Alterative to Drobo with SAME features. List in this thread

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by TwoBytes, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. TwoBytes macrumors 68030


    Jun 2, 2008
    Wanted to get a list in this thread of cheaper alternatives. In order to qualify, the array has to have the same features which are;

    -USB 3 or TB
    -backup battery to avoid data corruption write hole errors
    -redundant one or two drives with warning lights
    -hot swappable and mixing matching sizes and brands
    -easy config out of the box (no hacking, modding, etc)

    What else is there to compete for a lower price? The Drobo is expensive but what else is out there with these features?
  2. TwoBytes thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jun 2, 2008
  3. murphychris macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2012
    Well I think your requirements are premises that should be refused, but you haven't really given us a lot to go on in terms of what you're trying to accomplish. Instead, you're providing specs that just so happen to align with Drobo's offerings. If you want those biased specs, then you need to get that product.

    My biased specs, I prefer Open Storage. I resist proprietary solutions that box my data, stored on commodity hard drives, in a way that I cannot recover if the enclosing hardware dies unless I obtain very specific single manufacturer supplied parts (in or out of warranty). I just won't do it, nor would I recommend it from others.

    Most of the time people need fast storage, they need a small amount of local fast storage and can tolerate slower network storage. For those in HD video editing, they need fast network storage typically fibre channel or more commonly these days, 10GigE. But you also say cheap.

    Build your own nested RAID 10 if you want to be cheap. If you want something that's growable, there's a ton of hardware that can run NAS 4 Free and also run a vastly superior file system to JHFS+, with built-in replication features to backup your stuff. Have you considered how you're going to back up the data you store on the Drobo?
  4. glitch44 macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2006
  5. cbb77, Jul 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012

    cbb77 macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2012
    What specifically is drawing you to the Drobo series? I've read the specs and have to say am not overly impressed. I don't see anything unique that isn't available in a variety of other units. Is it the USB 3 that is drawing you to Drobo? Personally I prefer a good NAS based storage unit. I have a Readynas Pro unit and from what I can see it provides, and has been for a while, all of the features of the Drobo. Only feature I see the Drobo offers is the 2.5" drive use in the mini unit. Other than that I don't see anything unique. Check out the other units by Netgear, Synology and QNAP. This is a good site to review the different storage units.
  6. murphychris macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2012
    Many of the Drobos can be used as block level devices, i.e. USB 3, eSATA, or FW800 - so you get that kind of performance as it is DAS. Whereas a NAS provides a file sharing protocol (AFP, NFS, SMB) under which is some other file system (ZFS, XFS, ext4, btrfs, whatever); some NAS offerings provide iSCSI which is block level access over ethernet, but unless the underlying file system is ZFS there's no advantage to iSCSI for Macs.

    With DAS you're stuck with HFS+ rather than more robust file systems, and no replication features for backing up all of your stuff. Most NAS products, including the free and open source products, do have more advanced file systems, and replication feature to back up NAS data elsewhere. But it is bound by network performance.

    With commercial NAS products you get commercial support, but limited hardware options. If you learn more, and go with free open source NAS software you get community support rather than commercial support, but you get a huge array of hardware options which of course come with commercial hardware support.

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