Drobo launches its new 12-bay storage system today. Aimed at SMEs, it's an enterprise-level piece of kit at SME prices. The new system includes BeyondRAID, a modified Linux OS that offers enterprise features such as thin provisioning and tiering without tears: you just plug any drives in and the system makes the most of them.
There's no need to wait for a RAID rebuild -- which with today's 2TB disks can takes several hours -- and you can even keep working with the data while the short disk integration process is underway. And you ca use any drive: what ever you have, just plug it in and it adds capacity, unlike RAID5 where the smallest disk determines the element size.
Effectively, what Drobo is doing is the exact opposite of what the likes of EMC et al are doing. It is starting at the bottom of the market and working its way up, as Paul Thackeray, the company's European VP admitted to me.
It's an impressive start -- the company's only been going since 2007 and has already made waves. How long before one of the big boys decides to buy it up....?