For over a year my Drobo storage device has been whirring around in the background, parked in a nearby cupboard, and making sure that all my data is backed up and protected against disk failure. It's the consumer-friendly face of RAID and makes it possible for the average Joe to have a sophisticated backup strategy at low cost and with absolutely no technical knowledge.
I was interested to read this article today in MacWorld which covers the development of Data Robotics, maker of Drobo, over the past three years. According to Data Robotics' CEO Tom Buiocchi, "the Apple customer seems to have a strong affinity to us. You wouldn't imagine that. They're only 4 percent or 5 percent of the PC market, but they're 65percent of our attach rate. The Apple customer gets the Drobo. It's like a cult."
I've certainly been delighted with the Drobo and it gives a lot of peace of mind. As a simple on-site solution with RAID protection it can't be beaten. I am still running on two 1TB drives and have two further bays free in the Drobo. When I need more space I simply add a drive – or remove one of the existing drives and put in a larger one. The Drobo software automatically compensates and allocates the space while ensuring that every bit of data is mirrored in case of disk failure.
Of course, no matter how sophisticated the on-site storage, it won't protect you from disaster such as fire or theft of your computer, your Drobo and all your backup disks. But it's a good start and can be combined with off-site solutions such as Dropbox or, even, a physical drive synchronised once a week and held by a friend or left at the office.