Drobo 5N, NAS for Mac and Windows

$1,600 for 15TB
This is a Press Release edited by on 2012.12.17

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Drobo, Inc. announced the Drobo 5N, the latest in their lineup of high-performance storage systems.


This NAS device extends Drobo's ease-of-use with increased performance and data protection enhancements for personal and professional users who want a fast, easy, and reliable file sharing and backup experience over the network. Like the recently introduced Drobo Mini and Drobo 5D, it features Drobo's patented BeyondRAID and Data-Aware Tiering technologies, to deliver capacity, performance, and data protection that have traditionally been reserved for more expensive, enterprise-grade storage.

"Drobo is the future of storage," stated Robin Harris, chief analyst at "I've said it a number of times in public forums - the new Drobo products are automated, fast, affordable, and artfully meld both hard drive and SSD technology to deliver a great capacity/performance value proposition. Drobo has once again advanced the state-of-the-art in storage."

Performance and Data Protection
The 5N, like all Drobos, employs BeyondRAID technology, which automates data protection and capacity expansion operations so that even users who aren't storage experts can enjoy the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing that their data is protected.

In addition, the 5N, much like its sibling Thunderbolt-powered solutions the Drobo Mini and 5D, utilizes Drobo's Data-Aware Tiering capability, which intelligently uses high-performance flash (SSD) technology to accelerate performance of the storage array, allowing applications such as Adobe Lightroom and Apple iPhoto or iTunes fast access to data. This solution maintains traditional Drobo ease-of-use in that the configuration, provisioning, and performance optimization of the hybrid storage is automated. Storage novices can enjoy benefits traditionally reserved only for storage experts with enterprise-grade systems.

Drobo extends its data protection in the 5N with a new feature that protects user data in the event of an unforeseen power failure or interruption. Like all advanced Drobo innovations, this new data protection feature is automated, so all users can enjoy the data safety benefits traditionally reserved for large enterprise customers, and previously unattainable in this price category.  

Myriad of Uses

  • Like all Drobo storage arrays, the 5N is easy to set up on the network.  It supports both Mac and Windows systems and can be used in a variety of use cases, such as:
  • Centralized backup for multiple systems on the network, including very intuitive, native support for Apple Time Machine on Mac OS computers.
  • Data sharing for both Windows and Mac OS systems across the network.
  • As an upgrade to existing customers of the Drobo FS NAS solution. FS customers can upgrade to the 5N by removing their disk drives from the FS and inserting them into a new 5N.

Specs, Pricing, Availability
The 5N provides a superior user experience with capabilities that professionals require and typically find only in products at a higher cost.

  • Drobo BeyondRAID, which provides thin provisioning, instant expansion, mixed drive size flexibilty, automatic protection levels, dual-disk redundancy, virtual hot spare, and drive reordering.
  • Drobo automated Data-Aware Tiering, which automatically configures and utilizes both hard drives and SSD technology.
  • Five storage bays, each of which can hold one standard 3.5-inch SATA HDD or SSD; and one mSATA SSD in the Drobo Accelerator Bay for increased performance.
  • Maximum capacity 20TB when configured with 4TB drives, resulting in 16TB of protected storage.
  • One GbE port.
  • Support of Mac OS X 10.7.x Lion, Mac OS X 10.8.x Mountain Lion, Windows 7 SP1 32 and 64 bit, Windows 8 32 and 64 bit operating systems.
  • Support of CIFS / Server Message Block (SMB) and Apple Filing Protocol (AFP).
  • The 5N, like the 5D and Mini, includes a new 2-year standard warranty.

Pricing starts at $599 MSRP, and the Drobo 5N will be available from January 1, 2013 at online stores, direct marketers, and resellers worldwide.