When it comes to backing up your beloved data, there are two general philosophies - local storage, or the cloud. Their latest effort, the Drobo 5N line of storage drives, tries to deliver the best of both worlds by adding extra functionality to their devices. Letting the NAS (network-attached storage) device do some of the more mindless tasks lets users keep their power hungry machines turned off.
The first of the new cloud-enabled applications is called Copy. Copy is a new service from Barracude that lets users synchronize their local storage with an offsite backup location somewhere in the cloud. From there, the service can keep various folders in sync - think of it like a more personal version of Dropbox - as well as share folders and files with friends, family, or the general public.
Drobo Copy comes with 5GB of free storage space; after that, you'll need to pay.
The second of the new apps shown off this week is Plex. The more home theater oriented readers probably recognize Plex as a piece of media software that both plays media on local devices as well as streams it across the network - and now, across the Internet - to devices like the Xbox or PS3, other notebooks, mobile devices, etc.
By installing the new Drobo Plex app on your Drobo 5N, users can pretty easily share and stream all of their media files to their devices while out of the house - providing an easy way to get around the limited storage found on devices like the iPad, iPhone, or Nexus 7.
Plex's xo-founder, Elan Feingold: "Plex is proud to integrate our media serving and access capabilities to the Drobo 5N for the very knowledgeable, media-savvy Drobo customer base. Given the explosive growth of personal and online rich media content and mobile devices everywhere, we think this will be a very popular solution."
The Plex app will be available sometime in April, and, like Copy, will be offered free of charge.
Drobo is planning to extend this effort into a whole new marketplace for developers to offer new storage-specific apps to the company's network of users.
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