While we know fewer of you are using Drobo units now that high-performance NASes are more widely available, we also know Drobo’s USB-C and Thunderbolt direct-attached storage (DAS) still hold a valuable place in many workflows.
For our customers using or considering Drobo units (whether direct-attached or networked), it is extremely important to know that the availability of new Drobo units is currently severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Drobo’s supply chain is paused due to local health conditions, and at this point there is no stock available either through our distribution partners or through Drobo’s direct-to-consumer Drobo Store. If you were planning on an upgrade or a purchase, hang on; it’s gonna be bumpy for a bit but availability should resume later this year. If you need a solution sooner than later, get in touch and we can help you decide if a NAS or a conventional RAID solution might be a good fit for your needs. (For customers where Thunderbolt 3 is an option and budget isn’t a limitation, QNAP has a few Thunderbolt-enabled NAS units — but their broader feature set puts them at a substantially higher price point than a USB or Thunderbolt Drobo.)
Drobo does believe they have adequate service stock on hand for months to come; customers with active warranty or DroboCare plans should be able to get replacements if they experience a failure. That being said, for workflow continuity, we strongly encourage our customers to make sure the data on their Drobo is backed up to another medium.
While there’s no danger to your data if your Drobo hardware fails (your drives will remain ready to pop into a new unit when one is available), we can’t predict Drobo’s ongoing replacement availability and we don’t currently have a service loaner on hand. Having a backup copy will ensure you can continue working even if you experience delays getting a replacement Drobo. (If you use your Drobo as your backup destination, rather than as your working media, you can either keep on truckin’ or add a secondary backup according to your personal risk tolerance. If you’re NAS-curious, now might be a great time to add some networked storage!)
For more information, see the letter from StorCentric Drobo CEO Mihir Shah at Drobo’s site: