I have been using a Drobo FS file store for over 5 years. I purchased back in 2011/2012 and started out with 2 x 2TB hard disks (Which at the time seemed a huge amount). Over the years I’ve added drives and replaced drives both because of failure and upgraded. I’ve got from 2TB to 4TB, to 10 TB to it’s current state of 13.54 TB.
In all this time I’ve lost no data and managed to survive 2 drive failures. Obviously the reasons for buying a Drobo vs the likes of Synology or QNAP are well documented. Whilst I would have had to buy a QNAP system and 4 match 2TB disks all in one go, with the Drobo I’ve been able to buy disks at the time I needed them. I checked the receipt recently and when I first bought the system my 2TB drives were just over £250 each. Fast forward 5 years, and a decent 4TB drive is now just over £100. This flexibility is just too convenient and leads to a near complacency.
So why am I changing?
Firstly, I’m moving to another Drobo and secondly I’m not replacing but augmenting. My plan is to add one of the new 5N2s with 3 x Segate 10TB Ironwolf Pros and a 240GB m.sata accelerator SSD. In due course I’ll likely migrate most of the FS data onto the new 5N2, but I will have a period where I run them side by side. I’ve still not fully decided if I’ll sell on the FS and move over wholesale. Certainly moving 15 TB (the contents of my FS & some USB attached drives on my server) will take a good few days to move- so I’ll maybe put that decision off until later in the year.
What’s new in 5N2
I’d looked at both the D810N (the 8 bay SMB system) and the 5N2 which, when I began my decision making, was very new. I decided to go for the 5N2, after considering the facts and realising that the 5N2 would give me 40TB usable storage for under £2200 at today’s prices (and hopefully less as drives drop in cost). Secondly the SSD acceleration and tiered storage is now available in the 5 bay format, which should make for much greater disk performance.
Coupled with the new dual gigabit network ports, and the latest generation Seagate Ironwolf drives with their 210MB read speeds, and I hope the whole system should be way more flexible and give me the capacity I need for the next 4 or 5 years.