The Drobo B810n Review 2016: A Brief Review of DroboTM’s New Network-Attached Storage

Drobo B810N Review

DroboTM — the company behind today’s smart storage arrays — continues to meet the demands of professionals and businesses today with the release of their newest network-attached storage (NAS), Drobo B810n. Selling for $1,599 in the US Amazon website, the Drobo B810n is considered the “World’s First 64TB NAS with Data-Aware Tiering” and can also be purchased through the official website: You can choose many storage options on Amazon, also disk-less version is available.

World’s First 64TB NAS with Data-Aware Tiering

For those who still have no idea what the Drobo B810n is, it’s an 8-bay storage device that requires no special trays or screws for users to easily slide in standard 3.5-inch HDD and SSD modules. Aside from sporting the award-winning technology BeyondRAIDTM, it also features hybrid storage and innovative data-aware tiering. Considered to be five times faster than its Drobo predecessor, the Drobo B810n promises to deliver technical sophistication and a level of automation that used to be exclusive only to bigger enterprises in the past.

Drobo B810N Review

The Pros – Drobo B810n advantages

The Drobo B810n has been gaining a lot of fame lately, and this is not without reason. The features included in this storage device make it a perfect choice not only for bigger enterprises, but caters to the storage needs of small and medium-sized businesses as well. Its high performance and self-optimizing storage, to mention a few, is among their best-selling features.

Here are the other pros you’ll find in the Drobo B810n:

Hybrid storage and tiering – automatically tiers frequently used transactional data from those which are seldom used.
Active background data scrubbing – regularly searches and repairs inconsistencies and corruptions, as well as verifies all user metadata and data.
Drobo BeyondRAID Technology – allows protection of data in case of multiple drive failure.
Battery-backed cache – a feature that is not offered by other companies that manufacture NAS products.

The Cons – Biggest disadvantages of Drobo B810n 

One of the biggest disadvantages of owning the Drobo B810n is that the disks use the exclusive Drobo format, which means it cannot be read, mounted, or used on any other system. Think of it as an iPod; you cannot load MP3 files on it without installing the iTunes application on your computer. This drawback makes it difficult to perform data recovery operations on your own, although this is highly possible with a professional data recovery service.

Another considered con not only of the unit itself, but of the company, is the poor customer support. It has been criticized for not being able to provide further support for units that have been discontinued. This spells trouble especially to those who wish to keep the data they saved on an older unit, forcing them to purchase a new unit in order to keep their data secured.

The following are the main features of the Drobo B810n:

  • Supports the following operating systems: 

                  Windows 7 (32 and 64-bit)
                  Windows 8/8.1 (32 and 64-bit)
                  Windows 10 (32 and 64-bit)
                  Windows Server 2008 R2 (32 and 64-bit)
                  Windows Server 2012 (32 and 64-bit)
                  Mac OS X 10.8 and higher

  • Eight storage bays (each can hold a standard 3.5-inch SATA I/II/III HDDs or SDDs). Also provides support for 4KN drives and storage is expandable up to 48TB. 
  • Uses Network Protocols – Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) and Common Internet File System (CIFS) / Server Message Block (SMB). 
  • Drobo BeyondRAID 
  • Thin provisioning 
  • Mixed drive size utilization 
  • Instant expansion 
  • Single and Dual disk redundancy 
  • Automatic protection levels 
  • Virtual hot spare 
  • Data aware and drive reordering 
  • Automatic protection levels 
  • Driver re-ordering 
  • Data Aware 
  • Dual Ethernet ports (Ethernet cables included in the package)

Power and Cooling specifications

  • Internal Power Supply: AC Input – 100/240 VAC, 1.8/0.75 A, 50/60 Hz
  • Power Consumption –
  • Idle System (standby, drives off): 13 watts
  • Typical Idle System (drive spin down mode, eight (8) drives): 25 watts
  • Typical Busy System (four (4) drives): 82 watts
  • Dual, fixed cooling fans

Environmental Specifications

  • Acoustics – Normal Operation: 30.4
  • Operating Temperature: 10°C – 35°C (50° – 95°F)
  • Non-Operating Temperature (storage): -10° – 60°C (14° – 140°F)
  • Operating Humidity: 5% – 80%
Drobo B810N Review

    The Design

    The Drobo B810n has a dimension of 5.5 inches x 14.1 inches x 12.7 inches, and weighs approximately 16.3 pounds. It is available in the color black. It is 8-bay storage device, it means that you can add up to eight hard drives in it. On the back it has on/off switch, power and 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports.

    The Performance

    The Drobo also boasts of high performance due to its high-performance SSDs and high-capacity hard disk drives (HDDs). This new technology makes use of these two techniques to help accelerate data access:
    A hybrid storage and tiering feature, which grants it the ability to automate the tuning arrays for the different storage access patterns of multiple applications. It easily tiers or categorizes transactional data that is frequently used and separate it from those that are seldom used. In addition, it intelligently differentiates between transactional and streaming data, sending the former towards the solid state drives (SSDs) and therefore, enhancing overall performance. This feature alone enables businesses to efficiently consolidate their storage resources and at the same time, share it across their applications and connected clients.
    Hot data cache, which is a technique used by Drobo to accelerate reading of data. The Drobo B810n automatically pre-fetches nearby data that it thinks will also be read. This means less waiting time and faster access.

    The Drobo B810n’s active background data scrubbing periodically verifies all user metadata and data, and searches and repairs inconsistencies and corruptions on a regular basis. In cases of power failure, its patent pending cache pre-heat activates for recovery of any data or metadata saved to the disk.

    BeyondRAID — Drobo’s technology that has won awards — is responsible for Drobo’s top-of-the-line data protection measures that are essential in cases of multiple drive failures. A single click is all it takes users to switch between single and dual disk redundancy in order to activate the unit’s enterprise-level dual parity data protection. In the event of drive failures, Drobo returns the data automatically to a protected state, without any disruptions and interventions. How Drobo protects your data?

    The Software

    As mentioned above, Drobo uses an exclusive software in order to read the device. Users would need to install the Drobo Dashboard 2.7.1 for both Mac and Windows. In addition, firmware also needs to be updated.

    Both the Drobo Dashboard 2.7.1 and the Drobo B810n Firmware 3.5.2 can be downloaded in Drobo’s official website.

    Software Features

    • Hybrid Storage
    • Automated Data-Aware Tiering
    • Drobo Apps with new infrastructure
    • Drive Spin Down
    • Dim Lights
    • OS X Time Machine Support

    What Others Think has posted a press release on their website last 20th of October when DroboTM launched the Drobo B810n. Drobo CEO Mihir Shah puts emphasis on simplicity as their main framework for developing the unit. Although there are not much written reviews yet on websites such as CNET and PCMag, there are user reviews to be found on Amazon.

    One Amazon review rated the Drobo B810n a 1-star, referencing a Wikipedia entry for Drobo that mentions complaints regarding lack of Ethernet ports, speed and reliability issues, and that it cannot be read or mounted on any other system. This was quickly countered by another Amazon customer review, in which he says “they [Drobos] have been phenomenally reliably, and… Drobo’s redundancy has saved my data. I have never suffered a data loss on any of my drobo’s.” He gave a rating of 5 stars for the Drobo B810n.

    Also mentioned that now new Drobo B810n is available on the market. But full review of the product can not be found.

    What’s In the Box?

    Drobo B810N Review
    • Drobo B810n (wrapped in a sleek, black sleeve) 
    • Accessory box 
    • Quick start guide 
    • Safety and warranty information 
    • Drobo warranty card 
    • Power cable 
    • Two Ethernet cables 

    Conclusion – Last words about Drobo B810n NAS

    If safeguarding your data is one of your priorities, then you should get a reliable storage device that automatically sorts your data in the order you need. Although you can make do with a regular hard drive, this doesn’t contain the hybrid storage and data tiering features, as well as the advanced data protection features the Drobo B810n has, which makes it easier for businesses to consolidate their storage resources and be able to share it across their applications and with all their connected clients.


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