Every Drobo product comes with the revolutionary BeyondRAID
storage technology — the next generation of redundant disk protection.
BeyondRAID will not only keep your data safe, but will also increase
uptime and availability. BeyondRAID technology offers several
improvements over traditional RAID-based storage systems, including the
flexibility to replace failed disks and increase capacity all without
Key features of BeyondRAID include:
Data protection against hard disk failure
Instant capacity expansion without downtime
File System and Operating System Agnostic
Drobo and its underlying BeyondRAID technology currently support the
Windows, Mac and Linux¹ platforms, with file system support for NTFS,
HFS+, EXT3 and FAT32. Since Drobo is a block level system, it easily
adapts to almost any environment.
Mixed Drive Capacity Utilization
Grow storage in line with data capacity needs with minimal effort. To
add capacity, customers can simply insert a new hard disk or replace the
smallest disk with a larger one, even when all four disk bays are full.
Unlike traditional RAID systems, the BeyondRAID technology enables IT
managers to efficiently mix n’ match disk brands, capacities and speeds.
This allows for continuous expansion as disk capacities grow. Now,
expansion is automatic, instantaneous and access to data is always
To find out exactly how much free capacity you'll have with your choice of disk capacities, try out our interactive Capacity Calculator.
Drobo can ensure your data is safe even if a hard disk fails. You’ll
feel safer knowing that if disks do fail, Drobo automatically enters a
state of self-healing wherein it relays out your data across the
remaining healthy disks and sectors.
Proportional Rebuild Times
The time it takes Drobo to rebuild data after a drive failure or removal
is proportional to the amount of data stored in the pool—meaning the
less capacity that is used, even on a 2TB disk, the shorter your rebuild
times will be. This is superior to traditional RAID, which lacks
proportional rebuild times, and is forced relay out every bit even if it
does not contain user data.
Since Drobo is “Data Aware”, it tracks where data is on each disk, so
it can differentiate between used and unused portions of disk. This
expedites rebuild times and reduces your risk of losing data to an
additional disk failure. In short, your data is safer on a Drobo.
Drobo detects a "bad" hard disk, it proactively advises you with a
series of warnings ranging from a blinking red LED on its front panel,
to pop-up alerts in Drobo Dashboard, to email alerts. What Drobo does
next is exceptional. Entering a self-healing mode where it repairs
around the bad sector or disk, Drobo will work until it returns to the
safest state possible. If Drobo has sufficient time and free capacity
(indicated by all lights returning to a solid green state), it can even
withstand additional hard disk failures — that's the power of
Smart Volume Technology
The innovative and timesaving Smart Volume technology integrated into
Drobo allows a single virtual volume to pull storage from the common
pool of disks rather than a specific physical disk allocation.
Increasing the available pool of storage on Drobo is as simple adding or
upsizing drives. Thus, there’s no need to reformat your file system or
BeyondRAID was designed from the ground up to allow the storage
capacity of the array to expand and contract. BeyondRAID makes this a
simple process by utilizing a technology called “virtualization.”
Virtualization provides a layer of abstraction between the data
requested by the file system and the physical location of that data on
the disk drives. A given piece of data can be located on any drive, and
on any physical location on that drive. This is what makes adding a
drive to a Drobo so simple. The new drive just provides additional
places to store data.
Virtualization is what enables BeyondRAID to effortlessly change the
data arrangement on the drives, for example, changing data stored as a
mirror into data stored as parity stripe, say, without interrupting the
user access to data. Virtualization completely decouples the physical
space available in the array from the space reported to the operating
system. This is how BeyondRAID is able to remove the need to manually
expand/contract the file system as more space becomes available or is
Thin Provisioning is a technical term that describes how the
BeyondRAID technology communicates with your operating system.
BeyondRAID communicates with your OS about how much disk space you have,
up to 16TB (this varies with older operating and file systems).
Specifying a larger amount of storage than is physically available
allows you to grow into the volume without having to reformat or migrate
your data in order to add capacity. BeyondRAID automatically also
reclaims space as you delete files.
Drobo is highly automated storage. There are no complex configuration
screens, DIP switches, confounding choices, web consoles or other
complications that prevent so many other storage devices from working
out of the box.
One long-standing requirement inherent in traditional RAID-based systems
was that if for some reason you needed to remove the drives, you’d have
to replace the drives in the exact same order. When you remove your
disks from Drobo, you can put them back in any order you like.
¹ Linux support in Beta