updated 03:07 pm EST, Mon November 19, 2012
CEO advises to wait a few weeks
Drobo will be releasing an updated version of the Drobo 5D that will add an Ethernet connection to the storage device, much like the Drobo FS did for the Drobo S. Dubbed the Drobo 5N, it will contain the same technology running inside the Drobo 5D and Mini, but will be able to connect to a network instead of a Thunderbolt or USB connection.
A blog post by CEO Tom Buiocchi revealed the device's existence, and confirmed it will include SSD support and all of the "cool new architecture and capabilities" of the Drobo 5D, which would be the Data-Aware Tiering technology. Using the name 5N suggests it will share the 5D's five SATA drive capacity, excluding the Drobo Accelerator Bay.
While a firm release date has yet to be announced, Buiocchi suggests "I certainly wouldn't buy another networked storage device in the next few weeks if I were you." Considering the price of the Drobo 5D is $850, the 5N will likely cost more, possibly in excess of $900.