New Drobo FS focuses on sharing and cloud access

The kids over at Data Robotics are gracing us with a new creation. Satisfied that they’ve got personal storage covered with the Drobo 2 and Drobo Pro, they are now focusing on how to get that information out of your living room or office and into the cloud. The Drobo FS is their attempt to make the venerable storage solution a better choice for people who need access to their their extensive anime collection from anywhere in the world.

As you can see, the back has just a power connector and gigabit ethernet port. This sucker is born to share. So much so that it’s configured without any of the usual ports for direct access. Still, ethernet will be plenty fast on your LAN.

The files are accessible from Mac, PC, or [enter recent OS here], and the guts are similar to other Drobos. You’ve got five slots for hard drives and Drobo pulls the same old magic of swapping and backing up and making sure you’re safe even if one of your hard drives croaks. They know how much those old IRC Evangelion rips matter to you, and with their tools for remote access, now you’ll never have to be without videos of your ferns to show that girl at the bar so she’ll know you’re totally not weird and are capable of taking care of something and loving even though you’ve been going off on the historical significance of Fist of the North Star for the last hour. But I digress.

What cloud capabilities, you say? They’ve partnered with Oxygen to put together a Drobo App called Oxygen Cloud, which creates a nice, secure cloud access protocol. It lets you tunnel securely to your data no matter where you are, and you can set up all the permissions and logins that you might have with a more expensive file server solution. Plus you know you’ve got the data right where you can find it — or destroy it, depending on what circumstances call for. There are plenty of other apps available, too; run a Bittorrent client on there and you can say it was the robot that downloaded those Oscar-winning films, the robot, you villains, unhand me this moment!

Here’s their little graphic for that. You can set it up to back up in other cloud storage too, if you don’t trust your office mates to leave the Drobo alone. I like how they used the iPad mockup there.

I can see this as being really handy for media professionals, who don’t care to carry their entire terabyte video or photo portfolio with them, but dare not rely on Flickr or Vimeo either. As for myself, I like my media the way I like my coffee: local. What can I say? I’m just old-fashioned. The FS looks handy, though.

It’s available nowish at your favorite e-tailer. Naked it’s $700, but you can get it pre-loaded with drives as well, including a 10TB trim level for $1450.