One of the most requested features is NAS connectivity.  The Drobo line of products has required direct connectivity to at least one host machine – until now.  The new Drobo FS (File Sharing) inherits all of the features and redundancy of the Drobo S model, while trading the eSATA port for Gigabit Ethernet.

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While the Gig-E port of the DroboPro only supports iSCSI, this new model supports AFP, CIFS, and SMB protocols.  There is also a new feature called DroboApps, which can be installed to add things like iTunes server functionality, cloud backup (via Oxygen Cloud), and even BitTorrent support.

A recent update to the Drobo Dashboard software included support for the Drobo FS.  This means a single software package will work across the entire Drobo like of products:

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While the new Drobo FS is a welcome addition to the line, it should be noted that SMB over Gigabit may be faster than the 100 Mbit DroboShare, it’s nowhere near as fast as iSCSI over Gigabit as found on the DroboPro and DroboElite.

For a detailed run-down of the features and robustness of the Drobo File System, check out our detailed review and teardown of the DroboPro from late last year.