• Drobo: Hello FireWire 800



    Data Robotics has just released its new Drobo v2. the biggest difference appears to be FireWire 800 support. In addition to FW800 the new Drobo has "vastly improved" USB 2.0 and an upgraded processor. Audiophiles with disk storage in their listening room will be happy to know the new Drobo operates quieter and cooler. The one upgrade that didn't make it into the second generation Drobo is built-in Ethernet. I guess there is always the Droboshare or v3.
    If you're thinking about picking one of these up be sure to check out the very cool Drobolator. It will tell you how much usable disk space you'll have based on the disk sizes you put into the Drobo.

    Official Press Release


    Award-Winning Drobo Adds FireWire 800 and Dramatically Improved USB 2.0 Performance

    Mountain View, CA – July 8, 2008 – Today Data Robotics launched the second generation of its award-winning Drobo product. Featuring FireWire 800 alongside improved USB 2.0 performance and an upgraded core processor, the new Drobo is the fastest product in its class for managing and storing digital information. The increased read and write performance now makes the product ideal for use as primary storage for media applications such as photography and video editing, as well as secondary storage.

    “Years ago Data Robotics set out on a mission: To create a set of technologies that allows storage to be safe, expandable and incredibly simple. Our customers have been asking for a high-performance FireWire connection since we launched Drobo last year, and this new release is the next logical step in providing users with what they need – and have come to expect – in the Drobo product,” said Geoff Barrall, CEO and founder of Data Robotics.

    The second generation Drobo incorporates all of the features and functionality that consumers have grown to know and love in its predecessor: unparalleled ease of use, redundant data protection, and instant expandability that allows storage capacity to grow with users over time. New enhancements include an upgraded core processor, two FireWire 800 ports, dramatically increased USB 2.0 performance, and newly optimized firmware. This release addresses the needs of any user seeking a reliable method of managing vast amounts of data without sacrificing performance; from video editors, to heavy down-loaders, to photographers who shoot raw images.

    “Our ability to deliver FireWire 800 in the newest version of Drobo gives us even more of an edge with two particular groups: Creative professionals who rely on the speed and performance of their equipment in their day to day work, and the Apple community which has a strong affinity for FireWire products,” adds Barrall.

    "When it comes to video editing, the faster the storage, the better, and this is where the new Drobo with FireWire 800 really shines," said Andy Hirsch of Blue Moon Productions. "I had previously used Drobo as a backup solution for Final Cut Pro, but the enhanced performance of the second generation Drobo has allowed me to use it as my primary storage drive for video editing."

    Features include:

    * Best in class performance
    * Redundant data protection
    * Hot expansion up to 16TB
    * Ability to take advantage of mix and match drive capacities
    * Two FireWire 800 ports (FireWire 400 compatible)
    * One USB 2.0 port

    Pricing and Availability
    The second generation Drobo is priced at $499 MSRP and also comes in a 2TB version for $899, and a 4TB version for $1,299. All are available for immediate purchase from drobostore.com and B&H Photo, as well as 750 authorized partners worldwide. For a list of those partners or to learn more about how Drobo is changing the way the world stores and protect its data, please visit www.drobo.com.

    About Data Robotics
    Data Robotics – the makers of Drobo – develops automated data storage products designed to ensure data is always protected and easy-to-manage. Unlike other storage arrays, however, Drobo uses patented software that is designed for non-technical users who demand reliability without the complexity of RAID. Key features of Drobo include some of the most advanced automated features available – including self-monitoring, self-healing and an easy-to-understand visual status and alert panel. For more information visit Data Robotics at www.datarobotics.com
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hi beowulf - Good question. My personal preference is still for the Thecus 5200B Pro. Since I use the device as a NAS drive and out of my listening room the FW800 would not be helpful. If I connected locally it would be more attractive. The Drobo is all about ease of operation and configuration. The Thecus is a computer inside a box with an Intel processor and runs a pretty decent Linux OS. There are a lot of modules to turn the Thecus into an even better device such as an iTunes server. You can convert RAID sets to other types of RAID and even run two different RAID arrays. The Thecus hold one more drive than the Drobo as well. The Drobo is more of an appliance and geared to a somewhat different type of user. Someone who doesn't want to mess with any configuration of RAID arrays etc... Still both are very nice products. Failure rates are probably not much different between the two.
    1. david1997's Avatar
      david1997 -
      Just came across two more products from those busy people at Thecus. The M3800 which appears to be a NAS with media streaming abilities, and the 4100 PRO which, along with the QNAP TS_409, has certainly got my juices flowing. Neither has gone on sale yet (in the UK) but www.scan.co.uk have the spec sheets. The problem I have with the new Drobo is it seems to have attracted rather lukewarm reviews compared to when the original first hit the streets. I suppose it depends on how important FW800 is important to you.<br />
      <br />
      I just wish I knew which way to jump. I've got £400 (plus HDD budget) burning a hole in my pocket!!
    1. DanRubin's Avatar
      DanRubin -
      Anyone know how noisy the Drobo gets -- if you use it as DAS connected to a computer that is located with your audio system, would you regret it?
    1. Beowulf's Avatar
      Beowulf -
      I bought the Drobo 2.0. I don't plan on having it in the audio room because I have a rule, NO FANS in the audio room. But, with it sitting right next to the computer desk and me ripping large numbers of CD's to it I have barely noticed the fan. First, it doesn't seem to run much and when it does its quiet. I did fit it with Western Digital "green" drives. Before buying these, I spoke to tech support at Data Robotics and the tech approved of my intended choice because the "green" drives use less power and therefore generate less heat. Less heat, greater reliability and less fan noise.<br />
      <br />
    1. DanRubin's Avatar
      DanRubin -
      Thanks, Beowulf. How do your files get to the audio system if the computer and Dobro are in a different room?
    1. Beowulf's Avatar
      Beowulf -
      Short Answer: I don't Yet. I'm just in the process of getting this music server off the ground. Thus the marathon ripping sessions. I plan on using an Apple, probably a Mini, on the bench downstairs and then snake either a FireWire or a USB cable up through the floor behind the rack. Nothing fancy.<br />
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