time to rebuild the array but I didn't lose a drop of data. I would recommend this to anyone serious about storage.The user forums for this device hold priceless amounts of information. It's too bad they're not easier to find: http://www.drobospace.com/forums/index.php. You must own a drobo before registering. It requires a serial number.Engadget Reader70December 5, 2010Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!I've been using a 1st gen HP Mediasmart Windows Home Server as my "NAS" solution for years. The reason I love WHS is its drive extender capability (can add any drive with any capacity) and folder duplication feature (saved my behind many times). However, the original WHS is based on Server 2003, and doesn't support newer hard-drives with 4K sector and/or drives larger than 2TB. I already maxed out my WHS with 2TB drives. I was waiting for Vail, the next-gen WHS, but Microsoft took away the number one feature, Drive Extender, THE feature that enables the things I like about WHS mentioned above. So much for Windows Home Server then. I need another solution with better expandability. I finally decided to migrate to the drobo FS, and it's great.Pros:-dead easy upgrade/replacing drives. Want to put it new drives? Just take out the old one, and put the new one in, while the machine is running, literally. It's plug-n-play in its literal sense! No need to worry about recovery as the unit is self-healing. Even better, it supports those new 4K sector drives.-redundancy is automatic. Unlike WHS where you have to explicitly enable folder duplication on each shared folder, drobo will protect from single-drive failure automatically. The FS can also have 2-drives failure protection, but total capacity goes way down.-built-in Time Machine support.Cons:-speed. Even on a gigabit ethernet, transfer speed is only around 20MB/s, give or take. Although this is decent enough for my usage (eg. streaming video), the slowness can be felt if you transfer or manipulate large files. In comparison, the 1st gen HP WHS machine I have can go about 50MB/s transfer speed.-expensive. The FS is $699, bare. No drives included. In comparison, you can get the latest HP Windows Home Server with 1.5TB storage for less than $600 (1TB for less than $500). If you know you won't use drives with 4K sector (newer 1-2TB drives are formatted this way), then WHS is much more economical.-Compared to WHS, drobo FS is more like a straight forward NAS. WHS has a lot more functionalities, including automatic backup for Windows Machines, which is an excellent feature if you're on Windows. Not a huge deal for me as my primary machine is a Mac.In the end, to me the drobo FS is worth the price. A lot of people balk at the price, and quickly dismissed drobo, but many doesn't consider how to recover from hard-drive failure on other solutions, especially traditional RAID solutions. Even Windows Home Server is not fool-proof when a hard-drive fails. Not with drobo as you can just eject the bad drive and insert a new one, and that's it.Engadget Reader100September 24, 2010Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!Having several different computers on my home network, it seemed like almost every time I wanted to access a particular file it was on a different machine than the one I was using. The obvious solution was Network Attached Storage so I purchased an Iomega 1 TB Home Media Network Hard Drive. This appeared to be a reasonable solution until the drive crashed and all files were lost. Not wanting to ever run this risk again, I did some research and the Drobo FS appeared to be the ultimate solution. The Drobo setup was quick and easy, I installed 5 2TB drives and configured the device for dual redundancy where I can have up to two drives fail and still not lose any data. This is exactly the peace of mind I was looking for. The design is sleek, operation is quiet and I appreciate the features like power saving shutdown and temperature monitoring. With the minor exception that the registration process left out Amazon and Windows 7, I can find nothing to fault in terms of price, value, design and performance.Engadget Reader100August 25, 2010Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!I waited for years for them to offer all the specs seen in the FS. Love It!Engadget Reader90July 28, 2010Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - EngadgetEngadget Reader80June 10, 2010Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!I own both a Drobo 2nd Gen and a DroboFS. I must say that the DroboFS is the better option. It is a 5 drive bay enclosure that has a gigabit ethernet interface that you can plug into your home network or directly to your computer (if you have a spare ethernet connection). It also sports a dual core processor (one core to run the NAS and one core to run the DroboApps if you so choose to install and run them).Just note that the filesystem design is of a thin provisioning configuration. It reports more space to your OS than you really have. The great thing about this is that you can install larger drives without ever having to do anything else the OS. On the flip side, you need to keep track of how much actual space your drobo has available for use. Configuring email notifications helps as you will receive warning when you get close to needing another drive/larger drive.As far as hardware, it is a nice design since you add the drives and it takes care of the rest. It also has the ability to be dual redundancy (with the right size drives) so that if one drive fails, you still have your data protected until you can get a new disk in place and the data replicated.As for the software, well, DRI needs some more work. For example, if a drive fails, but gets pulled back into the environment, you will get an alert, but unless your at the Drobo, you won't know which drive failed until you send your logs into support and have them tell you which drive caused the problem (that should be something viewable for the end user (IMO). Also, DroboApps are not supported by DRI.The cool thing about DroboApps, is that if you install them, you have the ability to turn your NAS into an FTP server, a web server, or a media server. Of course you will need Linux skills to be able to move around the DroboFS and configure the apps.Just know that the Drobo only comes with a 90 day warrenty (used to be 1 year, but recently shortened). but you can purchase 1 year support contracts at a resonable price. The customer service is pretty good and they also have a Drobo Forum (owners only) where you can discuss issues and request on all things Drobo.So far, I've been very happy with both of my Drobos!
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