It has been 9 years since I reviewed the DroboPro. For its time, that product was a beast of a device, with the closest to a 'set it and forget it' RAID implementation I had ever seen. It was also robust enough to shrug off any combination of power loss and pulling (failing) disks that I could throw at it. The ease of use/durability combination was a good formula for Drobo that has now lasted over a decade. The main hurdles over the years have been more on the performance side of things. The original DroboPro was indeed quicker than previous Drobos and other competing models, but competition quickly surpassed them in performance. Later Drobo models brought decent performance and capabilities for competitive prices (like the Drobo 5C), but we haven't had a worthy successor to the original DroboPro. They came close in the form of the B810 series, but those were still limited by Gigabit links. We needed the 8-bay form factor to have a larger pipe - and now we do:
Subject: Storage | February 23, 2016 - 08:05 AM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: DroboPro, drobo, B810i, B800i
The B810i comes with several improvements over preceding products in the line:
- 180MB/s reads / 110 MB/s writes (across a pair of iSCSI enabled Gigabit Ethernet ports).
- New 64TB max volume size
- Data Tiering
- SSDs installed as part of the array are automatically assigned to caching duties.
- Cache performance is claimed 5-10x faster than the 'cold' HDD tier.
- Cache Pre-heat
- Metadata describing the contents / duplicated data in the cache is also saved to the array, meaning the cache can survive a reboot of the device.
- Accelerated self-healing
- Drobo claims rebuilds are now 8x faster. This is due to increased parallelism taking place during that process.
- This is in addition to Drobo rebuilds that have only ever needed to re-duplicate the data present (and not all disks front to back as with traditional RAID).
- This is the same near-bulletproof system that has proven itself extremely resistant to failure (but remember, RAID is *not* a backup!).
Along with this launch, Drobo is running a promotion where sales by 4/30/2016 will receive two free 2TB HDDs as part of the $1699 purchase of a B810i.
The B810i replaces the B800i in the current Drobo lineup:
We're working on a round of NAS / SAN pieces here...
...along with an ioSafe 1515+, which would have collapsed the desk if I had it tried to fit it into this picture. That 75 lb beast will have to stay on the floor :).