Data Robotics Announces Drobo FS

On Tuesday, Data Robotics announced a new category for its robust line of high-end storage solutions. The Drobo FS is a high-end NAS device designed for simplicity and ease of use. Targeted towards home, home office, and small office, the customizable five-bay drive is designed for "simplicity" but is still "very capable," explains Data Robotics' Mark Fuccio. "We're trying to make file sharing easy."

To that end, the new Drobo FS is automatically discovered on the Mac and, "Data shares are persistent between connection sessions," boasts the Data Robotics' press release. You plug it in and can begin sharing files across your network almost instantly. "We're trying to make it so people can be up and running in five minutes," explains Fuccio.

While simple to use, the Drobo FS is also seemingly quite capable of many high-end tasks. The Drobo FS is not only a shared file storage solution but also a network backup option and a private cloud server. The FS is also faster than the company's previous NAS offering, the four drive Drobo with DroboShare add-on, thanks to the FS's gigabit ethernet relying not on block level data transfer, but instead on high-speed AFP or SMB file protocols.

Like all Drobo products, the Drobo FS possesses Data Robotics' signature Beyond Raid technology. The BeyondRAID technology effectively creates "self-managing" storage arrays that are hot-swappable and can instantly be expanded. The Drobo FS can survive a dual drive failure, meaning if two of your five drives fail, the Drobo FS will still keep your data intact.

The Drobo FS can also act as a customizable platform so you can tailor your storage solution to how you'd like. According to the company's press release, this means it can "avoid feature overload" and "complexity of other NAS devices." In practicality, this means you'll have to download several DroboApps if you want basic features other NAS devices are already loaded with. At launch, users can download apps to enable the Drobo FS as a UPnP/DLNA media server, web server, FTP server, BitTorrent Client, and iTunes compatible media server.

One DroboApp that security-minded users will be paying attention to is the Oxygen Cloud app. The app "turns Drobo FS into a secure, private cloud," explains Data Robotic's press release. Many IT professionals and security-minded users are nervous about Cloud technology because of where the data is stored. But with Drobo FS, users apparently have private control over where the data is stored. The Oxygen Cloud app is free for personal use but companies will have to buy additional license properties to take advantage of it.

Many competing home NAS solutions sell for far less than the Drobo FS, but Drobo has always been about ease of use, the ability to use drives of different capacity, and data reliability, while offering advanced features. The customizability and cloud features, for example, aren't usually found on most consumer media servers. The Drobo FS base model retails for $700 for an empty enclosure and a unit populated with three 1.5TB drives goes for $1000. Systems can be ordered online today and will ship within five to seven days.

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