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Data Robotics adds the new DroboPro FS to the family

The Drobo family of BeyondRAID storage devices has been very popular with Mac prosumers, creative professionals, and small businesses since the first product shipped in 2007. Slowly but surely, the company has been building up its product line. Data Robotics now has three Direct-Attach Storage (DAS) devices, the Drobo, Drobo S, and DroboPro; a Network-Attached Storage (NAS) device, the Drobo FS; and a Storage Area Network (SAN) device, the DroboElite.

In a recent interview with Mark Fuccio of Data Robotics, he noted that customers were asking for a NAS device with more than the five drive bays of the Drobo FS, and they also wanted redundant network connectivity and a simple way to back up files offsite. The result? A new product that was announced this morning, the DroboPro FS.

The new product has the eight drive bays of the DroboPro and can be physically situated on a desktop or placed in a standard rack mount with an optional kit. It has two Gigabit Ethernet ports, which can be used in either a standalone mode to connect to a different subnet or in a redundant network protection mode.
The offsite storage option is a new product called Drobo Sync, which will be available later in October as a free upgrade to the Drobo Dashboard software. Drobo Sync works with two DroboPro FS devices and automatically copies all files to a companion unit, which can be physically located at another location. After an initial duplication of data, only new files or blocks with a file that have changed are copied, which minimizes the amount of time that it takes to complete the backup and also minimizes bandwidth utilization. Validation is performed to ensure that the offsite copy is an exact replica of the original.

DroboPro FS starts at US$1999 and can be ordered pre-configured with 8TB (4 x 2TB) for $2699, with 16TB (8 x 2TB) for $3299, or in a Business Bundle consisting of two 16TB DroboPro FS devices for $6399 to take advantage of Drobo Sync. By comparison, a Tandberg LTO-4 T24 Tape Storage Library has an uncompressed storage capacity of 19.2TB, but costs about $6800 without the blank tapes. Adding those tapes costs about $800, and the server that the library is attached to must have a Fibre Channel adapter installed, resulting in extra cost.

The DroboPro FS is available today from resellers and the Drobo Store.

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