Drobo adds Copy cloud syncing, Plex media server apps for 5N owners

Drobo has long had an apps platform to extend the usefulness of its smart drive enclosures, but there's been limits to what it can do in the cloud and mobile spaces. The company is widening that support this week, and it's inaugurating the effort with a pair of apps for the Drobo 5N. For us, the real highlight is Plex support, which turns the 5N into a high-capacity, redundant media server that can boost its storage as the content library gets bigger. The more pragmatic among us will like Barracuda Networks' Copy, which offers unlimited file syncing and sharing that will seem familiar to Dropbox aficionados. Copy is already available for free, while Plex should also be gratis when it's ready in April -- the only real hurdle will be justifying $600-plus for a living room video hub.

[Thanks, Jack]

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Drobo Delivers Media, Mobile and Cloud Storage Capabilities with New Application Platform and Partnerships

Drobo Ease-of-Use and Affordability Extended to Cloud for Easier Data Protection and Sharing, and to On-Premise and Mobile Devices for Media Access and Streaming

San Jose, CA - March 28, 2013 – Drobo, makers of award-winning data storage products for businesses and professionals, today announced a new software application platform that enables enhanced mobile and cloud-connect capabilities for Drobo 5N customers. The first two applications to be integrated include Copy™, a cloud-based file storage, syncing and sharing platform where users can easily store, protect and share data, and Plex, the industry's leading media server for managing and serving digital media (video, music and photos) to nearly any device (TV, PC, or mobile). The company also announced availability of a development kit by which other leading application developers will be able to further extend the power and simplicity of its new networked storage device for remote access/sharing, media streaming, and cloud integration.

"Our customers have been asking for us to help them extend the ease and affordability of Drobo beyond the four walls of their business or home," said Tom Buiocchi, CEO of Drobo. "Secure mobile and cloud enhancements to Drobo are natural and very valuable extensions, and we are delighted to be working with such industry leaders as Barracuda and Plex."

Available Thursday, March 28, Drobo's first integrated cloud application is Barracuda Networks' cloud-based service called Drobo Copy. The Copy application allows customers to easily protect and synchronize data between their on-site Drobo and the cloud, and to securely share information with friends, colleagues and associates globally. The ease-of-use delivered by the integration of the Copy application on the Drobo 5N is unprecedented. The new Copy application for the Drobo 5N is available beginning March 28 via a free download at www.drobo.com/droboapps and includes free use of 5GB of cloud storage and no per-user fees.

"Our customers understand the value of easy, affordable, and secure cloud storage that ties into their easy, affordable, and secure local storage," said Guy Suter, GM Storage Business at Barracuda Networks. "Barracuda and Drobo are delivering an industry-leading, integrated solution for the majority of business customers who want and need both."

Plex is quickly becoming the default media ecosystem for Google TVs, smart TVs, set-top boxes (STBs), game consoles, DLNA-enabled devices, Roku, home theater PCs, and mobile devices that run iOS, Android, and Windows mobile operating systems. In addition, Plex can extend the media experience across all of these devices with features like web video queuing, recommendations, PlexSync (which enables taking content with you on your mobile device) and more. Plex's user interface has been hailed as the easiest and most intuitive in the industry by reviewers and its several million users worldwide.

"Plex is proud to integrate our media serving and access capabilities to the Drobo 5N for the very knowledgeable, media-savvy Drobo customer base," said Elan Feingold, CTO and co-founder of Plex. "Given the explosive growth of personal and online rich media content and mobile devices everywhere, we think this will be a very popular solution." Plex on the Drobo 5N is expected to ship in April, and like the Copy application, will be available for free download from Drobo Apps.

The new Drobo application platform, complete with an enhanced user interface and experience, will enable Drobo 5N customers to access a growing list of diverse, integrated applications from leading commercial software developers.

"As a long-time Drobo enthusiast and developer, I have been able to create and share many new applications leveraging the simplicity of Drobo storage," said Ricardo Padilha, owner of the community portal www.droboports.com. "Once again, Drobo proves its dedication to providing its customers the best of all worlds whether it's cloud, mobile or on-premise storage access."

Drobo Cloud and Mobile Storage Resources and Solutions:

More information on how the new Copy and Plex applications integrate with the Drobo 5N may be found at http://www.drobo.com/copy, and http://www.drobo.com/plex, respectively.