One thing that was curiously missing at launch, however, was native, official support for Apple's "Time Machine." This is Apple's built-in 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 official solution.
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 backups to 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 Apple’s Time Machine for easy, automated backup,” said Mark Fuccio, senior director of products and markets at Data Robotics. “The Drobo FS delivers the most seamless support for Apple Time Machine of any network storage system on the market today. Using Time Machine with Drobo FS is as easy as clicking one box in the Drobo Dashboard software, with no need for confusing, complex command line work. The combination of Apple’s and 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 storage will be used for Time Machine backups. Previously, Time Machine would consume capacity until it was gone and then delete the oldest backups to make room for new backups. The Drobo FS platform enables multiple Mac users on a network to automatically and simultaneously back up to the same Drobo FS.
Powering Drobo FS is a dual core microprocessor: one core runs Drobo’s BeyondRAID code while the other core runs an embedded Linux server for file sharing and running DroboApps from third party developers. Data Robotics has enhanced the source code for Netatalk, an open source implementation of AFP (“Apple File Protocol”) to support Time Machine by controlling the amount of disk space used for backups. Data Robotics has donated source code for its enhancements to the project. These are available in Netatalk 2.05, or later, for all developers and users.
Benefits of using Drobo FS with Time Machine