"I find your lack of DroboApps... disturbing."

In case you guys didn’t get the email from Tom Buiocchi (Drobo’s CEO), the new 5N product page is up: http://www.drobo.com/products/professionals/drobo-5n/index.php

It is almost everything I expected: 5 bays, 1 Gbps ethernet, mSATA.

But there is one tiny little thing missing… not a single mention of DroboApps on that page. No DroboApps on the 5N make me a sad panda… :frowning:

On an unrelated topic: I just noticed while previewing that this is my 1000th post here*. How time flies when you’re having fun tinkering with something. :smiley:

(*) 1000th under this account. There’s also ricardo1 and ricardo2, but let’s pretend those don’t exist.

congratz on the milestone![hr]
hmm, no mention of speeds

and i notice that the datasheet:


is just a broken link at the moment

not an auspicious start

It would be disappointing if they dropped DroboApps. :confused:
At the least, it seems DroboApps would require changes to run on the “new processor and memory architecture,” which I guess is Intel Architecture.

Also, congrats on reaching 1000!

why do you think its intel?

there are some very very powerful arm chips around now

if any of the bigger drobos were intel, i coudl see it, but AFAIk they arent?

To me that just means a different compiler. In fact, if that is the case it may make the porting of apps even easier.

AFAIK all the “FS” variants have been ARM-based so far.

I likewise find this upsetting. No apps means no sale for me. Seeing as I already sold off my FS I’ll have to buy one just to get my data off the drives - but I’ll be buying one with a good return policy. I’ve been researching the Synology DS1511+, which although being nearly two years old seems still faster than the 5N (if link aggregation performance is to be believed), and the featureset of their DSM software looks leagues beyond Dashboard. And they appear to have quite an “app” ecosystem. Only thing they lack is the SSD bay.

Hope the 5N is ready for a head-to-head with the competition.

EDIT: Although the Synology still beats it with a 3-year warranty, I’m glad to see the 5N now offers a 2-year, up from the 1-year of the FS: “Standard 2-year warranty; extend to 3 years and enhance support with DroboCare”.

EDIT: CPU confirmed to still be ARM, likely quad-core: “Ars spoke with Drobo VP Mario Blandini, who informed us that the processor in the 5N has been beefed up from a dual-core ARM CPU to a “multicore” ARM CPU”

I agree. I just don’t know how else to interpret “new processor architecture.”

could just be like from an A7 to A15 arm chip ?

“New processor generation”

I was thinking like a geek, not a marketer.

Me too. If they dropped support for DroboApps, I’ll stick with the ol’ FS for a while.

Still no mention of DroboApps, though.

woop, i was right!

I don’t think we’re going down the path of “no apps/dumb appliance” here. But I do think that Drobo is painfully aware of…

[]How difficult/frustrating it is for users, especially non-technical users, to use/install/configure the existing DroboApps. Remember that many of us geeks here are above the Drobo target market.
Drobo’s supposed to be something my wife/mom/grandma can set up. A direct-attach Drobo, I would say is, but an FS Drobo, I say is not.
Right now we have the equivalent of Windows/Mac users being thrown into a nix environment to install and configure things.
]How “unsupported” the DroboApps are, and how that relates to the previous point.
No offense to ricardo and the others here who have been doing outside support for the applications, but seriously, had a user not found this forum or DroboPorts, I doubt they would be able to realize the DroboApps benefit that they thought they had purchased.
]How easy it is to “bog down” the FS with too many or improperly configured apps.

I look forward to more of an App Store type approach, with apps that are formally supported and packaged in a way that is easy to install, configure and uninstall.

That would be something that my mom/grandma could definitely work with. Regular Drobo users want click here, click there, done. Telnet/SSH into the box, write some text files without carriage returns, carefully type some commands, and pray is like asking them to build their car from parts before they drive into work.

So, if that means a change to the architecture and moving to a more-closed environment, I’m not opposed to that, as long as the closed environment brings stability and support and hopefully has some third-party expansion potential, whether open or under appropriate licensing agreements with submission and testing.

Making an FS-type unit more difficult to break outweighs making it easier to expand. But that’s just my opinion looking at it from the typical Drobo user that we all like to help here. :slight_smile:

Brandon, I agree with you - but providing a simple and easy app management system akin to an App Store does not and should not preclude power user functionality. Make it drop-dead easy to install, configure and use, but leave us a method of “sideloading” whatever we want. There’s no reason the two cannot co-exist side-by-side.

Furthermore, as we’ve noticed Drobo’s post-sale support for apps, these forums, etc tends to be… lacking. Where will a closed environment leave us if Drobo decides to throw in the towel and ignore apps like they did the last 2-3 years of the FS?

I agree - it would be ideal if the two existed side-by-side. I do see the business point of weighing resources more toward the “simple” side if the target market remains the non-IT user.

I think it would be awesome if folks like ricardo developed add-ins like how folks (used to :() code stuff for Windows Home Server…

I see your point about the “picking up and walking away” part too.
I see (strongly hope) an official commitment being something that must be supported in a longer term than the current “Hey, it happens to run an open-source OS and you can load some of this stuff in there” model.

hi guys, just fyi that pdf link seems to be working now…

imho, i think it’s been really great that there have been apps officially, and also unnofficially by forum users here.

its not only been useful for more techie folk here, but most probably has also expanded the minds of other developers and drobo folk as what could actually be possible, and different ways of using new breakthroughs and release versions, to improve existing apps, or to include in the build of new ones.

i also have to admit that while there are some cool apps out here, i havent really had the courage to dabble with any and my droboshare is still in the box propping up a pile of magazines lol :slight_smile:

but i guess theres a few key points i believe:

  • some of these apps, and there availability for drobo, have increased the capability of the drobo range, and also helped with some sales.
  • a lot of apps are too complex or risky to install (or at least they seem to appear that way)
    or havent had a real need to warrant trying to dabble.

eg if i want to watch a file on my drobo, i’ll watch it on the computer, or if i want to watch it on the tv screen or have a music file playing out of the tv, i’ll copy it to usb stick and plug it in.
the idea of turning audio/video data into a media server that plugs in from a drobo directly to a mini dnla device just wasnt worth it :slight_smile:
but that was to me, it might as well be called DVLA - if the need is really needed, only the needy will need to use it.

(that statement might have not come out correctly but you know what i mean) :smiley:

  • im sure a lot of users really welcome some kind of user friendly interface to apps in general, which leads to a simple installation method, and uninstallation method, especially if they are not developers themselves.

but if official app support is not on the horizon at the moment, maybe there is “another way” to look at it…
how about each user using apps at the moment, posts a post about what their main objective was, and how they achieved it using apps.
and then maybe users and possibly drobo staff could pull together ideas as to how that same objective could best be achieved using other means?

im probably a bit biased on the fact that i dont use any apps myself, but just a thought :slight_smile:

maybe also in newer models the msata card can hold some of the app data, a bit like a bios bootup sequence.
If ssd has app info, override base operation based on app info.

I’ve spoken with Drobo management along those exact lines. They’re aware of what people want to do with apps, but here we are with a product that - at the moment - has taken a significant step backwards.

You don’t take something non-optimal-yet-working out of service until you have its replacement ready. Look how well that worked for our space program.


maybe they could continue to sell the fs at leasst (but just enough to cover the drobocare people at least that way if yours has a problem you could get a replacement etc)

Although I don’t always understand the reasons for Drobo’s decisions, they seem to have very intelligent and well-informed people in charge.

If Drobo has decided to exit the market for NAS that also runs small services (like DroboApps, or what Synology offers), they surely have reasons.

The real gap I see here isn’t in Drobo’s product line, it’s in their lack of roadmap. Existing customers are left confused and worried by unexpected changes, and they don’t know what will happen next or whether they need to find another brand to meet their needs.
If this confusion is stressful for home users, it’s a red flag for business customers.

Completely agreed on all points. They have excellent people working there and I have no doubt this is a well thought out decision - but they’ve dropped the ball on communication. I see this all the time in my workplace.

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