Drobo FS "File Server" is NAS version of Drobo S [Video]

Only yesterday we were singing the praises of the Data Robotics Drobo S, perfect if you need local, redundant storage for your workstation, and today the company have outed their NAS version.  The Drobo FS – or "Drobo File Server" – takes the Drobo S and swaps that model's USB/eSATA/FireWire for an gigabit ethernet port on the back, meaning you can share files protected using its BeyondRAID system across your network.Video demo after the cut

While the hardware has changed, the software is also much tweaked to take advantage of the network connectivity.  The Drobo FS supports media streaming – using the DLNA and UPnP protocols – and can act as your central iTunes store, as well as a standalone BitTorrent downloader and remote-access. That's because of DroboApps, a new platform of community-created and community-supported applications that can be loaded onto the Drobo FS.

As for pricing, the new Drobo FS will go on sale – drive-free – for $699, with Data Robotics selling it with up to five 2TB drives for $1,449.  It's expected to hit virtual shelves today.

Press Release:

Data Robotics Delivers Breakthrough Solution for Easy File Sharing

New Drobo FS Leverages BeyondRAID Technology and Customization via DroboApps to Deliver the Best File Sharing Experience for Small Office and Connected Home Users

SANTA CLARA, CA – 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 IDC's storage systems and personal storage device & systems. "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 the Drobo FS, Data Robotics addresses a need for which many Drobo users have been looking forward."

With Drobo, Five Guys Enterprises is able to backup essential corporate data and ensure that it remains accessible even in the event of simultaneous hard drive failures. Using disk-to-disk backup, all of the company's media and backup files are stored entirely on a Drobo solution for fast, reliable data protection.

Drobo 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/.

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.