Drobo FS - Front

For about a week now, I have known Data Robotics had a new Drobo product premiering today, but everything was under embargo and few details were known. When I woke up this morning I had the official press release in my inbox announcing the new Drobo FS. (The FS stands for File Server.) What the Drobo FS does is combine the 5-Bay Drobo S with the Drobo Share, allowing you to put all your precious little media out in the cloud and your local network.

I just got off of a call with Mark Fuccio from Data Robotics and he walked me through the new device and some of the new functionality. One item in particular that Mark spoke to me about is a partnership with a company called Oxygen Cloud, which provides a cloud-like interface for your Drobo FS. This means you will gain access to your Drobo FS through a browser remotely. No details are available yet on the specifics of the web interface, but it is in development. As many of you know, the Drobo protects you from HDD failure, but what about when you have a fire and your Drobo melts into a nice little pile of plastic and metal?!?!? Well, that is no longer a concern. The partnership between Data Robotics and Oxygen Cloud is going to add some additional functionality that will allow users to sync multiple Drobo FSs in multiple locations. This means the Drobo FS will now auto backup your data to another Drobo FS in a remote location. Both the in browser access functionality and the remote backup functionality are still in development, but they are supposed to be available sometime in May.

I am hoping to purchase the Drobo FS in the very near future, and I will off course post a thought review once I have time to really explore all the device has to offer. Be sure to subscribe to my RSS feed so you don’t miss my full review.

Are you all excited about this product? Is $699.00 still to expensive for a device of this nature? Do you prefer a direct connection (FW800, USB2, E-SATA, …) or NAS connection (Ethernet)?

Official Press Release

SANTA CLARA, CA–(Marketwire – April 6, 2010) – Data Robotics, Inc., the company that delivers the best data storage experience, today introduced Drobo FS, a breakthrough Drobo designed for simple, expandable file sharing. By providing network file sharing capabilities along with automated data protection, the Drobo FS greatly simplifies shared storage for connected home, home office and small office users. Based on the revolutionary BeyondRAID technology and a flexible platform for adding features and capacity as needed, the Drobo FS can quickly and easily be customized and scaled to meet current or future storage requirements.

“Adding to Data Robotics’ offering of self-managing storage solutions, the Drobo FS offers users the ability to share data between computers quickly and easily,” said Liz Conner, research analyst for IDCs storage systems and personal storage practices. “More than ever before, home users and small offices want to access and share a growing amount of data, but they don’t need a large, expensive system that requires specific expertise or extensive management. With DroboApps, users can customize the Drobo FS to serve their unique storage requirements. This is the Drobo for which many users have been waiting.”

Drobo FS - BackDrobo FS extends automated data protection across connected systems using Data Robotics’ award-winning BeyondRAID virtualized storage technology. Drobo FS features a one-click toggle between single- and dual-drive redundancy and provides protection against up to two simultaneous drive failures. In addition, the Drobo FS enables users to add storage on-the-fly without ever losing access to data.

“We have been using Drobo solutions to store our data for almost three years and continue to be happy with their performance and simplicity. With four computers on our network, we also needed a solution that would allow us to share data between users. Typical shared storage devices were complicated or too expensive, so we’re thrilled that Data Robotics has created the Drobo FS,” said Seth Resnick, Co-Founder at D65. “Drobo FS comes with just the functionality we need, so it is easy to use while still providing the automated data protection that comes with BeyondRAID. The additional DroboApps allow us to add new features as we need them, which is really unique.”

Drobo FS Features and Benefits

  • Plug In and Share – The Drobo FS connects directly to any Gigabit Ethernet network for a true plug in and share set-up experience. Supports standard data transfer protocols including Apple File Protocol (AFP) and Microsoft Common Internet File System (CIFS).
  • 5-Drive Capacity and Instant Expansion to 10TB and Beyond – Customers with growing storage requirements can easily add data capacity by simply inserting a new hard drive or replacing the smallest drive with a larger one, even when all five drive bays are full. With Drobo FS, expansion is automatic, instantaneous, and access to data is always maintained.
  • Single- and Dual-Drive Redundancy – The Drobo FS dual drive redundancy option protects against the simultaneous failure of up to two hard drives. Customers can engage this option with a single click without ever losing access to their data.
  • Self-Healing Technology – With BeyondRAID, the Drobo FS continually examines data blocks and sectors on each drive to flag potential issues. The preemptive “scrubbing” helps ensure data is being written only to healthy drive areas and automatically keeps data in the safest state possible — even when a drive fails.
  • Customizable Storage – Utilizing the growing library of DroboApps, including media and web applications, users can customize the Drobo FS to further enhance their sharing experience.

“This is the decade of being connected, no matter where you are or what kind of data you are storing. The Drobo FS was designed to best serve the needs of our customers with file sharing needs — from small offices and home offices to connected homes. By reducing the complexity of data sharing and providing a truly flexible platform for adding capacity and features, the Drobo FS is ideal for users that have the need to share ever increasing amounts of data,” said Tom Buiocchi, CEO of Data Robotics.

Pricing and Availability Drobo FS is currently available at a starting price of $699 MSRP, with multiple configurations to $1,449 for a 10TB (5x 2TB drives) bundle. Drobo FS is available now from authorized partners worldwide and on www.drobostore.com. To learn more about Drobo FS, please visit www.drobo.com/drobo-fs.

About Data Robotics

Data Robotics, Inc., the company that delivers the best storage experience ever, develops automated storage products designed to ensure data is always protected, accessible, and simple to manage. The award-winning Drobo storage arrays are the first to provide the protection of traditional RAID without the complexity. The revolutionary BeyondRAID technology frees users from making the difficult and confining choice of “Which RAID level to deploy?” by providing an unprecedented combination of advanced features and automation, including single- and dual-drive redundancy, instant expansion, self-monitoring, data awareness, self-healing, and an easy-to-understand visual status and alert panel. For more information, visit Data Robotics at www.datarobotics.com.

Data Robotics, Drobo, and BeyondRAID are trademarks of Data Robotics, Inc., that may be registered in some jurisdictions. All other trademarks used are owned by their respective owners.