Drobo's network-attached storage devices are used extensively around the world, but the latest might just set a whole new standard for the product line, due to its design, capacity and performance.
In its announcement, Drobo describes the Drobo 5N NAS as a sophisticated, "ultra-modern, high-performance storage system."
The company also says the newcomer is superior to its predecessors in essentially every way: performance, capacity, data protection and ease of use.
As far as capacity goes, it is easy enough to understand why Drobo would say that. After all, not only does the NAS have five drive 3.5-inch bays (for HDDs or SSDs), but is also possesses an mSATA SSD in the Drobo Accelerator Bay, which boosts performance.
The BeyondRAID technology is another asset, providing instant expansion, thin provisioning, mixed drive size flexibility, dual-disk redundancy, drive reordering and automatic protection levels.
Then there is the Data-Aware Tiering technology, which automatically configures and uses both HDDs and SSDs.
Basically, the Drobo 5N is a network-attached storage device (one Gigabit Ethernet is present) capable of holding up to 20 TB, 16 in protected RAID setup.
"Drobo is the future of storage," stated Robin Harris, chief analyst at StorageMojo.com.
"I've said it a number of times in public forums -- the new Drobo products are automated, fast, affordable, and artfully meld both hard drive and SSD technology to deliver a great capacity/performance value proposition. Drobo has once again advanced the state-of-the-art in storage."
Drobo 5N supports not just Microsoft's Windows 7 and 8 operating systems (32-bit and 64-bit), but also Apple's Mac OS X 10.7.x Lion, Mac OS X 10.8.x Mountain Lion.
The company wants a surprisingly low amount of money for the Drobo 5N, namely $599 / 599 Euro. Then again, the HDDs and mSATA SSD will add a lot to the cost, so this is only a small mercy.