The vast majority of my data lives on a variety of Drobos. I currently have a Thunderbolt 3 enabled Drobo 5D3 as my primary storage device, stacked with 32TB of drives, and I also have the same set of data mirrored onto a Drobo 5N2 which I can access remotely from anywhere in the world. A further Drobo 5D is held offsite too.  In chatting with one of Drobo’s technical gurus recently I learnt something that I didn’t know. Whilst a Drobo can protect your data as long as it has at least two drives in it, the data read and write speeds will increase significantly if you put more drives in it.

I was told that a Drobo with two or three drives in it will be much slower than one with 4 or 5 drives in it. In fact, it could be as much as a 10-20% speed increase for each additional drive that you add. I don’t fully understand the reasons for this, but I’m sure it’s similar to how regular RAID systems are striped so that data is pulled from multiple drives simultaneously, hence overcoming the bottleneck of mechanical hard drives speeds. If your mechanical drive has a read speed of 180mb/s, you can significantly increase the read speed of a file if portions of the file are read from different drives at the same time.

Perhaps in the back of my mind I was somewhat aware of this… but I just hadn’t really considered it before.

If you have a Drobo, or are looking to buy one and you’re using their handy calculator to try and figure out what size drives you might need, you’re going to want to pay close attention to this. Yes, maybe all of your data will fit onto three 8TB drives, but from a performance perspective you are going to be much better off with five 4TB drives.  Both combinations would give you 14.52TB of useable space on the Drobo, but the latter combination would be considerably faster. Maybe even close to twice as fast!

Click here to read an article about my current photography backup routine.

You may like


Support the site - It’s easy!

Did you find this post useful and interesting? - I’ve invested thousands of hours into creating the content you find for free on this blog. The best way to say thanks is to use the product links in the post when you make your purchases. I may make a small commission when you do this, and that helps to keep the site running. Click here to find more links that support the site, or use these primary ones: B&H PhotoAmazonAdoramaThink Tank (free gift on $50+ spend)MindShift Gear (free gift on $50+ spend)Coffee
Thanks for your support and readership!