The new device is designed to serve as Network Attached Storage with all of the advantages of the Data Robotics BeyondRAID technology, with the added bonus of drop-dead simple setup. In a pre-release interview with Mark Fuccio of Data Robotics last week, he noted that setup on the device is as easy as installing the Drobo Dashboard software on a computer on the network, and then letting it handle all of the setup decisions for you.
The device features a dual core processor, with one core running the embedded proprietary OS and the other core running Linux. The processor brings a lot of speed to the Drobo FS -- in testing, the device had about four times the speed of the former Drobo NAS solution, which was a Drobo plus the DroboShare device. Data Robotics noted that using Jumbo Frames, read speeds of up to 50-55MB/sec are possible.
The Drobo FS has five storage bays, each of which can hold one standard 3.5" SATA hard drive. At the present time, the largest capacity of these drives is 2 TB, for a total of 9.1 TB of capacity or 5.44 TB with dual-disk redundancy (two drives can fail and the array can still operate flawlessly). As drive capacities grow in the future, the 2 TB drives can be replaced with larger drives, increasing the capacity of the array even more. The FS has a single Gigabit Ethernet port on the back for its connection to the world.