Connected Data, the (old but new) developers of the Drobo storage solution today took the wraps off their refresh of the company’s best-selling model.

The new, third generation 4 bay Drobo has been enhanced with a super-speed USB 3.0 direct connection, faster storage rebuild performance and support for backing up Macs through Apple’s Time Machine application.

The refresh is built on a brand new hardware architecture, powered by a dual-core Marvell processor, and performs up to three times faster than the previous generation, according to the company. Dramatic improvements have been made to Drobo’s BeyondRAID array rebuild times – in the case of a drive failure, you can expect to see a four times improvement in rebuild times.

Enhancements to Apple Time Machine support allow Drobo users to point their Macs to the Drobo as a target for backups. A neat feature allows users to easily reserve space for backups on their Drobo – this backup partition is then itself protected by the Drobo to ensure they’re safe in the event of a disk issue.

What Connected Data hasn’t messed with is Drobo’s simplicity – the same traffic light system is employed to help users manage storage capacity, and when it’s time to increase the storage pool, smaller drives can be very easily swapped out for larger capacity drives with the additional capacity instantly available.

As a bonus for existing Drobo owners, the company are offering a discount scheme to upgrade to the new model – a £30 saving is on offer when users purchase a new Drobo through select channel partners through to June 9th, 2014.

Pre-ordering for the third generation model begins today through selected online retailers – expect to see pricing around the £279 mark. Units will be shipping at the end of April.

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