Drobo 3rd-gen boosts speed and Time Machine usefulness

The latest Drobo Gen3 has been revealed, adding USB 3.0 and boosting speed of the Connected Data quad-bay external drive, as well as improving support for things like Apple's Time Station. Cheaper than before, at $349 without drives, the third-generation Drobo sees an entirely updated system architecture used, for what Connected Data claims is a threefold speed increase over its predecessor.

As with other Drobo drives, the new third-gen model uses the company's own disk-spanning BeyondRAID array technology for data redundancy and speed. Up to two drive failures can be insured against, and HDDs swapped out while the system is still running.

Those live rebuilds should happen four times faster than before, it's suggested, and there's now a battery back-up to keep the system up just long enough to get data safely saved should the power go out.

As for the improvement in how Time Machine in OS X is handled, the new Drobo software allows a set maximum to be established for Mac backups, rather than allowing the app to simply consume as much storage as it likes.

The new Drobo Gen3 is available for preorder from today, with Connected Data suggesting shipments will begin in late April. Those who have already bought a first- or second-generation Drobo will get a $50 cut off the price.