Drobo 5D Use questions

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Achiever, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. Achiever macrumors 6502


    Jan 23, 2008
    I purchased a Drobo 5D and filled all 5 bays with 4 TB drives anticipating a setup as follows:
    Bay 0 - A CCC back up
    Bay 1 - iTunes media
    Bay 2 - Redundant backup of Bay 1
    Bay 3 - Photos media
    Bay 4 - Redundant backup of Bay 3

    I set up the Drobo and was surprised to learn that: 1) I don't have anything close to 20 TB of space (they cap me at 16 tb with about 10+ being "usable"; and 2) the functionality (as best I can figure) works as a single volume which doesn't give me the ability to manually set the system up as I had hoped to. Instead, it seems I just point data at the Drobo and it puts it on there as a single volume and backs it all up (even the CCC back up which I don't need to be redundant) as it wants to.

    My questions:
    1) Is there any way I can manually configure the system as I had hoped to? If not...
    2) How does installing a CCC backup affect the drives? Should I partition a section and hopefully just direct the backup there? And if I do that, is there any way to keep the Drobo from making a redundant backup of that clone?

    Thoughts and suggestions are appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    P.S. I did consult the Drobo K-Base but didn't find it that helpful for what I am asking.
  2. DavoteK macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2012
    The way the Drobo setup works is that it creates a single volume based on the amount of drives you have (you can select whether its single or dual disk redundancy in the settings). So what you have is a RAID array. Well, a hybrid version of RAID called "Beyond RAID".

    One drive dies, swap it out, all data is safe.

    Or, if you go dual disk redundancy, you can afford two drives to fail at once.

    Create a folder for each of the three items you want to use (iTunes, Photos and I'm assuming CCC saves a backup in a directory). Creating backups of any of those in the same volume isn't worthwhile.

    And then the caveat, even though there is drive redundancy, its not classed as a backup, so anything you value, follow the standard backup rules;

    2 copies locally, one copy remotely.

    Got a Drobo 5D myself only last week, very happy with it so far.
  3. DavoteK macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2012
  4. Achiever thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 23, 2008
    Thanks for the reply and the suggestions. One question: what do you mean to "create a folder"? How does one do that on the Drobo? I didn't really see any option for that on the Dashboard and am unclear on what you mean by it. Also, does the ability to create a folder and put specific data into a specific folder mean the device gives me a measure of granular control I did not realize I had? I was getting the feeling I just point my data to copy to the Drobo and then the Drobo does the rest on its own. Not the case?

    Also, for what it is worth, the Drobo will be primary storage for my photo library and iTunes data in an effort to offload it from my Mac HD, but will want to be able to easily access it for streaming to Apple TV through Plex, access from other machines and devices, play on my Macs, etc. I mention this as I don't know if the intended use affects, in any way, what you are suggesting here.

  5. DavoteK macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2012
    Creating a folder is simply that, do it in Finder. The Drobo Dashboard is purely settings and a few other things related to the Drobo, but nothing to do with whats on the unit.

    Think of it as an external hard drive. A massive really quick external hard drive.

    I've got something similar. Root folders on the drive are 'Movies', 'Music', 'Photos', 'TV Shows', and then a 'General' Folder as a dumping ground for all kinds of stuff. I've got plex running on the iMac its connected to that looks at both the Movies and TV Shows folders to create the libraries. My iTunes setup is purely music, so I've made my iTunes Preferences point to the Music folder, with the iMac running iTunes as well and serving that up as and when needed.

    You may need to create an iTunes folder and then iTunes will organise your music, movies and tv shows under that if thats how you work it.

    Carbon Copy Cloner, not familiar with it, but I'd assume you can point that to a folder that you create on the Drobo as well.

    So, create a few folders and start dumping it. Just remember that you are only protected by 1 disc redundancy (unless you set it to 2) and that if 2 discs fail, you lose the lot.
  6. LifeIsLikeABoxOfRocks macrumors member


    Nov 22, 2015
    When I'm planning on buying something new, I like to read up on it first. The drobo site has a Capacity Calculator, if you use it, there will be no surprises.

    I prefer to use multiple 4 bays instead of one 5 bay. Plus two 4 bays cost less than a single 5 bay. You can make one split in the drive. I've got a time machine partition, and the remaining drive is for drag&drop backup. In 7 years of drobo use, I've never lost any data. So imo, the Drobo system is fine for a backup. I believe it to be safer than a single drive backup.

    Double Drobo flash-2.jpg

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