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Jun 17, 2011 - 3 minute read - Comments

Drobo Contest... 100 drobo units


Update: The contest has been close for new participants since May 31, 2011, so no value here *sigh* Voting also ends June 17 at midnight Pacific, so no chance of wining. On the other hand, the rest of the information is still of some value.


I was just looking up the model number for a drobo and I ended up hitting a hyperlink to a drobo contest. I have no information beyond the title of the page and the context of that page which seems to indicate that the entry with the most votes wins 100 drobo units. I’m guessing it’s a basic 4 bay model from the picture I saw briefly.

What would I do with 100 drobo units?

Well, I don’t need 100 drobo units, but I do think more people need reliable storage at home, so I’d give away 90 or so to my clients and friends. Postage is not included!

I’m going to solicit a few votes via twitter and this post. Who knows. Anyone looking for a drobo?

From the drobo web page:

What Is Drobo?

Our customers think of us as a hard drive that is NEVER FULL AND NEVER FAILS.
Hard drives get full and wear out. A single drive failure can lose your data. Not so with Drobo.

Meet your new storage solution, the safe and expandable Drobo. It’s so simple that anyone can use it, yet powerful enough for business. Drobo plugs into Mac and Windows systems for redundant data protection without the complexities of RAID.

Dynamically expand storage any time. Drobo holds up to 24 TB in from four to eight drive bays using any combination of 3.5” SATA drives. It comes with FireWire, USB, eSATA, Ethernet, and iSCSI connectivity options, so you get the data protection you need with the speed and interface you want.

From my understanding, the drobo is not your typical storage unit, but rather a new approach to storage that bypasses the flaws in the standard RAID configurations. As I’m not an expert, I won’t try to explain anything about the issues with RAID as we get larger and larger storage, but suffice it to say that as our basic storage units (hard drives) increase increase in capacity, the probability of catastrophic failure increase. There are a number of articles on this topic, here are a few from zdnet:

If you look up the information in these articles, it paints a depressing tale on RAID5. Now, I’m not a storage scientist or a drive error expert, but I do have experience with rebuilding arrays and it’s a rather time consuming process. There are also articles out there that state that this is a scare tactic, that its completely wrong, etc. Additional searches will give you a lot of articles.

I happen to have a lot of TB of storage and anything that saves me losing data is good by me. I am going to purchase an 8 bay unit for my consulting company, but I thought I’d share and who knows, there may be a low cost drobo in your future. I am the happy owner of a synology DS410 and I like the features quite a bit. I do want somewhere to replicate it, so the drobo seemed to be a good idea and lets me see another technology for smaller businesses.

Once I get the full particulars, I’ll post a follow-up to explain the contest.

The code for the vote is: 537404 and you have to email it to 100drobos@drobo.com