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Item#: N82E16822240018

Drobo USB 2.0 / Firewire800 / eSATA 3.5" 5-bay Storage Array DRDR3A21

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  • DRDR3A21
  • USB 2.0 / Firewire800 / eSATA
  • 3.5"
  • 1 year limited

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  • Overview
  • Specifications
  • Warranty & Returns
  • Reviews

The Data Robotics DRDR3A21 Drobo S Storage array holds up to five hard drives, which can be added at any time. The enclosure supports hard drive sizes of up to 10TB on a single volume, so you'll be forward-compatible as disk sizes increase. You can use combinations of SATA drives of any size to manage your storage needs. Drobo S uses the revolutionary BeyondRAID storage technology to protect your data against hard disk crash. When there is more than a single disk in your Drobo S, your data is safe and backed up.

Drobo S provides a FireWire 800, USB2.0 or eSATA interface and an upgraded core processor. It’s a great solution for both primary and backup storage of large media and productivity files such as video, photos, music, audio and other documents. The right side has indicator lights letting you know if everything is OK, if you need to add space, or if a drive has failed.

Drobo S works with all major operating systems, including Windows, Mac and Linux. Now anyone can implement a secure data protection solution.

  • newegg BeyondRAID Storage Technology With the revolutionary BeyondRAID storage technology, the Drobo S will keep your data safe, increase uptime and availability and provide flexibility to replace failed disks and increase capacity without costly downtime.
  • newegg SATA I/II Hard Drive Support The Data Robotics DRDR3A21 features five SATA drive bays supporting 3.5" SATA I or II hard drives. The SATA II interface delivers an amazing internal data rate of 3.0Gb/s for ultra-fast file transfer.
  • newegg Dual Interface Support The Data Robotics DRDR3A21 features USB 2.0 and IEEE 1394b (FireWire 800) interfaces for fast data transfer and plug-and-play connectivity to Mac and Windows based computers.
  • newegg eSATA Interface The Data Robotics DRDR3A21 features an eSATA port for an ultra-fast data transfer speed of up to 3Gb/s and plug-and-play connectivity.

Learn more about the Drobo DRDR3A21

Warranty, Returns, And Additional Information
  • Warranty
  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year
  • Read full details

Customer Reviews of the Drobo DRDR3A21

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5 out of 5 eggsworks perfectly and as advertised

Pros: does everything it says it will and well. this is my second drobo (I also have had the 8 drive model since the day it came out). Both have worked flawlessly, on PC and Mac. For this drobo S I actually converted it from PC (NTFS format) to Mac (apple OS extended). not a hitch at all. I have had 1 hard drive fail in the 1.5 years total time I have owned drobo and have not lost a bit of info. I had this one hooked up USB to my PC then converted to eSata on the Mac.. no problems seen at all for either. My other drobo 8 drive is hooked up iscsi on a pc without a hitch as well. Both are easily shareable across the network and OS types

Cons: I bought the S model 31 days before the FS came to newegg so I couldn't return it for the networkable version... will probably buy that one once I fill this 20TB of space I have now.
Lights are a bit bright, no on-device lcd screen for diagnostics

Other Thoughts: I have owned Lacies, QNAPs, and Buffalos -- in both NAS and direct connection setups... Until I bought a Drobo, I also had a Media PC with a large internal RAID 5 setup. Just wanted to throw out a positive review to balance out the negatives, as I know there are a lot of us you never hear from because the devices just work for us.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • David F.
  • 6/1/2010 11:38:26 AM
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsDrobo S

Pros: Works exactly as advertised. Pretty fast read/write despite the "slower" 4- 2T "green" drives I've installed and the USB2 connection. Connecting with eSata does speed things up quite a bit. (See below.). Amazingly quiet and feels cool to the touch. I can't say I've tested their "self healing" raid technology yet because, thank goodnes, I haven't had to. I did get to have a small adventure with the unit; when I my installed my 5- 2TB WD Caviar Green drives, my Drobo S indicated that one of the drives was defective. So back it went to New Egg, and I was very impressed with the diagnostics, but not so happy with how complicated and inconvenient it is to redo the drive formatting with paper clips and lots of patience Good thing that the support person putting me through it was so curteous and knowledgable. And he was a clear-speaking person located in the U.S. Overall, a very good experience.

Cons: Those of you who were, like me, nudged into buying the Drobo S because of the lure of the fast eSata port connection, be very, very careful when seting up the Drobo S. You must not use the eSata port when updating the Drobo S software or firmware or formatting drives. You may only use the USB2 or Firewire ports for that, and afterwards, you may switch your connection to eSata for speed. But, then, you must remember to go temporarily back to one of the other two ports for any occasionally needed changes in the future.

Other Thoughts: If you have a 4K sector drive, remember, you must upgrade the firmware of the Drobo S, BEFORE you install the drives, and while you're at it, you can update the Drobo Dashboard software as well. And make sure that your eSata port's chipset is compatible with the Drobo S; most current ones on the motherboard are compatible, but you should check first.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Brian F.
  • 5/24/2010 2:17:00 PM
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month

1 out of 5 eggsDrobo S Bad eSATA Support

Pros: The product had two issues.

Small one is that the 16TB volume default setup for Vista would not work. I had to use XP Mode with 3x 2TB volumes.

Big one is that the eSATA connection continues to fail and cause painful crashes in the programs I was running. I even purchased additional eSATA card to match exactly what the vender recommended.

All my problems where with Vista x64 SP2 on a Laptop using a ExpressCard/34 for the eSATA connection.
Others on the web reported similar problems with other Drobo models.

Cons: While using USB the product did appear to function well enough, but I feel that I paid for eSATA speed, not USB.

Other Thoughts: I would not consider buying a Drobo for use with Windows, until these problems have clearly been addressed.

3 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Jeffery S.
  • 5/11/2010 3:06:01 PM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsWhat a Hastle...Life is too short!

Pros: Bought Drobo S and (5) 2T WD Hard drives to use as primary storage for several thousand videos and music files. Took about a month to compile all of the material. Then it died!

Cons: Suddenly, the Drobo would not power on. Customer service is a joke. Register, make a claim, wait for a call back from a sales guy trying to sell me an extended warranty for $100. Unit is a month old and I am getting worked for an extended waranty instead of telling me how to resolve my trouble. I don't even know if my data is intact.

Promised he would email return directions for a replacement, however, after several requests still don't have them.

Other Thoughts: $1,500 and a month of effort and no idea if or when the data can be recovered. Save your money this device is lousy and the customer service is worse. Thanks Datarobotics for the great customer service. What a joke.

3 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Jenny P.
  • 3/22/2010 8:11:28 AM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsVery nice setup and forget!

Pros: About as simple a "RAID like" setup as you can get.

The only one that I know of that will let you mix drives of different sizes.

Supports the option to either protect from one or two Disk failures.

eSATA interface.

Goes to sleep with the computer and wakes up when needed (on a DVR system).

Works as advertised through a disk failure. Simple replaced the Disk and in about an hour (and I still could use the computer while this was happening) the system goes all green again.

Cons: Disconnects every once in awhile. Have not figured out why yet. But a simple reboot and I am back in business. The system is on a DVR that runs 24/7.

Do NOT run Windows 7 Backup Utility. Puts the Drobo S into a state that will give you incredibly long boot times (20min to 90min). Supposedly Microsoft is working on fixing the issue. Otherwise I have about 40 Sec boot times (I do have an SSD).

This is a DAS and NOT a NAS. I wish it did have network capabilities but I understand it is easier to push those features on to the Direct Attached computer.

Other Thoughts: If you just want a box that you setup and forget this is it!
I now own 2 of these boxes and am planing on a 3rd.
One is setup on a DVR and streams 4 channels of HD video just fine (I should say recording 4 channels).
I have had a Disk Failure and the box did exactly what it was supposed to. (I used old drives that I scrounged around for)

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

3 out of 5 eggsTradeoffs

Pros: Drobo's beyondraid tech really is almost the only thing going for dynamically expanding a "big drive".

I've had the other drobo for a few months, and it's worked as expected, but upgraded for 5th drive and esata. I haven't benchmarked, but Esata feels like the same speed as an internal hard drive.

Cons: Price. I understand they're the only game in town, but it feels like everything in their lineup should be 50% the price it is.

Esata and macs. I've got a mac pro, so I'm ok with it, but most macs don't have Esata. Would love to see ethernet and iscsi in addition to/in place of Esata.

Noise. I'd like the option to dynamically adjust the fan. The machine isn't "loud", but it's dramatically louder than my mac pro, which has many more fans.

3 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Jeff P.
  • 2/9/2010 7:16:08 PM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

1 out of 5 eggsNot even close.

Pros: easy setup... easy expansion

Cons: far too many to list....
- price. WAAAY too much.
- stability. they have a horrible track record. search google for yourself.
- proprietary file system. if it crashes... guess who you have to pay to retrieve your data?
- price. did i mention this was just WAY too much money?

Other Thoughts: save yourself over five hundred dollars, and buy a sans digital tr5m. i switched to it after my last drobo crash, and will never look back.

4 out of 19 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

1 out of 5 eggsdon't waste your money

Pros: 5 drive bays, processor for traffic, cool black case

Cons: $800!?!?! for what? A glorified case with a $50 chipset and$10 p/s in it?

Other Thoughts: no way
just buy a cheap pc with stat in it.

5 out of 35 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Bradly J.
  • 1/12/2010 8:54:17 PM
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsSerious upgrade for existing Drobo users

Pros: Being an original Drobo owner, the new Drobo S addresses most of my major issues with the original Drobo

* eSATA (this is a HUGE plus for those of us pained by the excruciatingly slow USB 2.0 transfer speeds of the original Drobo, especially through DroboShare)
* 5 bays (dual drive redundancy an option now)
* Faster processor
* Sleek look, compact design

Pop in any SATA drives you have laying around, create a volume, 10 minutes later you have protected storage

Cons: * No GbE interface (and DroboShare sucks and costs $$, not worth it)
* Huge $$ premium over the 'regular' Drobo
* Pretty loud when all drives are spinning
* Front status lights are BRIGHT (even though this is adjustable, I still find them too bright on the lowest setting)
* Front cover rattles a bit when all drives are spinning
* Lack of front end features typical of similarly priced diskless NAS solutions (QNAP, Thecus, Synology, Netgear)

Other Thoughts: Trust me, if you want an EASY, RELIABLE, EXPANDABLE storage solution that honestly 'just works', get the Drobo. It really is set it and forget it. I started out with the original Drobo and loved the simplicity and ease of use, but the transfer speeds were SO SLOW. I couldn't use it to serve media to my HTPC, it was a major bottleneck. So I recently tried out other solultions, such as a QNAP TS-509, then a Thecus N5200. While these devices provide more in terms of front end features (web server, download managers, user control, etc) they were SO unstable compared to the Drobo. I had to rebuild the raid 5 array on the QNAP about 6 times before I gave up. Similar issues with the Thecus. I just wanted reliability back, so I decided to try the new Drobo S with eSATA, and I am NOT disappointed. Seeing 60+ MB/s write speeds over eSATA. More than enough for my needs and a MASSIVE improvement over the original Drobo. Now just give us GbE

24 out of 26 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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Item#: N82E16822240018
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