An evaluation about Drobo 8D intelligent hard drive array

Source:   Editor: admin Update Time :2019-08-16

Although SSD is becoming cheaper and cheaper, hard disk drive still have significant advantages in price. With the approaching of 5G era, the capacity of data generated and owned by people is increasing, so traditional storage devices such as solid state drives and hard disk drives are difficult to meet the storage demand of consumers. As a result, due to the limitation of upload bandwidth and reliability, most friends still need to build their own data warehouse locally.

Drobo makes award-winning data storage products for small and medium businesses and individual professionals that provide an unprecedented combination of sophisticated data protection and management features, affordable capacity, and ease-of-use. Built into every Drobo is the incredibly innovative next-generation of redundant storage technology. BeyondRaid leaves the limitations of traditional RAID behind while unifying simplicity, enhanced protection, reliability, and unparalleled expandability. BeyondRAID will change everything you know about traditional data storage. Based on the patented and proven BeyondRAID technology, Drobo's ability to deliver "Big Storage in a Small Box" creates the best storage experience ever.
8D Thunderbolt storage server released by Drobo is a better choice for data warehouse. Eight tool-free installed hot-swapped hard drives interfaces can provide up to 128TB of total storage space. BeyondRAID array patented by Drobo can provide redundant data protection, real-time switching and capacity expansion for hard drives. Besides, built on award-winning BeyondRAID™ technology, Drobo 8D simply protects your data against a single or dual disk drive failure.

Compared to installing hard drives in a computer chassis, Drobo 8D provides a more flexible way to combine hard drives. Drobo 8D allows hard drives of different brands, capacities and even media (solid state hard drives and hard disk drives) to be mixed and matched and manages the configuration of hard drive patterns in real time and automatically, so that users do not need to learn how to install hard drives.

Dashborad is the only management software of Drobo 8D. Dashborad provides two versions of Windows and MacOS, mainly responsible for system initialization, partition management and event viewing. In daily use, we can directly observe the operation status of the device through the indicator lights on Drobo 8D. The indicator lights for each hard drive have five states, that is, green (normal), yellow (expand hard drive later), yellow-green flashes (do not remove the hard drive at the moment), red (add hard drive to expand here) and red flashes (replace the bad hard drive). A row of blue lights on the right is to record the space utilization of hard drive array.

There is also an independent 2.5-inch hard drive slot on the back of 8D. The solid state drive installed in this slot can provide common thermal data caching services for hard disk drive. In addition, eight 3.5-inch hard drives on the front are actually used to install solid state drives. After installing 2 to 3 solid state drives, you can open Drobo 8D data hierarchical management technology.

Data hierarchical management technology is now widely used in the storage server field, aiming at satisfying the requirements of both high performance and large capacity. It can automatically determine the storage location according to the data type, so as to make full use of space and performance resources. For example, random write, which hard disk drives are not good at, will go directly into solid state drive. Solid state drive can also be utilized in the front bays of the Drobo 8D, allowing for transactional data to migrate to the SSDs. This ensures that both writes and reads are accelerated. Sequential write load will be borne by hard disk drives. The data entering the hard drives is not in a fixed storage way, but will automatically adjust its actual storage location according to the frequency of reading and writing (commonly used: solid state drive; not commonly used: hard disk drive).

With the help of several speed measurement software under MacOS system, Drobo 8D data hierarchical acceleration technology is verified. After being installed with two 2TB hard disk drives and two 240GB solid state drives, Drobo 8D can provide sequential reading speeds of more than 780MB/s.

Many designers like to work under MacOS system. BlackMagic design and AJA Video Systems are testing tools for non-cataloguing video software, which can test the bandwidth and frame rate that computer storage systems can achieve when processing video clips of various resolutions.

Drobo 8D will also be faster in actual use than the above tests, becausse the commonly used thermal data will be taken special care of. Parkdale tests show that Drobo can provide up to sequential read bandwidth of 900MB/s. This speed may not be a big deal, compared with mobile solid state drives. But now, we are talking about a storage server with a maximum storage capacity of 128TB. Storage geeks will further test Drobo 8D's hierarchical data management function later. Please pay attention!

Due to the limitation of 8D itself, it can only be used under MacOS system through Thunderbolt 3 interface.

After Intel opened freely Thunderbolt chip authorization and added it to the next generation USB 4 specification, along with 10nm IceLake processor supporting the interface naturally, it is expected that the application and development of Thunderbolt interface will be greatly promoted. We believe that Drobo will support Windows systems for 8D through firmware upgrade in the future. At present, Windows users can use Drobo 5C instead of 8D. Drobo 5C can support 5 hard drives, with using USB Type-C interface.


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