Is Drobo still operating?

Drobo is a company that manufactures data storage devices and solutions. They are best known for their unique “BeyondRAID” storage technology that provides an easy-to-use, flexible and expandable data storage solution for consumers and businesses. There has been some speculation about whether Drobo is still actively operating as a company, which this article will explore.

Brief History of Drobo

Drobo was founded in 2005 by Geoff Barrall and is headquartered in San Jose, California. The company was one of the early pioneers in bringing user-friendly, scalable data storage solutions to the consumer and small business markets. Their first product, the DroboPro, launched in 2007 and allowed users to install up to four SATA I/II hard disk drives of any manufacturer, capacity, spindle speed and/or cache. The BeyondRAID technology would then utilize the combined storage capacity of the disks and provide redundancy and expandability in an easy-to-use package.

Several other Drobo products aimed at consumers, small businesses and enterprises were released over the following years, including the DroboElite, DroboPro FS, Drobo 5D and Drobo B800i. Drobo systems were generally praised for their ease-of-use, flexibility and powerful data protection capabilities relative to competing products. The company also developed and sold DroboApps, which were plug-ins that added functionality like backup or cloud connectivity to Drobo devices.

In 2011, Drobo was acquired by Connected Data for an undisclosed amount. Connected Data continued to develop and market Drobo products and solutions over the next several years. In 2014, Connected Data was itself acquired by NXT Capital Venture Capital firms for $6 million. NXT Capital rebranded their consolidated company to StorCentric, which remains the parent company of Drobo.

Recent Developments

In 2015, StorCentric released a major refresh of Drobo’s product line, including new devices such as the Drobo 5Dt and Drobo B810n. Subsequent updates have added new features and incremental improvements. The most recent firmware update for currently supported Drobo devices was released in October 2022.

StorCentric continues to highlight Drobo as one of its core brand names and product families. The Drobo website remains active, with information on current products and support resources available. StorCentric also actively maintains the Drobo knowledge base, with updated articles on setup, usage and troubleshooting of Drobo devices.

Some of Drobo’s key differentiating features compared to competitors remain, including:

  • BeyondRAID data protection and expandability.
  • Mixed drive support allowing users to mix and match disks.
  • Thin provisioning to allocate storage capacity flexibly across multiple volumes.
  • Built-in battery backup on some models to protect data in case of power outage.
  • Drive bays that are hot swappable for easy replacement and capacity expansion.

Based on these points, key signs indicate that Drobo is still being actively developed and supported by StorCentric.

Availability of Drobo Products

Current Drobo products are still widely available for purchase through major retailers and online stores such as Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo and Newegg. Models available include the 5-bay Drobo 5D3, 8-bay Drobo B810i and 16-bay Drobo B1200i. Listings show regular replenishment of inventory. Units purchased now would be eligible for warranty coverage and technical support.

Availability of products for purchase is a strong indicator that Drobo is still operating and manufacturing these storage solutions.

Drobo Support and Resources

The Drobo website has a dedicated support section with documentation, software downloads and warranty/support policies. This includes:

  • Knowledge base with setup guides, troubleshooting articles and details on Drobo features.
  • Warranty coverage of 2 years for Drobo devices, with options to extend.
  • Ability to create a support case for technical assistance.
  • Email and phone support during business hours through their technical support team.
  • Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) process for warranty replacements.
  • Blog with news and tips on using Drobo products.
  • Maintenance of community forums for questions and discussions.

The depth of up-to-date support resources indicates Drobo systems are still actively supported products.

Drobo Warranties

All current Drobo products come standard with a 2 year warranty. Warranty coverage is non-transferable and only valid for the original purchaser buying from an authorized reseller. Users can also purchase 1, 2, or 3 year extended warranties. This suggests that Drobo and StorCentric are committed to standing behind their products with warranty coverage.

Continued Firmware Updates

Over the years, Drobo has regularly released new firmware versions for their storage devices to add new features or fix issues. As recently as October 2022, Drobo released new firmware updates for current products like the B810n, B810i and B1200i. The changelog for the updates mention bug fixes and performance improvements. Firmware updates require significant investment and continual development effort, strongly indicating Drobo remains an active business unit.

Drobo Care Maintenance Plans

Drobo offers DroboCare packages that provide enhanced service levels beyond the standard warranty. This includes benefits like:

  • 24×7 phone support
  • Next business day advanced unit replacement
  • Free return shipping on RMA replacements
  • Firmware update assistance
  • Priority phone and email support

DroboCare plans are available in 1, 2 and 3 year terms. The availability of paid service plans shows that Drobo is intending to provide ongoing maintenance and support well beyond the initial warranty period.

Release of New Drobo Apps

In addition to updating firmware for their storage devices, Drobo has also released new apps in 2022. DroboApps extend the functionality of Drobo devices, such as adding backup capabilities or connectivity to external services. Some examples of newly released apps include:

  • DroboAccess – Allows secure access to Drobo data from anywhere
  • DroboDR – Automated disaster recovery protection
  • DroboPix – Photography workflow and sharing app

Remaining innovative with new apps and software features for their platforms is a clear indicator of continued operations and enhancing their product offerings.

Financial Performance

As a private company, detailed financial information for StorCentric is not publicly available. However, in an August 2022 press release, the company reported achieving record bookings and revenue in Q2 2022, representing 100% year-over-year growth. Strong financials enable continued investment in research and development, such as the new DroboApps released in 2022.

Strategic Partnerships

StorCentric maintains partnerships with other technology companies that expand the capabilities of Drobo products. For example, recent collaborations include:

  • Partnership with Seagate to validate and certify their drives are compatible with Drobo systems.
  • Integrating Drobo devices with ConnectWise management software to provide visibility to MSPs.
  • Joining the SK hynix Gold Partner Program to optimize SSD solutions for Drobo.

Pursuing partnerships to enhance compatibility and functionality for customers demonstrates strategic planning for the future of the Drobo brand.

StorCentric Company Developments

As the parent company of Drobo, StorCentric’s business decisions provide context on the strategy for Drobo itself. Recent major initiatives such as their acquisition of Retrospect backup software in 2021 and Violin Systems’ all-flash storage arrays in 2022 show StorCentric’s growth and expansion in the data management space. The new additions are positioned by StorCentric as complementary to Drobo’s value proposition. Retaining and strategically growing Drobo as part of this broader portfolio indicates its ongoing importance to StorCentric’s business.


In summary, the available evidence clearly indicates Drobo remains an active brand producing new direct-attached storage solutions for consumers and businesses. While Drobo is no longer operating as a standalone company, its current parent organization StorCentric continues to invest in developing new Drobo products and services. Drobo storage devices remain widely available through retailers and receive ongoing firmware updates and support coverage. The Drobo brand appears to be an important strategic part of StorCentric’s data management product portfolio into the foreseeable future.