Drobo Hints at Forthcoming Thunderbolt-Compatible Products

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Apr 12, 2001
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Drobo says it will soon have Thunderbolt-enabled data storage products, as well as adding support for solid state drives. The setup, while extremely pricey, would allow data to run 20 times faster than with USB 2.0 alone.

Drobo CEO Tom Buiocchi wrote in a blog post that "customers have been very clear to us about their desire for Drobos with Thunderbolt support".
I was brought up on the east coast, where we enjoyed the monster summertime thunderstorms every year. One of the coolest things about thunder is that you see it first and then you hear the "kaboom" impact - the delay sends anxious anticipation through everyone, and if you're into science, you can estimate how far away the bolt is based on the length of the delay. Let's face it, thunderbolts are cool.

Today, Drobo is previewing our new Thunderbolt technology much like the real thing - you'll see it now (check out our home page for the quick glimpse) and you'll soon hear the kaboom. Yes, there are some other Thunderbolt products out there now, but I guarantee you that you haven't seen anything like what we're building. Nothing even close.
The company will be demonstrating prototype Thunderbolt-enabled Drobos at a technology show in Taiwan. The company didn't offer details on pricing or availability.

Article Link: Drobo Hints at Forthcoming Thunderbolt-Compatible Products
 

spencers

macrumors 68020
Sep 20, 2004
2,368
178
We have a DroboPro... While it's great and all for storage, the stupid thing is god-awful slow.

Makes me wonder if a thunderbolt-equipped product would change anything.
 
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blevins321

macrumors 68030
Dec 24, 2010
2,760
78
Winnipeg, MB
We have a DroboPro... While it's great and all for storage, the stupid thing is god-awful slow.

Makes me wonder if a thunderbolt-equipped product would change anything.
This. Until they improve their underlying processor and firmware capabilities, there's no chance the thing will come close to needing Thunderbolt's speeds. The one I used to have stuggled under the best of times to even come close to saturating USB2.0.
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,614
4,085
whats up with thunderbolt device prices:confused:, its really out of...... well my pocket
They aren't home products. You're not supposed to be paying for them out of pocket. They're targeting professionals who have a considerable budget to do whatever they can to speed themselves up.
 
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logicalways

macrumors newbie
Mar 30, 2012
17
0
Drobo + Thunderbolt?

I have both the Drobo 4bay 2nd Gen and the new Drobo S which includes USB 3.0, eSATA, and FW800. I'm along the lines of Can the unit keep up with thunderbolt speeds? I find USB 3.0 and eSATA offer a good price and speed. I picked up the Drobo S for $500 brand new so it was a well worthy investment. If they release a Drobo with Thunderbolt i'm assuming upwards of $900-$1100 for 5bay...
 
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OddyOh

macrumors 6502
Nov 29, 2005
273
51
Regina, SK, Canada
internals

Like others have correctly pointed out...Drobo is hardly limited by the connection to your computer. It's all about the internal processing of the unit itself...hopefully they've ramped up the brainpower of these units a lot. :eek:
 
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GSPice

macrumors 68000
Nov 24, 2008
1,623
76
Unless you're striping several hard drives, transfer speed (to say nothing of random access) would never come near thunderbolt speed.

I'm not an expert on this, but I don't think that storage via thunderbolt really showcases thunderbolt's full capability. It sometimes bugs me when manufacturers advertise TB's 10,000 Mbps pipe when a 2-drive RAID, for example, would barely reach ~800 Mbps average read speed.

Again, I'm no expert.
 
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allenhuffman

macrumors newbie
Mar 10, 2004
15
0
We have a DroboPro... While it's great and all for storage, the stupid thing is god-awful slow.

Makes me wonder if a thunderbolt-equipped product would change anything.
Agreed. Having used the 2nd gen Drobo on both USB 2.0 and Firewire 800, neither come close to the speed of a very slow USB laptop external drive. It would need to be a very different system to make use of more speed.
 
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dr01dy

macrumors member
May 3, 2007
68
2
I would love to get away from my 2 8 Bay SATA/ESATA enclosure and go towards something with Thunderbolt but its yet to appear on the market with JBOD support.
 
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robbyx

Suspended
Oct 18, 2005
1,152
1,128
Slow, buggy firmware and horrible customer service. Buy a real RAID.
 
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theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
We have a DroboPro... While it's great and all for storage, the stupid thing is god-awful slow.

Makes me wonder if a thunderbolt-equipped product would change anything.
The interface is not the bottleneck. It's the awful controller chips that drobo use.
 
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fredoviola

macrumors regular
Oct 20, 2008
115
0
We have a DroboPro... While it's great and all for storage, the stupid thing is god-awful slow.

Makes me wonder if a thunderbolt-equipped product would change anything.
Totally agree. I had a DroboPro and really hated it. It just seemed worrisome to me how slow it was. I suppose it's good for overnight backing up though.
 
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TwoBytes

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2008
2,703
1,530
The great thing about drobo is you can mix and match drives - i don't think there are other cheap enclosures out there that do this
 
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robbyx

Suspended
Oct 18, 2005
1,152
1,128
The great thing about drobo is you can mix and match drives - i don't think there are other cheap enclosures out there that do this
This might have been a selling point when drives were more expensive but today it seems rather moot. Furthermore, if stability is your goal, using a mix of old drives is asking for trouble. If your data is valuable enough to invest in a four bay enclosure, then why go with a proprietary system and trust your data to a bunch of mix and match hard drives? Seems pretty foolish.
 
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mozumder

Suspended
Mar 9, 2009
876
2,426
so slow

After 5 years, I'm surprised they haven't come with a much faster controller ASIC.

It's insanely slow and they really need to get their act together. It can only be used as an offline backup system really.
 
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TwoBytes

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2008
2,703
1,530
This might have been a selling point when drives were more expensive but today it seems rather moot. Furthermore, if stability is your goal, using a mix of old drives is asking for trouble. If your data is valuable enough to invest in a four bay enclosure, then why go with a proprietary system and trust your data to a bunch of mix and match hard drives? Seems pretty foolish.
How about dual drive redundancy and no downtime should a drive fail? Also you never get any old drives lying around, just buy drives and slot them in as you need which can be cheap. Great selling points of the Drobo and it's still a valid product in today's market. I'd never use any single system proprietary or not without backup. At least with drobo you get warnings when drives have failed with still access to your files if you need. I'm not a drobo fanboy as my next drive is a DIY enclosure just because it's so cheap. x2 4TB drives and done, my external backup solution which will reduce backup time from my drobo to be much quicker.

I do think the price of Drobos should come down as everything is so much cheaper, faster etc.. Even with FW and USB 3.0, Drobo is very slow.
 
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