So, I’ve been needing to upgrade my storage solution for my video projects for quite some time. There are two things to consider. First: data protection. You’ve got to make sure your data is safe in the case a hard drive fails—because it happens. Second: speed. I need to be able to edit several streams of full 1080p video footage in realtime. THat needs speed. What is needed is a RAID solution that has Firewire 800 or faster.
Drobo has always been an option I liked. It’s ability to mix and match hot-swappable hard drives with an easy interface, expandability, and redundancy. And they come highly recommended. However, as a Mac laptop user, I never liked the idea of having Firewire 800 as the fastest connection available.
Enter the new Drobo 5D and Drobo Mini.
The new Drobo 5D will replace the Drobo S as the 5-bay video/photo professional solution. Drobo Mini is an entirely new product. It is a portable 4-bay solution that uses 2.5″ HDDs instead of the 3.5″ HDDs that all the other Drobos use. It’s meant for the people on the go or that shoot & need to backup their files on location.
These new Drobos have all new architecture built from the ground up. Supposedly they are 5X faster than the Drobo S. And they have two Thunderbolt ports (read 10 Gbps each) and a USB 3.0 port. That means they will be about as fast as it gets for external storage aside from fibre solutions. On top of that, they have a bay for an additional small form-factor SSD (or mSATA) to help accelerate database driven apps, etc.
One of the best parts is that the drives actually buck the trend and come with Thunderbolt cables included ($50 via Apple).
The release dates are suppose to be sometime in July. I hope to get my hands on one to review when they become available. These new Drobos will give me the speed I need while ensuring my data is protected from hard drive failure. That’s a must in my book.