The Drobo “Data Robot” Is Even Better in a Crowd

Late last summer, I had the chance to review Data Robotics’s Drobo, the “storage robot” that brings the benefit of RAID storage to the average consumer. Since installing Drobo now almost 6 months ago, I’ve had a seamless experience with storage and backup on my media-centric PC. The only thing I’ve wished for is a simple way to share that massive storage array with the four other machines that sit on my home network.

Yes, I realize that’s not an everyday problem for most consumer computer users. But apparently there are enough customers like me that Data Robotics announce today DroboShare, a $199 add-on that lets Drobo share capacity and files over a local area network. The design goals for DroboShare are as stringent as they were for the original product: make it easy enough for an idiot (my words, not the company’s) to install and use. As a result, the product is self-configuring across Windows, Linux, and Apple computers, and is arguable the first NAS product to supports all major file systems (NTFS, HFS+, EXT3, FAT32).

No question I’ll be adding DroboShare to my network.

While Guidewire Group doesn’t do a lot of product reviews, I find myself drawn back to this product and company as much for their product design ethic as much as the product itself. The design goal for Drobo and for this new product is to take something incredibly complex and make it incredibly accessible and useful for the average consumer. The company succeeds tremendously well and sets a high bar for others who really ought to follow in Data Robotics’ footsteps.

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