Drobo FS media-sharing drive Drobo has launched an external hard drive that automatically back up files and folders and that also offers media-sharing capabilities. The Drobo FS drive is a shared storage drive that can expanded with additional drives as the users' needs increase.

Based on Drobo's BeyondRAID virtualised storage technology, the FS drive keeps multiple copies of a backup so if one hard drive should fail, another still has files safely stored. For users who prefer to keep only a single failover drive, the Drobo allows you to instantly switch from dual to single RAID backup.

Additional drives can be added to the setup without risk to existing data thanks to the 'self-healing' nature of the Drobo environment in which drive sectors are constantly checked for potential issues that may affect the integrity of the backup. Portions of a drive to which data is about to be written are first 'scrubbed'. In this way, says Drobo, they can ensure only healthy drive areas are used.

Drobo Apps such as an iTunes media server and a utility to allow media to be streamed to an Xbox 360 or Sony PlayStation 3 by turning it into a UPnP client can be added to the Drobo FS.

The FS Drive can be plugged straight in to a Gigabit Ethernet network.It can be used in mixed Windows, Linux and Mac networks. It has five drive bays. Its standard configuration is set up to accommodate five drives and costs £469 excluding VAT. Drobo can supply the FS Drive with as many of these drives as customers wish. For example, it offers a bundle consisting of the drive plus five 2TB drives for £969 ex VAT.

The Drobo FS media-sharing drive is available now from drobostore.com/eu.

Drobo FS media-sharing drive