Drobo rolls out SMB storage line

Drobo launched a line of storage boxes aimed at small and medium sized businesses as well as remote offices of large companies.

Drobo on Tuesday launched a line of storage boxes aimed at small and medium sized businesses as well as remote offices of large companies.

Starting at $2,000 these systems are designed to serve as storage for Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, file sharing and virtualized server deployments via VMWare.

The push into the SMB market reflects how Drobo has been used. Historically, Drobo systems have played well with consumers and prosumers, but half of the company's revenue came from small businesses. Now Drobo is offering a line specifically designed for that market and certified for VMware, Citrix, Microsoft Exchange and Symantec backup.

Drobo's SMB line includes the following products:

  • An 8-bay file sharing system with remote backup.
  • An 8-bay storage area network (SAN) iSCI attached.
  • A 12-bay SAN starting at under $10,000 with support for thin provisioning.

Storage vendors are increasingly courting the SMB market. EMC recently launched a line for SMBs to better target NetApp. "Legacy storage vendors are seeing this as a key market, but the market has had a number of shipwrecks over the years," explained Kevin Epstein, vice president of marketing for Drobo. "You can't take an 18-wheeler, put in a smaller engine and say here it is. When we say that we have a sub-$10,000 system we mean it's an entire system with storage."

Tom Buiocchi, CEO of Drobo parent Data Robotics, said the company should be able to have more street credibility with small businesses because it has avoided those shipwrecks. Drobo has more than 150,000 customers including a bevy of small businesses. SMBs are a natural market for Drobo systems. HP, Dell, CDW and other independent resellers will offer the Drobos for SMBs.