J. Michel Metz has a long post on his blog discussing the Drobo vs Synology NAS boxes. Specifically, he talks about his experience dealing with Drobo's support team vs the Synology support.
Not surprisingly, his experience is that the Synology support is much better. About the customer service he received when he had questions after he received his Synology box:
But the best part was the customer service.
I had wanted to know whether or not I should connect the Synology volume via NFS, iSCSI, or SMB, and whether or not I would get better performance using Jumbo frames or not.
So what did I do? I called them up and they walked me through each option.
I am not kidding. The support guy on the call was FREAKING AWESOME!
He showed me how to properly set up the system (the manual was good, but to be fair I don’t think it was the clearest-written documentation I’ve seen) for each of these different types, helped troubleshoot on the phone, and basically was there to answer any question I had.
Basically, his experience was that when his Drobo began having hardware issues, Drobo essentially ignored his pleas for help or gave generic advice that did not come close to fixing his problems.
Drobo is said to be trying to improve its image especially concerning after sale support, but it seems that it still has a way to go.
I still recommend the Drobo FS to those who need extremely simple setup and operation of their NAS and can live with somewhat slow speed of the device, but as with all NAS devices, I continue to remind everyone that it is not prudent to keep only one copy of critical files - RAID on a NAS is not backup.
I love my Synology NAS but I don't rely on it as the only container of critical files - maybe that is why I own three Synology NAS boxes, one for primary use and two for backups!