I’m not going to lie: I’ve heard enough Drobo horror stories to steer clear of its products for a while now. However, it seems to be doing well with its “Bring your own storage” model, and the products are rated well on Amazon, so the company must be doing something right. Today, Drobo announced a new Thunderbolt product, the 5D, with some serious specs:

Drobo 5D is equipped with dual Thunderbolt ports for daisy chaining. Connect up to six Thunderbolt devices and/or a non-Thunderbolt monitor at the end of the chain. With six Drobo 5D arrays in a chain, you can have up to 96 TB of usable capacity. And, the bi-directional 10 Gbps performance of Thunderbolt allows all devices in the chain to achieve maximum throughput.

Interestingly, the 5D and Mini have a battery backup to safely shutdown the device and an mSATA add-on that purports to increase performance:

Inserting mSATA SSD in Drobo 5D

Data-Aware Tiering technology, usually reserved for business-class storage solutions, is also available in this desktop Drobo. It intelligently uses the high-performance flash in SSDs to accelerate performance of the storage array, allowing applications such as Adobe Premiere and Apple Aperture fast access to data. To keep capacity of the Drobo at a maximum, the Drobo Accelerator Bay accepts an industry-standard mSATA SSD, leaving all five 3.5” drives bays available for high-capacity HDDs.

If getting the fastest performance possible is your thing, you can also load up every drive bay with SSDs. Drobo gives you the flexibility to choose.

For my money, I much prefer Network Attached Storage, which admittedly moves at a slower 1Gbps. Drobo offers solutions in this area but I am currently using and loving my Synology Diskstation that resides in my closet instead of my desk. It has not been anything but reliable for months (expect a review soon).

Drobo also announced a Drobo Mini Product that holds four 2.5-inch HDDs or SSDs.

Painful video below: