Every Drobo product comes with the revolutionary BeyondRAID storage technology — the next generation of redundant disk protection. BeyondRAID will not only keep your data safe, but also will increase uptime and availability. BeyondRAID technology offers several improvements over traditional RAID-based storage systems, including the flexibility to replace failed disks, increase capacity and with a single click switch between single and dual disk redundancy all without costly downtime.
Key features of BeyondRAID include:
Data protection against two simultaneous hard disk failures
Instant capacity expansion without downtime
File System and Operating System Agnostic
DroboPro and its underlying BeyondRAID technology currently support the Windows, Mac and Linux¹ platforms, with file system support for NTFS, HFS Plus, EXT3 and FAT32. Since DroboPro is a block level system, it easily adapts to almost any environment.
Mixed Drive Capacity Utilization
Grow storage in line with data capacity needs with minimal effort. To add capacity, customers can simply insert a new hard disk or replace the smallest disk with a larger one, even when all eight disk bays are full. Unlike traditional RAID systems, the BeyondRAID technology enables IT managers to efficiently mix n’ match disk brands, capacities and speeds. This allows for continuous expansion as disk capacities grow. Now, expansion is automatic, instantaneous and access to data is always maintained.
To find out exactly how much free capacity you’ll have with your choice of disk capacities, try out our interactive Capacity Calculator.
Utilizing dual disk redundancy, DroboPro’s BeyondRAID technology can ensure your data is safe even if up to two disks fail simultaneously—all without a moment of downtime. You can even switch between single and dual disk redundancy with a click. You’ll feel safer knowing that if disks do fail, DroboPro automatically enters a state of self-healing wherein it relays out your data across the remaining healthy disks and sectors.
Proportional Rebuild Times
The time it takes DroboPro to rebuild data after a drive failure or removal is proportional to the amount of data stored in the pool—meaning the less capacity that is used, even on a 2TB disk, the shorter your rebuild times will be. This is superior to traditional RAID, which lacks proportional rebuild times, and is forced relay out every bit even if it does not contain user data.
Since DroboPro is “Data Aware”, it tracks where data is on each disk, so it can differentiate between used and unused portions of disk. This expedites rebuild times and reduces your risk of losing data to an additional disk failure. In short, your data is safer on a Drobo.
When DroboPro detects a "bad" hard disk, it proactively advises you with a series of warnings ranging from a blinking red LED on its front panel, to pop-up alerts in Drobo Dashboard, to email alerts. What DroboPro does next is exceptional. Entering a self-healing mode where it repairs around the bad sector or disk, DroboPro will work until it returns to the safest state possible. If DroboPro has sufficient time and free capacity (indicated by all lights returning to a solid green state), it can even withstand additional hard disk failures — that’s the power of self-healing.
Create new volumes in seconds and manage up to 16 x 16TB volumes over time with ease. The innovative and timesaving Smart Volume management technology integrated into DroboPro allows volumes to pull storage from the common pool of disks rather than a specific physical disk allocation. The labor of resizing and migrating volumes is replaced with the simplicity of intelligent engineering. And increasing the available pool of storage on DroboPro is as simple adding or upsizing drives.²
BeyondRAID was designed from the ground up to allow the storage capacity of the array to expand and contract. BeyondRAID makes this a simple process by utilizing a technology called “virtualization.” Virtualization provides a layer of abstraction between the data requested by the file system and the physical location of that data on the disk drives. A given piece of data can be located on any drive, and on any physical location on that drive. This is what makes adding a drive to a Drobo so simple. The new drive just provides additional places to store data.
Virtualization is what enables BeyondRAID to effortlessly change the data arrangement on the drives, for example, changing data stored as a mirror into data stored as parity stripe, say, without interrupting the user access to data. Virtualization completely decouples the physical space available in the array from the space reported to the operating system. This is how BeyondRAID is able to remove the need to manually expand/contract the file system as more space becomes available or is removed.
Thin Provisioning is a technical term that describes how the BeyondRAID technology communicates with your operating system. BeyondRAID communicates with your OS about how much disk space you have, up to 16TB per volume (this varies with older operating and file systems). Specifying a larger amount of storage than is physically available allows you to grow into the volume without having to reformat or migrate your data in order to add capacity. BeyondRAID automatically also reclaims space as you delete files.
DroboPro is storage that manages itself. There are no complex configuration screens, DIP switches, confounding choices, web consoles or other complications that prevent so many other storage devices from working out of the box.
One long-standing requirement inherent in traditional RAID-based systems was that if for some reason you needed to remove the drives, you’d have to replace the drives in the exact same order. When you remove your disks from DroboPro, you can put them back in any order you like.
¹ Linux support in Beta
² The creation of multiple Smart Volumes will be supported through Drobo Dashboard v1.5.0.