Data Robotics shipped their first true NAS drive early last month,
caving to requests from users around the world to finally add a native
Ethernet connection to their otherwise very intelligent RAID box. The
storage solution itself is basically little more than a Drobo S (which
we just took a deep dive with
), but rather than having USB/eSATA/etc.
ports, there's just a single Ethernet port to plug it directly into your
One thing that was curiously missing at launch, however, was native,
official support for Apple's "Time Machine." This is Apple
software program that backs up your Mac (or Macs) on a regular schedule,
and it smartly pauses during sleep/shut down and resumes later. It has
proven to be a rather great option for Mac users (first party solutions
always tend to do better than third party), but the Drobo FS wasn't
shipped with native support for the platform. Some users were able to
find workarounds, but the company obviously felt that they needed an
This week, an update was made available for all Drobo FS
users, free of
charge. The update adds native support for Time Machine, by simply
clicking a single box in the Drobo Dashboard and then selecting the
Drobo FS from the selection screen on your Mac. There are also new
options in the process; for example, users can now pre-define a limit on
how much storage
will be used for Time Machine backups, whereas before it would
just consume capacity until it was gone and then delete the oldest
make room for new backups. It also supports multiple Mac machines
to backup to the Drobo FS at the same time, though obviously speeds are
as snappy over the network as they would be over USB or eSATA.
Just look for a Drobo Dashboard update to join the fun, Mac users.
“Many Mac users want a network storage solution to use with
Machine for easy, automated backup,” said Mark Fuccio, senior
of products and markets at Data Robotics. “The Drobo FS delivers
most seamless support for Apple Time Machine of any network
system on the market today. Using Time Machine with Drobo FS is as
as clicking one box in the Drobo Dashboard software, with no need
confusing, complex command line work. The combination of Apple’s
Data Robotics’ proven technologies offers Mac users unsurpassed
simplicity for storing, sharing, and backing up their data.”
Drobo FS users are now able to pre-define a limit on how much
will be used for Time Machine backups. Previously, Time Machine
consume capacity until it was gone and then delete the oldest
make room for new backups. The Drobo FS platform enables multiple
users on a network to automatically and simultaneously back up to
same Drobo FS.
Powering Drobo FS is a dual core microprocessor: one core runs
BeyondRAID code while the other core runs an embedded Linux server
file sharing and running DroboApps from third party developers.
Robotics has enhanced the source code for Netatalk, an open source
implementation of AFP (“Apple File Protocol”) to support Time
controlling the amount of disk space used for backups. Data
donated source code for its enhancements to the project. These are
available in Netatalk 2.05, or later, for all developers and
Benefits of using Drobo FS with Time Machine
Set Time Machine capacity limits – Users can control how
Drobo FS capacity is used by Time Machine backups.
Plug in, share, and back up – The Drobo FS connects
any Gigabit Ethernet network for a true plug in and share set-up
experience. Multiple users on a network can automatically and
simultaneously back up to the same Drobo FS target.
Open and customizable storage – Using an
platform and the growing library of third-party DroboApps, which
include media and web applications, users can customise Drobo FS
their unique sharing environment and requirements.
5-drive capacity with 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
full. With Drobo FS, expansion is automatic, instantaneous, and
to data is always maintained.
Single- and dual-drive redundancy – The Drobo FS dual
redundancy option protects against the simultaneous failure of
two hard drives. Customers can engage this option with a single
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
potential issues. The preemptive “scrubbing” helps ensure data
being written only to healthy drive areas and automatically
in the safest state possible – even when a drive fails.