Drobo embraces Thunderbolt, releases Drobo Mini

Both the Mini, Drobo 5D support data tiering with SSDs

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His current Drobo has three 2TB drives and one SSD, which he uses as a cache for his operating system and applications.

"I'm hoping to buy a new MacBook pro and tower," Cable said. "I use the SSD now to get as much throughput as I can, so using USB 2.0 to back up is just painful. If you're shooting 90GB a day, it's brutal trying to back it up."

Rob Enderle, principal analyst at Enderle Group, said that he has never seen a storage array as portable and as scalable as the Drobo Mini.

"The [small business] and prosumer market is clamoring for a plug-and-play storage product because [users in those market segments lack] the technical expertise and resources to manage complex storage systems. With the new Drobo products, there is no question that this enigma is solved," he said.

Drobo 5D

The new Drobo 5D is also being marketed to prosumers, including photographers, videographers and graphic designers.

The Drobo 5D

Like the Drobo Mini, the Drobo 5D is designed for professionals who are power users of Adobe and Apple applications such as After Effects, Aperture, Final Cut Pro, Lightroom, Photoshop and Premier Pro, said Mario Blandini, Drobo's vice president of technology solutions, adding that the vendor's new product is ideal for editing, storing catalogs and backing up files of all types.

With up to five 2TB hard drives, and an additional SSD bay, the Drobo 5D can offer up to 16TB of capacity -- all accessible through Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 interfaces. With 3TB drives coming to Drobo in the future, the Drobo 5D will eventually be able to store up to 20TB.

The Drobo 5D will retail starting at $799 without drives.

Both the Drobo 5D and Drobo Mini will be available in limited quantities in early July and generally available later in that month.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at  @lucasmearian, or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

See more by Lucas Mearian on Computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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