Last week I crowed about Drobo, the affordable, scalable and simple RAID system from Data Robotics. A perfect product for someone in need of some storage now and lots more later with no tolerance for loss.
Then I got my Drobo Share. DS is the complimentary product from Data Robotics. It is intended to not only allow you to easily network your Drobo over an ethernet port, but also is a small Linux server that allows you to install 3rd party applications to augment your overall Drobo experience.
What a dog!
I mean, it looks good. It set up simply (Drobo very well could be the IKEA of data storage). And of course it looks good (relatively speaking, unless you hate rounded black boxes). But then it came time to use the thing.
Ok really there is only one thing I have to complain about: It's slow. Really slow. Much slower than my gigabit ethernet normally is when copying to an attached FireWire drive. I dont know why this is. One thing I cant figure out is why they opted to use the USB port as the bridge over. But really USB 2.0 should be plenty fast.
The DroboApps thing also was very easy to set up. But as I installed and tried to configure them, I became more and more confused. Drobo is easy. This is complex. I frankly stopped trying once the web interface to the DS stopped working right. I know its easy to reformat but as of now there arent enough compelling applications out there for it to be worth the effort. It just needs to grow up a bit.
Overall, the DroboShare is a cool device that will work fine for people who want to have a standalone RAID system and arent in need of fast transfer rates. And the apps have huge potential for someone with more patience than myself. But for most pro users, my guess is that its easier to jam that FW800 into a shared machine and let er rip.