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Drobo 5N 5-bay NAS Storage Array, Gigabit Ethernet

  • 5-Bay
  • Usage Backup & stream media through personal cloud
  • Diskless System
  • 1 x 10/100/1000M
  • Email this page
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Learn more about the Drobo Drobo 5N (DRDS4A21)

Quick Info


  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year

Customer Reviews of the Drobo Drobo 5N (DRDS4A21)

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  • Richard D.
  • 3/15/2015 11:28:19 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsNot for advanced users

Pros: LED lights indicating which drive is good/bad

Cons: Performance is literally the worst. It is worse than a single drive when in RAID6. It just is not very powerful. It's also way over priced for what you get. I built a WAYYY better array for less than this. If you're an advanced user, get a good RAID card and a case with a lot of drive bays.

Other Thoughts: Do yourself a favor and just build your own RAID system with a PC. There are soooo many options and you'll get way more than you pay for. If something goes bad you can replace it, you can troubleshoot a lot easier. I have 8x2TB drives in a RAID5 and the read/write speed is like 360 MB/s. The card was only $150 too and I can run Windows or Linux if I want.

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

  • James H.
  • 12/17/2014 7:36:24 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsDrobo 5N

Pros: I have used the Drobo 5N for about a month now and have added drives and removed drives to see how well it works and I am VERY happy with it. I ran into a problem one day and not sure if it was a NEW drive I ordered or the Drobo. I ran a report on the Drobo and uploaded it to them and had a response within a day.

Cons: Kinda of pricey

Other Thoughts: I like the Drobo Raid but in case the Drobo fails I will not be able to take my drives to another computer to read them, but I knew that before I bought it, but it would be nice to be able to read them on another computer.

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

  • Mr. T.
  • 12/8/2014 6:47:02 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsVersatile, User Friendly, Dare I

Pros: I definitely like how easy this is to deploy and configure to your needs. This would definitely be a highlight for any novices out there. Allowing different disks is a plus but keep in mind it could slow down your total performance (I am not sure if this influenced negative reviews, but this is the case with mixing disk speeds / types). Additional Drobo hosted apps such as Plex are cool, I still have yet to fully utilize these but the addition is always a nice bonus.

The accelerator bay is a great addition for those who might have a lot of sharing going on with the unit. There are some model limitations but still an amazing feature without consuming a drive.

Compared to my old home server this is quiet, low profile, and looks amazing. You can tell some thoughtful engineering went into the entire design from beginning to end.

Cons: The price is more than some bare bones systems out there, but you truly get what you pay for. It is worth shelling out the extra cash for something this well engineered.

Other Thoughts: I have worked with a lot of additional storage units for personal media storage and backup. So far this has taken the cake and will make management of the health of my array much easier. I work with storage array networks as part of my job in IT and while this is not a SAN, I would consider looking at their products for entry level business devices in the future based on my impressions of Drobo.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • David M.
  • 11/23/2014 4:38:43 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsGood for backup, not for media serving...

Pros: This unit has exceeded my expectations as a network location where I can archive my media. It has been very reliable and the one instance where I needed tech support, they were quick to isolate the problem and help resolve it. It has served my personal and professional needs better than expected.

Cons: One thing that me disappointed is that it is not fast enough to reliably serve/stream media.

Other Thoughts: My primary use of the Drobo 5N has been to archive video of athletic games to create sports recruiting films - and for that purpose it has exceeded my expectations. I only wish it would serve the video directly to my devices so I didn't have to move the video onto a local drive to review with clients.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Austin C.
  • 2/19/2014 12:28:58 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsWorks Great

Pros: It was super easy to setup! A quick install of the management software, installed the drives and plugged it in and was pretty much off and running.

Cons: The only thing that I have to say bad about it is that the Plex app does not do transcodeing when install on the DROBO, but if I would have read a bit more I would have know that before hand. So my fault and no eggs lost.

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

  • Thomas S.
  • 1/4/2014 1:27:43 PM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsMind at ease drobo

Pros: Simple to setup with easy to follow instructions.
Just insert 5 WD-2TB drives and let it do the work you want.
No hassle with a RAID configuration.
I did a lot of research on drobo, from both and other drobo internet review sources before making my purchase.
Not an eye sore to look at.
Easy to find and access drobo on my network.
Not an eye sore to look at and has satisfied my needs.

Cons: High Price.

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

  • John H.
  • 11/26/2013 7:32:05 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsAmending my previous review

Pros: It looks pretty and appears at first to operate at a high rate of speed.

Cons: Well, I was wrong on with my first review. This device is slow. I'm connected to a wired gigabit ethernet network and doing anything with the device has become unbearably slow. Plex movies stutter constantly if not outright freeze. I don't know if this lag in performance is a symptom of the volume of data on the drive, if it is just inherently a bad design, or both. The mSATA slot is apparently only compatible with a very limited number of mSATA devices. Newegg recommended the ADATA mSATA drive with my Drobo purchase. It shouldn't have. Now I'm stuck with an mSATA drive that is either bad, or just incompatible with the Drobo. Why tout a standard interface and have it only work with certain devices? I'm returning the Drobo and sticking with my older, faster RAID NAS.

Other Thoughts: If you manage to get the mSATA cache drive working, this device *may* be worth owning. I don't know though, and I'm not about to commit more money to trying to find out.

4 out of 15 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • John H.
  • 11/13/2013 8:42:16 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: less than 1 day
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsFast & Easy

Pros: Very very simple to set up and get running. Adding users - simple. Adding shares - simple. Setting share permissions - simple. Adding new apps to the Drobo - simple. I love the Plex media server. It's tremendously better and easier to use than the integrated Twonky Media Server of my LaCie 5Big Network 2. I love the smaller footprint of the Drobo and that I can dim the LEDs on the unit. The LaCie was always extremely bright when in use.

Cons: It's definitely geared towards home users. There is no domain integration, nor import of domain users like there is on my LaCie. That's not necessarily a con, per se, but it is a lacking feature. I think it's a tad over priced for what it is. It also lacks a port for local backup, whether USB or e-SATA. I think they expect users to backup to a cloud service, like Dropbox or Google Drive.

Other Thoughts: While I think the bare unit is a little overpriced, for a home use RAID NAS, it's really good. Even without the mSATA disk for Drobo Accelerator, it's pretty darned fast. On large file copies, I see upwards of 70MB/s. I'm curious to see how it performs once I get a working mSATA drive in there. Installing Plex was very simple, and I really love the interface and how it displays on my PS3. And thankfully, all the drives I ordered with this unit were in working condition, except for the mSATA drive.

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

  • Robert B.
  • 10/10/2013 9:46:29 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsBuy

Pros: Hot swappable drives
Mix and match vendors, speed, and size
Total ease of use
EMC didn't make it

Cons: Price! (but you get what you pay for)
Can not cook bacon
When you have different size drives in this, it will hold some of the larger drive's capacity for "expansion use". Google it

Other Thoughts: You can mix and match drives in this. No other raid based system will allow that. Period.
The dashboard that many people complain about is very easy to use and designed for the average home/small business person. Also you dont need a degree or cert to use this. Heck, you dont even need to understand the different raid types.

If you built your own NAS unit you will spend more on the tower, power supply, motherboard, same make/model HDDs, software than you would on this. Go with the ease of use, that why you pay this much.

YOU MUST HAVE A GIGABIT network! it is not optional unless you like really, really, really slow file storage.

Would buy a second if I needed the extra space. But with 3 x 2TBs and 2x4TBs (drobo have 9 total after raid) don't really need it.

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Chris R.
  • 8/14/2013 7:12:12 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year

1 out of 5 eggsGarbage

Pros: multiple disk sizes in raid, and different hard drive.

Cons: HORRIBLE SUPPORT - Steve S is one that is coming to mind at Drobo Support
Over a month now running a repair on my drobo after a year of owning..
Slow connection to the device

Other Thoughts: I would go with a synology or any other nas type of device.
or even build one, new egg sells cheap parts and you can get a better machine for the buck by building a nas from scratch

1 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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