Selecting Drives

For Your Drobo

Drobo lets you take advantage of mix and matched drives to maximize your storage capacity and minimize up front investment and costs overtime. While the Drobo Mini utilizes small form factor 2.5" drives the rest of the Drobo products use the large form factor 3.5" drives. This guide will focus on the 3.5" drive and SSD technologies to help you select the right drives for your application, allowing you to balance acquisition costs and performance requirements versus capacity requirements.

Matching Drives to Your Application

Before deciding on which drive to choose, it is important to understand which drive types are best for your application. The table below shows which drive types are best suited by usage.

  • Drive Type
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • DAS Optimized
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • Enterprise/NL1 SAS
  • mSATA SSDs
  • Consumer SSDs
  • Enterprise SSDs
  • Bulk Online Storage
  • Back up
  • File Sharing
  • Media Editing
  • Database SQL/Exchange
  • Virtualization
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • Bulk Online Storage
  • Back up
  • File Sharing
  • Media Editing
  • Database SQL/Exchange
  • Virtualization
  • DAS Optimized
  • Bulk Online Storage
  • Back up
  • File Sharing
  • Media Editing
  • Database SQL/Exchange
  • Virtualization
  • NAS Optimized
  • Bulk Online Storage
  • Back up
  • File Sharing
  • Media Editing
  • Database SQL/Exchange
  • Virtualization
  • Enterprise SATA
  • Bulk Online Storage
  • Back up
  • File Sharing
  • Media Editing
  • Database SQL/Exchange
  • Virtualization
  • Enterprise/NL1 SAS
  • Bulk Online Storage
  • Back up
  • File Sharing
  • Media Editing
  • Database SQL/Exchange
  • Virtualization
  • mSATA SSDs
  • Bulk Online Storage
  • Back up
  • File Sharing
  • Media Editing
  • Database SQL/Exchange
  • Virtualization
  • Consumer SSDs
  • Bulk Online Storage
  • Back up
  • File Sharing
  • Media Editing
  • Database SQL/Exchange
  • Virtualization
    • Enterprise SSDs
    • Bulk Online Storage
    • Back up
    • File Sharing
    • Media Editing
    • Database SQL/Exchange
    • Virtualization

Notes:
1. NL SAS or Nearline SAS drives have a SAS interface, but leverage the same head, media, and rotational speeds of traditional Enterprise SATA drives. They are ideal for Enterprise applications that have high capacity requirements.

Which Drives Should I Use?

Drobo’s BeyondRAID technology is designed to work with any drive depending on what is most important to you. Drives have varying cost, performance and reliability characteristics. Below is a recommendation of drive types by Drobo model:

  • My Drobo
  • Drobo Mini (7mm & 9.5mm)
  • Drobo 5C
  • Drobo 5D & 5Dt
  • 4Drobo 5D3
  • 4Drobo 5N2
  • Drobo B810n
  • Drobo B810i
  • Drobo B1200i
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • Desktop
    SATA
  • NAS
    Optimized
  • Enterprise
    SATA
  • Enterprise/
    NL SAS
  • mSATA
    SSD
  • Consumer
    SSD
  • Enterprise
    SSD
  • 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • Drobo Mini (7mm & 9.5mm)
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • Desktop SATA
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • Enterprise/ NL SATA
  • 2 mSATA SSD
  • 2 Consumer SSD
  • 2 Enterprise SSD
  • Drobo 5C
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • Desktop SATA
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • Enterprise/ NL SATA
  • mSATA SSD
  • 2 Consumer SSD
  • Enterprise SSD
  • Drobo 5D & 5Dt
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • Desktop SATA
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • Enterprise/ NL SATA
  • 1mSATA SSD
  • 2 Consumer SSD
  • Enterprise SSD
  • 4Drobo 5D3
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • Desktop SATA
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • Enterprise/ NL SATA
  • 1mSATA SSD
  • 2 Consumer SSD
  • Enterprise SSD
  • 4Drobo 5N2
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • Desktop SATA
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • Enterprise/ NL SATA
  • 1mSATA SSD
  • 2 Consumer SSD
  • Enterprise SSD
  • Drobo B810n
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • Desktop SATA
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • Enterprise/ NL SATA
  • mSATA SSD
  • Consumer SSD
  • Enterprise SSD
  • Drobo B810i
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • Desktop SATA
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • Enterprise/ NL SATA
  • mSATA SSD
  • Consumer SSD
  • Enterprise SSD
    • Drobo B1200i
    • “2.5” DAS Optimized
    • Desktop SATA
    • NAS Optimized
    • Enterprise SATA
    • Enterprise/ NL SATA
    • mSATA SSD
    • Consumer SSD
    • 3Enterprise SSD

Notes:

  1. Consult the Drobo.com Knowledgebase for a list of mSATA SSDs and SSDs with the corresponding 2.5″ to 3.5″ converters that are qualified.
  2. Consult the Drobo.com Knowledgebase for a list of Enterprise SSDs and the 2.5″ to 3.5″ converters that have been tested and qualified for use in the B1200i.
  3. Configuration note for B1200i: If being used for running databases, or hosting virtual machines, a minimum of six (6) hard drives and (3) SSDs is recommended.
  4. Gold & Platinum Editions Included

Note on Drive Performance:
For optimal performance, it’s best not to mix drives that have different rotational speeds (RPM). Faster spinning drives will maximize total system performance. Leveraging SSD technology for caching, tiering or as primary storage will provide the best performance when deployed as recommended.

Below is a list of popular SATA Hard Drive models and how they are categorized

  • Drive Model
  • HGST Deskstar
  • HGST Ultrastar
  • Hitachi Travelstar
  • Seagate Enterprise
  • Seagate Barracuda Pro (7200 RPM) Drobo Recommended
  • Seagate IronWolf Pro (7200 RPM) Drobo Recommended
  • HGST HDN724040ALE640
  • WD Scorpio Black Series
  • WD Black Series
  • WD Red
  • WD Red Pro (7200 RPM)
  • BIWIN
  • SAMSUNG 850 EVO mSATA
  • SanDisk Ultra II
  • Samsung 850 EVO
  • Samsung 850 PRO
  • Samsung 860 PRO
  • HGST 0F27502
  • Crucial M4
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • DAS Optimized
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • SSDs
  • mSATAs
  • HGST Deskstar
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • DAS Optimized
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • SSDs
  • mSATAs
  • HGST Ultrastar
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • DAS Optimized
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • SSDs
  • mSATAs
  • Hitachi Travelstar
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • DAS Optimized
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • SSDs
  • mSATAs
  • Seagate Enterprise
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • DAS Optimized
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • SSDs
  • mSATAs
  • Seagate Barracuda Pro (7200 RPM) Drobo Recommended
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • DAS Optimized
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • SSDs
  • mSATAs
  • Seagate IronWolf Pro (7200 RPM) Drobo Recommended
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • DAS Optimized
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • SSDs
  • mSATAs
  • HGST HDN724040ALE640
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • DAS Optimized
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • SSDs
  • mSATAs
  • WD Scorpio Black Series
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • DAS Optimized
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • SSDs
  • mSATAs
  • WD Black Series
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • DAS Optimized
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • SSDs
  • mSATAs
  • WD Red
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • DAS Optimized
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • SSDs
  • mSATAs
  • WD Red Pro (7200 RPM)
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • DAS Optimized
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • SSDs
  • mSATAs
  • BIWIN
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • DAS Optimized
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • SSDs
  • mSATAs
  • SAMSUNG 850 EVO mSATA
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • DAS Optimized
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • SSDs
  • mSATAs
  • SanDisk Ultra II
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • DAS Optimized
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • SSDs
  • mSATAs
  • Samsung 850 EVO
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • DAS Optimized
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • SSDs
  • mSATAs
  • Samsung 850 PRO
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • DAS Optimized
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • <SSDs
  • mSATAs
  • Samsung 860 PRO
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • DAS Optimized
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • SSDs
  • mSATAs
  • HGST 0F27502
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • DAS Optimized
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • SSDs
  • mSATAs
  • Crucial M4
  • “2.5” DAS Optimized
  • DAS Optimized
  • NAS Optimized
  • Enterprise SATA
  • SSDs
  • mSATAs

Note:
– 4K Native Sector drives are not supported. Consult the Drobo.com Knowledgebase article describing 4K Native Sector drive support for Drobo products.
– Seagate Archive drives are currently not supported.
– HGST Ultrastar Archive Ha10 10TB drive is not compatible for use with Drobo.

How Many Drives Should I Use?

With only two drives in your array, Drobo will protect your data against a single drive failure. With a minimum of three drives, Drobo’s have a user selectable option to protect against two simultaneous drive failures. Consult the online capacity calculator to determine how the choice of drive size, number of drives, and protection levels affect available capacity at drobo.com/products/capacity-calculator.

Other Resources

Smart storage that grows with you and protects what matters.