Drobo14

Review: Drobo 5D – Powerfully Simple Thunderbolt Storage for Your Mac

Rating: 4.5/5

Posted in Mac, Reviews on 16/01/2013 by J. Glenn Künzler

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We’re big fans of Thunderbolt here at MacTrast, as well as any and all cool storage devices we happen to come across, so naturally we (and specifically, I) got pretty excited when Drobo released their first Thunderbolt-enabled storage products: The Drobo Mini and the Drobo 5D.

I’ve been a fan of Drobo for a few years now, and could not resist taking the opportunity to take the new Drobo 5D out for a spin. I did my best to it through it’s paces to find out just what it is capable of – and whether it is truly worthy to be called a Drobo. To make a long story short, the answer is yes – the Drobo 5D  ($850, link) is a fantastic device well deserving of the Drobo name. This review will discuss the reasons why I feel that way.

Drobo Full Spread

Overview

The Drobo 5D is, in its most basic sense, a 5-bay modular RAID enclosure capable of reading from 5 drives at once. Like all RAID enclosures, the main idea behind a Drobo is to store and access huge amounts of data at rapid speeds, usually with enough redundancy to account for one or more drives failing. Basically, it doubles as a way to both access your files quickly, and protect them from hard drive failure.

Drobo’s products have always been a bit unique from other RAID solutions, however, providing a much simpler and faster way to set the device up, swap out one or more failed drives, and expand the storage with larger drives. Indeed, perhaps one of the biggest draws of a Drobo is the ability to easily expand your storage volume without affecting your data. More on this later.

With the 5D, the Drobo gang has taken everything great about their previous products, and updated the package with a pair of lightning-fast Thunderbolt ports, as well as high-speed USB 3.0. They’ve also added a unique feature called Data-Aware Tiering, which lets you use an mSATA SSD to speed up your read and write speeds.

Design

I don’t like to spend a great deal of time talking about design when it comes to storage products (because ultimately it’s the performance that really matters), but there are a few stand-out design features of the Drobo 5D that I feel merit specific mention.

Drobo 5D ShellFirst, the Drobo 5D provides perhaps the easiest drive installation and removal experience I have ever seen. To install a drive, just press it into the enclosure until it clicks. This is a breath of fresh air – many RAID systems require drives to be mounted with screws or bolts. The Drobo drive bays do not, which makes them a simpler and faster solution than most competing products.

To remove a drive, just pull the tab on the site, and the drive will pop forward, allowing you to pull it out. It’s that simple. To finish out the simplicity of the system, Drobo has chosen to use a metal cover for the front of the device that also pops on and off without metal fasteners of any kind.

Despite the ease with which you can add and remove drives, the Drobo also serves as a tough protective enclosure with thick metal walls and shock protection features to preserve your data in case things get shaken around a bit. Add to this the inclusion of dual Thunderbolt ports to allow for daisy chaining, and the Drobo’s design becomes just about as close to ideal as you can get. It even includes a Thunderbolt cable so you don’t have to buy one separately. Also, it’s shiny!

Features

  • Data-Aware Tiering

This is a new feature introduced with the Drobo 5D and the Drobo Mini. As we briefly mentioned above, it serves as a way to speed up your data transfers by using an SSD. The mSATA SSD fots into a special slot at the bottom of the unit, and is used by the Drobo as a sort of cache, enabling the device to operate much faster than it could if it were using spinning drives alone. Think of it as a way to turn the Drobo into a giant hybrid drive.

Drobo_5D_Bottom_Low

  • Dual Thunderbolt Ports

Inclusion of two ports is becoming increasingly common in Thunderbolt-enabled products, but still merits a mention because of just how crucial it really is. Including dual Thunderbolt ports allows you to daisy chain a second Thunderbolt device to the Drobo, such as a display or another storage device. Without this, you’d be stuck at the end of the chain as soon as you plugged your Drobo in.

  • On-Board Battery Backup

icon-battery

Arguably one of its best features, the Drobo 5D includes a powerful built-in battery to protect against data loss in the event that you lose power. Once it detects that the power has been cut, the battery kicks in, allowing to Drobo to finish writing whatever it needs to in order to prevent data loss or corruption.

  • Automatic Data Redundancy

Drobo 5D Redundancy

The Drobo 5D allows you to choose between a single-drive or a dual-drive redundancy option. Put in simpler terms, this means that it can offer protection in case a single drive fails, allowing you to remove the drive and add a new one without losing data. For even more safety, you can also choose to set it up to compensate for two drives failing at around the same time. The best part is that you don’t have to rebuild your RAID array if a drive fails – just pop out the old drive, insert a new one, wait for the status light on the new drive to turn green, and you’re good to go.

  • Nearly Limitless Upgradability

Another unique aspect of the Drobo 5D (and all other Drobo units I can think of) is the way it handles volumes. When setting it up, you can choose a volume size up to 16TB. That means when storage capacities increase and drive costs fall, you can easily expand your Drobo without modifying any of it’s settings. As long as you don’t exceed 16TB worth of drives, you’re set. When drives evolve to sizes greater than the 16TB limit allows for, Drobo can release a firmware update to increase the limit.

By comparison, increasing the storage on most other arrays requires significant knowledge of how RAID works, and some manual tweaking to make it all happen.

  • Intelligent Status Indicators

droboThe Drobo 5D includes several sets of blinking LED status lights. First, a set of 5 lights that show green, yellow, or red. These lights reveal whether a drive is installed in a certain bay, and whether or not it is healthy. It also includes a light to show when the Drobo’s internal processor is busy, when data is being transferred to or from the Drobo, and a set of lights along the bottom which show how full the Drobo is. It even alerts you when it’s time to add more storage or remove a few files.

These lights come in handy a lot, and provide a great at-a-glance overview of all aspects of the device’s status.

  • Extreme Easy of Use

All of the above 6 features contribute to the single best feature that Drobo has to offer: Extreme simplicity and ease of use. This is Drobo’s real strength – they’re so easy to set up, upgrade, replace drives in, and use that anyone who can read a traffic light can use a Drobo. They’re dead simple, and to steal a phrase from Apple’s book, they just work.

Performance

Now that we’re square on the cool (and in many cases, quite unique) features offered by the Drobo 5D, it’s time to put the Drobo to the test to find out how well it performs. After all, what good will all those features do you if the end result is as slow as paste? Fortunately, that’s not the case.

I tested the Drobo 5D using my 15-inch mid-2012 non-Retina MacBook Pro, and found some very promising results. Using BlackMagic’s DiskSpeedTest (free, Mac App Store link), I was able to measure write speeds of up to approximately 145MB/S and read speeds of just over 240MB/s. Those speeds were achieved with the Drobo backing a 32GB SSD, 3 7200RPM drives, and 2 5400RPM drives. While that’s not quite up to the speeds offered by a device like the Pegasus R4 (as TheMacObserver illustrates in their handy benchmark charts), it’s not too shabby.

Screen Shot 2013-01-15 at 8.00.16 PM

Second, I tested file copy speeds by transferring chunks of media to and from the drive. I transfered 600 files of various sizes (about 15GB total) to the Drobo, measuring the speeds using the OS X Activity Monitor as I went, and found those benchmark speeds to be fairly accurate in real world usage as well.

It’s worth noting that the mSATA SSD makes a world of difference – without the mSATA SSD, I was only able to achieve about 170MB/s read speeds and 130MB/s write speeds at the very best.

Drobo Dashboard

Finally, all hardware and benchmarks aside, it’s also worth taking a moment to discuss Drobo’s free management software: Drobo Dashboard. The software is required to setup and use the Drobo, and is as easy to use as the unit itself, providing a simple and painless way to manage your Drobo, check it’s health, shut it down, see which drive is installed in each bay, and more. The experience of using Drobo Dashboard is unlike using any other disk utility I have ever used, for one simple reason: I didn’t feel like a nerd while using it! In fact, it was so seamless, I was hardly aware I was using it at all. There’s some real power in that level of simplicity.

Screen Shot 2013-01-15 at 8.46.03 PM

Verdict
Rating: 4.5/5

I’m just going to come right out ad admit that the Drobo 5D is not the most advanced storage device available. It’s also not the fastest, or the cheapest (actually, it’s kind of pricey at $850 with no drives). It is, however, my preferred Thunderbolt storage device, and the one I am most likely to recommend to others. And why is it my preferred choice? It’s fast, it’s simple, it requires no extra knowledge, and it just works.

Can you get a faster or more advanced drive for the same amount of money or less? Yes. But you won’t find a simpler or more fool-proof solution for users from varied technical backgrounds. That’s why the Drobo 5D has earned MacTrast’s first Editor’s Choice award of 2013. I highly recommend it.

For more details, visit Drobo’s 5D product page on the web. The Drobo 5D is available direct from Drobo ($850, link), and can often be found for a significant discount from Amazon.com.

Pros

  • Fast read speeds – especially with an mSATA SSD installed.
  • Very easy to remove, add, or expand storage.
  • Includes dual Thunderbolt ports for daisy-chaining purposes.
  • Extremely simple to setup and use. Requires no knowledge of RAID or storage arrays.
  • Intelligent LED system provides full Drobo status at a single glance.
  • Includes a Thunderbolt cable (which would otherwise cost you another $40).

Cons

  • At $850 with no drives, the Drobo 5D is quite expensive.
  • If your Drobo fails, you must use another Drobo to recover your data.
  • Requires a full-blown desktop adapter (such as this one from IcyDock) to install most SSDs into the array (although 3.5-inch SSDs should work as-is)..



  • Surfbits

    I would love to win the Drobo because my old Drobo gave up the ghost and working with a bunch of USB externals and my desk is a cord-filled mess!
    Thanks
    @timverpoorten on twitter.

  • http://twitter.com/BobBell69  Robert Bell 

    I would love some extra storage for my house getting tired of all the pieces of paper and a cupboard full of plastic discs lol. My twitter handle is @bobbell69

  • Miguel Campos

    I really want to win the Drobo so I can keep all my stuff organized and give some use to my Thunderbolt port. Thank you MacTrast!

    @miguelscampos on Twitter.

  • http://twitter.com/booNN Petar Banić

    After reading this review I would really like to have one.

  • http://aphall.tumblr.com/ Alex Hall

    I must hop on the Thunderbolt bandwagon… so legit! @thealex_hallway

  • http://twitter.com/alikokce Ali Can Kokce

    I would love to win the Drobo 5D because need extra storage to save my art works! @alikokce

  • http://twitter.com/jmsigstad Joshua Sigstad

    What’s not to like? Raid Storage, Ease of use, etc. All of your storage in one space, with one cord. AWESOME! @jmsigstad

  • Jake

    I would love the Drobo to finally give me piece of mind with my data storage. WD externals can only do so much – and I want a more pro-setup for my growing video production business! Twitter @jakedurrett

  • http://twitter.com/KingDWams Daniel Wamara

    We’ve been plagued by hard drives failures these last days at home and I was thinking of getting a solution which could help us tackle these problems and this is a good chance to have something good and reliable. @KingDWams

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=791894398 Jeff Skurkis

    I have two beautiful kids that I love taking pictures and videos. My USB2 1 TB drive is full and I need more space. Being able to access it via Thunderbolt – Priceless! @jskurkis

  • http://twitter.com/TylerSarjeant Tyler Sarjeant

    I would love to get the 5 external hard drives off my desk and consolidate to something with some actual power and performance. Thank you very much for this opportunity!

  • cranepuffin

    I want a Drobo 5d because its so simple to setup and use. Just what I need!

  • http://twitter.com/pomps71 pomps71

    Excellent review. I would really love to have a Drobo 5D so I can replace my current externals that are serving as my media center.

  • cranepuffin

    I want a Drobo 5d because its so simple to setup and use. Just what I need!

    @cranepuffin

  • http://schidakov.ru/ Murat Schidakov

    I love my iMac 27 inches and want it to be perfect at each side. Inner one-terabyte storage is quite enough for inner Mac usage, but I have lots of media files which require rather much storage room! And I guess that exactly this Drobo drive with a wider extension ability and — of course — with a newest & exquisite Thunderbolt port will be a perfect smart companion for my mighty iMac! My twitter sounds like @schidakov. Feel free in joining me here

  • http://twitter.com/RodrigoSarzosa Krank

    Love the design, the simplicity and the performance efficiency. @RodrigoSarzosa

  • http://www.facebook.com/registerednerd Josh Smith

    I already have a 5D and love it to death. Fast, reliable, and flexible. I would like to add a mini to my gear list, though, to use when I pass projects between my crew members. I’d like to keep all the active project files on the mini, then move the end result to my 5D for archive.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mathlaflamme Mathieu Laflamme

    I would love to win, because my current external hard drive has less storage than the new hard drive on my Mac, which means I cannot do full backups. @mathlaflamme

  • Mark

    I need to expand my current storage, Redundant protected backup is a must and I need it quick. @werlecreative

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Danny-Tammaro/1499306668 Danny Tammaro

    My time capsule is maxed out and this would be an awesome upgrade. Twitter @dmtammaro

  • Brock

    Love the Drobo system. Fits great into my workflow with video editing.
    @MixMasterBRock

  • 19claudio84

    I would like to win the Drobo 5D because i used the Dropo of a friend of mine and now i can’t live without it! I need extra storage to save my works for the University! @19claudio84

  • Joshua

    Will be great for backing up my photos! @joshuachee

  • http://twitter.com/nemtabi Nguyen Thai Binh

    I need to backup my system and expand current storage.

    @nemtabi

  • http://twitter.com/chump54 Chris Penny

    I need a backup solution for photos too. @chump54

  • Louis

    I would love to own a Thunderbolt RAID drive rather than rely on my Thecus NAS drive. Ethernet isn’t fast enough to transfer 500+ GB of work data to 4TBs of RAID drives.

  • Chris

    Well, my wife started freelancing and she is using up all my HDD space on my Mac. If you give me the Drobo, you will also ensure a happy marraige

  • KarelGl

    Yes please, a Drobo would fit nicely in my workflow.

  • Taylorconor

    My Thunderbolt ports are getting jealous of my USB ports as they do all my backing up! Thunderbolt RAID would be a nice improvement on my current dire situation!! @taylorconor95

  • macgeekpro

    A central storage of my countless precious files that are redundantly saved in one spot. @macgeekpro

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1348031622 Declan Tyrrell

    I really need this Drobo, it would be a dream come through. All my doc’s work music pictures in the one place.
    @tyrrelld

  • http://twitter.com/docziandras András Dóczi

    I’ve been wanting a Drobo ever since I knew it existed but unfortunately I cant afford it yet. Would be great for my photos and university projects where data loss would be fatal. @docziandras

  • http://twitter.com/Huntephotos Martin Hunte

    I never have enough drive space! @Huntephotos

  • http://twitter.com/Geiststreicher Sascha

    I would love to win the Drobo, because it would perfectly fit in my home IT. I need it for backup and storage services.
    On Twitter I’m @Geiststreicher

  • Phil Matthews

    I need a Drobo the holy grail of the storage world!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1391892494 Krishan Kyle Kimpo

    I need a Drobo to help me store my Photos and Videos. Hard drive space is just not enough! @krishaaankyle

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.villanueva1 Jennifer Villanueva

    I love to win this, more storage more power!

  • volcombrandon

    I would love to own this! I need a storage device badly and this looks absolutely amazing!!

    Twitter: @volcombrandon thanks for the chance to win!

  • Matt

    Been looking for a place to move my iTunes library and make it a little more portable.

  • http://twitter.com/fethica Fethi El Hassasna

    Hi, thank you for the giveaway and the review.

    I’d love to win ! Drobo 5D would fit in my workflow :)

    Twitter: @fethica

  • Andrew

    Trying to go #paperless but need more storage. Would love to win a Drobo 5D from @mactrast.
    – @caianda

  • Caleb Foster

    Would love the capable drive to finally be able to back up my video files for my video editing!
    -@bosstech7

  • Max Eick

    I’d be really glad to win the Drobo 5D to store all my media files (Photos, Videos, etc.) secured on this damn great storage!!!
    – @skiingmax

  • http://twitter.com/MichaelTheGeek Michael The Geek 

    I would like to have a multi back-up solution.

  • http://twitter.com/GMandrella Gary Mandrella

    Drobo 5D: great to back up video files, photos and work files… @gmandrella

  • ry4ns4n

    I’ve been using a usb 2.0-based external drive for my time machine, and it’s annoyingly slow! Having a Drobo will really make my day :) -@ry4ns4n

  • http://twitter.com/caitlynmayers caitlynmayers

    We have used a Drobo previously and have loved it. Now that it has Thunderbolt… it’s exactly what we need. Go Drobo!

  • http://www.hvid.se Patrick

    With my new retina MacBook, storage is always an issue, and usb is simply not enough

    @patrickhvid

  • tonyhart

    I’d be really interested in Drobo 5D, I’ve heard a lot of positive stuff and it’d give me somewhere else to store my MOUNTAINS of photos. Does it store mountains properly?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.scott.9803 Jordan Scott

    As a backup system for me goes, it’s been single smaller drives I have to plug in and possibly trip on the chords as they plug into the front of the the Mac Pro. Being a designer and animator it would make a world of difference.

  • Rod

    Storage Will finally become “history”! It’s gonna be way easier and faster to back-up, and transfer files now! @rodxtina

  • http://twitter.com/WesleyBlokker Wesley Blokker

    I have wanted a Drobo for ages so that I can finnaly really start as a freelance video editor. Not only the speed and saftey is great, she’s a beauty, too.

  • Damien_Starr

    I would love to win so I have a place to store all my photos and video don’t have much space left on my MacBook twitter name is Damien_Starr

  • m13

    I don’t want to have to buy the same size hard drive to fill up the NAS. It is nice to be able to upgrade to larger capacity drives one by one over time. Drobo is super easy in this regard. Thanks. @agleung

  • http://www.creativeguise.com/ Doug McArthur

    I’d love to pick one of these things up, so I can finally have a Time Machine backup of my mac. @dougmcarthur

  • Sean

    I need something that will take these individual drives and make them one! @swalberg

  • Scott

    As a burgeoning filmmaker working on independent projects, dealing with huge data flows can be truly a nightmare, and using unreliable drives or smaller storage devices with HD data causes massive headaches day in day out. Backing up old files often leaves me having to choose which of my creative projects is more important to preserve. Winning the Drobo 5D would solve ALL of my workflow and backup issues in one fell swoop!

    @scott_mcinnes

  • http://twitter.com/mooseofblue Brian Campbell

    Looks like a great system for my memory hungry photography storage!

  • http://twitter.com/apprized Apprized

    A Drobo would be perfect to manage my ever-expanding family photo & video archive. @twitter-91209711:disqus

  • http://www.facebook.com/keith.polizzotto Keith Polizzotto

    Perfect to use with Mac and time machine!

  • PierMAC

    I really need it to make mi friends die of envy… :-)
    And, of course, to have a very fast TM backup !
    @pierpaolobiagi

  • http://twitter.com/Gucchie23 gotta laugh at life

    I so need this! I have so many pictures and videos! @Gucchie23

  • http://twitter.com/chrisbeachum Chris Beachum

    Would hold all of my pictures and videos with more room to spare! @twitter-16871775:disqus

  • Neil Coutinho

    Got a couple of Mac minis to set up our all Apple workplace infrastructure.The Drobo5D would be perfect for backup of those huge media files.Thanks @neiljcoutinho

  • http://twitter.com/IanFuchs88 Ian Fuchs

    I’d love to win because video editing is very space intensive! @ianfuchs88

  • http://twitter.com/CodyAshPhoto Cody Ash

    would be nice to have for backup of the photog biz

  • pkchoo

    I’ve been looking for a backup storage solution to help manage my growing video/photo library. Having a thunderbolt/RAID/expandable drobo system would be a dream! @pkchoo

  • chadi

    I think this would be excellent for ebay and all my photos, am excited & thank you kindly!

  • JAS

    There is no better way to organize files but to use a HD, however it would be perfect to use such a medium to manage it. @_jo_0

  • http://twitter.com/drew_bernard Drew Bernard

    I would love to have a Drobo to back up all my videos for my wedding videography! @drew_bernard

  • Jonathan Carr

    This would be perfect for my growing family videos and pics. @JMCarr12

  • alex

    my apple TC can’t handle near as much data as drobo. and it gets too hot for WIRELSS to function sometimes. so hook me up

  • Michael Drager

    Because I need it @michaeldrager

  • curtis206

    i can keep all my data securely in one location. @curtislu

  • http://overreviewtech.blogspot.com/ Sergey Karchmit

    I would love to win this. I need an extra storage. Would really help. @skarchmit

  • http://twitter.com/BillJude56 Bill McGovern

    My sister is a serious Mac user and it’d blow her mind if I could give this to her.

  • http://twitter.com/millman82 Tim Miller

    I’m obsessed with backup. I could really use this to complete my backup strategy!

  • http://twitter.com/zyoung90 Zack

    This thing looks absolutely amazing, and as a photographer with a ton of photos that need backup storage, I could really use something like this.

  • http://twitter.com/cAndyNoForger cAndy

    Great things!!! My huge porn archive wont ever lost.

  • http://www.facebook.com/steve.cornelius Steve Cornelius

    @stevecornelius I want one of these to build a media server and attach it to My Mac Mini

  • http://twitter.com/jst4tim Tim Parmelee

    I want and need a Drobo to store all the media me and my family have all in one secure place. Being a father of triplets I have tons of pictures and videos of my kids plus all the kids movies and other media. I use a MacBook Air as of now so I clearly do not have much storage aside from an external drive and I really do not want to keep buying more external drives when I could just upgrade the drive sizes as needed with a Drobo. Thanks for the chance to win. @jst4tim

  • http://twitter.com/Volts678 Scott a dombrosky

    @volts678 I would like to have one for all my picture and audio, and slide shows that I am working on so please

  • http://twitter.com/kapakai laki

    I’m not a “real techie” but it sounds so simple that even I can do it myself! @kapakai

  • http://slightlyinsightful.com/ Ammon

    Wow, I’ve wanted a Drobo ever since I first heard about them on an episode of MacBreak. I guess, I really just want a convenient, redundant, large hard drive I can use for my primary onsite backups for all my Macs. @abeckstrom

  • ellory

    want and need a Drobo to store all the media I have

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001804560507 Dung La

    I like to have a Drobo to store my media.
    @johan2007

  • http://www.facebook.com/alex.gupps.1 Alex Gupps

    Drobo would be the crowning touch of my technology gadgets and a wonderful device to backup my Apple devices for business!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Puttapong-Tapaonoi/100000454146451 Puttapong Tapaonoi

    A lot of thing I need to move from my mac to store on Drobo…because a lot of secret and a lot of snooper. It going to be my vault!
    @nomchocolate

  • http://twitter.com/TheMysticBucket The Mystic Bucket

    need a back up for life, and drobo is a life product

  • nacleme

    need raid for lots of good important stuff @nacleme

  • http://twitter.com/meriaten Meriaten Long

    looks very intuitive

  • http://twitter.com/willshire23 William Chang

    One of the coolest things ever! @willshire23

  • http://twitter.com/tweetyscute Theresa Janke

    I would love to win this because I need storage @tweetyscute

  • http://twitter.com/Pixamundo Pixamundo

    I would love to win so I can finally get rid of my USB 2TB drive that always disconnects when I run Time Machine. @Pixamundo

  • Rafael

    I have actually been saving for a Drobo. If I won, I’ll just apply the savings to buy some drives.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004074316221 Kevin Lee

    WOW this looks really !!!

  • http://twitter.com/sastover1717 Shawn Stover

    This would be awesome to win! Thank you for the opportunity :) I would use it to store all my electronic files together and it would help me stay organized.

  • flashlightbuff

    Id love to have backups of all my data

  • http://www.facebook.com/henry.trombley.35 Henry Trombley

    thank you for the contest.

    @HTrombley1

  • DiggityDagz

    I wanted one of the original Drobos when they first came out, but couldn’t justify the expense because I didn’t need that much storage space. Now I do! @DiggityDagz

  • http://twitter.com/Sablebell Sablebell

    I want to win the Drobo 5D, beacuse it looks so cool! Sablebell

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Dadolf/696503526 Steve Dadolf

    I want to win so I can have more reliable backups. @sdadolf

  • Akop Karapetyan

    I would love a chance to win a Drobo I been wanting one for years.

    Twitter handle is:
    @AkopK87

  • penguinking85

    I want to win the Drobo 5D because I need reliable storage – I’ve had a lot of hard drives fail. @thardy248

  • http://twitter.com/RoninM MRonin ⚜

    Great giveaway. I would love to win it because I have four Mac’s in my house to backup and my aging Buffalo raid died almost six months ago and I’ve got no way to replace it. @RoninM

  • Pam

    I want to win the Drobo 5D because it is fast and simple to use. @noname2323

  • http://twitter.com/ssjgrandam123 Shawnda Johnson

    I want to win Drobe 5D because it is easy to use & I need it @ssjgrandam123

  • http://twitter.com/Mattt1977 Matt Torok

    This is exactly what I need to back up all my pictures on my mac. @mattt1977

  • http://henrymaxm.com henrymaxm

    Love to use this for stoarge of my files.

  • http://twitter.com/mkartchner Michael Kartchner

    My backup drive just kicked the bucket, so this would be handy! @mkartchner

  • http://twitter.com/_avg Alejandro Villarreal

    I want to win the drobo cause my HD is almost fulllll and I’m planning on upgrading external storage for my mac! @_avg

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.dawood.3 Dave Dawood

    i need this

  • http://twitter.com/giuliomagnifico Giulio Magnifico

    I want to win the Drobo 5D because after reading your review it seems the best solution for handles my backups and photos! @giuliomagnifico

  • http://www.facebook.com/FrederikHMadsen Frederik Madsen

    That’s what i missing for my mac !
    I have post the message on twitter, name @fmadsen1

  • http://twitter.com/ryanrutan Ryan Rutan

    Easier question would be why I don’t want a drobo!!! Had one a few years back and it died in a lightning strike. Tried tons of other solutions, but this is THE best one for scalable home storage, and now thunderbolt as well!!!! @ryanrutan

  • http://twitter.com/Pete_Snell Pete Snell

    I would Love to win this Drobo so i could safely and reliablity backup my Mac, most important my Photos and Videos of my 6 month old daughter @Pete_Snell

  • http://twitter.com/ikoukou koukou

    This is the best thing to backup all my Mac’s!!! @ikoukou

  • http://twitter.com/thattoodidpass Adam Paul

    Drobo is a great, fast, and secure way to store work from Pro Tools and Logic. I could really put it to good use. @thattoodidpass

  • microagent

    I would use the Drobo 5D to further my efforts in video editing and make sure my video assets are protected from drive failures @microagent

  • http://twitter.com/swesource Arnold Johansson

    Everyone wants a #Drobo! It’s the greatest! As is @MacTrast! @swesource

  • http://twitter.com/absolutnate Nathan Smith

    I gotta get me one of these!! I think in terms of form, function, design, usability etc Drobo really nailed it. I’ve love a sleek, secure, user friendly backup and would never need another! @absolutnate

  • Alex Brown

    It looks amazing! Have been looking for something like this for a while now, seems perfect for storing all of my ‘top secret’ projects! :P @Alex_Brown23

  • RobsGirl123

    I like that it requires no knowledge of RAID or storage arrays.

  • Will G

    I would love to win this because it would be an amazing backup solution! Twitter handle: @willgriesmer

  • http://twitter.com/hugopascoa Hugo Páscoa

    This is perfect, my MacBook Pro’s Thunderbolt port has so far gone unused while my old NAS just recently bit the dust… This Drobo would fit my desk like a glove!

  • http://twitter.com/josephcoupe Joseph Coupe

    This would be great to backup my Mac, great place to store all my coding projects and would allow me to get my movie server off the ground, so I can use my appleTv to its full potential. @josephcoupe

  • http://twitter.com/monkeytree5000 Mike Offen

    As a video editor, I’m always looking for better ways to host massive amounts of data in a scaleable way– and in a way that offers real speed at that.

    @monkeytree5000

  • http://twitter.com/John_Elke John Elke

    Anyone who’s taken the time to build an extensive media library really needs one of these. As I stand right now I’d lose hundreds of hours of work if a HDD failed. That’s why I want it!

  • John Coleman

    I’d love to be able to store all my media in one place. @johnpcolemanjr

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.stoltzenburg David E Stoltzenburg

    i have a huge ibrary of entertainment set up on my mac and although i use the apple tv, for most of my entertainment, i could really use a way to store or more easlity access all those files, and this looks like a peice of tech worthy of connecting to my mac

  • http://twitter.com/ShikiLee Shiki Cheefei Lee

    I need this easy and fast Drobo 5 @ShikiLee

  • Luke

    I’m an audio engineer, so It would be really nice to ensure that I have fast, reliable storage for the foreseeable future, not that mention that, as a student, finding the money to buy a new hard drive is hard to come by.

  • Luke

    Also, @lukeilduce

  • http://twitter.com/bartvanhoutte Bart Vanhoutte

    I Like this Drobo a lot. Some real disk power. @bartvanhoutte

  • http://twitter.com/martinbeauce Martin Beauce

    I’d use that wonderful HDD enclosure to backup multiple family pictures and videos

  • das

    It just fits my new 27″ iMac perfectly. Lots of external storage! @dasamaras

  • John

    Drobo is a great storage system. Safe, secure and robust.

    @doctorzzzz

  • http://www.facebook.com/donna.yoo.9 Donna Yoo

    need storage @donnachangstein

  • http://www.facebook.com/AngelicEmbers Nicole Acuna

    I really love Drobo its exactly what I need and I love the features! It would make my life a whole lot easier. @redsnoopy1977

  • http://twitter.com/Memories2dvd Brian Houle

    I’d sure like to win this Drobo because I just looked at all the hi8/digital8 camcorder home videos i’m transferring for my own family, plus our photos, plus all of our HD camcorder footage and I need something to house it all securely.

  • Rick Rose

    Right now, my backup solution includes two onsite disks, one offsite
    disk, and a time capsule. I’d like to consolidate with a smarter
    solution. I’ve used Drobo at work, a much better solution. I am
    @fartheststar

  • http://twitter.com/DslrVideoStudio DSLR VIDEO STUDIO™

    I Shoot on SD Record in HD Edit on PC And Store, Manage and back up on Drobo 5D @dslrvideostudio

  • Joel Bernsen

    Just picked up a new Mac Mini with an Fusion Drive, and need some superfast thunderbolt storage to support my freelance video efforts. Great product, guys! @jrbernsen

  • http://twitter.com/unitedphoto UnitedByPhotography™

    Drobo 5D Delivers Data aware tiering, Robust file Management, Protection with security of data and piece of mind @unitedphoto

  • http://twitter.com/JosephGiacobbe Joseph Giacobbe

    I am a Student at college right now and about to graduate and plan on looking into DIT/Video Assit jobs. Having this drive would really help me get started and save me a bunch of money. @JosephGiacobbe

  • http://www.facebook.com/slyder0244 Jason England

    I want the Drobo so I can back up all my photography.

  • http://twitter.com/_the_islander Armando Guerra

    There is nothing like this Cuban editor would love the most than editing from a Drobo! I love the expandability of the Drobo and performance! @_the_islander

  • Avaiam

    I’ve been wanting to grab a drobo for awhile and/or a thunderbolt drive. I’m tired of having 5 different external drives sitting on my desk. The drobo would solve that and it’s a lot faster than my firewire/usb2 drives.

  • RAFFE GOLD

    I want to win a Drobo 5D because after my parents lost all their data recently I need to find them a backup that is seamless and easy to use so they will stop calling me and bugging me! @raffeg

  • Andrew Acker

    I want this storage because of powerful backup, simple storage, and easy access to data and information. @andrew_acker

  • Chris

    I need all the space I can get while producing art, videos, graphic design and everything inbetween @vsrobots

  • http://www.facebook.com/roger.scheck Roger Scheck

    @rogerscheck I need the greates storage system ever built!

  • getmetorajesh

    Been my long time dream to get one of this

  • http://twitter.com/DominusNoctis DominusNoctis

    Wow this thing sounds fantastic for my storage problem on my Mac Mini. I use this computer for my music collection, Photoshop, 3DS Max files and especially my 3D modeling assets for Steam. Needless to say, it’s running low on space and the external drives I am using are Firewire 400 and single drives. With this I can consolidate all my data and be a LOT more productive!
    @DominusNoctis

  • http://idvr360.com/ Riefa Istamar

    I need to win this Drobo 5D because my data grows faster that its own shadow! Oh wait, thats Lucky Luke…:p but anyway, I hate to see cluttered external HDD on my desk and their cable scatered around my working area. Not to mention each sxternal HDD needs their own electrical outlet! Drobo 5D will be a perfect buddy and solution for me ;) | @riefa27

  • Paul Oldham

    Wow what a review. Really enjoyed reading this. Just what I need, being a photographer, music lover and movie buff, my HDD is at its limit. Backing my files up to my WD My Book Live is quite slow, like nearly a week and that just 1 HDD! I NEED THUNDERBOLT! Would be a dream come true to get one of these bad boys. Now I could spend more time with my family instead of sitting at a computer all the time for days on end. I have 2 sets of twins age 6 and 5 months old and a 4 year old! Yes 5 kids so I need more time and quicker backup. PICK ME LOL :)

  • Diane Bassette

    I could store so much in this!!! I can safely store and edit photos and videos as well as back up my personal data! How great that would be!!

  • http://twitter.com/cranko_ Faiz Fauzi

    who doesnt want drobo? people could write anything to win it! it is the best advance storage in the market. At least i could end the conventional ways of hosting UPNP server on my iMac if i win this. @cranko_

  • http://twitter.com/tavella Tony Avella

    I’d love to consolidate the three external drives I have to in to one awesome solution! Battery backup and raid, what else can I say besides DROBO! My twitter name is @tavella

  • Paul Oldham

    Oops forgot at add @euroboy83 to my comments :( my bad.

  • jrryror

    @jrryror
    I want this because i need this. I need this to back up all my files

  • http://twitter.com/CeriJames CeriJames

    I’d really love to win a Dropbo 5D, because its the ultimate storage device.

  • http://twitter.com/MrKUKA Matti Kokkonen

    Drobo 5D would make my video editing process faster and easier!! @MrKUKA

  • ingo

    It is a cool device that would make me and my family happy by secure storing all our digital memories, Twitter handkenis @i_pinz

  • Jon

    We are in the market for a device like this and have actually heard negative feedback about Drobo. I’d love to have the chance to use a Drobo an hopefully share positive feedback with the community.

  • http://twitter.com/Snowx2k5 Neil T

    For me its just about the idea of your data truly being safe no matter if a hard drive fails. That’s something that you can’t put a price on!

    My Twitter handle is: @Snowx2k5

  • Robin M

    I have too many devices, mine and kids devices, to back up and not enough storage! This sounds like a perfect answer. #rmom32 my twitter ID

  • http://twitter.com/scotts1 Scott Strawbridge

    Just got my first thunderbolt Mac and need a Drobo for my data backups!
    Twitter is @scotts1

  • Marc B.

    New iMac, new storage. Perfect for backups.
    Twitter: @marcplanb

  • http://twitter.com/Nikibaby219 Nicole Bouchard

    Have loads and oodles and bunches and a plethora (did i mention its allotttt) of DATA to back up this would be the perfect solution Thanks for the chance <3 <3 <3 @Nikibaby219

  • rsthl

    I am doing lots of video and photo editing in high quality so space is scarce and speed essential. Plus clients can get pretty mad, if you loose their data ;)

  • http://twitter.com/rsthl rsthl

    I am doing lots of video and photo editing in high quality so space is scarce and speed essential. Plus clients can get pretty mad, if you loose their data ;) @rsthl

  • http://twitter.com/dalecampbell dalecampbell

    Been meaning to get setup with a Drobo for backup and archiving of video projects for ages. Just tweeted this from @twitter-15331500:disqus

  • http://twitter.com/yshulman Yael Shulman

    I would love to win the Drobo 5D! I have so much video footage that needs storage and this would be the perfect home for all my work!

  • http://www.facebook.com/keith.polizzotto Keith Polizzotto

    I would love a Drobo to go with my imac!

  • Juen

    Running out of space because of video and pictures. Drobo is exactly what I need. @juenfamily

  • JCmua

    I would like to win the Drobo because I barely have space for my videos abd photos anymore. Twitter @JCmua

  • Jchollis

    Why do I want to win it??? Stinking poop! Who wouldn’t want to win this?! Drobo rocks and I’m really just broke as a joke to afford this. Would like to make the most epic media server ever!! @JCHollis

  • http://twitter.com/kattanablade Michael Lee Wright

    Id Love to win a drobo unit, i think they are smart and nifty. it would be nice to own one, then i could get rid of these 6 usb harddrives i have sitting all over my desk with cables everywere, ;-( and if a drive fails then i wouldnt loose my precious photo’s and mu music i have been collecting for years now because the drobo will keep my data safe till i replace the drive. allso the option of double redundancy is just great!!!! @kattanablade

    kattanablade@hotmail.com

  • http://twitter.com/bigdogfilms_com bigdogfilms

    We are looking for new storage options. We have been watching Drobo closely for a while now and would love to try the new 5D! Reviews are great for this product so we would love to see the results in real world editing and storage!

  • Ewing_Cory

    The Drobo is awesome for backing up thousands of video files. And also making sure your data is not lost, if the drives crash.

  • http://twitter.com/HeatherKalist Heather Kalist

    I would love this device for lightening fast access to all of my videos and photos as well as music. What a premium storage device. Thanks Mactrast! @heatherkalist

  • http://twitter.com/kkirzinger Kyle Kirzinger

    I want to win the Drobo 5D because of the amazing amount of storage I can use to keep track of all my videos that need to be edited. Thanks MacTrast @kkirzinger

  • Blake

    I would like to win because I am doing a lot of work with apps and running a server based service and I am running out of space. This would help me so much and the product looks incredible, but there is no way I can ever get it unless I won this! @bcadev

  • pi

    It would be awesome to have one of these. They just have to figure out a way to have a itunes server running there, so you can airplay to ipad, iphone or appletv from it… twitter is @pivale

  • http://twitter.com/thisisian Ian Williams

    looking for somewhere to archive my sizeable music collection safely. @thisisian

  • http://www.facebook.com/ajwittwer Aaron Wittwer

    I’d like to have something that is compatible with my otherwise useless thunderbolt port. @ajwittwer

  • Tarek Konbaz

    I do photo editing and soon I’ll start video too… the Drobo is an efficient way to do that easily and comfortably…
    @tarek_hk

  • http://twitter.com/bcasabella Brian Casabella

    Really need @Drobo 5D from @MacTrast because I need the best thunderbolt solution to pair with my new iMac for video editing. #MTDrobo @bcasabella

  • Mark

    This would be a great addition to my edition suite!!!

  • christianklemp

    I want to win this because I could use the speed and performance when editing video and audio directly from the external storage. Twitter: @christianklemp

  • http://www.facebook.com/dickovich Geoff Dickson

    @maelstrom_oz I have been searching for the ultimate home storage solution to accompany my MacBook Pro and the masses of digital imagery and video that I have been accumulating… This article is the solution. Go Drobo !

  • http://twitter.com/Standishman25 Tyler Standish

    I would like to set up a media server for my friends to put their tons and tons of media on, so that no matter where we are in the world we can access the files. One friend is deployed in Korea and this would really help in the setup process so that he can benefit from it. @StandishMan25 @MacTrast @Drobo

  • carlgotone

    @carlgotone this will help me get rid of all those external drives I have lying around and eliminate my thunderbolt-expresscard-eSata adaptor setup im currently tied to on my MBPr!

  • Jeff W

    This would be amazing for my job.. We’ll be moving into our first building next week, what better way to do that than with a new drive! My current storage solution is down to it’s last few gigs so we’ll need to purchase a new one soon. @jwelchmusic

  • http://twitter.com/Meriffic Maria Szanyi

    An awesome piece of technology that I want so bad! @Meriffic

  • http://twitter.com/thefourthamigo Fourth Amigo

    I’ve got way too many external hard drives. I need to de-clutter. @thefourthamigo

  • http://twitter.com/grantbyrum Grant Byrum

    This would be great for keeping my audio and video content organized and on external drives that I can use with any Mac I need!! Twitter: @grantbyrum

  • Lance

    Would love to win this… Have a lot of videos I’m working on!! @smallingld

  • http://twitter.com/Louie842 Big Fan

    This would be great for storing all my photos and video!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003986625278 Ann Lyfe

    i would love to win the drobo 5d thunderbolt for my mac because I need it to store all my videos & pics!

  • SSD2010

    My husband’s a software engineer, works in quality assurance and I’m a photographer, graphic designer, between the two of us we need something to save our data & this would be perfect. (Twitter follower @SS_Dal)

  • http://twitter.com/sherrievans Sherri Evans

    I would like to win the Drobo 5D because I never win anything! Seriously, this would be a great addition to my home setup and ensure peace of mind for my backups.

  • http://twitter.com/freeway49 Linda Kubala

    I would love to own one, I would use it for storing all photos and videos plus storing all my designs for my crafting design startup that is in it’s infancy. Thank you… @freeway49

  • Roger

    It would be really great to win this!

  • http://twitter.com/JuanCaVarela JuanCaVarela

    I want the Drobo to store all my photos and have data redundancy without having to think too much about it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nanang.sugiarto Nanang Sugiarto

    I wanna store all my datas securely in it
    @nkwoel

  • http://twitter.com/ross_hayes Ross Hayes

    You can never have too much space. Storage space that is… and I don’t have enough. (@Ross_Hayes)

  • Guest

    @benhermans90
    I’m starting my new businesses and need a lot of data storage and safe! because it will be used for back-up and extern access. I like the specifications and can really use one! I live in de netherlands and i follow mactrast since 2010, and read here the new news about Apple. I hope i win this device!

  • adlin

    I would love a Drobo to go with my new iMac……..

  • diane baum

    this would wonderful for doing programs for my students

  • http://twitter.com/booNN Petar Banić

    I want it because of the amazing amount of storage I can use to keep track of all my videos that need to be edited. @booNN

  • http://twitter.com/Benhermans90 Ben Hermans

    @benhermans90
    I’m starting my new businesses and need a lot of data storage and safe! because it will be used for back-up and extern access. I like the specifications and can really use one! I live in de netherlands and i follow mactrast since 2010.

  • http://twitter.com/WHearnshaw William Hearnshaw

    @WHearnshaw It might actually allow me to pull out my old HDs and sort out all my files from years gone by onto one system!

  • Bethani

    I have 2 MacBook Pro’s and a PC desktop all sharing to a NAS and it’s SLOW and painful. I work from home and travel a lot(I am the tech coordinator for the 911 operations in my county) and use my storage to access a lot of essential files. When it comes to E911 work, the ability to store and retrieve date quickly can actually be a matter of life and death. This device would help me greatly since time is of the essence in my line of work. It looks like a great device and would love to test it out for possible future implementation in the PSAP’s (Public Safety Answering Points)I work with.

  • Bethani

    BTW, my twitter handle is @shespnz

  • eggzntea

    I want the Drobo 5D to assisst me in editing my movie… thnx! Best @buddhapesto

  • http://www.facebook.com/mattcooper61 Matt Cooper

    video and Backups

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1129480577 Caleb Wilson

    I would make a great utility for storing photos and videos for the whole family.

  • Captain Steubing

    With all of the pictures and video that we’ve been taking of my new daughter; I’ve got to find a good safe way to store them. The Drobo looks like it would fit the bill perfectly. @captainsteubing

  • http://twitter.com/pomps71 pomps71

    I would love to have the Drobo 5D to upgrade my media center. @twitter-15202463:disqus

  • Earl Swank

    I’d love to win the Drobo 5D to keep a constant backup of all my pictures I’ve taken throughout the years. I’ve always wanted one but could never afford. So I hope to win it. Thanks! @EJSwank

  • Andy

    With 170GB of photos, and a lifetime of DSLR use ahead of me, I really need a safe, local backup solution…I want a Drobo! @andyelder

  • http://twitter.com/mwright199 Michael Wright

    This would be a very big help in storing, editing and transferring photos and videos and also storing my music. Thanks @mwright199

  • http://twitter.com/theothercole Cole MacDonald

    I need something really fast for my backups…. My twitter handle is @theothercole

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=663435755 Gary Ross

    Pick me

  • http://www.facebook.com/erik.kulvinskas Erik Kulvinskas

    Backups, and video editing for over 40 8mm digitized family movies.

  • http://Www.aumentality.cl/ Wolfgang Bastic

    I love Drobo! I need a central backup solution! @wolfganglc

  • http://www.yepi250.com/ yepi

    Thanks for the great work! We definitely appreciate your time and effort!

Author

J. Glenn Künzler

Glenn is Managing Editor at MacTrast, and has been using a Mac since he bought his first MacBook Pro in 2006. Now he's up to his neck in Apple, and owns an old iBook, a 2012 iMac with an extra Thunderbolt display for good measure, a 4th-generation iPad, an iPad mini, 2 iPhones, and a Mac Mini that lives at the neighbor's house. He lives in a small town in Utah, enjoys bacon more than you can possibly imagine, and is severely addicted to pie.