Drobo drives are finally getting the fix to one of the more frustrating annoyances they've suffered from: rampant Apple Time Machine backups chewing through every HDD in your array. A combination of sizable storage in the local and network-shared drives, as well as Time Machine's limited controls over how much space it can earmark for its own purposes, had meant that backups could run wild and occupy every last gigabyte.
Now, though, a new firmware update for Drobo 5D and Mini users will fix that problem, allowing backups and regular data to coexist on the same storage array.
Drobo does it by adding an option to the Drobo Dashboard settings that creates a fixed capacity volume for Time Machine to use. When that volume is full - even if there's space still free on your overall Drobo array - Apple's system will automatically start deleting older backups.
It's possible to change the volume size later on, though Drobo also has a setup wizard which will suggest a reasonable amount to set aside for Time Machine.
Connected Data had previously added similar functionality to the Drobo Gen3, but the recommended load for that model is only one Time Machine client (as it is for the Drobo Mini and Drobo 5D).
Drobo 5N and B800fs are recommended at up to five clients, while the B800i can handle up to 25, and the B1200i up to 75, assuming regularly-scheduled backups.
The new update is available today, and can be installed without upsetting your existing data on the array.