Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Drobo v. ReadyNAS IV: ReadyNAS Just Does More

In previous posts, I've discussed what I am looking for, some obvious differences between Drobo and ReadyNAS and differences in their connectivity and use of drives. They have tended to favor Drobo. But ReadyNAS does some things that Drobo does not.

  1. As I have already mentioned, ReadyNAS is faster. It does not have to deal with a USB bottleneck (40-60MB/sec, theoretically) when doing gigabit Ethernet (100BM/sec). 
  2. Drobo is not even as fast as USB 2.0. Drobo claims throughput of up to 22 MB/sec, but most people report around 15MB/sec. On the other hand, ReadyNAS can push through as much as 37.9MB/sec, and there are reports of 50+MB/sec or even 70+MB/sec. ReadyNAS is known for its speed, and it blows away Drobo in this area.
  3. While you cannot connect ReadyNAS to a computer with USB, ReadNAS can share devices that are hooked up to its own USB ports, including flash drives, USB hard drives and even printers. Drobo and DroboShare can only share the data on the Drobo itself.
  4. ReadyNAS supports many file service protocols (i.e. SMB, AFP, NFS, HTTP, FTP). Drobo only supports SMB. 
  5. ReadyNAS devices  can be set to back themselves up, and Drobo cannot. This itself can be a very big deal, as it easily allows you to create backups to take offsite. 
  6. ReadyNAS comes with backup software for other computers to backup to ReadyNAS (Retrospect for Windows and for Mac OS X). Drobo does not.
  7. ReadyNAS can automatically shut itself down if the UPS it is attached to notifies it of power loss. Drobo cannot.
I'm sure that there are even more differences that favor ReadyNAS, too. 

Of course, there are more similarities, too. They both have built-in system monitoring and notification of problem, though surely ReadyNAS's is more complete. They both support remote administration, though ReadyNAS's is more complex as there is more to administer. Moreover, I believe that ReadyNAS can be administered from a web browser -- so long as it supports Java -- whereas Drobo requires a particular application be installed on the machine. 

When you pay for ReadyNAS, you clearly get more. In fact, if these features matter to you, they are easily worth more than the price difference between the devices. Be it data security, speed or protocols, these differences are so great that one might even think that ReadyNAS is in a whole difference class than Drobo.

No comments: