Anyone else worried how drobo keeps putting out more and more expensive models?

There aren’t really any consumer friendly pricing on new drobo models. The least expensive DAS drobo is $649 and that is only 4 bays of 2.5" limited size drive. The least expensive NAS is $600. Then it goes to $850.

Firewire/USB is gone. (could have gone usb3 only)
Drobo S is gone.
Relatively inexpensive Drobo Pro is gone.

I understand that the cheaper models may have been “too consumer” for drobo and they want either businesses or tech friendly consumers with more money and more “computer smarts.” Drobo may want to price themselves out of the average consumer market.

I always tell my friends and people how great the drobo is, but they are so expensive now. Telling someone they have to spend $500 or more for a used drobo that doesn’t include any storage and that almost always stops the sale. And the bigger problem is drobo’s biggest selling point of swapping drives is almost moot now. When I got my first drobo, it was common to have 300, 500, 750, 1000, and 1500 GB drives around. I’d upgrade a computer and have a spare smaller drive. I’d just throw it into the drobo. Now, 2 TB drives are $80 on sale with 4TB for $140, there is rarely a time to swap a drive.

I’m not saying that drobo is doing anything wrong. They know their business and selling cheap drobos may have worked well in the past and simply doesn’t work now.

I just wish there was a cheaper drobo and drobo pro.

A cheaper and/or expandable Drobo would be welcome for me, but currently I see the Drobo business model of getting a firm foothold on the Enterprise market to pay for engineering and stuff.

The consumer market is increasingly less geeky and therefore more prone to creating support calls/tickets. At least the enterprise businesses are still used to paying for support contracts and other ongoing revenue streams that Drobo Inc can sustain itself on.

Definitely agree that the now-inexpensive nature of storage has reduced Drobo’s mix-and-match appeal, and large drives mean fewer consumers needing more than one drive of storage, and they still don’t consider data backups until it’s too late. So Drobo often gets unfairly compared to standard “dumb” external drives, and that’s a tough fight to win since it centers on experience and education.

On the flip side, considering how much effort and stress my BYO RAIDs caused me, Drobo is still relatively cheap.

In many ways Drobo is just like my other favorite company, TiVo. I just hope they continue to support us “cheap” folks. :slight_smile:

hi dpuett,

i agree that having cheapish drobo’s for all of us consumers is a good thing :slight_smile:
cheapest ive seen so far is about 634.00 GBP = 989.263 USD for a 5D on its own :frowning:

i dont think the drive swappability is as moot a point as you might think though…
eg, i have a drobo gen1 (with 4 drives as my sig below)
while upgrading the gen 1 (and backup gen2) from 1TB drives to 1.5TB, i ended up with some spare 1TB drives…

i have a Drobo-S with 3x 1.5TB drives, and a couple of spare slotes… for me, being able to put a couple of spare 1TB drives into it, (without needing to spend more to buy new drives yet), is a really cool and useful thing to be able to do, and i look forward to trying that out soon hopefully during summer.

(the additional notion of being able to just pop them in and start using the space, even if i was to be prompted with a popup about creating 1 new 2TB volume, is quite useful)

as far as i know (and hope so) a usb3 drobo should work in an older lower usb mode. (as long as usb is always available as an option, i’ll be a happy drobo user) :slight_smile:

It should be noted that the $600 NAS that Drobo ships is MUCH cheaper than its competition, and is indeed even cheaper than the FS it replaced (which debuted at $700).

The 5D and Mini are more expensive because Thunderbolt is still very expensive - but that doesn’t mean their prices are going up across the board.

Synology DS413 NAS is $500 (disk-less).
Supports heterogeneous disks sizes and dual fault protection over 4 disks !

And yes, I agree that it is a bit curious that Drobo mostly abandoned the customer base who made its original success. But I suppose the “prosumer” market is harder and less profitable than the true “professional” market…
Furthermore, there are more and more alternatives to the Drobo, cheaper and with higher performances, like the Synology above.

Paul, i just bought a brand new sealed Drobo 5N for £395 inc deliovery, thats a hell of a bargain

And that’s a 4-disk array compared to a 5-disk. A better comparison is the 1512/1513. The Synology has far more features, but it’s also quite a bit more expensive. You may not care about that 5th drive, but that’s 33% more storage you’re giving up (moving from 3 usable drives to 4).

EDIT: As others have noted, the 5N’s street price is even less than $500. So your argument holds even less water.

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(very nice docchris :slight_smile:

Amazon has had the 5N for $470 and Newegg has had it for $450 in the past few months. Very good prices. My media collection has grown large enough (11 drives) I ended up building a Win 7 server and using a snapshot RAID, snapRAID, on it.

is the 5d faster than the 5n?
(i know its a loose term, but i mean in terms of access times and processing hardware etc, and not in terms of raw/theoretical bandwith speed that a gbit ethernet cable potentially has but rather in practical use.)

eg, the 5n only has an ethernet cable (which has max speed transfer capability much higher than a usb cable)…but, i use the gen1, gen2 and drobo-s models all via usb and they seem to be in that order of “quickness” so far.

if i used a 5d, it would be via usb as well, and while i dont have a specific need for networking right now, is it worth me spending less on a 5n (and potentially having to spend more time understanding it or benefiting from it since i intend to use it as a Directly Attached storage device anyway)… or is it worth me spending more to get a 5D (when the price comes down much lower lol), and not having to worry about NAS issues?

if the 5n is much quicker than the 5d though, then it might make more sense for me to get one, but im not so sure?

the 5d probably is slightly faster - but they are both faster than any regular home user would ever need so i would get the cheaper and more versatile one, as i did :slight_smile:

As I understand it both have the same core storage engine. The 5N just has the ‘sidecar’ NAS with GigE guts while the 5D has direct USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt interface to the storage engine.

It seems strange that the 5N costs less than the 5D, as the 5N has the 5D storage guts plus the NAS guts, but I suspect the NAS hardware is cheaper than the USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt licensing and hardware.

Or Drobo may simply be going for market potential.

hmm, i’d have thought it was like the drobo S / FS pairing, where the FS had slower guts (to save money - since it had a slower interface, why put high ends processors in it)

have you got a sourse?

do you also know some anwers to these at all please?

a) if we plug a 5n into a router, is it secure, or is it better to connect it directly to the ethernet cable socket on the computer?

and b) do you know if you can have multiple drobo’s connected to the same machine where eah drobo uses a different connection? for example:

i have a gen1 and gen2 on my win xp computer, each connected with their own usb cable and they work fine. (older firmware and dash).

c) can the new ranges of 5d/5n be seen and used on an xp machine? (from what i remember, i think dri mentioned that a drobo-s would work on winxp, but not when my gen1/gen2 compatible dshboard was running.)

d) on windows 7 the drobo-s is connected via usb.
if i got a 5n, and plugged it into the computers ethernet port, would dashboard automatically recognise it and show it up as a letter in My Computer, or would i need to set up a home network and map folders and letters to drives etc?
and would both the drobo-s and 5n work fine without conflicts?

(theres a bunch of other questions and no worries we’re all unofficial here unless it comes from the horses mouth, but i guess these are some key things that would be useful to know more about before getting one)

While not 100% solid, the similarities were hinted at by Tom.

That still leaves some room for a slower storage processor, I suppose.

a) Direct Ethernet would give the maximum bandwidth to the computer. But you lose all of the sharing and NAS advantages.

b) Sure, nothing prevents multiple NAS units, as long as they each have their own IP address.

c) Not sure how supported XP is these days. For 5N it’s a NAS, so there aren’t filesystem restrictions. For the 5D, as long as the proper partitioning was there, it should work, but I’m not aware of anybody going that.

d) If you set an IP manually it should. If you leave it for Autoconfig, Dashboard may or may not see it.
Both will work fine.

All that said, I still feel like direct-attaching a 5N is less efficient and more headache than a 5D. Granted, I think the 5N is cheaper than the 5D so…

Yes, the additional cost of the 5D is directly due to the Thunderbolt licensing fees. The 5N connected direct to an ethernet port on a computer will be similar in speed to USB3; generally 60 - 90 MB/s write depending on what you’re doing with it. This assumes the NIC is Gb. You would use it in exactly the same way as if it were connected to the network.

Thanks sky, thats good to know.

bhiga - here the difference is about £200/$300, which is HUGE considering all the other features are more or less the same!

[quote=“Sky, post:17, topic:95612”]
Yes, the additional cost of the 5D is directly due to the Thunderbolt licensing fees. The 5N connected direct to an ethernet port on a computer will be similar in speed to USB3[/quote]
Wow! Thanks for posting about this, Sky. I would not have thought licensing fees would be such a large part of the price of the product.

I’m reassured to hear that the 5N isn’t just a neutered 5D.

Does the 5D come with a thunderbolt cable? from what i can see they are pretty $$$ by themselves!