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View Full Version : External HDDs running out of room - now what?




srexy
Nov 22, 2010, 08:19 AM
My current setup is a Mac Mini with an OWC dual HDD enclosure attached via firewire 800. I've got a 1tb and a 1.5tb drive in there. 1tb is for Media storage and the 1.5tb is for Carbon Copy Cloner backups of the Mini's drive and the Media. This setup is easy and fairly bulletproof.

At the time I configured this I was anticipating going to a Drobo at a future date but I'm still a bit wary of them.

I'm almost tempted to get another dual enclosure and daisy chain it into my current system.

What do you guys think - has Drobo matured enough to be a stable and easy to use media storage?



bearcatrp
Nov 22, 2010, 11:43 AM
I have the same external as you. Nice unit but kind of loud. Have you looked at owc 4 bay external system? Been eying it for awhile. Also, there a 3tb drives out now. Been trying to decide between using an external setup or using my tower I just put together but it's windows 7. Haven't tried iTunes under windows yet so not sure if it works as good as OS X. Not fond of using external drives to leave on all the time vs my computer.

paduck
Nov 22, 2010, 11:57 AM
I guess the issue is that iTunes basically requires your entire library to be on one volume. I suppose you can do some work with symbolic links and spread some of the data around by placing the "Movies" folder on a different drive and the "TV Shows" folder elsewhere as well. But that isn't entirely the way the system is designed and it might break at some point. In the end, you still will run into storage limitations.

Is the solution to just get a bigger and bigger media drive?

shevans
Nov 22, 2010, 12:07 PM
OP:

Same position as you, cannot find anything else better than a Drobo that has the flexibility, redundancy and ease of use. Also still a bit wary, have read on several forums / posts that the droboshare device is a PIG so as long as you are attached via USB or firewire then fingers crossed all's fine (possibly)

iowamensan
Nov 22, 2010, 12:10 PM
I guess the issue is that iTunes basically requires your entire library to be on one volume. I suppose you can do some work with symbolic links and spread some of the data around by placing the "Movies" folder on a different drive and the "TV Shows" folder elsewhere as well. But that isn't entirely the way the system is designed and it might break at some point. In the end, you still will run into storage limitations.

Is the solution to just get a bigger and bigger media drive?

Huh?? My iTunes library is spread over 4 drives... 3 externals and the internal. I didn't do any symbolic links mumbo jumbo, just uncheck the box in iTunes that says Copy Files to iTunes Media Folder When Adding to Library. Put your files on your drive, and drop into iTunes. Done.

wPod
Nov 22, 2010, 12:47 PM
I will put it a good word for the Drobo. I have had mine for almost a year now and it is great, simple and worry-free. I previously had multiple external firewire and USB hard drives. It was a pain to keep track of which files were where and I constantly worried about losing a drive and all the data on it. The Drobo is great because it is redundant for a single drive failure (or multiple drive failure if you get the 5 disk version). And if you are worried about a failure in the Drobo hardware then use your existing external drive as a backup to the Drobo. And for the uber-paranoid out there (like me) take your existing external drive off-site for protection against the worst catastrophic failures.

Restinbeast
Nov 22, 2010, 06:06 PM
I have read people complain about Drobos as well in the past but I can say I have owned a DroboPro for over a year now and I have had 0 problems.

There were many times I THOUGHT the Drobo was the problem but that just goes with the difficulties of getting your HTPC properly set up. Now that I have everything running smoothly, I have to say the Drobopro has never given me a single problem or failure.

I have it connected to my htpc via firewire and I use it for 1080p content.

zhenya
Nov 22, 2010, 06:45 PM
I think you should definitely consider a NAS unit, but I wouldn't limit your choices solely to Drobo, which is expensive, proprietary, and slow. There are plenty of other systems out there that do basically the same thing, including allowing mixing of drive sizes. Many of the alternative devices are cheaper, faster, and more flexible. Synology and Qnap are two that come to mind.

srexy
Nov 23, 2010, 12:02 AM
I'm not really interested in a NAS solution as my primary HT viewing is on the Mini and there would only be Wifi for it's connection to my home network. My Mini is effectively a server for the rest of the house as far as media goes so I'd rather it's connection to the media storage was of the bulletproof variety.

I was thinking to throw my existing disks into the Drobo array but perhaps it does make sense to use them as a backup. I'm going to have to weigh my options and do some financial calculations re the Drobo setup.

wPod
Nov 23, 2010, 08:44 AM
I was thinking to throw my existing disks into the Drobo array but perhaps it does make sense to use them as a backup. I'm going to have to weigh my options and do some financial calculations re the Drobo setup.

Careful, Careful, Careful. . . I was thinking the same thing when I first set up my Drobo, but when I did further research I discovered that the Drobo completely re-formats any drives you put in it. So, if you used your existing drives in the Drobo they would be wiped clean before you could start using them again.

That is one of the complaints of Drobo is the proprietary formating. For example you can not remove a hard drive from the Drobo and place it back into some other external drive and read any data off of it. You can only read data off of the disk when it is in the Drobo. Some see this as negative, but the thing I like about my Drobo is once it was set up I never have to think about it!

srexy
Nov 23, 2010, 01:13 PM
Careful, Careful, Careful. . . I was thinking the same thing when I first set up my Drobo, but when I did further research I discovered that the Drobo completely re-formats any drives you put in it. So, if you used your existing drives in the Drobo they would be wiped clean before you could start using them again.

That is one of the complaints of Drobo is the proprietary formating. For example you can not remove a hard drive from the Drobo and place it back into some other external drive and read any data off of it. You can only read data off of the disk when it is in the Drobo. Some see this as negative, but the thing I like about my Drobo is once it was set up I never have to think about it!

I've basically got mirrored drives right now. I was hoping I'd be able to do the following - add one of them into the Drobo array then copy the contents of the other on to the Drobo then add the 2nd disk into the array?

Does this sound feasible?

bearcatrp
Nov 23, 2010, 02:57 PM
If 4 bays will work for you:
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-drives/RAID/Desktop/