Drobo has launched a new Drobo 5N NAS (Network Attached Storage device ) which has been designed for improved performance. As such, the new Drobo 5N features a dual core ARM processor and an mSata SSD that holds the OS and serves as a fast storage cache. This is a technique that has been frequently used in PCs, and even in hybrid drives where the most frequently accessed data is stored on the faster SSD for quick access.
The 64GB mSata drive could also be replaced for a larger model, although the operation may require more work than many users would like it to. At the moment, Drobo thinks that 64GB is the best price/performance balance. Although Drobo 5N looks like its predecessors from the outside, the arrival of a dual-core system probably means that the underlying software has been optimized for multithreading.
As usual, Drobo 5N supports both Windows and Mac, including native support for Apple Time Machine. For users who upgrade from the older Drobo FS, here’s the best part: according to Drobo, “Drobo FS customers can quickly upgrade to the new Drobo 5N simply by removing their disk drives from the FS and inserting them into a new 5N”. Now that’s what I call an easy upgrade. More information on this topic can be found on the Drobo Migrations page.