Joined on 08/28/08
Great for home use
Pros: This is a great NAS for someone with almost no IT knowledge to people with somewhat high IT knowledge. Reading many of the reviews on here it doesn't seem like people have gone deep enough into the device. It runs on a custom Linux platform so there is a lot of potential. User permissions can be assigned to each file/folder through SSH. The apps on Drobo's site are the most basic apps. I have rTorrent, Apache, MySQL, PHP, vsftp, minidlna, and several other applications running on it. The drives are a snap to install and get running. I ordered 5x2TB Samsung drives from Newegg when they had a Shell Shocker on them and they have been working great. I have all of my Windows ISO files from TechNet stored on there and can copy a 2GB file in just a few minutes. Last week Drobo partnered with PogoPlug so now you can turn the Drobo into a cloud storage device. I basically now have a 10TB Dropbox account hosted in my house that I can access from anywhere (including iPhone and Android).
Cons: Access speeds are not the greatest, but I have found this is because the Drobo will spin down the drives when not is use (an adjustable feature). I personally am willing to wait the 5 seconds to load an initial folder so my drives will last longer. If you prefer you can disable this feature and access is almost immediate. To really get the most out of the Drobo a user need to be familiar with Linux and how to SSH. User permissions are a pain from the GUI app that comes with it, but everything can be manged from command line over SSH. This isn't an enterprise NAS so don't expect to get enterprise performance. For me, the capacity (5 drives), the ease of swapping drives, and the noise/footprint make it worth it compared to an enterprise NAS. My only real complaint is how touchy it is. If the drives are spinning, don't bump the table it is sitting on. It will rebuild the entire RAID. You won't lose any data, but it takes FOREVER (mine took 17 hours).
Overall Review: Check other sites if you want to get the most out of your Drobo. A simple Google search for DroboPorts or Drobo Forums (drobospace) will get you started with some great apps that are made by a healthy community. Since the Drobo runs on Linux, you can cross-compile many (not all) apps and have it run reliably. The processor isn't very powerful and the RAM is pretty limited (I think something like 512MB) so just be aware of that when trying to run apps. I'm not sure why people were having a problem mounting their Drobo in Windows. I just mapped mine by IP and haven't had any problems. It shares via Samba so it is pretty straight forward. Overall I am very happy with the performance of this little device. I took off 1 egg for the price and for being so touchy about movement when it is doing something. I have 2 other friends with Drobos and they love them as well. I suggest reading some of the forums from the advanced users before making a decision based on the reviews on this pag
Pros: Not many pros I can think of. I suppose the software that came with it serves a purpose, but the quality is horrible.
Cons: Biggest con: The IR receiver/blaster does not work with Vista or Win7. I searched all over and found many discussions on how this will only work on XP. The analog signal is fine in the provided software (WinTV 7) but when viewing in MC7 the video quality is terrible. Almost not even watchable. Some said this was due to their graphics cards having less than 64mb but I have a 1GB Radeon.
Overall Review: Will be returning this for another TV tuner. The digital tuner might be fine, I only get analog where I live. If anybody has found a fix for these problem please let me know. The card has potential.