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Simple, scalable, reliable Drobo Storage ProductsThin Provisioning with Smart Volumes


Thin Provisioning with Smart Volumes

Our volumes are smarter just smarter. Thin provisioning through Drobo’s Smart Volumes provides on-demand allocation of storage providing maximized capacity utilization. Smart Volumes™ are a virtual volume architecture that pull needed storage, on-demand, from a common pool (thin provisioning) and then return any deleted blocks back to the common pool (thin reclamation), allocating these newly available blocks to free space immediately available for new data.

Space allocation is automatically managed, maximizing storage resources. For example, if a large file on a volume is deleted, the free space of the Drobo gets larger. The freed up space is then available to other volumes. Our Volumes are Smart, even enterprise-class arrays with thin provisioning do not return consumed storage back to a common pool at this granular level.

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Thin Provisioning

With Drobo, this expansion is nearly instant and occurs when a new or larger drive is inserted without any disruption in service. If you are running low on space, all you need is another hard drive to add to the Drobo. Adding more drives instantly increases usable storage capacity.

Drobo Space
Adding additional drives instantly increases usable storage capacity, in this case, from
1.5 TB to 2.5 TB (assuming single disk redundancy).

Drobo Smart Volumes

While 4- and 5-bay Drobos often contain one thinly provisioned 16 TB volume, 8- and 12-bay models allow for user-controlled volume creation. These volumes (or LUNs) are called Smart Volumes™ and they pull needed storage from a common pool (thin provisioning) and then return deleted blocks back to the common pool (thin reclamation), preventing free space from being tied up by any particular server.

Drobo Capacity
As volumes consume storage, they pull from a common pool of free space and when
storage is freed up, it is relinquished back to the same pool.

Space allocation is automatically managed, which helps maximize storage resources. You can try this out for yourself. If you have a large file on a volume and then you delete it, you will see the free space of the Drobo grow, making that freed up space available to any other volume. Even enterprise-class arrays with thin provisioning do not return consumed storage back to a common pool at this granular of a level.