I spent a good amount of time with the 5N2 for this review and found the build quality is equal to the 5C at the very least and overall quite good. The enclosure is designed to be durable while also a work of art for your desktop with its lighting. The only downfall for the enclosure is the glossy front panel and it's not that it doesn't look good because it does. The problem comes from the amount of dirt and dust that instantly attract to it upon removal of the protective film.
The software or rather dashboard works as smoothly as it ever has. From the 5D to 5C and now my time with the 5N2, I haven't had trouble setting up or configuring a Drobo appliance, largely due to the ease of use of the Dashboard app. As you saw if you read page three, the dashboard includes a wealth of information on the appliance along with the structure to install apps and manage storage capacity and redundancy.
Performance, while I only used a single connection, was top notch. In everything I could throw at it with the absence of iSCSI, the unit provided consistent results. Sequential performance stayed around 118 MB/s while write was 117 MB/s, and this proved true for both single and dual redundancy. To single out of a few areas where this solution excels, I would say between 64K and 2M read and 64K and 1M write.
The Drobo 5N2 does require you to commit to an ecosystem as BeyondRAID much like any other hybrid storage technology is proprietary to Drobo itself. With that said, the Drobo ecosystem isn't massive, so you won't have a ton of options for an upgrade, but they do offer solid support and warranty.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Overall TweakTown Rating||90%|
The Bottom Line: Drobo's 5N2 is a slight upgrade over the original 5N in terms of performance and more is to be had if you have the network infrastructure in place to take advantage of NIC bonding.
PRICING: You can find the product discussed for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: The Drobo 5N2 Five-Bay NAS retails for $XXX at Amazon.
United Kingdom: The Drobo DRDS5A31 5N2 5 Bay Desktop NAS Enclosure retails for £516.69 at Amazon UK.
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