Feeds

Drobo restrings boxes to double-up product range

New storage boxes are bigger on the inside

Top three mobile application threats

Data Robotics has added two new products, enhancing both the basic Drobo and the more capable Drobo Pro. It now claims to provide the simplest and best value iSCSI SAN in the world.

Drobo has - had - two products; the basic Drobo and Drobo Pro. These provide a protected and consolidated pool of storage that can withstand drive failures and can be composed of 3.5-inch drives with differing capacities. When one fills up, you can replace it with a larger capacity drive and the Drobo gracefully assimilates the new drive, spreads data across it and makes use of the increased capacity.

Drobo S

Each existing Drobo product has been enhanced to, respectively, the Drobo S and the Drobo Elite, making a 4-product range which now features eSATA and multi-host support.

The Drobo S has eSATA (external SATA) connectivity, together with USB 2.0 and FireWire 800, but not USB 3.0, since it is still early days for that standard. You may find it necessary to install an eSATA driver on the host PC or Mac, but it should be worthwhile as eSATA is described as "swift" compared to the 25MB/30MB/sec you might achieve from USB 2.0.

The eSATA protocol runs at 3Gbit/s, so we might think about something in the region of 200MB/sec being achievable. USB 3.0 might deliver 200-240MB/sec and, no doubt, Data Robotics will add USB 3.0 to Drobo S when it thinks the time is right. This might possibly be sometime in 2010, when PCs and Macs are shipping with it.

There are now five drive slots instead of the four in the entry-level basic Drobo, meaning it can hold 10TB using 2TB drives, and will go to 15TB when 3TB 3.5-inch SATA drives come out next year. As ever with Drobo, you will be able to stick the 3TB monsters alongside the 2TB drives and Drobo's software will take care of using it and adding its blocks to the consolidated pool. There is single or dual-drive redundancy, improving on the basic Drobo's single drive redundancy.

The Drobo S has a faster Marvell processor and its performance is said to be up to 50 per cent faster as a result.

With the Drobo Elite, Data Robotics says it provides a very easy-to-use and affordable iSCSI SAN (storage area network). Data Robotics' founder and CEO Geoff Barrall is claiming it costs up to 90 per cent less than other iSCSI SAN products, such as Dell/EqualLogic ones.

It supports up to 16 hosts and storage can be consolidated across them. There are 8 drive slots, meaning 16TB capacity with 2TB drives and the device is accessed through dual gigabit Ethernet ports. Drobo Elite supports up to 255 volumes, with Drobo Pro supporting 16 with its 8 drives.

Drobo's software constructs the volumes from the pooled storage across all the drives present. These are thin volumes and stay thin through the reclaimation of deleted data blocks, with the software tracking the use of each disk block in the system. Barrall says there is no need for LUN-level capacity management with the Drobo software, which he calls BeyondRAID.

Position Drobo S in your mind as single server storage for SMBs (small/medium business) and professionals, and Drobo Elite as multiple server storage for SMBs and departments.

Drobo S costs $799 as a drive-less enclosure and $1799 fully configured with five 2TB drives. Drobo Elite costs $3499 drive-less and $5899 fully configured with eight 2TB drives. With Data Robotics' sub-$15,000 market target these prices give lots of headroom for bigger multi-host Drobos, such as a 16-drive super Elite. Who knows what 2010 will bring? ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
AMD's 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM server chips now sampling, set to launch in late 2014
But they won't appear in SeaMicro Fabric Compute Systems anytime soon
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.