updated 06:02 am EDT, Thu June 21, 2012
Drobo Mini aimed for travel use, both using SSD caching
Drobo has unveiled two new Thunderbolt-enabled storage systems aimed at professional users. The Drobo 5D is a desktop-based unit that can store five drives with an additional SSD bay for caching, while the Drobo Mini is a smaller version of the storage line designed for mobile use.
The 5D is capable of storing up to 16 terabytes of protected data on 5 separate drives. An extra slot for a small-form-factor SSD is claimed to give significant performance boosts to data transfers, with USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt ports allowing for daisy-chaining and quick transfer to desktops. BeyondRAID, a flexible RAID system by Drobo, has had some changes to its architecture, with promised increases of at least five times base performance prior to the introduction of SSDs.
The Mini, last seen at Computex, is a shrunk-down version of a typical Drobo NAS. Weighing three pounds when fully laden, the Mini can take four 2.5-inch drives to a maximum capacity of 3 terabytes. Like its bigger brother, the 5D, the system has both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 connectivity and an option for an mSATA SSD for extra caching. The seven-inch by seven-inch and two-inch deep device is designed to be moved around, taking up as little space as possible when accompanying a laptop in a bag.
No pricing for either Drobo device has been announced at this time, though the release has been narrowed down to later this summer.