Data Robotics announced DroboElite, the first iSCSI SAN storage that manages itself.

DroboElite is a business class data storage solution that brings the company’s BeyondRAID technology to small and medium businesses.

According to Data Robotics, DroboElite, the fastest Drobo to date, features a new hardware architecture that includes an enhanced processing engine and dual high-speed iSCSI interfaces for 150 percent of the performance of previous Drobo models.

“True multi-host support with LUN affinity allows small and medium businesses with limited IT resources to simplify management and reduce costs by consolidating storage across multiple servers,” the company says.

DroboElite delivers automated capacity expansion and one-click single- or dual-drive redundancy for data protection for Windows, Mac and Linux machines.

The new system extends the number of Smart Volumes – Data Robotics’ unique thin provisioning that pulls storage from a common pool of drives – so that users can now create up to 255 virtual storage volumes.

“Smart Volumes allow companies to create new volumes in seconds and manage them over time by pulling storage from a common pool rather than a specific physical drive allocation. Smart Volumes are also file system aware which allows deleted data blocks to be immediately returned to the pool for future use,” the firm says.

The new Drobo features multi-host support that enables the companies with multiple servers to add or consolidate storage by connecting the DroboElite into their existing TCP/IP network and utilizing the industry-standard iSCSI protocol.

The Elite also comes with VMware-ready features: with dual iSCSI ports and the ability to create up to 255 Smart Volumes, it can support VMware environments and advanced functionality including VMotion, Storage VMotion, snapshots, and high availability.

DroboElite features multiple stream optimization, dual Gigabit Ethernet interfaces for high-speed iSCSI and 8-drive capacity with instant capacity expansion to 16TB and beyond.

With simplified dual-drive redundancy companies are protected against the simultaneous failure of up to two hard drives without losing access to their data.

“Our products are exceedingly simple and straightforward to use while providing all of the features that SMBs need to keep their data safe and accessible,” said Dr. Geoff Barrall, CEO and founder of Data Robotics.

He claims Data Robotics can deliver cost savings up to 90 percent compared to other iSCSI solutions by combining cost-effective hardware with robust iSCSI features.

DroboElite is currently available starting at a price of $3,499 MSRP, with multiple configurations to $5,899 for a 16TB (8x 2TB) solution.

The company also introduced Drobo S, a professional-class storage solution.

“With the introduction of eSATA and a fifth drive bay, as well as enhancements to FireWire 800 throughput, the Drobo S offers 150 percent of the performance of the current four-bay Drobo, making it an ideal storage solution for creative professionals, small offices, and home office users,” according to press release.

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