Home >> Best Storage Device ? Enter the Drobo

How to protect your Digital Life.
Posted: June 15, 2009

It becomes more and more important. We talked about it years ago when the "digital photo revolution" and then the mp3 files were taking over more and more space on our hard drives. In the years before we could use CDs and then DVDs to protect our files from the unavoidable demise of our disk drives. But with gigabytes to backup many of us gave up and started to use hope and prayers. On the other hand the value of our pictures increased exponentially. They are our lifetime memories. In the "good old days"we had our prints and negatives. Today's negatives are our hard drives - pun intended. Those devices will fail. It's not IF but when - and it's always at the worst time. So get going. Backup, backup, backup. Inconvenient?? Those days are over.

We discovered a new site that focuses most of it's attention to just that - "your digital life" - with a name of "".

Check it out. There is a group of people that made it their mission to help us - the folks that haven't experienced a hard drive crash and lost their data yet - to make sure that when the day comes, your files, photos and videos are all safe. They talk about the entire field of backing up data and how to build a strategy based on your needs - whether for the home or business.

Here and now we just want to show off one of the key pieces that should be in all strategies:

Enter the Drobo
If you haven't heard about the "Drobo" - read on and get the important details.
It's the best, one-and-only data storage solution that will never run out of disk space and - at the same time - protects you against losing your data caused by a disk failure. This is a device that doubles as an active external storage drive and as your backup drive, making the need for a dedicated backup hard drive for most situations unnecessary. Its capacity grows with you as your need for more storage grows.

Sounds unbelievable ? It's not.
The Drobo's original concept is based on the fact that all hard drives - A) will eventually run of space and - B) worse, will fail.

So how does it work? The Drobo looks like an external disk drive to your PC. And when you buy it it's like empty drive case with 4 slots for your hard drives. Plug in one of your old drives, e.g. an 80 Gig drive and it shows 80 Gigs on your PC. Plug in an additional 160 GB drive and now the Drobo shows up still as one volume but having 240 GB. Add two 320 GB drives to the unit and you have 880 GB total. Now the unit starts using its BeyondRaid firmware to protect your data against disk failures. If your 80 GB drive crashes, you won't lose any data. Replace it with a new 500 GB drive - on the fly. No data lost in the crash AND you added capacity to the array. Get it? Any time one of the drives in the Drobo fails, replace it with a new, bigger drive you get at Fry's on sale. Result - you will never run out of space!

The Drobo aggregates the individual drive capacities into a single volume. This is similar to how disk capacity is managed and protected in large enterprise servers and Drobo makes this feature available for the home and small business user without human intervention.

How do WE know? By having the conceptual design documents since 2004 and a prototype of the hardware sitting on our shelf since mid 2005.





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