Feeds

Where to now for the data robot?

Limited options one way but wide open another

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Comment Data Robotics has the great mass of business data centre computing closed off but the small business market is wide open and waiting for Drobo-isation.

We talked to Tom Buiocchi, Data Robotics CEO, and also to Paul Thackeray, the EMEA VP, to get a picture of the Drobo company just after it had announced its refreshed 8-bay business Drobo line and its new top-end 12-bay product with thin provisioning and automated tiering.

The Drobo (Data ROBOt) is a unique product in terms of its feature set, which includes the so-called Beyond RAID protection, which enables users to populate the Drobo's drive bays with their own choice of 3.5-inch drives, choosing their own manufacturer and capacity levels. The user interface is a simple one based on red, blue and green indicator lights. These indicate drive health as well as capacity uptake, thus signalling when a drive update is needed to add more capacity.

Lastly the Drobo has a neat curvy cornered black enclosure. These three features don't sound much, but we understand that the firmware behind Beyond RAID, the key Drobo attribute, took two years to produce. We also understand that Data Robotics' founder Geoff Barrall had a very particular idea of what the device would look like, its features, and how it should present them to users. He was, we believe, quite persistent and insistent that the Drobo device should match his conception.

Today there is still no competing product that matches and exceeds the Drobo's functionality and feature set,

After Barrall left and went on to Overland Storage the Data Robotics board appointed Tom Buiocchi, an executive in residence at a Mohr Davidow Ventures, with strong sales and marketing skills among others, as its CEO.

He has helped the company to become more business-oriented. It has a file-sharing (NAS) Drobo and an iSCSI SAN (block access) product, which have both been refreshed in the recent announcement. Now we have the 12-bay product and a new Drobo Dashboard interface, which runs on a connected host server and shows the status, health and capacity take-up of a set of Drobos.

The 12-bay is a 3U rackmount unit and there is talk of a dual controller unit coming, also of a 2.5-inch drive version which would have more drive spindles, and we understand that 4TB drives are supported with testing under way or about to start.

The SSDs for the 12-slot box will be third-party ones qualified by Data Robotics, not supplied by Data Robotics. Expect mainstream SAS/SATA 3.5-inch SSDs to be on the list or, maybe, 2.5-inch ones in 3.5-inch carriers.

Drobo revenues

How well has Data Robotics done? There are some 150,000 Drobo customers with fewer than 200,000 units sold.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Next page: Drobo directions

More from The Register

next story
Ellison: Sparc M7 is Oracle's most important silicon EVER
'Acceleration engines' key to performance, security, Larry says
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Lenovo to finish $2.1bn IBM x86 server gobble in October
A lighter snack than expected – but what's a few $100m between friends, eh?
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Hey, what's a STORAGE company doing working on Internet-of-Cars?
Boo - it's not a terabyte car, it's just predictive maintenance and that
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.