Drobo Files for Bankruptcy

Apple Insider reports that storage device maker Drobo is filing for bankruptcy.

Drobo’s were once a popular direct (and later network) attached storage device. They simplified the process of adding storage to an array which allowed for expansion without having to offload all of your data first. You can see an early review video of it here from Luria Petrucci who used to be known as Cali Lewis.

I owned one of their early Firewire based devices that took four drives about a decade ago. I liked it quite a bit but its fan and drives were quite noisy sitting on the desk. Because it was a direct attached device it had to be plugged into my computer for it to work.

They later came up with an expensive network add-on (and later integrated networking into the product), but they were leapfrogged by competitors like Synology who built better and less expensive NAS devices with far more features.

I ended up moving to a Synology network drive that was just as fast over gigabit ethernet and could be located in my equipment closet where I wouldn’t hear it. Synology also has a fairly simple array expansion process that doesn’t require a full rebuild and there’s a much more robust app library.

Drobo could have been a contender.. They blamed the pandemic for their woes but they just could not keep up with competitors. It’s a shame because the product really solved a lot of problems that plagued storage arrays at the time of its release.