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10/4/2010
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Data Robotics Announces DroboPro FS Storage Appliance

The appliance smaller companies sharable redundant storage that requires little administration, accepts new drives automatically and quickly and can be paired to provide off-site backups.

Data Robotics has announced the DroboPro FS storage appliance for small companies need shared storage for Microsoft Office and other application files.

According to the company, "DroboPro FS for any small office environment that requires a simple, safe, and affordable device for sharing and backing up files over the network. The DroboPro FS is tailored to enable small businesses to deploy network storage and offsite backup without complexity."

"We are aiming DroboPro FS at companies with 10 to 50 users," stated Jim Sherhart, senior director of marketing at Data Robotics. "This is for your general file share, to hold Microsoft Office files -- Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, rich media, and other user-created files. You can give everybody their own home directory, and also provided shared space for use by departments, groups, projects, and the like. This is for companies that don't have a lot of IT resources, who want to make storage easy to manage."

"The DroboPro FS gives us a full offering for the small business space, from DAS or iSCSI to something that can do file sharing and also off-site backup," said Sherhart.

The DroboPro FS is an eight-bay storage appliance, available in both desktop and rack-mount chasses, and includes Data Robotics' new Drobo Sync software. The appliance provides redundancy for stored files on its disks, so if a given disk fails, users do not suffer service interruptions or loss of data. Other features include variable capacity disks, fast swappable disks, automated backup, network file sharing and automated and continuous thin provisioning. It also has a LCD readout of the system's used and total capacity, and LEDs to indicate when an additional or higher-capacity drive is needed.

"Today, storage has to be transparent and resilient, whether you're a SOHO or an SMB," said Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst of the StorageIO Group. "Data Robotics is doing what they need to compete with other companies in this SMB space. These features are no longer exclusive to enterprises or to SMBs with flush IT budgets. They're adding the functionality that today's customers in the SMB space expect."

"Data Robotics is aiming to meet the increasingly rigid requirements for data availability with its DroboPro FS by enabling off-site backups while preserving its simple-to-use nature that can scale with the capacity needs of its users," said Liz Conner, senior research analyst, Storage Systems and Personal Storage at IDC.

DroboPro FS is currently available, at a starting price of $1,999 (for chasses and software; hard drives not included); $3,299 for an appliance with eight 2TB drives. "So for about six thousand dollars, a company can have fully turnkey on-site storage and off-site backup," said Sherhart.

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