Drobo S and DroboElite Make Normal NAS Drives Look Dumb

Inelegant NAS solutions have been around for years, and still they sell well. All of the organization and data management is left on the shoulders of the owner, and the drive itself simply serves up content whenever you--the end-user--tells it to. The Drobo changed all of that in early 2007, and now Data Robotics is looking to expand its product line in a big way. In fact, the company is doubling the amount of products it sells today, though that's not too difficult to do when your line only consists of two products.

First up is the Drobo S. Essentially, it's a Drobo, but with 5 bays, support for dual-drive redundancy and the addition of an eSATA port. It also has a snappier CPU, so the transfer performance is expected to be better too. It should be noted that the DroboShare NAS adapter isn't compatible with the Drobo S, but the existing Drobo--which will still be sold at a lower $399 price--remains compatible. Drobo S is currently available starting at a price of $799 MSRP, with multiple configurations to $1,799 for a 10TB (5x 2TB) solution.

Drobo S Features and Benefits:
  • 5-Drive Capacity and Instant Expansion to 10TB – Customers with growing storage requirements can easily add data capacity with minimal effort. To add capacity, customers simply insert a new hard drive or replace the smallest drive with a larger one, even when all five drive bays are full. With Drobo S, expansion is automatic and instantaneous, and access to data is always maintained.
  • Single- and Dual-Drive Redundancy – The Drobo S 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 S 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.
  • Interface Options Users can take advantage of eSATA, FireWire 800, and USB 2.0 connections for ultimate flexibility.

Next, the DroboElite brings smart storage to the enterprise. Boasting 8 bays, dual Gigabit Ethernet jacks and dual-drive redundancy, this high-end iSCSI SAN storage server can support up to 256 virtual drives and plenty of multi-platform hosts. DroboElite is currently available starting at a price of $3,499 MSRP, with multiple configurations to $5,899 for a 16TB (8x 2TB) solution.

DroboElite Features and Benefits
  • Multi-host Support – Companies with multiple servers can easily add or consolidate storage by connecting the DroboElite into their existing TCP/IP network and utilizing the industry-standard iSCSI protocol.
  • Fastest Throughput of any Drobo Solution – Enhancements such as multiple stream optimization and dual Gigabit Ethernet interfaces for high-speed iSCSI deliver best-in-class performance.
  • Tested VMware-ready Features – With dual iSCSI ports and the ability to create up to 255 Smart Volumes, DroboElite can support growing VMware environments and advanced functionality including VMotion, Storage VMotion, snapshots, and high availability.
  • 8-Drive Capacity with Instant Capacity Expansion to 16TB and Beyond – DroboElite ensures continuous data access by automatically expanding data capacity and enabling IT managers to efficiently mix and match drive brands, capacities, and speeds.
  • Advanced Thin Provisioning – Smart Volumes allow companies to create new volumes in seconds and manage them over time by pulling storage from a common pool rather than a specific physical drive allocation. Smart Volumes are also file system aware which allows deleted data blocks to be immediately returned to the pool for future use.
  • Simplified Dual-Drive Redundancy – Companies are protected against the simultaneous failure of up to two hard drives without losing access to their data.  With a single click, companies can switch back to single disk redundancy if capacity runs out without losing access to their data.