Drobo Takes Aim At Small Businesses With New 12-Bay Version

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Over the years we’ve seen Drobo expand its portfolio of devices from a strictly consumer-oriented lineup to a broader and more business-friendly one. October’s DroboPro FS made a beeline for small businesses by mashing up its networking-centric FS series with the 8-drive Pro series. And now they’re taking that a step further with the 12-bay version of the same.

There’s a naming convention change, too, with numbers and everything, something I never thought I’d see Drobo do. The new B1200i denotes the 12 bays it has and the iSCSI interface. What was wrong with “DroboDozen”?

Naming aside, the new Drobo actually does have some new tricks. It’s got three iSCSI ports on the back and a new priority on actual fileserver duty and virtualization. It’s got support for thin provisioning too, and of course all that off-site backup jazz and data optimization magic that makes Drobo Drobo. It’ll be shipping in Q2; you can get one kitted out with 12 2TB drives (24TB total) for under ten thousand, it seems, which definitely isn’t home user territory. Unless you’re rich and addicted to high-definition —entertainment.

The 8-drive Drobos have also gotten a facelift, literally with the new design, but also in the form of new names and capabilities. The 8-drive versions come in the B800i and B800FS varieties, sporting iSCSI and traditional Ethernet ports respectively.

Here’s the full press release, which goes into a little more detail, but if you’re really thinking about using one or two of these for your business, it’s probably best to get specifics from IT before setting your heart on them.

Drobo Means Business

New Drobo Business Line Delivers “Big Storage in a Small Box” -
Unprecedented Combination of Technical Sophistication, Ease of Use and
Affordability for Small and Medium Businesses

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – February 8, 2011 – Drobo
, makers of the award-winning data storage products for businesses and
professionals, today introduced a new line of sophisticated yet
easy-to-use and affordable storage solutions for small and medium
businesses (SMBs). Designed specifically for customers who need
critical business storage capacity without the complexity and price of
legacy storage solutions, the new Drobo business systems are optimal
as primary and secondary storage for Microsoft Exchange®, Sharepoint®,
and similar business applications, departmental file-sharing or
offsite backup, and server virtualization deployments including those
using VMware solutions.

“VMware recognizes the importance of affordable storage alternatives
for firms implementing virtualization as they continue on the path
toward IT as a service,” explained Parag Patel, vice president, global
strategic alliances, VMware. “Like larger organizations, SMBs are
looking for ways to improve productivity and lower IT costs. Drobo
streamlines VMware-virtualized storage for SMBs by delivering storage
that is simple, scalable, and automated – all with an affordable price
tag.”

With over 150,000 customers worldwide, Drobo has already been embraced
by individual professionals and small businesses globally; the new
Drobo business systems up the ante with improved system performance
and redundancy, a new business-oriented dashboard and control panel
and upgraded business support options – all while maintaining Drobo’s
breakthrough ease-of-use and the BeyondRAID™ data protection
capabilities that define the Drobo brand.

“A complex quote, full of techno-babble and corporate speak, wouldn’t
represent Drobo fairly,” said Mark Peters, senior analyst at
Enterprise Strategy Group. “Now available for small-to-medium
businesses, Drobo is what it has always been – surprisingly advanced
and scalable storage, packaged and priced for people who don’t need to
have doctorates or second mortgages to have easy, functional,
sophisticated capabilities at their fingertips.”

“Our customers aren’t shy; they have tried Drobo for themselves and
are now demanding more Drobos for the rest of their business,” said
Tom Buiocchi, CEO at Drobo. “Our new Drobos for business storage
continue to meld even more ‘big technology’ and ‘Drobo ease-of-use’
for the best storage experience ever.”

Today’s announcement covers a new Drobo family of products designed
with business in mind. These products include:

· 8-bay file sharing Drobo with remote backup (Available now)

· 8-bay SAN (iSCSI-attached) Drobo (Available now)

· 12-bay SAN (iSCSI-attached) Drobo with expanded redundancy
features, support for thin provisioning and deprovisioning and new
data-aware tiering technology (Reserve now, shipping Q2-11)

Drobo’s new business line also includes performance enhancements, new
management software and extended business support and services, in
addition to the existing ease of use, affordable capacity and storage
features that set Drobo apart from any other storage product on the
market. The systems are based on the patented BeyondRAID
™ technology and are
certified for VMware, Citrix, Microsoft Exchange and Symantec backup.

Prices start just above $2K. The new line of business products is
available for purchase at http://www.Drobo.com
.

Drobo also announced its new Business Premier partner program and
customer milestone of 150,000 sold. Both press releases can be
accessed online at http://www.drobo.com/news/press_releases
.

About Drobo
Drobo makes award-winning data storage products for Small and Medium
Businesses and Individual professionals that provide an unprecedented
combination of sophisticated data protection and management features,
affordable capacity, and ease-of-use. Based on the patented and proven
BeyondRAID™ technology, Drobo’s ability to deliver “Big Storage in a
Small Box” creates the best storage experience ever for small and
medium businesses and hundreds of thousands of individual
professionals worldwide, who use it to support their file backup and
media archiving, server virtualization, and email application needs.
To learn more, visit http://www.drobo.com or follow us on Twitter
@drobo.

###

Data Robotics, Drobo, DroboPro, DroboElite and BeyondRAID are
trademarks of Data Robotics, Inc., that may be registered in some
jurisdictions. VMware is a registered trademark and/or trademark of
VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. All
other trademarks used are owned by their respective owners.

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