With the release of a second generation FireWire 800 model, Drobo has repositioned itself from a convenient backup system to an everyday workhorse that also archives your data.
'The second generation Drobo incorporates all of the features and functionality that consumers have grown to know and love in its predecessor: unparalleled ease of use, redundant data protection, and instant expandability that allows storage capacity to grow with users over time. New enhancements include an upgraded core processor, two FireWire 800 ports, dramatically increased USB 2.0 performance, and newly optimized firmware. This release addresses the needs of any user seeking a reliable method of managing vast amounts of data without sacrificing performance; from video editors, to heavy down-loaders, to photographers who shoot raw images,' reports data robotics in their press release.
So now you can use the device for realtime photography production, video editing, and other demanding tasks. Drobo's peace of mind comes at a price, as you would expect. Using the Drobolator to calculate available free space, you'll see that if you fill the Drobo up with four terabyte drives, your available data space is 2.7 TBs. 931 GBs is used for protection, and 3.8 GBs is reserved for overhead. But this is still more efficient than one-to-one backup. And that backup data has to go somewhere.
I have a first generation Drobo for managing my photo archive. I originally had it on an AirPort Extreme network, but I've since moved it to a workstation so I could connect the USB 2.0 cord directly to a computer. Since I've made that adjustment, I've been more satisfied with its performance as a backup machine, especially when searching for photos with Expression Media. But I'd love to try the new FireWire version. If anyone has any hands-on reports, please post a comment and let us know a little bit about your set up too.