Drobo Mini gets SSD performance

Connected Data announces a new SSD-based Drobo Mini that gives what pro users have been clamoring for: performance. You can now edit video with a redundant array not much larger than a DVD drive.


Connected Data, the creator of the Drobo line of smart storage solutions, is launching its Drobo Mini with Solid State Disk (SSD) drives today. With as much as 80% more performance compared to a Mini configured with hard drives, the Drobo Mini is the first portable, rugged and expandable SSD solution aimed at filmmakers, photographers and creative professionals who need to capture and protect data while on location. 

The Drobo Mini connects via Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 and features four 2.5” SSD drive bays with an mSATA accelerator option in a package that is small and portable, weighing less than three pounds. Like all Drobo products, Drobo Mini protects data without user intervention, even in the event of multiple SSD drive failures.

If a drive does fail, Drobo Mini automatically repairs itself and returns to a protected state while providing full access to data without performance impact. Additional security is provided with battery backup that protects against data loss in the event of a sudden power outage ensuring that all data in flight is protected until power is restored. 

In the field

Schoolyard Films, a producer of short nature and science documentaries for teachers and students in grades K-12, packs Drobo Minis with high performing SSDs for its projects all over the world.

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Schoolyard typically uses high-end RED Digital Cinema’s Epic cameras to capture high definition video at resolutions up to 6K. The Schoolyard team transfers and backs up video footage while on location to their Drobos every night to protect their work and prepare for a new day.

“When we are in the field, we need a combination of durability, portability, speed and data protection. We rely on the Drobo Mini to be our workhorse,” said Digital Imaging Tech Glenn Allen. “The flexibility of being able to easily remove the SSD drives and personally carry them back from a shoot or ship them to another location with a Drobo Mini for post-production gives us peace of mind that our footage is safe and our client’s project is protected.”

The Drobo Mini with SSD is available today in three capacity bundles of 1TB, 2TB and 4TB starting at an MSRP of $1,199 through www.drobostore.com and channel partners. 

The Storage Bits take

I've been a fan of the Drobo's ease of use for years. No RAID levels to fuss with. Use different size drives. Easy capacity expansion, one drive at a time.

But the knock against them has always been performance. But now with Thunderbolt, USB 3.0 and SSDs, the Drobo Mini claims performance of over 300MB/sec reads and over 225MB/sec writes. That's well over twice the performance of my 5400 RPM-based disk Mini. 

Add a quad-core notebook with plenty of RAM and a USB 3.0 card reader or Thunderbolt capture device and you've got a video editing system that fits in a messenger bag. Connected Data has made a good product great.

Comments welcome, as always.