New to Drobo and RAID

Greetings to all… I am interested in getting a Drobo 5, but have always been confused about the Raid thing, and now there is “beyond” raid. I have always used full drives that I just back up onto other (full-non raid) drives to have three separate copies of my entire photo library, on three separate drives. Drobo seems to be what all my photography friends use, and I am sure I am missing a HUGE piece of the puzzle on how it works.

I essentially have a primary image folder for Lightroom that is on my main (external), 4TB drive; however the two backups I use are 2TB each. My data file is close to 2TB now and although I still have plenty of room on my primary 4TB I will soon not be able to back it up as the two backups are independently too small. This is where my lack of understanding with RAID or Beyond RAID comes in. About all I understand is that you can have fewer physical drives but have more backups. So, I clearly don’t understand how, for example, I could have two drives total, but somehow be said to have two total backups, plus the primary. The entire “virtual” backup thing confuses me. I just don’t see how if my main drive fails, one additional drive is going to have two copies when they are smaller than the main drive.

What I am seeking to do in summary, is have a primary image folder, and TWO backups - as when the day comes that the primary fails, I don’t want to (at that moment, ACTUALLY only have one remaining folder) - my logic being that if that remaining drive failed while backing it up or copying it to a new drive, I am now completely without files.

Thanks for any illumination someone may be able to shed on my lack of understanding.

Richard Logan[/size][/font]

Don’t think of Drobo as a backup. Think of it as a better, more “resilient” hard disk which will save you the hassle of restoring your backups in more cases of hard disk failures that the plain single disk. In other words, you should think of it as a better, expandable storage device which is less likely to suffer a mode of failure when all of your data goes AWOL. In any case, you still do need backups and this applies to Drobo as well as to conventional RAID and any other similar solution. Drobo will keep your data intact should one (or two - depending on model and configuration) of your drives bite the dust. It won’t do you any good in case of burglary, fire, flood, Godzilla, drunken data management, kids, you name it. For backups, I recommend CrashPlan. A good backup strategy and an added convenience of having Drobo as your primary mass storage are really two separate things.