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Simple, scalable, reliable Drobo Storage ProductsDrobo B1200i

iSCSI SAN for Server Virtualization and Business Critical Applications

Drobo B1200i

Drobo Products
Drobo B1200i Bundles
Drobo B1200i, Diskless
- 12-bay SAN Storage for Business
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Drobo B1200i 12TB Bundle with 6 x 2TB SAS Hard Drives
- 12-bay SAN Storage for Business
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Drobo B1200i 18TB Bundle with 9 x 2TB SAS Hard Drives
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Drobo B1200i 36TB Bundle with 12 x 3TB SAS Hard Drives
- 12-bay SAN Storage for Business
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Drobo B1200i 48TB Bundle with 12 x 4TB SAS Hard Drives
- 12-bay SAN Storage for Business
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Drobo B1200i 12.6TB Bundle with 6 x 2TB SAS Hard Drives and 3 x 200GB SSD Drives
- 12-bay SAN Storage for Business
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Drobo B1200i 27.6TB Bundle with 9 x 3TB SAS Hard Drives and 3 x 200GB SSD Drives
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Drobo B1200i:

Do the math. The average Drobo business customer saves over $11,000 - Try it, click here!Overview:

The Drobo B1200i 12-bay iSCSI SAN storage is optimized for Small and Medium Business (SMB) IT to provide reliable, high-performance, and self-optimizing storage for server virtualization, email, and data protection. It integrates seamlessly into your TCP/IP network infrastructure and utilizes the industry-standard iSCSI protocol to provide powerful, yet simple, consolidated storage for your IT environment. Featuring twelve-drive capacity, multi-host support, three iSCSI ports, and up to 255 Smart Volumes, Drobo 12-bay iSCSI SAN storage for Business delivers features and performance traditionally reserved for more expensive solutions.

Modular design The B1200i model delivers enhanced availability and serviceability for environments hosting business-critical applications Support for high-performance drives SAS or SATA mechanical disks in the same system, support for SSDs Data-Aware Tiering The intellegence built into the Drobo model B1200i allows it to optimizing data layout and drive useage for "hot" workloads.

Drobo delivers "big storage in a small box" to create the best storage experience ever for small and medium sized businesses and departments at larger enterprises. Built on proven BeyondRAID technology, Drobo redefines IT economics by delivering award-winning iSCSI SAN storage and advanced capabilities usually reserved for more expensive enterprise solutions.

Drobo iSCSI SAN storage is designed to provide reliable and high performance storage to servers running business-critical applications like data protection, email, and server virtualization. It connects seamlessly to your existing TCP/IP network and utilizes the industry-standard iSCSI protocol to provide simple, consolidated storage for your servers.

With two iSCSI models available, there's a Drobo that's right for your application. The 8-bay cost-effective B800i model is ideal for data protection or for small business building a SAN for the first time. The powerful 12-bay B1200i model adds Data-Aware Tiering and redundant, hot-swappable components to ensure maximum performance and high-availability of business applications.

iSCSI San B800i and B1200i productsPain Free Expansion
Expanding your storage capacity with a Drobo couldn’t be easier. There’s no long, risky process to add capacity to a Drobo – no need to go through the time consuming and complex administration of destroying your RAID sets and recreating with larger drives; and then finally restoring from your backup. When it’s time to add storage capacity to a Drobo, simply insert additional disk drives or replace the smallest disks with larger ones. The unique, carrier-less drive-bay design results in efficient and pain free scalability that won’t leave you running out of space when you need it most.

If you’re running low on space, the lights on the front of the Drobo B1200i tell you exactly what to do. The innovative, user-friendly industrial design allows you to add or hot-swap larger capacity drives, without tools, on the fly, for storage expansion with zero downtime. Expand your capacity without missing a beat while safely storing, sharing and backing up all your data with ease and peace of mind. It’s that simple!

BeyondRAID TechnologyBeyondRAID Technology
A Drobo B1200i iSCSI array can hold up to 36TB of raw storage and beyond. To add capacity, simply insert a new hard drive or replace your smallest drive with a larger one, even when all drive bays are full. Unlike traditional RAID systems, the BeyondRAID technology in Drobo enables you to leverage different drive capacities, allowing for continuous expansion as larger drives become available. With Drobo, expansion is automatic and instantaneous and access to data is always maintained, all while protecting you from two simultaneous drive failures.

Drobo can protect from single or dual drive failures and has a virtual hot spare capability - ensuring all drives are used at all times.

Smart Volumes with Thin ProvisioningSmart Volumes with Thin Provisioning
Create new volumes in seconds and manage up to 16TB volumes over time with ease. The innovative and time-saving Smart Volume management technology with Thin Provisioning integrated into the Drobo B800i allows volumes to pull storage from the common pool of disks rather than a specific physical disk allocation. The labor of resizing and migrating volumes is replaced with the simplicity of intelligent engineering. Smart Volumes are also data aware, allowing deleted data blocks to be returned to the common pool and ensuring that volumes remain as efficient as possible over time.

Automated Data-Aware TieringAutomated Data-Aware Tiering
The Drobo B1200i moves beyond the days of manually tuning an array for applications that have different storage requirements. Automated Data-Aware Tiering leverages high-capacity hard disk drives (HDDs) paired with high-performance solid state drives (SSDs) to deliver application-optimized storage that requires no manual tuning.

Data-Aware Tiering automatically and seamlessly migrates the most frequently accessed data to the faster SSD drives and the less accessed data to the high capacity hard disk drives. As data access patterns change, the data is automatically relocated to maximize performance while still benefiting from the large capacity drives.

iSCSI SANsBuild an iSCSI SAN with Drobo
Unfamiliar with iSCSI? iSCSI is a popular high-performance protocol for deploying storage networking technology in IT environments. The problem: it can be very complex to manage. The Drobo B1200i changes that by introducing zero-click iSCSI configuration for both Windows and Mac OS X servers.

With an iSCSI SAN, centralized storage is provided to each server over a high-speed Gigabit Ethernet network where it can be allocated or expanded instantaneously. Deploying a Drobo B1200i eases iSCSI adoption, simplifies administration, and allows you to consolidate storage so you have fewer devices to manage.

iSCSI SAN for business-critical diagram
iSCSI SAN for business-critical

Designed for IT Environments
IT EnvironmentsThe B1200i is the first Drobo with serviceable modular components. This hardware design provides a removable controller card, dual-redundant hot-swappable power supplies, and a hot-swappable cooling fan unit. You can source field replaceable units for protection against a single hardware component failure to ensure maximum availability. The Drobo B1200i delivers the high level of availability demanded by virtualized IT environments.

The Drobo B1200i is ideal for building your first scalable backup server or server virtualization cluster. It is certified for VMware vSphere, Symantec Backup Exec and Veeam Backup environments.

Multi-Host Connectivity
Have multiple servers that need storage? No problem. The Drobo 12-bay iSCSI SAN storage for Business connects seamlessly to your existing TCP/IP network and utilizes the industry-standard iSCSI protocol to provide simple, consolidated storage for your servers.

Up to 8 Disks of Instant ExpansionUp to 12 Disks of Instant Expansion to 36TB and Beyond
Grow your storage to meet your data capacity needs with minimal effort. To add capacity, simply insert a new hard drive or replace your smallest drive with a larger one, even when all twelve drive bays are full. Unlike traditional RAID systems, the BeyondRAID technology found on Drobo 12-bay iSCSI SAN storage for Business enables you to mix and match capacities, drive brands and speeds. This allows for continuous expansion as drive capacities grow. With Drobo, expansion is automatic, instantaneous and access to data is always maintained.

VMware, Citrix, Symantec SoftwareSimplify Your VMware Environment
Storage is an integral part of a successful virtualization strategy. Drobo has been tested for use with VMware to eliminate risk from your storage decision and help accelerate deployment of your virtual server environment.

Optimizing Business Applications
Like with business applications, Drobo is ideal for building your first server virtualization cluster and had been certified for VMware vSphere and Citrix Xen Server environments.

Drobo is also a cost-effective way to provide reliable storage for your backup server and has been certified for use with Symantec Backup Exec.

Drobo Care Service and Support ProgramDrobo Care Service and Support Program
The Drobo Care service and support program extends your peace of mind beyond the standard warranty terms for 3 years and beyond. With DroboCare, we're always here to answer your call and if something happens to go wrong, we'll send you a replacement Drobo right away.

RAID and BeyondRAID ComparsionBeyondRAID:

What's BeyondRAID? Storage without limitations.

BeyondRAID technology, built into every Drobo, delivers all of the benefits of traditional RAID, while providing much more and leaving many of the limitations behind. This next-generation of redundant storage technology brings together enhanced protection, reliability, expandability, and ease-of-use.

Drobos, based on BeyondRAID, interact with computing systems in the same manner as storage arrays using traditional RAID, so installing a Drobo allows you to maintain your current operating system and file system. This eliminates the challenges and costs when moving to a new storage technology.

Problems with Traditional RAID

Traditional RAIDDeveloped in the 1980s, RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) was designed to pool disk drives together for increased capacity and reliability for data storage. It has been preventing single disk drive failures causing data loss, and has been used in almost every enterprise data center for decades.

While reliable, the complexity of RAID is a huge challenge for small businesses and consumers. RAID has a high learning curve with many options, levels, and unfamiliar terminology like striping, mirroring, and parity.

There are several primary challenges with traditional RAID:

  • Lock-in of RAID Levels
    To change RAID levels, most storage arrays require the data to be moved off, reconfigured, and then moved back on. If you want to move to RAID 6 from RAID 5 for protection against two drive failures, you need to reinitialize and start over. This process could take days to complete.
  • Lack of Expandability
    Once drives are configured into a RAID pool, expandability is impossible unless you have a lot of time, or experience. If you want to add more storage capacity, the solution is to create a new RAID pool, leaving you with another chunk of storage to manage – or you can just reinitialize and start over.
  • Drive Failures Create Big Risks
    When a drive fails, most RAID implementations enter a state where data loss will occur if another drive falters before the user replaces the failed drive. Also, performance is hampered when in this debilitated state.

Moving Beyond RAID

Drobo’s BeyondRAID technology solves the fundamental issues that traditional RAID can’t. Built on the foundation of traditional RAID, BeyondRAID adds a layer of virtualization that chooses the correct protection algorithm based on data availability needs at any given moment. Since the technology works at the block level, it can write blocks of data that alternate between RAID protection levels.

If you need to add storage capacity to a Drobo, simply insert additional disk drives or replace the smallest disks with larger ones – no need to change RAID levels, purchase a new storage array, or go through the complex administration of pooling RAID groups.

The BeyondRAID feature can even switch from single to dual disk redundancy with just the click of your mouse through Drobo Dashboard. This ensures enterprise-level dual parity data protection, when needed. If a drive happens to fail, Drobo will automatically re-layout the data to the remaining drives, returning it to a protected state with no user interaction.

BeyondRAID vs. Traditional RAID RAID 1 RAID 5 RAID 6 BeyondRAID™
Supports Two Drives Yes, Included     Yes, Included
Supports Three Drives   Yes, Included   Yes, Included
Support Four Drives or More   Yes, Included Yes, Included Yes, Included
Single Disk Redundancy Yes, Included Yes, Included Yes, Included Yes, Included
Dual Disk Redundancy     Yes, Included Yes, Included1
Thin Provisioning       Yes, Included
Instant Expansion       Yes, Included
Smart Volumes       Yes, Included2
Mixed Drive Utilization       Yes, Included
Automatic Protection Levels       Yes, Included
Virtual Hot Spare       Yes, Included
Data Aware       Yes, Included
Drive Re-ordering       Yes, Included

1 Available with 5-bay or Larger Drobos
2 Available with iSCSI-capable Drobos

Thin Provisioning is a fundamental capability of BeyondRAID, allowing for infinite capacity expansion by just replacing a drive with a larger one.

Instant Expansion occurs when a new, or larger, drive is inserted without any disruption in service.

Drobo's volumes are Smart Volumes, pulling needed storage from a common pool and then returning deleted blocks back to the common pool, preventing free space from being tied up by any particular server.

Mixed Drive Utilization allows you to insert any drive, of any size, or any type, and Drobo will optimally use it - check out our interactive Capacity Calculator.

Automatic Protection Levels ensures the best algorithm is used to protect from drive failure depending on the number of drives that are inserted, without any user configuration. There is no need to learn about RAID levels or what mirroring or striping is.

Dual Disk Redundancy enhances BeyondRAID protection by guarding from multiple drive failures in a short period of time. Even if two drives fail, BeyondRAID will attempt to use the remaining drives to return to a protected state.

Virtual Hot Spare utilizes all drives at all time with no drives sitting idle waiting for one to fail. With some traditional RAID systems, a drive can be marked as a "hot spare", waiting on standby for a drive failure so it can take over. That's just a unutilized drive that you have to pay for taking up a valuable drive bay.

Drobos are Data Aware, intelligently handling data for added resiliency, performance, and management. Being Data Aware allows the Drobo to have a capacity gauge on the front, quickly recover in the event of a drive failure, enable intelligent tiering of data, and much more.

Drive Re-ordering allows Drobo disk packs to be moved to another Drobo, and even re-ordered, while still functioning - try that with RAID.

How BeyondRAID Works

Now that we've looked at how BeyondRAID compares with traditional RAID and the value that it brings, let's see how BeyondRAID works.

how BeyondRAID compares with traditional RAID Works
The sections of the RAID stack are drastically reinvented in a Drobo—and it all has to
do with how drives are pooled (disk pack) and the way data is stored (BeyondRAID virtualization).

Drobo iSCSI SAN portsBuild an iSCSI SAN with Drobo:

Whether you are building an SAN for the first time, scaling out an application, or implementing a server virtualization cluster, Drobo provides sophisticated yet easy-to-use networked storage for your IT environment. Utilizing the industry-standard iSCSI protocol, Drobo connects to your existing TCP/IP Ethernet network to consolidate storage and centrally share it with your servers.

What is iSCSI?

iSCSI (pronounced "i-scuzzy") is an Internet Protocol (IP)-based storage networking standard for connecting storage arrays to computers, using high performance Ethernet. iSCSI is an industry-standard protocol, allowing organizations to consolidate and centralize storage while providing servers with the illusion of locally-attached disks. Unlike traditional Fibre Channel storage, which requires special-purpose cabling, iSCSI can be run over the existing Ethernet network infrastructure.

iSCSI as Easy as USB for Windows and Mac

Drobo supports zero-click iSCSI connections on both Windows and Mac OS X. Once Drobo Dashboard is installed, access to the iSCSI storage over an Ethernet cable happens automatically. For Windows, Drobo Dashboard uses Microsoft's iSCSI software ("initiator"). As Mac OS X does not natively contain iSCSI support, Drobo Dashboard includes the necessary iSCSI software initiator for Mac OS X - free of charge.

iSCSI Deployment Scenarios

When building an iSCSI SAN with Drobo, there are a few network architectures you can use to ensure optimal performance and reliability for your applications.

iSCSI Drobo Direct-Attached to Servers

When deploying shared storage for the first time, you may only need to access the storage from two or three servers. If this is the case, you can directly connect Drobo to a Gigabit Ethernet port on a server. This is the easiest way to deploy an iSCSI Drobo. If your server is running Windows or Mac OS X, Drobo Dashboard will automatically configure the iSCSI settings, allowing iSCSI to be as easy as plugging in a USB drive.

Then, you can create volumes (or LUNs) on the Drobo and assign them to any of the attached servers. To a server, a volume will appear like a locally attached disk.

In a direct-attached setup, you can only provide storage to the number of available Ethernet connections on the Drobo. So for the B800i, it would be two servers, and for the B1200i it would be three servers. To share a Drobo with more servers, you will need to create a Storage Area Network (SAN).

iSCSI Drobo Direct-Attached to Servers Deloyment

iSCSI Drobo Connected to Existing Network

If you need to share an iSCSI Drobo with more than two servers, you need to connect it to a network. Since iSCSI runs over a standard TCP/IP Ethernet network, you can connect Drobo to the same network you currently connect servers to. This architecture may be an easy and low cost way to connect Drobo to a file or backup server.

When you combine data and iSCSI storage traffic on the same network, you have to be aware of the added traffic load to ensure performance is still adequate. If you require high performance storage for business-critical applications like email and databases, it is highly recommended to create a dedicated network for iSCSI storage traffic.

iSCSI Drobo Connected to Existing Network Deloyment

iSCSI Drobo Connected to a Dedicated Storage Area Network (SAN)

CommonSAN design best practicescallfor a dedicatednetwork for block storage traffic. This is to ensure proper performance, reliability, and security of the data that servers need to write and access. If block storage traffic is on the same network as email request, and a backup operation occurs, users may not be able to check email. Or, if a lot of email requests come in at the same time, a database may become very slow. When business-critical applications are using a Drobo, it is best to create a separate network for storage traffic.

A high-speed gigabit switch can be installed to handle iSCSI traffic. It will not be connected to the main company LAN to ensure optimal performance and keep storage traffic secure. The iSCSI ports on a Drobo will be connected to this switch. A server will have at least one Ethernet port connected to this switch, while other Ethernet ports will be connected to the LAN. This allows clients to access servers over the LAN and servers to access storage over the SAN. The SAN can then grow independently to scale the number of Drobos deployed, as well as the number of servers accessing them.

iSCSI Drobo Connected to a Dedicated Storage Area Network (SAN) Deloyment

Understanding iSCSI vs. NAS

There are important differences you should understand between iSCSI and network attached storage (NAS).

iSCSI is ideal for high volume data storage traffic and is designed to be a direct block-level protocol that reads and writes directly to the disk array. NAS-level protocols read and write at the file level, which means the disk array needs to perform more translation effort to actually access the blocks of data on the disk array.

In most scenarios, Drobo can be connected to your existing networking infrastructure. For the best performance in this configuration, it is recommended that you segment iSCSI traffic by creating a VLAN dedicated to that traffic. This will keep your high volume data storage traffic segmented from the rest of your LAN traffic. You can also attach multiple Drobo storage systems to one or more than one host via this same switch setup.

Multiple Server iSCSI Diagram

For optimal performance you can also directly attach Drobo to your host, as shown below. This assumes you have more than one networking port on your server that you can dedicate to a Drobo storage.

Direct Attach Diagram

Each Drobo will need its own unique IP address that you configure using the Drobo Dashboard software that comes with each Drobo storage system

There are dozens of specific features that have been layered on top of the iSCSI protocol over the years. In other words, iSCSI can be a complex jungle, but you'll find deploying iSCSI with Drobo to be simple and straightforward. In fact, Drobo storage with Drobo Dashboard connect to your server with a single click of the mouse.

Data-Aware Tiering:

How do small and medium business (SMB) IT administrators effectively use solid state drives (SSDs) to accelerate their applications? They can't. Either the array is too expensive or the drives must be in their own pool and separate from the rest of the data. Data must be sent manually to the fast volume (SSD) or to the normal volume.

How can the IT administrator figure out what data is transactional in nature, that is, what data should be sent to the fast volume? To make things even more confusing and complicated, data can have mixed characteristics. But to get the most out of expensive SSDs, the solution must be intelligent and fully automatic—the data just needs to go to the right place automatically.

A Drobo is a single pool of drives by design. The user does not need to think about pooling drives or creating RAID groups. Also, drives of different sizes and types can be used in a Drobo. These advanced technologies make Drobos ideal for allowing SSDs and hard disk drives (HDDs) to work together optimally in the same chassis – automatically!

To enable use of drives of different sizes, the Drobo virtualization layer (see BeyondRAID section) sits on top of the physical drives. Because Drobos are data aware, data is placed intelligently in the best place on the drives. With the introduction of SSD support in the Drobo B1200i, SSDs provide a faster tier of storage for data that is transactional in nature, the type of data that benefits from the faster write and access speeds SSDs provide.

SSD Support

With the introduction of SSD support in the Drobo B1200i, SSDs provide a faster tier of storage for data that is transactional in nature, the type of data that benefits from the faster write and access speeds SSDs provide. As data enters the Drobo, if it is transactional, then the data is written to the "transactional" tier comprised of SSDs. If the data is a sequential stream, it is written to the “bulk tier” comprised of hard disk drives (HDDs). Unlike enterprise arrays with auto-tiering, transactional data goes directly to SSDs, which ensures that BOTH writes AND reads are optimized.

Being Data Aware

As data enters the Drobo, if it is transactional, then the data is written to the faster tier of SSDs. Unlike enterprise arrays with auto-tiering, transactional data goes directly to SSDs, which ensures that BOTH writes AND reads are optimized.

Being Data Aware Diagram
As data is being written to the Drobo, transactional data (shown in red) is written
to the faster tier and other data is written to the bulk tier.

Drobo's tiering functionality allows you to store any type of data on the Drobo and the data that can be optimized by SSDs is automatically optimized in flight. This means that all data—mixed data types from 10 or more VMs in a vSphere cluster, Exchange databases/datastores, backup data, or files on a file server—automatically goes to the right place.

One Pool, Multiple Tiers

As detailed in the BeyondRAID section, a Drobo is a single pool of drives. Whether you put three drives or 12 drives in a Drobo, they are all part of the same disk pack.

One Pool, Multiple Tiers
Two tiers of storage automatically configured in the same Drobo disk pack.

Whether you have 8 HDDs and 2 SSDs or 9 HDDs and 3 SSDs, they will be utilized appropriately without any upfront setup. All the administrator has to do is put the drives in the Drobo.

Fully Automated Tuning

After data is written to storage, data patterns often change. Sometimes a large amount of data is written to storage and not read for weeks or even months. On the other hand, it is not uncommon for a small amount of data to be written and accessed very frequently.

With Drobo's automated tiering, optimization of data doesn't stop when the data reaches a transactional or bulk storage tier. As the stored data is being read off the Drobo, the data is patterned and optimized in the background. Data that becomes hot will be moved to the transactional tier and visa versa. If data on the bulk tier is frequently read and begins to look more like transactional data, it will be migrated to the transactional tier. If data on the transactional tier becomes "cold" with very few or no read requests, it will be migrated to the bulk tier. These migrations occur in the background when the storage is not under high load and do not require any administrative interaction.

Fully Automated Tuning Diagram
When data becomes "cold" it is migrated to the bulk tier.
When data becomes "hot" it is migrated to the transactional tier.

Tiering Without SSDs

Even when a Drobo doesn't contain SSDs, Drobo still puts its automatic tiering feature to work. Without SSDs, the advantage of tiering is to eliminate the write penalty when parity data is created.

As discussed in the BeyondRAID section, a Drobo can automatically have zones of different types. Even when all HDDs in the Drobo are the same, Drobo lays out zones differently on the transactional tier than it does on the bulk tier.

Tiering Without SSDs
Drobo creates different zone types on transactional and bulk tiers
to tune the storage appropriately for hot and cold data.

For example, mirror zones are more optimized for writes and stripes are more optimized for capacity. Leveraging BeyondRAID technology, zones are automatically created and altered on the fly to optimize the Drobo for the type of data you store on it.

Just Add SSDs … Really!

If your Drobo contains only HDDs, but if your applications need even more performance, all you have to do is introduce SSDs to the Drobo. The SSDs then become the transactional tier and all of the HDDs are delegated to the bulk tier. The only administrative task is to insert new drives into the Drobo.

Technology:

Design
Drobo actions required by status lights manual on the backAll Drobos have carrier-less drive insertion. This means there are no special parts or screws that have to be added to the drives before they are inserted. It's like inserting a cassette tape into a video recorder.

The modular design of the B1200i model delivers enhanced availability and serviceability for environments hosting business-critical applications. This allows fans and power supplies to be replaced without taking the Drobo down.

Even the faceplate is magnetic, with the manual on the back. Primary management is by using drive status lights and visual capacity gauge.

And, all Drobos look good too!

BeyondRAID™ Technology
Most modern storage arrays aggregate disks and prevent against single drive failures using a 20-year-old technology called RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks). While RAID has served many businesses well, it requires up-front knowledge of its functionality and has many shortcomings. BeyondRAID technology built into every Drobo addresses these shortcomings and makes virtualizing disk drives usable by everyone. BeyondRAID provides these enhancements over traditional RAID:

  • Thin Provisioning as a fundamental capability allows for infinite capacity expansion by just replacing a drive with a larger one
  • Instant Expansion occurs when a new, or larger, drive is inserted without any disruption in service
  • Mixed Drive Utilization allows you to insert any drive, of any size, or any type, and Drobo will optimally use it - check out our interactive Capacity Calculator
  • Automatic Protection Levels ensures the best algorithm is used to protect from drive failure depending on the number of drives that are inserted without any user configuration
  • Dual Disk Redundancy enhances BeyondRAID protection by guarding from multiple drive failures
  • Virtual Hot Spare utilizes all drives at all time - no drives sitting idle waiting for one to fail
  • Drobos are Data Aware, intelligently handling data for added resiliency, performance, and management
  • Drive Re-ordering allows Drobo disk packs to be moved to another Drobo, and even re-ordered, while still functioning - try that with RAID

Data-Aware Tiering
Data-Aware Tiering SANs allow businesses to consolidate storage resources and share that storage across all connected servers and their applications. The reality is that different applications have different workloads. Transactional databases require different storage behavior than streaming media applications. Traditional storage has treated all workloads as equal, not optimizing for any of them.

The intellegence built into the Drobo model B1200i allows it to do Data-Aware Tiering, optimizing data layout and drive useage for "hot" requests. Providing faster access to frequently requested information will improve performance of Exchange, SQLServer, and other transactional applications that read and write lots of small data chunks.

Drobo Dashboard ManagementDrobo Dashboard Management
Drobo Dashboard is the single tool to centrally manage all of your Drobos. Drobo Dashboard gives you status as if all of your Drobos were right in front of you by providing you the same status lights and capacity guage that are on the front panel. All adminitration tasks are a single click away and there's even a built-in data protection tool called Drobo Copy to easily copy data to and from your Drobo. Simply, it's the easiest way to configure and manage business-class storage.

Learn more about Drobo Dashboard.

Multi-host Connectivity
The Drobo B800i and B1200i model connects seamlessly to your existingTCP/IP network and utilizes industry-standard iSCSI protocol with optional CHAP authentication to provide simple, consolidated iSCSI storage for your servers.

File and Operating System Agnostic
Drobo B800i and B1200i model and its underlying BeyondRAID technology currently support the Windows and Mac platforms, with file system support for NTFS, HFS Plus, and FAT32. Since Drobo B800i and B1200i is a block-level system, it easily adapts to almost any environment.

Mixed Drive Capacity Utilization
Grow your storage to meet your data capacity needs with minimal effort. To add capacity, customers can simply insert a new hard disk or replace the smallest disk with a larger one, even when all eight disk bays are full. Unlike traditional RAID systems, the BeyondRAID technology enables IT managers to efficiently mix and match disk brands, capacities and speeds. This allows for continuous expansion as disk capacities grow. Expansion is automatic, instantaneous and access to data is always maintained.

To find out exactly how much free capacity you'll have with your choice of disk capacities, try out our interactive Capacity Calculator on tab.

Redundant Safety
Utilizing dual-disk redundancy, B800i and B1200i model's BeyondRAID technology can ensure your data is safe even if up to two drives fail simultaneously — all without a moment of downtime. You can even switch between single- and dual-disk redundancy with a single click. You'll feel safer knowing that if drives do fail, Drobo B800i and B1200i model automatically enters a state of self-healing in which it relays out your data across the remaining healthy drives and sectors. If a drive fails, BeyondRAID technology always returns the drive array back to the safest state possible.

Thin Provisioning
Thin provisioning is a technical term that describes how the BeyondRAID technology communicates with your operating system. BeyondRAID communicates with your OS about how much drive space you have; up to 16TB per volume.¹ Specifying a larger amount of storage than is physically available allows you to grow into the volume without having to reformat or migrate your data in order to add capacity.

Self-Healing
When B800i and B1200i model detects a "bad" hard drive, it proactively advises you with a series of warnings ranging from a blinking red LED on its front panel, to pop-up alerts in Drobo Dashboard and email alerts. What B800i and B1200i model does next is exceptional. It enters a self-healing mode where it repairs around the bad sector or drive, and works until it returns to the safest state possible. If B800i and B1200i model has sufficient time and free capacity (indicated by all lights returning to a solid green state), it can even withstand additional hard disk failures — that's the power of self-healing.

Self-Managing
B800i and B1200i model is iSCSI SAN storage that manages itself. There are no complex configuration screens, confounding choices, or other complications that prevent so many other storage devices from working out of the box. For companies that need simple, consolidated storage for multiple servers but don't want to deal with the complexities of traditional SANs, B800i and B1200i model is the ideal solution.

Setup can be completed in a matter of minutes and routine tasks such as expanding capacity are as simple as adding a drive or replacing the smallest drive in the array. No need to back up data or re-create a RAID array. B800i and B1200i model will automatically recognize the additional capacity and make it immediately available to all Smart Volumes and applications.

Smart Volumes™
Create new volumes in seconds and manage up to 255 volumes over time with ease. The innovative and timesaving Smart Volume management technology integrated into B800i and B1200i model allows volumes to pull storage from the common pool of drives rather than a specific physical drive allocation, eliminating the need to manage capacity at the volume level. Smart Volumes are also data aware, allowing deleted data blocks to be returned to the common pool and ensuring that volumes remain as efficient as possible over time.

Storage Virtualization
BeyondRAID was designed from the ground up to allow the storage capacity of the array to expand and contract. BeyondRAID makes this a simple process by utilizing a technology called "virtualization." Virtualization provides a layer of abstraction between the data requested, by the file system, and the physical location of that data on the disk drives. A given piece of data can be located on any drive, and on any physical location on that drive. This is what makes adding a drive to a B800i and B1200i model so simple. The new drive just provides additional places to store data.

Virtualization is what enables BeyondRAID to effortlessly change the data arrangement on the drives, for example, changing data stored as a mirror into data stored as parity stripe without interrupting the user access to data. Virtualization completely decouples the physical space available in the array from the space reported to the operating system. This is how BeyondRAID is able to eliminate the need to manually expand/contract the file system as more space becomes available or is removed.

Drive Re-ordering
One long-standing requirement inherent in traditional RAID-based systems was that, if for some reason you needed to remove the drives, you'd have to replace them in the exact same order. When you remove your disks from B800i and B1200i model, you can put them back in any order you like.

Specifications:


Technical Specifications
Connectivity
  • 4 x Gigabit Ethernet ports (one dedicated to management)
Capacity
  • Up to to 12 3.5" SAS 1/2 or SATA I/II/III hard drives or 2 to 3 solid state drives (with up to 9 hard drives).
  • Drives of any manufacturer, capacity, spindle speed, and/or cache can be used. No carriers or tools required.
  • Expandable by adding drives or hot-swapping drives with larger ones. Use the Capacity Calculator to estimate available storage in various configurations.
BeyondRAID Features
  • Thin Provisioning
  • Instant Expansion
  • Mixed Drive Size Utilization
  • Automatic Protection Levels
  • Dual Disk Redundancy
  • Virtual Hot Spare
  • Data Aware
  • Drive Re-ordering
Additional Software Features
  • Automated Data-Aware Tiering (available in firmware version 1.1.0 or higher)
  • Smart Volumes (LUNs, up to 255)
  • Drive Spin Down
Ethernet Features
  • Connection failover
  • Jumbo Frames (up to 9000 Kb MTU)
Network Protocols
  • iSCSI
  • CHAP Authentication
Hardware Features
  • Carrier-less Drive Bays
  • Field replaceable controller card, power supplies, and cooling fan unit
Operating System Support
  • Window and MACMac OS X 10.6 and higher
  • Windows 8/8.1 32 and 64 bit
  • Windows 7 32 and 64 bit
  • Windows XP SP3 32 and 64 bit
  • VMwareWindows Server 2012 32 and 64 bit
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 32 and 64 bit
  • Windows Server 2003 32 and 64 bit
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (Intel only)
  • VMware vSphere 5.0 – 5.1U2 (ESXi)
File System Options
  • Mac OS X: HFS+
  • Windows: NTFS
  • Linux: ext3
  • VMware: VMFS
Management
  • Drive bay indicator lights, capacity gauge, status lights
  • Drobo Dashboard version 2.0 or later
Dimensions
  • Width: 17.17 in (436.1 mm)
  • Height: 5.20 in (132.1 mm)
  • Depth: 21.85 in (555.0 mm)
  • 3U rack mount form factor (rack mount kit included)
Weight
  • 47lbs (21.3 kg) without hard drives or packaging
Power and Cooling
  • Dual, redundant, hot-swappable power supplies: AC Input - 100/240 VAC, 8/5 A, 50/60 Hz
  • Redundant, hot swappable cooling unit
Environmentals
  • Operating Temperature: 10°C – 35°C (50° – 95°F)
  • Non-Operating Temperature (storage): -10° – 60°C (14° – 140°F)
  • Operating Humidity: 20% – 80%
Certifications
  • Environmental: RoHS; WEEE; REACH
  • Regulatory: FCC Part 15 Class B; Canada ICES-003 Class B; CE Mark; CISPR22:19973rd Edition Class B; MIC Mark; VCCI Approval to V.3; BSMI Approval to CNS13438; ACA Approval to AS/NZS 3548
  • Safety: UL;cUL; TUV; CB
Warranty
  • One (1) year warranty in the US or outside the EU or two (2) year warranty in the EU (as provided by EU law)

Box Contents

Box Contents

  • Drobo model B1200i
  • Rack mount parts
  • Rack mount installation guide
  • 2 x 6 ft power cord
  • Getting Started Guide (printed)
  • Resource CD includes:
    • Drobo Dashboard application
    • Help files
    • Electronic Documentation

Diagram:

Sample Light Indicators Diagram

Sample Drobo B1200i Light Indicators Diagram

Capacity Calculator:

Use these interactive tools to estimate the amount of data storage available to fit your needs.

Drag drives and place them into the slots. To remove one from a slot just click on it.

This tool is for approximating the space utilization with various mixed disk configurations. Actual disk sizes can vary between vendors, and values calculated may differ slightly from actual results. Please refer to Drobo Dashboard for precise data calculations for storage installed in your Drobo.

Video:

 

Drobo Products
Drobo B1200i Bundles
Drobo B1200i, Diskless
- 12-bay SAN Storage for Business
#DR-B1200I-1A21
Our Price: $3,749.00
Drobo B1200i 12TB Bundle with 6 x 2TB SAS Hard Drives
- 12-bay SAN Storage for Business
*Get a FREE Mac Mini until 9/30/14!

*Free 2TB Virtual Storage from Eversync - Learn more!
#DR-B1200I-1A21-D06
List Price: $5,499.00
Our Price: $5,495.00
Drobo B1200i 18TB Bundle with 9 x 2TB SAS Hard Drives
- 12-bay SAN Storage for Business
*Get a FREE Mac Mini until 9/30/14!
*Free 2TB Virtual Storage from Eversync - Learn more!
#DR-B1200I-1A21-D09
List Price: $6,299.00
Our Price: $6,047.00
Drobo B1200i 36TB Bundle with 12 x 3TB SAS Hard Drives
- 12-bay SAN Storage for Business
*Get a FREE Mac Mini until 9/30/14!
*Free 2TB Virtual Storage from Eversync - Learn more!
#DR-B1200I-1A21-Q12
List Price: $8,699.00
Our Price: $8,695.00
Drobo B1200i 48TB Bundle with 12 x 4TB SAS Hard Drives
- 12-bay SAN Storage for Business
*Get a FREE Macbook Air 13.3" until 9/30/14!
*Free 2TB Virtual Storage from Eversync - Learn more!
#DR-B1200I-1A21-C12
List Price: $10,499.00
Our Price: $10,432.00
Drobo B1200i 12.6TB Bundle with 6 x 2TB SAS Hard Drives and 3 x 200GB SSD Drives
- 12-bay SAN Storage for Business
*Get a FREE Mac Mini until 9/30/14!
*Free 2TB Virtual Storage from Eversync - Learn more!
#DR-B1200I-1A21-G6R3
List Price: $8,499.00
Our Price: $8,495.00
Drobo B1200i 27.6TB Bundle with 9 x 3TB SAS Hard Drives and 3 x 200GB SSD Drives
- 12-bay SAN Storage for Business
*Get a FREE Mac Mini until 9/30/14!
*Free 2TB Virtual Storage from Eversync - Learn more!
#DR-B1200I-1A21-Q9R3
List Price: $10,499.00
Our Price: $10,495.00
Drobo Solid State Drives
Drobo 200GB SAS SSD Drive
- 200GB enterprise SAS SSD drive for use in Drobo B1200i
#DR-DP-1N11-H01
List Price: $1,499.00
Our Price: $1,494.00
Drobo 600GB SAS SSD Drive 3 Pack
- 3-pack 200GB enterprise SAS SSD drive for use in Drobo B1200i
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List Price: $4,499.00
Our Price: $4,494.00

Additional Hard Drives can be found here!

Drobo Supports & Subscriptions
DroboCare for Drobo B1200i, 1 Year #DR-B1200I-1S11
Our Price: $799.00
DroboCare for Drobo B1200i, 3 Year #DR-B1200I-1D11
Our Price: $1,899.00
Drobo Accessories
Service Kit for Drobo B1200i
- Service kit for Drobo B1200i (includes a Controller Card, Expander Card, Fan Unit, and Power Supply)
#DR-B1200I-1Z13
Our Price: $1,499.00