5D and Thunderbolt dock compatibility

Technical specifications of the Belkin and Akitio Thunderbolt docks say that they are NOT compatible with Drobo due to Drobo’s proprietary interface. I have not yet received a response from Elgato on their Thunderbolt dock.

Why is it that Drobo cannot interface with these Thunderbolt docks?

Is there a way to get the interface to work?

Thunderbolt, like Firewire, supports a number of different traffic types on the interface. Repeaters, hubs, bridges and integrated dock type devices may or may not support all traffic types due to the way they work. Sometimes there’s an abstraction there and it filters out things it doesn’t know/like.

You’ll probably see the same thing happen with external drive enclosures. For example, manufacturer-supplied firmware updates and drive diagnostics don’t necessarily work on say, a SATA drive in a USB enclosure. In that case it depends on whether the SATA-USB bridge chip or whether the manufacturer-supplied update/diagnostics is aware of the specific bridge.

The same happens with hardware RAID controllers. Back in the day, 3ware worked with Western Digital so WD could update the drives connected to the 3ware controller without having to remove them and direct-connect them to a regular interface.

So at the end, the dock manufacturer and Drobo will need to work together to determine if/how to make them play together nicely.

(and that will probably take time as well as money from both parties)

Hello MontyLee,
We were perplexed by your post, we have not had any issues with either of these devices. May we ask where you got this information?

Thank You.

Thank you for responding. I searched a bit through Belkin’s documentation but was not able to find. Would you email me location of these spec’s to droboforums@drobo.com