Data storage specialist Drobo’s release of Automated Data-Aware Tiering technology, which combines automation with solid state drives (SSDs) and data tiering, is aimed at helping SMBs with limited IT departments optimize their application performance.

Available on Drobo’s B1200i storage system, the tiering technology allows solid state drives to co-exist with hard drives in a single system and provides automatic performance acceleration and optimization across a variety of applications, including VMware (NYSE: VMW), and Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Exchange, SQL, SharePoint, Hyper-V and other technologies.

As applications or use patterns change, Drobo's data tiering adjusts to optimize their performance. The B1200i, which is the largest of Drobo’s storage appliances, is available for $10,000 for 12TB capacity or $15,000 for 24TB capacity.

With the advent of virtualization and other performance-demanding applications such as Microsoft Exchange, the typical IT administrator is struggling just to keep up with storage demands, and has little time to optimize performance for specific applications.

By automating the tiering of data between regular hard drives and solid state drives, IT administrators can ensure certain applications are accelerated automatically without the burden of having to manage each application individually.

“All small and medium businesses are struggling to effectively manage and protect their digital assets. Anything that simplifies this for the SMB IT professional will be embraced. By automating RAID, provisioning, and now performance tiering of storage, Drobo offers an ease of use that is completely unique in the industry,” said Jim Sherhart, Drobo’s senior director of product marketing.