Drobo FS Offers Low Cost, Simple Backup For SMBs - InformationWeek

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Cloud // Cloud Storage

Drobo FS Offers Low Cost, Simple Backup For SMBs

Data Robotics new NAS storage unit offers small businesses and remote offices an affordable backup solution that requires minimal management and can expand to meet changing needs.


Data Robotics made a play for the small, remote, and home office markets today with the release of Drobo FS. The storage vendor positions the 5-bay network attached storage (NAS) unit as simple, easy, and expandable to meet the storage needs for small organizations that lack the IT resources to manage more complex storage solutions. The NAS unit incorporates Data Robotics' BeyondRAID technology and allows users to mix and match drives in the 5 bays as needed and supports PC and Mac network backups.

The flexibility suits the changing needs of small businesses that need more and more storage according to Jim Sherhart, senior director of marketing at Data Robotics. "The average small company has more data than you can put on an external drive," he said. "This [the Drobo FS] allows them to mix and match drives of different sizes to fit their needs."

The features of the new Drobo FS include:

  • 5-Drive Capacity that allows expansion to 10TB or more by inserting additional or larger drives with continuous data access
  • Direct connection to Gigabit Ethernet networks with support for standard data transfer protocols including Microsoft Common Internet File System (CIFS) and Apple File Protocol (AFP)
  • Single and dual drive redundancy
  • BeyondRAID self-healing technology that examines drives continuous to flag issues and stores data in healthy drive areas
  • Customization options using DroboApps

The storage challenges that smaller companies confront is significant. According to a recent survey from Symantec, the volume of digital information is expanding by 50-60% each year and the average SMB only backs up 60% of customer data and doesn't even do that on a consistent schedule. Findings from the same survey estimate that outages and down time cost SMBs $15,000 per day on average. Soaring costs like that can cripple a small businesses and offer a compelling case for investing in storage solutions.

For cost-conscious organizations that need simplicity, the Drobo FS may be an appealing option. Pricing starts at $699 and heads to to $1499 for a 10TB bundle with 5 2TB drives.

The combination of low cost and minimal IT support meet a need according to Liz Conner, research analyst for IDCs storage systems and personal storage practices. She said, "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. 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."

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