updated 10:40 am EST, Mon January 14, 2008
Data Robotics is looking to expand the usefulness of its high-profile Drobo storage unit with today's news of the DroboShare. The underside companion connects to the Drobo through USB and automatically turns the robotic drive into network-attached storage (NAS) with a gigabit Ethernet connection. In contrast to some network drives, the combined storage from the RAID disk array is accessible to any computer on the local network and is the first to be viewable using most major file systems: FAT32, HFS+, NTFS, and Linux's EXT3 can be seen on the network as long as software exists to recognize them, the company explains. On Mac OS X and Windows systems, the drive will auto-mount to the network.
The DroboShare add-on also includes dual USB ports, one of which is reserved for attaching another Drobo and daisy-chaining the setup to make more than one disk available to the network. Up to 8TB of Serial ATA disks can be loaded into the current arrangement with more as disk sizes climb upwards, Data Robotics says. The main Drobo box can always be detached to connect directly to a computer. DroboShare should be available today for $200 alongside the Drobo itself, which continues to sell for $500 without built-in storage.