Sign in to follow this  
Adam_a

Drobo 5N2 5-Bay NAS Review Discussion

Recommended Posts

Drobo designed the 5N2 to be as user-friendly as possible, which is first enjoyed with its easy deployment process. Thanks to simple instructions and great drive compatibility, it's reasonable to expect that almost any user could get their 5N2 up and running, regardless of prior technical experience. The 5N2 can accept any combination of drive volumes, which isn't common in competing brands (although this will probably affect performance). Two or more 5N2 units can be unified under DroboDR, which backs up user data in the event of drive or system failure. The 5N2 also comes with an internal battery that kicks in during power outage and further protects against data loss by flushing the system RAM to the persistent storage.

 

Drobo 5N2 5-Bay NAS Review

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand that automatic resizing the RAID array (as drives are added or upgraded to larger capacity) is going to be slow.  What I don't understand is why Drobo devices consistently lag behind competitors like Synology, QNAP, or even Thecus in day-to-day operation.  The underlying technology, despite all of the flowery Drobo marketing materials, is pretty much just standard RAID volumes.  It's not ZFS or anything bandwidth or computationally intensive.

The Drobo 5N2, touted as Drobo's fastest, uses a Marvell quad core Armada XP MV78460 ARMv7 CPU running at 1.6 GHz.  Those are chips that Marvell optimized for performance-per-watt.  That's great if you're running a data center with thousands of CPUs to feed (power) and cool, but why use it in a Drobo which already sports a massive fan to cool the drives?  The chip offers ECC support, something highly desirable in a NAS.  But Drobo loads it up with a measly 2GB of non-ECC RAM. 

Drobo is missing a big opportunity because there is a market for high-reliability, self-managing NAS devices that perform well for system backup.  Serious users don't need something that can be loaded up with consumer and hobbyist crap like transcoding media servers, docker containers, Bittorrent clients, and other "apps."  Computers are cheap, so there is no damned reason to turn a NAS into the computing equivalent of a Swiss Army knife.  If you need a good knife, saw, and pair of scissors, you buy a knife, a saw, and a pair of scissors, not some Swiss Army knife that doesn't do any of those things well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, we didn't even want to review this because their devices have been awful for a long time. Drobo convinced us new management had solved problems. Clearly they have not. It's sad, Drobo was cool once, but they've really thrown away a good opportunity. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this