This week I got an announcement that Drobo, producer of SMB to mid-size shared storage arrays, was now offering Automated Data-Aware Tiering in their product line. This new data tiering option uses both SSD and traditional hard drives in the same unit and intelligently stores the most accessed data on the higher performing drives, allowing SMBs to “immediately and dynamically optimize application performance”. Certainly, I had heard of storage tiering before but it was always a “high end” storage feature – not something I thought I would see in an SMB-to-mid-size array.
I inquired with Drobo about obtaining an evaluation unit for my home lab and ended up having a conversation with Drobo’s Jim Sherhart about the new tiering as well as what makes Drobo different from the other arrays that I already have in my lab (a Synology DS211+ and an Iomega IX4-200D). If course I had heard good things about Drobo before from TechField Day but it was interesting to hear the latest news from Drobo. I was specifically interested in whether or not Drobo could offer be better performance, easier data management what makes Drobo a good fit for SMBs and vSphere home labs (two things that are near and dear to my heart).
I’ll soon be posting my Q&A with Jim as well as my personal experiences with Drobo in my home lab (so stay tuned). In the mean time, I hope you will checkout the following two chalk talk videos on automated data-aware tiering from Drobo and the technology that make BeyondRAID possible from the recent Storage Tech Field Day. I welcome your comments on Drobo and vSphere home lab storage!