Built on our award-winning BeyondRAID technology, the Drobo 5C protects your data without any intervention – even in the event of multiple drive failures. You can even switch from single to dual disk redundancy with a single click, ensuring enterprise-level dual parity data protection when required. Drobo’s with BeyondRAID are also self-healing and have virtual hot-spares. If a drive happens to fail, Drobo will automatically re-layout the data to return to a protected state without disruption.
Drobo takes the up front guess work out of determining the amount of capacity you require. Buy the capacity you need today, and when you need more storage, simply replace your smallest drive with a larger one and immediately use that capacity in seconds. You can even mix and match drive brands, capacities and speeds.
To further enhance your experience, every Drobo comes with Smart Volume technology. Smart Volumes™ are thinly provisioned volumes that automatically utilize capacity as needed from a common pool of storage. Additionally, as data is deleted, free capacity is returned to that common pool, immediately increasing the available capacity.
BeyondRAID along with Smart Volumes deliver next-generation storage technology by bringing together enhanced data protection, reliability, expandability, and ease-of-use.
Problems with Traditional RAID
RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) was developed in the 1980s to pool disk drives for increased capacity and reliability for data storage. Since then, RAID has been a huge success, preventing single disk drive failures from causing data loss, and has been used in almost every enterprise data center.
Unfortunately, the complexity of RAID has made it challenging for small businesses and consumers to effectively use the technology. RAID has a high learning curve with many options. There's RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, and 60 along with unfamiliar terminology like striping, mirroring, and parity.
Aside from complexity, these are the primary challenges with traditional RAID:
Lock-in of RAID levels. To change RAID levels, most storage arrays require the data to be moved off of it, reconfigured, and then moved back on. If you want to move to RAID 6 from RAID 5 for protection against two drive failures, it's a reinitialize and start over.
Lack of expandability. Once drives are configured into a RAID pool, that is it. If you want to add more storage capacity, the solution is to create a new RAID pool, leaving you with another chunk of storage to manage - or you can just reinitialize and start over.
Debilitated state after a drive failure. When a drive fails, most RAID implementations enter a state where data loss will occur if another drive falters before the user replaces the failed drive. Also, performance is hampered when in this debilitated state.
Drobo's BeyondRAID technology solves these fundamental issues with traditional RAID while delivering much more. Built on an advanced virtualization platform, BeyondRAID chooses the correct protection algorithm based on data availability needs at any given moment. Since the technology works at the block level, it can write blocks of data that alternate between data protection approaches.
If you need to add storage capacity to a Drobo, simply insert additional disk drives or replace the smallest disks with larger ones - no need to change RAID levels, purchase a new storage array or go through the complex administration of pooling RAID groups. The BeyondRAID feature even allows IT managers to switch from single to dual disk redundancy with a single click, thereby ensuring enterprise-level dual parity data protection if required. If a drive happens to fail, Drobo will automatically re-layout the data to return to a protected state without any user interaction.