Drobo Pro's iSCSI connector compatible?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by funkahdafi, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Hi,

    is there anyone here who has a Drobo Pro with iSCSI and who has tried it with Lion?

    Thanks
     
  2. thread starter macrumors 6502

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  3. macrumors regular

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    #3
    which iSCSI initiator?

    Don't you need an initiator to communicate with an iSCSI Drobo target?

    Does Lion come with initiator software? Or are you expecting people to using 3rd party software such as from Drobo or perhaps globalSAN?
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Yes, you do need an iSCSI initiation. Mac OS X does not have one. That's why Drobo provide one for you as part of a software package called "Drobo Dashboard".

    So the question is whether Drobo Dashboard for iSCSI Drobos is compatible with Lion.
     
  5. macrumors regular

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    #5
    You're not getting any knowledgeable responses. I suppose that the combination of

    a) Lion
    b) Drobo
    c) iSCSI

    means very few users.

    Have you tried it, or checked on Drobo's forums? Why do you think you need iSCSI rather than a more common protocol?
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    My Drobo Pro is a shared box. It's a target for VMWare storage, among other uses. I have different volumes on it, some of it exported directly to my various Mac machines.

    iSCSI is a *VERY* common protocol. Especially in high end storage scenarios.

    iSCSI is *EXTREMELY* fast, compared to classical filesharing protocols such as NFS or CIFS.

    so iSCSI is not a bad choice, if you think about it and do some research, if you don't know about it.

    Cheers
     
  7. macrumors member

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    #7
    I'm interested in whatever you figure out with this. Actually, I'm also interested in hearing what kind of luck you've had with this on previous versions of OS X, too! I am looking for a solution that's more cost effective than Xsan.

    I've been wanting to try Drobo's iSCSI product on OS X, but I've heard too many "Our Drobo just died" reports, so I'm still on the fence. I'd appreciate your first hand report of how reliable the software is, though.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    My business us running several Drobo Pros, all with iSCSI and we haven't had a single problem yet. To me they seem to be very reliable. And I am talking Mac OS X here. We have Mac OS X 10.6 and we also use VMWare ESXi.

    The Mac OS iSCSI connector that comes with the Drobo Pro is actually made by some other company (forgot which one). They licensed it and put it in there Drobo Dashboard.

    I can recommend them. We are going to try their new business line of products as well.

    Only draw back is the price. You can get much cheaper options from the likes of QNAP, who also have iSCSI for Mac OS.

    Hope this helps. If you need more info, just let me know.

    Cheers
    Sascha
     
  9. macrumors newbie

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    #9
    I'm using a Drobo with ISCI on Lion DP4. It works fine. Time Machine works too. Fast as hell for file transfers.
     
  10. macrumors newbie

    unten44

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    #10
    I'm using a DroboPro with iSCSI on Lion 10.7.1. Unfortunately Data Robotics' free iSCSI Initiator does NOT work properly in Lion under heavy I/O load (as of Dashboard v2.0.3). The support rep told me that they've been sending customers to GlobalSAN's free initiator until there's a fix.

    Has anyone else had any problems and/or solutions?
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Drobo have long failed to acknowledge the problem and even today, they still say they are compatible with Lion (it's still on their website).

    However, I had a lengthy process of escalation with with them, eventually resulting in a call from the Drobo CEO. He acknowledged the problems and here is their action plan:

    1.) their iSCSI initiator is not compatible with Lion. Period.
    2.) They have licensed a completely different initiator from another company (not GlobalSAN) and are currently in the process of implementing that into their own dashboard code.
    3.) Fix should be available within next 30 days (will be Drobo Dashboard 2.1).

    In the meantime, the only workaround is to put the Drobo on Firewire 800 (which stopped working for me on 10.7.1 though) or USB (still works right now).

    Hang in there just a little longer. If Drobo weren't lying straight into my face, the fix should be here soon.
     
  12. macrumors 68000

    DustinT

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    #12
    Very interesting post. Will you update this with further details as time passes? I'm buying a Drobo Pro and the iSCSI interface is the connection I intend to use.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Hi Dustin,

    yes, I will update this thread as soon as I have more info. Doesn't look too good though at the moment. While they promised me a lot (see my previous post) in the phone call, nothing has really happened since. They provided me with an alternative iSCSI initiator (ATTO) that works for now, but you can't use Drobo Dashboard with it, e.g. you can't manage your Drobo or get status information about it.

    Just yesterday I received an email from them saying that they are still working on it and that, quote: "we are working on an update that will long-term fix iSCSI". Whatever that means.

    If I were you, I would hold back on a Drobo Pro purchase. Avoid it at all cost. I don't trust Drobo anymore (they still haven't changed their support info on their site, it still says that they are compatible with Lion even though they are not). To me that is lying to the customer base and also lying to new potential customers (like yourself).

    If you want an iSCSI box, check out QNAP. They have very nice products and are supposed to be compatible with Mac OS X too.

    Or if you have one of the newer Macs that already has Thunderbolt, I would buy a Thunderbolt storage solution like the Promise Pegasus.

    Avoid Drobo if you don't want any trouble.
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    DustinT

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    #14
    I see, well thanks for the information. Unfortunately, I've already got a Drobo Pro heading this way. My application will be fine on USB or Firewire for the time being although, it will be quite a shame not to have access to iSCSI while they finish work on it.

    Is there any chance you can send me the ATTO software for the time being?
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Not really, sorry. It's licensed on my name and I guess giving it away would be like sharing warez? :)

    You might want to check out the free GlobalSAN initiator. Last time I checked (maybe 3 weeks ago) it wasn't yet Lion compatible though.
     
  16. macrumors newbie

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    #16
    I'm in the same boat.

    FW800 sucks, iSCSI fails under heavy load and USB is just too slow.

    Drobo Support told me that:
    I got GlobalSAN but I can't figure out how to work it. Help?

    Edit: Figured it out. Did some googling. Add a new portal with the IP Address 169.254.1.0 port is the default 3260.

    What does Persistent mean? What should I set the error detection to?
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    I call "********". If you read the GlobalSAN forums, you will see there are lot's of problems with it on Lion (last time I checked, anyways).

    They do have instructions up there on how to connect to the Drobo though, and the Drobo knowledgebase has too.

    ----------

    Interesting: I just checked the Drobo FTP server and found a new build of Drobo Dahsboard, version 2.0.3a, released July 28th. There is not info about it on their website though (they still talk about 2.0.3 without the "a") and I haven't tried it, but maybe someone wants to try?

    It's here:
    ftp://updates.drobo.com/dashboard/mac/
     
  18. macrumors newbie

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    #18
    I'm on lion now and it works fine as far as I know, and it works better than Drobo's iSCSI initiator.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19
    I stand corrected. Glad it's working.

    I am on the ATTO right now and it works fine.

    Also received word from Drobo the other day that version 2.1 of Dashboard with the new initiator is now in beta. We should hopefully see a release soon.
     
  20. macrumors 68000

    DustinT

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    #20
    Great, maybe that will arrive before my Drobo Pro does. If its running reasonably well, I don't mind running the beta. Man, I can't wait for the Pro to arrive.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Good News!

    Hi,

    I just received the beta version of Drobo Dashboard 2.0.4 from Drobo. That version contains the new iSCSI initiator (licensed from another company) I was talking about.

    It looks *very* good so far. My volumes mount, Dashboard sees the unit, I can transfer files from and to the Drobo at very high speeds (read speed up to 111 MB/sec, write speed up to 90 MB/sec).

    I've only been playing with it for about an hour or so but from what I can tell so far, the issues seem to have been fixed.

    This version is still in beta and I don't know anything about a public release date, so don't bother asking. But I figure it will be soon.
     
  22. DustinT, Sep 17, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011

    macrumors 68000

    DustinT

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    #22
    That's great news. Thanks for the update. I guess we'll have to wait then.
     
  23. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #23
    I think it's a closed beta. They don't have it up on their site yet. I know of at least one other person who was given access to the beta, but I know from other people who called Drobo to ask for the beta (after reading my forum posts) and Drobo denied that such a beta would even exist.

    Not sure what's up with all that secrecy. They act like CIA agents in a bad movie :)
     
  24. macrumors 68000

    DustinT

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    #24
    Well, I never know why companies do what they do. Thanks for letting us know your experiences. I hope they release it to the public soon. My Drobo Pro is arriving today and I'd so love to get it setup on a working iSCSI initiator.
     
  25. macrumors 68000

    DustinT

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    #25
    Well, I just checked today and they have released a new version of the Dashboard, 2.0.4. It has a revised iSCSI initiator from ATTO that is specific to Drobo. I suppose they licensed and customized it for their users.

    The installation has been painless so far and it seems to be working just fine. I'm doing some performance testing now, I'll try and report back later. The initial results looks just fine.
     

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