Drobo RAID arrays aimed at SMBs

By Dave Simpson

Drobo, the company formerly known as Data Robotics, claims to have more than 150,000 customers, of which about 10,000 can be classified as SMBs as opposed to consumers, according to company officials. But Drobo is clearly aiming to plow further into the SMB space, and beyond its consumer roots, with today’s introduction of three new members in its line of Drobo RAID arrays.

The Drobo model B800fs (file sharing) supports CIFS (and NFS via community-developed code) and comes with two Gigabit Ethernet ports and eight drive bays that can be loaded with SATA drives, including the new 3TB drives. The B800fs is priced at $2,199 without drives.

The Drobo model B800i (iSCSI) comes with two Gigabit Ethernet ports and eight SATA drive bays. Price: $3,499 without drives.

Both of the eight-bay RAID arrays will ship next month.

The Drobo model B1200 is a 12-bay array with three Gigabit Ethernet/iSCSI ports and 12 drive bays. Users can configure the B1200 with a mix of SAS and solid-state disk (SSD) drives or a mix of SATA and SSD drives. (Drobo is still in the process of qualifying specific SSD drives.) The 3U rack-mountable RAID array is scheduled for shipments in the second quarter. Pricing is expected to be just under $10,000 for a configuration with 12 1TB SATA drives, according to Kevin Epstein, Drobo’s vice president of marketing.

With the hardware announcements, Drobo also introduced thin provisioning across its array lineup, as well as automated storage tiering on the 12-drive B1200. The tiering is based on performance profiles.

All of Drobo’s arrays come with the company’s BeyondRAID technology, and have been certified for use with virtual server platforms from VMware, Microsoft and Citrix.

Related article:

Data Robotics adds file sharing to Drobo arrays

This article was originally published on February 08, 2011