I love the features of the Drobo, I think the simplicity can't be beat. My issue with Drobo only has to do with potential reliability issues, a lot of the reviews I've seen on the net have not been very pleasent to read. How long have you had yours?
About a year. As I said, under warranty, the PSU failed. But the data was safe, so the unit was replaced, drives moved, and all was hunky-dory.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not thrilled about an PSU failure within the first year of operation, but I'm also aware of the RhoS transition issues caused for many electronics.
Of course, data integrity ranks higher than hardware reliability, because once the data collection reaches a certain size, backing up is nearly impossible, unless one has a HUGE budget. So trying to back-up an 8-drive droboPro with dual-reduncancy (RAID-6-ish) would require pretty much double the budget requirements...
So from that perspective what I don't like is the lack of ECC RAM, because the one thing that in the past caused data loss on a RAID setup, aside from accidentally deleting data, was defective cache RAM. RAID- won't protect against corrupted disk buffers being written to the drives, if there's no way of parity checking on the RAM that holds the disk buffers.
So for data integrity, it's the lack of ECC RAM that concerns me. The dead PSU was one of these things that's annoying, but as long as the data didn't suffer, it's bearable.
From the operating functionality, though, it's the best. So it's a question of what bullet you want to bite
I wish there had not been the legal controversy around ZFS. If Mac OS X had adopted/supported ZFS, then that would have solved just about all of my demands. I bought the drobo after Apple dropped development of ZFS for Mac OS X due to legal/patent disputes over ZFS.
But for many reasons, I need something that to the OS is a locally attached storage device, rather than a network file server. So typical NAS devices just don't cut it, and other iSCSI devices don't allow for thin provisioning and OS-transparent capacity upgrades. That's what really sold me on the drobo.
Other stuff, in particularly Thecus and QNap were high on my list of competing products, but in the end I settled for a droboPro for reasons of cost and operational simplicity, even though I'm quite vocal about the reservations I have in regards to not using ECC RAM and less than ideal transparency of systems diagnostics.