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Mihir H. Shah is the CEO of Drobo, an innovative storage company that focuses on consumers, prosumers and small and medium businesses. We have conducted an interview with him.

When should users embark on 'Smart Storage' systems and what are the underlying issues with existing 'non-smart' storage solutions?
Technology has become so complex over the last decade and managing this complexity has taken away our most valuable commodity as humans: Time.

Drobo manufactures smart storage systems that eliminates the complexity of data storage. It’s easy to set up and use. For example, a mother who needs a device to store all of her family pictures and videos, does not have time to configure a storage system. Or a small business owner, who can’t afford a full time IT person to manage her business’s storage environment.

Other products in our category are extremely difficult to set up and use and they are not flexible. Disk drives are a hassle to install, they are not capable of mixing and matching different type of disk drives, and these systems require extensive IT knowledge to set up.
At the core of Drobo’s values is Preserving Simplicity.

How different are your storage systems and products from your competitors?
We believe our products are differentiated in two distinct ways. The first is that they are the easiest to use and set up. From the inception of the company, our team has been focused on simplicity. The software that our team has developed eliminates all the complexity in setting up and using a storage device.

The second key differentiator is flexibility. Our product is the only product in our category where you can mix and match drive sizes and drive brands and be able to use the entire capacity of the old drives plus new upgraded drive without any configuration from the end user. Unfortunately, all of our competitors’ products lack this flexibility. Why is this important? If a drive fails on a Drobo, I only have to replace the failed drive and I can do this with any brand drive and any size. On a competitive product, if I replace a failed drive, I have to replace all the other drives. This can be a huge cost if you are talking about replacing 5 drives versus just one for the Drobo.

Our products work right out of the box with very little configuration. All of our consumer and prosumer devices configure in less than 10 minutes.

Can you highlight some common use cases for Drobo users?
Drobos are used in a variety of ways. Home based users use the Drobo as a media server to stream movies to their personal devices like computers, tablets and smart phones. Families also use the device to share and back up family memories and documents. Businesses use Drobos to share and backup files. Artists such as photographers and video professionals use the Drobo to create, edit, publish, and share their work.

Who are the usual customers and users of your products?
Our customers range from families, creative professionals, entrepreneurs and small and midsize businesses. Our fastest growing customer segment is the gaming and virtual reality industry.

Can you tell us about new products and services that Drobo will be coming out with?
Without going into too much detail, our focus will always be on simplicity and solving customer problems. From a hardware standpoint, we will continue to innovate and introduce products that are simple, flexible, and solve real world problems. In addition to our hardware, we will be rolling out services that simplify backing up your Drobo in the cloud, accessing your files from your Drobo anywhere, and automating the process of uploading pictures from your mobile device to your actual Drobo.

Drobo Reviewed by JaamZIN on 9:52:00 AM Rating: 5
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