Drobo B810i storage array provides flexible, fast mass storage

Drobo today announced a new addition to its line of storage area network (SAN) devices with the Drobo B810i. Designed as a successor to the business-targeted B800i, the new device is an 8-bay iSCSI device that features the data-aware tiering that was introduced with the B810n.

The difference between the B810n and B810i is predominantly in the connectivity built into each box -- the new B810i features dual gigabit Ethernet ports as well as a third gigabit port for device management, while the B810n has only a pair of ports. Like the B810n, the new B810i can also be rack mounted, perfect for shops that want to run multiple devices in a secured area.

As with all of the other Drobo products, the B810i can be provisioned initially with a minimum of storage, then grow with requirements. With the availability of 8TB 3.5-inch SATA drives, it's possible to grow the B810i up to a whopping 64TB of BeyondRAID, and that entire vast space can be configured as one volume if desired.

The B810i can also be set up with a combination of both SSD and HDD in the eight bays, with data-ware tiering making it possible for "hot" data (data that is being used a lot) to move to the SSDs for faster retrieval, while "cold" data that isn't updated frequently migrates to the HDDs. 

Compared to the B800i that it replaces, the B810i can self-heal after a drive failure up to eight times faster. The device has a number of use cases, including primary storage for servers, creative workflows in video and audio, and as a backup device (both for servers and desktops). One of the more intriguing possibilities is using the B810i for home entertainment and media libraries, making it a huge repository for images, music and videos, then using available DroboApps (FireFly, MiniDLNA, and Plex) for content distribution.

The Drobo B810i is available starting today for $1,699, including 2 free 2TB HDDs when the device is purchased at drobostore.com prior to April 30, 2016.