Drobo 5N Networked Storage Appliance Launches

The drive offers a maximum capacity 20 terabytes when configured with 4TB drives, resulting in 16TB of protected storage.

Data storage specialist Drobo on Dec. 13 released the 5N network-attached storage appliance, which features increased performance and data protection enhancements, including the company’s patented BeyondRAID and Data-Aware Tiering technologies.

BeyondRAID provides thin-provisioning, instant expansion, mixed drive size flexibility, automatic protection levels, dual-disk redundancy, virtual hot spare and drive reordering, while automated Data-Aware Tiering automatically configures and uses both hard drives and solid-state drive (SSD) technology. Pricing starts at $599, and the 5N is available from online stores, direct marketers and resellers worldwide, a company release said.

The appliance provides five storage bays, each of which can hold one standard 3.5-in. Serial ATA (SATA) hard-disk drive or solid-state drive and one mSATA solid state drive in the Drobo Accelerator Bay for increased performance. The drive offers a maximum capacity of 20 terabytes when configured with 4TB drives, resulting in 16TB of protected storage. The company also extended its data protection in the 5N with a new feature that protects user data in the event of an unforeseen power failure or interruption.

The 5N offers centralized backup for multiple systems on the network, including intuitive, native support for Apple Time Machine on Mac OS computers, data sharing for both Windows and Mac OS systems across the network. As an upgrade to existing customers of the Drobo FS network-attached storage solution, FS customers can upgrade to the 5N by removing the disk drives from the FS and inserting them into a 5N system. Other features include one Gigabit Ethernet port, support of Mac OS X 10.7.x Lion, Mac OS X 10.8.x Mountain Lion, Windows 7 SP1 32 and 64 bit, Windows 8 32- and 64-bit operating systems, support of Common Internet File System (CIFS)/Server Message Block (SMB) and Apple Filing Protocol (AFP). Like the Drobo 5D and Mini, the 5N comes with a two-year standard warranty.

Earlier this month, Drobo conducted a survey of 239 small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and departments in larger organizations about their current storage preferences and future expectations related to protecting business data, finding the majority (53 percent) have chosen hybrid storage with SSDs and auto-tiering to meet their primary business storage requirements.

In addition, 46 percent of businesses revealed that they do not find public cloud storage a fit, with another 26 percent choosing to back up select data to the cloud in conjunction with an on-premises backup solution. Limited bandwidth and quality of network between sites were the top challenges facing 38 percent of SMBs when setting up offsite backup and disaster recovery solutions. The budget for a second site and the network and infrastructure for that site were also top issues for 32 percent of SMBs surveyed.

“The survey findings are consistent with what we hear from the hundreds of SMB customers we interact with on our live demos every week, seeking a storage solution that meets their virtualization and data protection requirements at the right cost,” Mario Blandini, vice president of marketing at Drobo, said in a statement. “The architecture for SMBs like larger enterprises includes on-premises and off-site storage, where hybrid storage with SSDs, coupled with new data protection software technologies, fit the cost points for future buying decisions.”