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Data Protection

Drobo: Plug-in Peace of Mind

The Drobo Advantage

A while ago I decided it was time to take my data storage and backup seriously. Having a few machines, PCs and Macs, laptops and desktops, a couple of external drives, a Time Capsule for my Time Machine backups, I just thought, “enough is enough!”

Having come to the conclusion that my data storage was getting out of control, I started exploring my options. Broadly speaking they were these:

  • More large external drives & mirror the data.
  • RAID
  • Online backup (link coming when I’ve decided who to recommend)
  • A Drobo storage robot

More hard drives would of just added to the clutter and confusion, though I might still invest in a few so that I can create bootable copies of my critical drives.

A RAID set up was a tempting solution, but although I’m more tech savy than some, I fear this would of eaten up a lot more of my time than I was willing to invest.

The next option is something I’m still considering. Having an online, offsite backup of all my data sounds like a great idea. Whilst the initial backups would most likely take huge amounts of time and might anger my ISP, I think this is something I’ll definitely be utilising in the future and have several reviews of services to get through before I make a decision/recommendation.

A Drobo. I had been hearing good things about Drobos for a while through tech podcasts and decided to take a look at the details. Working in much the same way as RAID, but with less input from me, it sounded like the perfect solution! You can insert 1-4 drives of any capacity and when using 2-4, it will automatically stripe your data across the disks to protect it in the event of a drive death. You can even hot swap the drives to add capacity when you’re running out of space.

I’m currently running 2 x 1.5 TB drives in my Drobo and whilst I still have a long way to go in getting all my data organised on it, I’m confident that it will be worth the effort.

It now also comes in 4 models, Drobo (version I own), Drobo S, Drobo Pro and Drobo Elite, adding varying degrees of more protection against disk failure, server versions which can be rack mounted and faster connections.

Rather than listing the many features of a ‘Drobo storage robot’ here, head over to the Drobo website and have a read through if it sounds like the sort of thing that you’d find useful. Trust me, it’s the best solution I’ve found, truly proving to be ‘plug-in peace of mind’.

If you have any questions, or want to share your own experiences with a Drobo, I’d love to receive your comments :)

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