Long-time readers of my blog know of my love for Drobo, but the time has come to say goodbye. My old Drobos (and Iomega ix-4) are showing their age and I decided to go in a different direction: I’m building a FreeNAS server. In this article I’ll talk about my thinking behind this move; later posts will talk in more detail about the hardware and software setup.
One reason I decided to work with the folks at DCIG to collect data for their Small Business Storage Array Buyers’ Guide was to learn more about the various products in the space. One difference I noted in these small arrays, which usually hold 4 to 8 drives, is their use of hard disk drive carriers or sleds. There are pros and cons to both approaches, but I was pleased to see that all arrays so far include everything needed to install a drive.
Drobo is adding support for 4K-sector “Advanced Format” drives across their product line, but others do not seem as responsive.