I’ve been using Drobo for quite some time, now. In fact, I can barely remember the “old days” when I used a standard hard-drive and didn’t have the advantage of drive-swapping, redundant backup, and more. So, as a fan of their products, I thought I would share my top-five reasons why you should use a Drobo, too!
1. Setup is simple
When looking at the tech specs and information about Drobo devices, it might appear like a complicated piece of hardware. Sure, it does some amazing, high-tech, super-savvy things behind the scenes, but don’t let all of that fool you! Setting up a Drobo is easy. Seriously! In fact, each Drobo includes a super easy-to-follow “Quick Start Guide” right inside the box. If you are transferring over a large amount of data after you have it set up then sure, that will take some time. But there’s nothing complicated about setting up the Drobo itself.
2. Redundant backup
If you’re a photographer or any type of content creator, you probably have things on your computer that you would never want to lose. For many of us, our photographs are our livelihood! And even if it is not your profession, you probably have photographs with sentimental value, whether it’s of family, travels, or other adventures. The bottom line is if your house is on fire and you had time to grab one item out of your house, what would it be? I know for me it would be my hard-drives.
Thankfully, the majority of us will never have to make that choice. But we do face other dangers on a daily basis, such as the possibility of a hard-drive failure. You could be working on your computer and everything seems fine, but then, all of a sudden, things start slowing down. You can’t access (or even find) certain files, your computer freezes, and you start hearing strange noises coming from your computer. And then, bam! Your hard-drive failed, and your data is gone. If you were prepared, then you had a backup. But what if you didn’t? What if all of your data was in one place?
With a Drobo, it’s much less likely that you will run into that type of scenario. Drobos allow you to put several hard-drives in one Drobo device, and then the data on the device is stored using their BeyondRAID technology. Basically, your data is not stored on just one drive, or even two drives. If you have three 1TB drives in the Drobo, then the information is stored between all of the drives. Also, in that same scenario, three 1TB drives does not mean that you have 3TB of space, but rather you have 2TB of space and the third terabyte is saved for the redundancy aspect.
I know it might sound a little complicated at first, but it’s really quite simple: If your photographs are stored on a Drobo, they are protected! One hard-drive failure will not result in a loss of your data. Instead, you just have to swap out the failing hard-drive for a new one, and then you’re back up and running again.
Note: On larger Drobos with 5 or more bays you can even set it so two drives can fail without data loss if you’d like an extra level of security.
3. Easy to increase and expand your hard-drive space
One of the reasons I love Drobo is because it is so simple to increase hard-drive space. In the past, if my main hard-drive was running out of room, I had to purchase a new, larger drive and transfer ALL of my files from one drove to the other before I could continue on with my day. It was time-consuming and annoying (to say the least).
With a Drobo, however, when space starts to run out, adding more is so easy. If you have an empty slot, then you can just add a brand-new hard-drive. Or, you can just swap out a smaller drive for a larger one. It’s a lot less expensive and way less hassle than swapping out entire hard-drive units.
If you would like to see the possibilities on drive storage in a Drobo, click here.
4. Alerts you when hard-drives start to fail
In the case of a hard-drive failure inside of a Drobo, there’s a pretty good chance that you will know it’s happening. The Drobo software on your desktop will alert you if a hard-drive is failing, giving you enough time to purchase a new one and replace the failing drive. Even if the hard-drive fully fails, your data is still there. You will need to replace the drive in order for your data to be protected (just in case another drive fails), but you don’t have to worry about losing your precious photos and documents.
Note: The Drobo can also send you an email to warn you if you are traveling or away and problems are happening. The green lights on the front also turn red or yellow to give you an extra layer of feedback.
5. Multiple options for multiple needs
Whether you need a small Drobo for your personal needs, or a larger setup for a business, they have you covered. For my uses (a small-business owner and professional photographer with over 200k photographs in my Lightroom catalog), I use a Drobo 5D as my main Drobo, and a standard Drobo as a backup. I’d recommend that you take a look over on the Drobo website to see if there’s a system that fits for your needs.