A banner at the top of the Drobo website reads:
As of January 27th, 2023, Drobo support and products are no longer available.
We thank you for being a Drobo customer and entrusting us with your data.
In mid-2022, Drobo filed for restructuring under Chapter 11 bankruptcy alongside its parent company StorCentric. Both bankruptcies have now been converted to the liquidation-focused Chapter 7. While another company could still purchase Drobo and restart sales and support, the statement atop Drobo’s website offers little hope.
If you’re still using a Drobo, I encourage you to make sure you have good backups and start looking for an alternative, either a direct-attached drive or a network-attached storage device. Check out Jeff Carlson’s “NAS: What You Need to Know before Buying” (27 August 2018) and the latest version of his ebook Take Control of Your Digital Storage. Plus, our former managing editor Josh Centers still likes his Synology (see “Using a Synology NAS to Escape the Cloud,” 29 April 2022).
Don’t Worry about Retrospect
The initial version of this article raised the question of what would happen to Retrospect, which was also owned by StorCentric. I’ve now heard from Robin Mayoff, director of Retrospect Support (and a Retrospect employee since 1995), that Retrospect (like another StorCentric subsidiary Nexsan) has emerged from Chapter 11 under new company ownership. Mayoff posted this Alive and well note in Retrospect’s support forum:
A few articles have come out that talk about the StorCentric chapter 7 bankruptcy. Retrospect is under a new parent company. Customers for Retrospect are fully supported, and our website, distributors and resellers are actively selling Retrospect 19.1. Our engineering team is looking into new and exciting features for future versions of Retrospect. Support can always be reached at [email protected].
So I rescind any previous or implied suggestion that Retrospect users start looking for alternatives. Since its introduction by Dantz Development in 1989, Retrospect has survived through being purchased by EMC in 2004, shut down in 2007, revived in 2008 with a transfer to new EMC subsidiary Iomega, and sold in 2010 to Roxio, whose parent company Sonic Solutions was soon acquired by Rovi, which had no interest in backup software. The core Retrospect team then spun Retrospect out of Rovi in 2012 and developed the app for 7 years before StorCentric acquired it. If my math is correct, Retrospect’s new ownership marks the company’s eighth incarnation across 33 years, a history that exceeds even our own.