I have two Drobos in my control centre. The Drobo has always offered disk redundancy so that the failure of one or, in some cases even two, drives involves no data loss. All you do is swap out the faulty drive and the Drobo software takes care of redistributing the data. While even a Drobo doesn’t allow you to dispense with a second or, even, third backup, it’s a good start, particularly for those who want an automatic and easily managed storage solution.
The original, with USB connection, was too slow so I bought the FS version with Ethernet connection to the network. Both are working side by side, with the older, slower unit serving as an archive. The FS is a lot faster but still not blisteringly so. My experience of the LaCie Thunderbolt external SSD has shown me what I’m missing.
Good news comes from Drobo today: The new five-bay 5D model is equipped with two Thunderbolt and one USB 3.0 sockets for ultra-fast connectivity. Even better, for my own arrangements, is the new portable Drobo Mini which takes four 2.5-in drives and weighs only three pounds, including the drives. This smaller Drobo also offers two Thunderbolt and one USB 3.0 port. It should also be possible to mix and match HDD and SSDs, although I need confirmation on that.
Since I travel a lot and sometimes spend up to six weeks away from base, I can see a Drobo Mini in my future.
Also see this excellent review of the Drobo Mini on MacTrast