A little less than a month ago I was directed to a new product, which I think might be of use to a number of Aperture users. Billed as “The Worlds First Storage Robot” Drobo offers “Fully automated storage you don’t have to manage.”
So, what is a Drobo? I took a read through their website, and watched the demo video, and all I can come up with is, “a very cool thing.” Drobo (which has already dropped in price from $699.99 to $499.99 without any drives) is a robot for your hard drives. From what I can tell, it is essentially a RAID controller that you don’t have to configure or worry about. You simply plug in up to 4 drives and Drobo does the rest. The drives are hot swappable, and can be any size you choose. So, if you have a bunch of miss-matched drives hanging around you can plug them right in, and Drobo will take care of the formatting, and mirroring for you.
What you get is a single drive on your desktop redundantly mirrored without any work at all. They even have a “Drobolator” which you can use to figure out how much free space you will have based on the drives you install.
One major advantage I see with the Drobo is that you can use any size 3.5″ SATA I or II drive, from any manufacturer, in any of the four bays. If you want to expand to a larger drive, you don’t need to worry about migrating your files to the new drive, you just plug in the new drive and you are done.
This is a very slick product that I can see sitting on the desks of many Aperture users.