Drobo gets bigger, more expensive

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Data Robotics has launched the Drobo S, an updated storage gadget with five drive slots and an eSATA port. DR says the Drobo S can transfer data up to 50 percent faster than the original Drobo and can survive the failure of up to two drives.

But the enhancements carry a big price hike - the Drobo S starts at $800 without any hard drives included, rising to $1,799 for a 10TB (5x 2TB) configuration. The original Drobo carries a $400 price tag.

"Drobo S represents our continued commitment to our customer base of professionals and small and home office users," says Geoff Barrall, CEO and founder of Data Robotics. "Significant performance enhancements, the addition of eSATA, increased capacity, and the flexibility of single- or dual-drive redundancy make the Drobo S an ideal solution for this increasingly sophisticated set of users."

The Drobo S incorporates the company's BeyondRAID technology. Which aims to make RAID faster, easier and more reliable, says the company. Unlike most RAID arrays, Drobo allows users to mix and match discs of different capacities.

According to Data Robotics, Drobo's key features include:

  • 5-Drive Capacity and Instant Expansion to 10TB – Customers can easily add data capacity with minimal effort. To add capacity, customers simply insert a new hard drive or replace the smallest drive with a larger one, even when all five drive bays are full. Expansion is automatic and instantaneous, and access to data is always maintained.
  • Dual drive redundancy protects against the simultaneous failure of up to two hard drives. Customers can turn on this option with a single click without losing access to their data.
  • BeyondRAID continually examines data blocks and sectors on each drive to flag potential issues. Preemptive “scrubbing” helps ensure data is being written only to healthy drive areas and automatically keeps data in the safest state possible – even when a drive fails.
  • Interface Options include eSATA, FireWire 800 and USB 2.0.