Drobo FS goes Pro [Updated]

When I saw the first photo of Data Robotics‘ newest product I was thinking to myself “well, sure, that makes sense”. I’m talking about the new DroboPro FS which takes a cue from its little brother, the Drobo FS. It’s basically a mixture of the eight bay DroboPro and five bay Drobo FS. It gets the same eight bays as the DroboPro but instead of an iSCSI interface the Pro FS has two Gigabit Ethernet ports that can either be used for separate networks or in a failover fashion. It features the same basic features like any other Drobo and also gets the recently added dual drive redundancy.

Data Robotics is also selling a kit of two DroboPro FS’ which makes sense because starting in late Ocotober there’ll be a free software package called Drobo Sync that takes care of syncing two of these new devices, thus giving you an instant backup that can also be deployed off site. The sync can happen completely automated as soon as something changes, based on a schedule or manually.

At the time of writing I don’t have any hard numbers of how fast the actual device is. We’ll have to wait until the first devices go out to the reviewers to show the actual speeds. Let’s hope it’ll be close to the theoretical maximum of those two Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Update, October 6th: According to Data Robotics the DroboPro FS will be about 20% faster than the FS. They expect reads in the 45-60 MByte/s range and writes in the 30-50 MByte/s range. Also the disk packs for the DroboPro FS and Drobo FS use unique formatting. This means you can’t swap drives between multiple Drobos. There is however some documentation available on how to migrate data between various units.

The prices start at 1.999 USD (or 1.499 EUR + VAT) for the enclosure only, 2.699 USD for 8 TByte (4x 2 TByte), 3.299 USD for 16 TByte (8x 2 TByte) and end at 6.399 USD for 2x 16 TByte DroboPro FS’. Looking at these prices it’s quite obvious that this product isn’t meant for an individual but for small teams and businesses.

DroboPro FS is available starting today. Drobo Sync will be available as a free download in late October.