By Cliff Joseph Macworld UK | on April 06, 2011
Price When Reviewed: £1,279 plus VAT
Pros: Versatile and reliable RAID storage, with option for additional off-site backup
Cons: Expensive; price doesn’t include hard drives
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Drobo storage devices have traditionally been aimed at individuals who need a reliable RAID storage system for their main work computer. The DroboPro FS is a more ambitious product, aimed at small-to-medium businesses and organisations that need ultra-reliable, network-based data backup.
The DroboPro FS has two Gigabit Ethernet ports that allow it to be connected to an office network. The unit is fairly bulky, at 300 x 138 x 358mm, but that’s because it sports eight drive bays, capable of housing 16TB of storage (or 24TB when 3TB drives become available).
Data Robotic’s BeyondRAID technology allows you to quickly add or remove drives, and provides ‘dual drive redundancy’ that can protect data even in the event of two drives failing at the same time. The Drobo Dashboard software provides a number of additional backup features, such as the ability to back up multiple Macs over the network using Apple’s Time Machine, and to specify the maximum storage space allocated to each Mac.
However, the standout feature is the Drobo Sync option that enables you to back up the entire system onto a second DroboPro FS. This second unit can be directly connected to your local network or stored off-site and accessed via VPN (virtual private network), providing secure, storage in the event of theft or other emergency
There are less expensive NAS and RAID systems available for small businesses. However, the high capacity of the DroboPro FS and the option of having a second unit for off-site backup will appeal to organisations that need the maximum possible protection for their important data.