Drobo 5N2 vs Synology DS918

My second gen Drobo is start to fade. I am considering a Drobo 5N2 vs, a sinology DS918. Any thoughts on this would be greatly helpful.



I faced a similar decision problem a few months ago. I ended up getting a Mac mini and hanging a bunch of USB hard drives off of it.

This is so hard to answer because everybody’s scenario is so different.

I think there are three options out there:

  1. You just want to have something to store your data on. I never owned a Drobo, but it might be something to be considered because it is cheaper. Then again, a Synology DS418+ might be an alternative, if money is a reason. The 418+ also is a very capable device.

  2. Go for the Synology DS918. You get a very good NAS with so many options. It basically is a nice server even with virtualization capabilities.

  3. The way @ChrisUpchurch went with. The Mac Mini is a very powerful server with basically no limits.

Ok, listing those options I have to correct myself: I do not see a use case for a Drobo any longer. But then again, I never owned one.

I have owned both Drobo and Synology products. They both served my needs while they were working. In both cases I had a hardware failure after a period of time and here is where a key difference emerged: I had an TERRIBLE customer service experience with Drobo and a WONDERFUL customer service experience with Synology.

Therefore my recommendation is to go with the Synology or a Mac mini solution like others have mentioned.

I second the synology preference, good support, excellent services and very nice packages you can install.

Drobo support for me was not good. I was trying to resolve what to me looked like a software bug on the device, but they seemed to talk only hardware. wanted me to ship product back to germany. wanted a big fee to do so. so i just waited and eventually a firmware update cleared it.

Mac os to “find” the Drobo 5N on the network is not reliable. Don’t know about the current models.

I support both.

I have two of the 4-drive Synology boxes on my network and a Drobo 5D3 connected to my iMac. All boxes are configured for RAID. The Synology boxes are in different locations in my house.

For my e-books, photos and music, the Drobo is my master source of the files. By an rsync script, these files get mirrored to the other locations. Family members have read access to them.

I’ve had no real issues with either system - I find the drobo quite quick (thunderbolt 3 connection) and the rsync script runs very quickly to identify what has changed and to make the copies. I’ve called both companies for quick support and both were helpful.

To lose data I would need to lose at least 2 drives in each of the 3 boxes which is unlikely except for a disaster. The thing I guess I’m missing is a cloud backup of the data.

Thanks everyone for your help.