The Drobo / WHS Add-in Challenge

Jim recently spent some time with Mario Blandini of Drobo at the offices in San Jose, CA.  The Podcast can be heard here at

During the podcast, Jim threw down a challenge to the Windows Home Server Community to produce an add-in that works with managing Drobo devices on WHS 2011.  Mario and Drobo accepted and the challenge is on!


So here are the details:

1.  Email Mario Blandini ( and give him your ideas on what you might develop as a WHS 2011 Add-in that takes advantage of a Drobo device or helps manage it.

2.  Drobo will send you an evaluation Drobo to use in your development.  No APIs generally exist for the Drobo Dashboard management software, and no specific interfaces are available for the direct-attached products.  If your interest is the file sharing Drobo (Drobo FS), there is a developers kit for that product @

3.  Register your WHS 2011 Add-in (beta) with the Home Server Show community with an email to

4.  Be the first to complete an Add-in that works with the WHS 2011 Dashboard, can be used by the WHS community and is made available at the for download, and the Drobo is yours!  It’s that easy.

Time is a wasting, so get the process started today.

WHS Add-Ins

Windows Home Server allows for developers to publish community and commercial add-ins designed to enhance the Windows Home Server with added functionality. As of January 2010, nearly 100 of these add-ins have been developed for WHS, including applications for antivirus & security, backups, disk management, automation, media, network/power management, remote access, BitTorrent and more. The Windows Home Server SDK (Software Development Kit) provides developers with a set of APIs and tools to use when developing for and extending Windows Home Server.

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3 Responses

  1. grwww says:

    This is silly, the right answer is to put WHS on a virtual machine inside Solaris, FreeBSD, Linux or MacOS-X and use ZFS to provide extensible, resilient storage space. That's a big win for data security, and then you can take your data somewhere else easily by backing up the virtual disk, or just use ZFS send to send any updated blocks over the network to another ZFS instance that is your offsite backup. This is a lot easier to manage, and you get something much more performant than what Drobo is doing. They haven't even announced a USB3 or Thunderbolt connection yet, and frankly, for the price you pay, there really should be some performance in the system. If their software processing is so "slow", they should be using some hardware assistance out of a GPU or something else that would allow them to pump the data through much faster.

  2. Jim C says:

    grwww…I currently have a Drobo with a USB 3.0 connection on my bench. I do agree with your VM point but that is not the exercise. Thank for your feedback.

  3. Levona says:

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