That's unfortunate for them. Have you used or compared them to the truenas hardware appliances?
There's no comparison. Drobos are slow, especially if you're using them in their special RAID mode. Almost any other way someone could get a RAID5-like setup will get something that reads and writes faster. The special sauce they add is that users can supposedly mix and match drives of different sizes and still get a stripe set with parity somehow, but I've never tried that. What I have been willing to do is slide spare drives from my spare stack into one large temporary volume to use while I'm moving data around. This has come in handy a few times since I no longer have a bunch of desktops sitting around to shove drives into.