The world of network-attached storage devices has been remarkably stable ever since the first NAS units were made several years ago, which is why Drobo is comfortable updating its collection.The latest NAS is called Drobo 5N and will be a sibling, of sorts, to the Drobo 5D and the Drobo Mini that have been selling for some time.
Drobo 5N is unusual among NAS devices because it is intended for solid-state drives rather than hard drives.
HDDs will work fine of course, but Drobo went through extra trouble to implement patent-pending SSD and tiering technology.
It is the first time networked storage gets anything of the sort, but Drobo went further and supplemented all that with "Drobo's unique ease-of-use and flexibility," in the company's own words.
"Drobo continues to add truly impressive modern storage capabilities that are perfect for professionals and small businesses," stated Mark Peters, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.
"Drobo stands alone in delivering its comprehensive range of advanced capabilities -- automated tiering, SSD performance and hard drive capacity, plus enterprise-grade reliability features -- in this price category for the networked home office and small office customer. By also maintaining its renowned ease-of-use, Drobo ensures it delivers both financial and operational value."
Drobo developed the Data-Aware Tiering technology with the idea of HDD+SSD setups in mind. While high-capacity hard disks are still optimal for long-term storage and backup, SSDs will provide an unprecedented speed boost, one that Gigabit Ethernet networks will be able to fully appreciate.
Data retention and safety features are available as well. In addition to preventing unwanted access, Drobo 5N makes sure the failure of a single drive doesn't affect the others. It also ensures that data corruption does not happen when power is cut abruptly.
Finally, as seen on the product page, Drobo 5N has five bays with SATA III support (SATA 6.0 Gbps). The starting price is of $599 / 451 Euro.