DroboApps Turn NAS into Multifunction Home Server


This morning, Data Robotics have officially launched DroboApps.  Since the announcement of the Drobo SDK beta back in July, over 100 developers have signed up for the program producing around 20 applications for the unit. Amongst these are several applications that will already appeal to the Smart Home enthusiast.  uPnP, iTunes and DLNA apps all help to transform the Drobo from a storage device into a media server.

Many if not all of the current applications are free and open source.  However DR aren’t ruling out apps that are chargeable too.  While many applications will require the Linux powered DroboShare (various IP based servers for example), some will be available to run on stand alone Drobos too, or may even be desktop based like the Drobo Dashboard for Linux.

Keen not to upset the “it just works” philosophy, the apps system will not be enabled by default, but will be easily switched on by the more technical user interested in the added functionality it provides.

We asked DR how they got round running multiple apps on the relatively modest DroboShare hardware.  The answer is “Add Swap Memory”, a piece of software that allows you to increase the memory available for running programs by either utilising 512 meg of hard drive space or cleverly a USB thumb drive plugged into the back of the unit.  Running multiple apps, especially something like a busy FTP server will of course have an effect on Drobo’s core performance as a NAS.

DR will provide no warranty or support for 3rd party apps and it will be left to the developer community to vet them for malware.  Some of the success stories in the applications already available include:

FuppesFuppes – A UPnP / DLNA media server, Fuppes will allow DroboShare to stream media to your Xbox 360, Sony Playstation 3 or many other network enabled media players.

Jumbo Frames – IJumbo Framesf you have a Gigabit Ethernet network with Jumbo Frames then the Jumbo Frames DroboApp changes the MTU level to 9000 on your DroboShare so that you can get  extra performance.  DR say users have reported a doubling of read/write performance from this 1k application.

Time TamerTime Tamer – Designed to stop Apple’s Time Machine backup system taking over all the space on Drobo, Time Tamer creates a disk image for Time Machine to use that will grow to 2x size of your hard disk, but no larger.  The utility is supplied in a Mac .app file which allows it to work on all disks, not just Drobo.

Many other useful apps like SSH, WOL, PERL, FTP, rSYNC are available now.  DR have already seen a beta version of AFP running on the system too and they are also predicting the command line bit torrent client will soon have a GUI front end.  The DDC (Drobo Developer Community) is free to join and we look forward with interest to see what other applications can be created for Drobo.

drobo.com/droboapps : www.drobospace.com/forums : Our Drobo/DroboShare Review

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The Official Press Follows…

Community-Created, Community-Supported DroboApps Provide Customized Functionality for iTunes, BitTorrent, Time Machine, Yoics and more

DroboAppsSANTA CLARA, CA – October 21, 2008 –Data Robotics, Inc. today announced that since opening up its storage platform to third-party developers in July 2008, 20 DroboApps have been developed or ported for use with the award-winning Drobo and DroboShare. DroboApps enable customers to interact with their Drobo and DroboShare in exciting and novel ways that everyone from typical home users to Linux enthusiasts will appreciate. DroboApps opens up a world of possibilities including, iTunes™ music server, UPnP and DLNA media streaming, BitTorrent™ downloading, FTP and Web server functionality and remote access via the Yoics™ client, among others.

The Drobo Developer Community (DDC) and DroboApps initiatives underscore Data Robotics’ commitment to working closely with the developer community to provide a completely customized experience to every Drobo customer. Anyone interested in developing or porting applications to Drobo and DroboShare can sign up for the DDC at www.drobospace.com/developers.

“The Drobo solves consumers’ ever-expanding need for storage in a simple and reliable way. When combined with Yoics, the stored data becomes instantly accessible from anywhere on the internet,” said Ryo Koyama, President & CEO of Yoics. “The application we created as part of the Drobo Developer Community transforms the Drobo into an internet appliance, where the data stored on it is available from any web-browser–even the one on your iPhone.”

Some examples of DroboApps available today include:

  • Firefly iTunes Media Server: An extremely popular, open-source, Linux-based iTunes media server that has been ported to DroboShare. The application gives Mac and PC users the power to browse and stream terabytes of music in their home.
  • Yoics: A powerful solution that transforms Drobo and DroboShare into an easily accessible and shareable Internet resource. Featuring an intuitive user interface, Yoics delivers a remote access solution that allows users to instantly access files on Drobo or DroboShare from any web browser or mobile device, such as the iPhone.
  • Time Tamer: A radically simple tool that limits Apple’s Time Machine from using all available space on Drobo. Time Tamer solves a major issue for OS X Leopard customers that wish to utilize Drobo for both Time Machine and other applications.
  • Linux Dashboard: A community-created Linux Dashboard for Drobo that provides many of the functions offered to Windows and OS X users. Created by a DDC member from scratch, the application opens up endless possibilities for Drobo’s growing user base of Linux developers and enthusiasts.
  • rsync: A fast, versatile, local file-copying server that is popular on Linux and Unix. This cross platform tool helps users synchronize files either locally or to remote locations.
  • Enhanced CTorrent: A BitTorrent client designed for use downloading Torrent files.
  • FUPPES Multimedia Server: A UPnP / DLNA multimedia server for music, photos and videos that can be used in conjunction with compatible clients, such as the Sony Playstation 3 or Microsoft Xbox 360.

“We are very excited about the community’s rapid response to our developer program in creating and porting DroboApps for Drobo,” stated Dr. Geoff Barrall, Founder & CEO of Data Robotics. “Unlike traditional storage devices that limit users to a fixed number of features or applications, Drobo now provides an open environment that allows nearly limitless expansion of new functionality. Users will no longer have to choose their storage solution based upon fixed feature lists.”

To view the full suite of DroboApps currently available for download, or create and submit a new application to the DDC, please visit www.drobo.com/droboapps

1 Comment on "DroboApps Turn NAS into Multifunction Home Server"

  1. SheikhSteve | October 2, 2014 at 4:45 pm |

    I have had a Drobo for 3 years and NEVER managed to get ANY of the apps working…I suggest you buy a Synology/Qnapp NAS

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