"I have a buddy named Matt who's a digital pack-rat. He's the guy you call when you need a movie or a TV show, because chances are he's got it. Among the finer things in his collection is the entire multi-decade run of "Dr. Who," including lots of rare black and white Hartnell stuff. He's long since reached the point where he could put his collection on random play and die of old age before he sees a repeat.
Matt's not alone, either—we're coming to a point where everyone and their dog has at least a digital music and photo collection, and tons of folks (especially folks in the Ars reader demographic) have collections of ripped movies and TV shows on top of that. All that stuff has to reside somewhere, and to that end there's a huge array of network attached storage devices—NAS boxes, as we in the biz say—that can keep the data safe, with redundancy and protection that you wouldn't get from storing the collection on your computer's main hard drive or on a single external disk.
I recently got my hands on a Drobo FS from Data Robotics, and I've been using it intensively for some time now. If you're interested in the Drobo, then this two-part review is perhaps the longest and most thorough look at the device you'll find anywhere. Indeed, it's more than just a review—In Part 1 I dig into Data Robotics patent filings so I can explain how the device works. In Part 2, I'll describe how the Drobo functions in day-to-day use...."
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