So you got yourself a Drobo. It’s great, right? But, you think, I’ve got this little robot storing things for me. It reorganizes my data, it does intelligent backup. Why can’t we teach it a few new tricks? They’re way ahead of you over at Drobo HQ, where they’re launching DroboApps, a collection of applications that run on Drobo which have been cooked up by the community since they launched the SDK a couple months ago.
Other NAS solutions have been making the rounds, and while they seem to do the job (and some for pretty cheap), none really has the robustness of a Drobo system, nor apparently the level of support: with a 2nd generation Drobo and a DroboShare, you’ve now got yourself a web and media server, a smart time machine volume, a dedicated Bittorrent client, and some more stuff that’s still a little fuzzy to me. If you’re reading this, it’s gone live and you should definitely go hit it up.
Because the Drobo exercises complete control over the layout of your data and, with the DroboShare, can be connected directly or via router to any PC in your house, it’s a real swiss army knife for developers. While other NAS setups also offer some of the apps that are now available for Drobo, the Drobo guys are focusing on making it easy and fast to set up the applications. The frontend they’ve created makes it simple for the most inexperienced user to install an iTunes server, or Remote Access for their iPhone. Essentially what they’ve got here is a sort of My First Server (batteries not included!), which, given the increasingly nomadic nature of our data, is a really good idea to get familiar with.