Information Technology Reference
In-Depth Information
Drobo Storage Devices
Drobo 's eponymous storage devices are much like RAIDs, in that they
let you combine multiple disks into a single, higher-capacity volume.
Depending on the model, a Drobo can hold anywhere from four to
twelve hard drive mechanisms. Some have local interfaces such as
USB 2.0 or 3.0, FireWire 800, Thunderbolt, eSATA, or iSCSI; others
have Gigabit Ethernet interfaces. Although the models have various
other differences too, they all share the following in common:
You can hot-swap drives—that is, remove or replace them while the
device is running.
You can mix and match drives—any number, capacity, speed, or
Part of the space on each drive is set aside for data redundancy,
so if any single drive fails, all the data remains intact—and you can
simply swap out the malfunctioning drive as if nothing happened.
The Drobo automatically reconfigures itself as you add or remove
drives—no manual intervention is required at all.
This set of capabilities (along with a few other niceties) is collectively
known as BeyondRAID. That's an apt term, because Drobo does all
the things a RAID can do and then some. With a conventional RAID,
for example, all disks must have the same capacity, and adding or
removing a volume requires lengthy, tedious reconfiguration.
As a result, a Drobo is a good way to ensure you always have enough
capacity for your backups. All Drobo models work with Time Machine,
and those with local interfaces can also be used as Mac boot volumes.
It's even possible to partition Drobo storage space into two volumes,
one of which could be used for bootable duplicates and the other for
versioned backups.
However, despite the Drobo's redundant data storage, it does not
automatically make versioned backups—you must use Time Machine
or another backup program for that. In addition, even though you can
use a Drobo for bootable duplicates and can remove one (or in some
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