It took almost 6 weeks from the first support ticket, but yesterday afternoon (July 28, 2020) the RMA unit arrived from Drobo. Ironically, it shipped from their office in Sunnyvale 4 days before via FedEx, and the total distance from their facility to my house is about 16 miles.
I followed their instructions for moving my disk pack. That included starting it up sans drives and updating the firmware (it was up to date already) and then powering it off, and inserting the disks.
Powered up, with my fingers crossed, and voilá, my files are all back.
While I have had a Drobo in some form for almost a decade, trusting it to be a safe repository of my long term files, I am getting an itch to have a second back up. Sure, I will back up all the important files to my Arq in the cloud storage, but I have a few terabytes of media (video, music) that is not economical to store in the cloud, even using AWS’s glacial storage.
So, I am looking at adding a Synology NAS unit to my network in the living room next to my cable router. It can also double as my Plex server, and free up the Intel NUC that is playing that role today.
But, for now, it is good to be back in the saddle. Even if it took six weeks.