The Drobo S (at right) is a performance storage device designed to answer the question "Why isn't there a Drobo with an eSATA interface?" Not only does the Drobo S have the eSATA interface that many have requested, but the device is now equipped with an even faster ARM processor for enhanced FireWire 800 connectivity.
Like the DroboPro, the Drobo S can offer protection from two simultaneous drive failures. To do this and still offer a large amount of protected storage capacity, the Drobo S has five drive bays instead of the four on the original device, while still maintaining a small desktop footprint. The dual-drive redundancy option can be switched on or off at any time.
As with the DroboPro, the new member of the Drobo family has self-healing technology built-in. The device constantly examines the blocks and sectors of all drives, and flags questionable areas. By scrubbing the drives, data is only written to "healthy" areas on drives in the array.
Mark Fuccio of Data Robotics told TUAW that the eSATA interface provides data transfer up to 50% faster than what was available with FireWire 800, or about 90 MB per second.
Earlier in 2009, the DroboPro brought even more expandability to the Drobo line with eight available drive bays and an iSCSI (Gigabit Ethernet) interface. While the DroboPro had immediate success in locations with a single server, it couldn't multi-host -- in other words, it couldn't be used by multiple servers simultaneously.