Data Robotics spent the last year transforming itself from a maker of expensive consumer storage devices to a player in the nascent small enterprise storage array market. That process took another step this week, as Data Robotics officially renamed itself Drobo. It is ironic that the company would shed a longer, corporate sounding name for the familiar consumer product designation, but there is no denying the power of the Drobo brand.
I began by introducing the core problem: Storage isn’t getting any cheaper due to storage utilization and provisioning problems. Thin provisioning isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, since the telephone game makes de-allocation a challenge. So now let’s talk about how to make thin provisioning actually work.
Overland Storage is showing intriguing signs of life. Once relegated to OEM tape library duty, Overland received an injection of cash and (more importantly) talent this year. Now the company is stepping up the technology behind their SnapServer NAS array by acquiring scale-out file storage company, MaxiScale. They intend to bring the scalable capacity and performance normally associated with enterprise and high-performance computing systems to the mass market.
One reason I decided to work with the folks at DCIG to collect data for their Small Business Storage Array Buyers’ Guide was to learn more about the various products in the space. One difference I noted in these small arrays, which usually hold 4 to 8 drives, is their use of hard disk drive carriers or sleds. There are pros and cons to both approaches, but I was pleased to see that all arrays so far include everything needed to install a drive.
Data Robotics today launched their sixth product, the business-oriented DroboPro FS file server. Combining the 8-drive chassis from the direct-attached DroboPro with the Linux-based file server engine fro the Drobo FS, the DroboPro FS (or “Pro FS” for short) gives small businesses and remote offices a simple networked location for their shared files. Although it is a bit more expensive than some of the competition, the Pro FS promises to be as easy to set up, use, and grow as previous devices from Data Robotics.