Drobo 5D

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Ifti, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I have the chance to get one as my YouTube work is starting to take a fair bit of space and is fast filling my current external scratch disk! Hence I need more backup/storage space so Im considering a Drobo 5D connected to my Mac Mini Server to use as storage.

    I did have a Synology NAS but sold it since I purchased the Mac Mini Server instead as I found the NAS a little limiting. Hence Im now looking at the Drobo 5D connected to the Mac Mini instead.

    Anyone with the Drobo 5D?
    Any opinions etc?
     
  2. iAsimov76 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    #2
    Drobo has a had a really spotty track record in terms of reliability. Several of my friends have dumped theirs after they decide to just rebuild themselves randomly and taking days to do so and slowing down the performance to a crawl in the process.

    Scott Kelby had quite the experience as well:
    http://scottkelby.com/2012/im-done-with-drobo/

    I have a Synology and my uptime is over 4 months without any issues at all. It's also really fast on my gigabit network.
     
  3. sfxguy macrumors member

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    Oct 14, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    I've had a 5d for several months now and it has been flawless.
    If you need a really fast (~400 MB/s) DAS raid solution for post production work I highly recommend it. The only other option is really the Promise units, (which are also very good.)

    If you do not need that kind of speed, go with something like a Synology NAS.
    If your streaming over a network with a Drobo attached to a server your defeating the purpose of it and overspending. (Unless you have a 10 gig E network)

    They are two completely different solutions for different uses.
     
  4. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #4
    Thanks,
    Ive had a Synology DS1511+ before and I dont need all my data on the network - hence the reason why I sold it in the end - just wish I had of kept the drives now! lol

    I'm sure I want a DAS, not a NAS. I understand the differences between both. The DAS will simply be connected directly to my server - so even if I want to access files over the network I can. I just found the Synology a little too limiting for my uses, hence I went for a full on server and now want a DAS device.

    The DAS will also be used for rendering Final Cut projects - so speed would be good!
    Ive read several reviews about how Drobo are great, and others about how they are unreliable, so am naturally a little nervous. Although I am getting a rather attractive discount so may well give it a shot.
     
  5. tangfj macrumors member

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    Nov 3, 2008
    #5
  6. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #6
  7. tangfj macrumors member

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    Nov 3, 2008
    #7
    I already had wd green drives laying around. I plan on replacing them with reds or something similar as they die off.
     
  8. sfxguy macrumors member

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    Oct 14, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    That is a great review. If your spending the money on the 5D get 7200rpm drives.

    I have 5 Hitachi 7200rpm drives and NO msata in it and am getting the speeds I reported.

    It makes a HUGE difference.
     
  9. mrmiagi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    #9
    I have both the 5D and the 5N. Both work wonderfully. Don't see any quality issues at all. No problems. The review (above) was right on the mark. Don't be afraid of the Drobo.
     
  10. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #10
    Is it worth getting a msata card also, or is it only useful for thumbnail images when using iPhoto or aperture etc?
     
  11. spravtek macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    #11
    I just ordered myself a Drobo 5D as well, I do have a Synology DS1812+ as well, but I really wanted a DAS to connect to my Mac Server, the Synology functions as a network backup and file serving location...

    I also ordered the WD red series drives... And one of those mSSD drives, but I don't know yet if I will be using it, I have mixed feelings about them.
     
  12. urbanracer34 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    #12
    I've used a 2nd-generation Drobo on my machines for the last 5 years. Not one bit of trouble, but rebuilding takes a few days once you swap the disks in my experience. (I have 3 2TB and 1 3TB in there right now) I also will be upgrading to a 5D when money permits, which won't be for a while. :(

    I think getting a mSATA SSD for the Drobo 5D would be a very good idea to increase throughput and add a cache, especially since you're doing video production work. :cool:
     
  13. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #13
    I read somewhere that the mSATA card will slow down larger files transfers though - it only speeds up small file transfers?
    Is this correct?
    Thanks
     
  14. spravtek macrumors member

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    Jul 17, 2012
  15. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Portland, OR
    #15
    As the first order affect... only small transfers matter for client machines. That is what makes machines slow.

    /Jim
     
  16. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #16
    Yes, you have a point.


    So what's the ideal size for the mSATA card to put into the Drobo 5D? I understand the write speeds with the largest 256GB are faster, but I'm thinking 256GB would be overkill??
     
  17. tangfj macrumors member

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    Nov 3, 2008
    #17
    I read somewhere that the Drobo doesn't benefit much from anything over 64gb. I got a 128gb mSATA card but only because the 64gb wasn't available from Amazon and the 128gb wasn't too much more than a 64gb card.
     
  18. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #18
    You're spot on yet again!
    http://www.drobo.co.uk/products/choose-drive.php
    Optimal size for the mSATA is 60-64GB
     
  19. tangfj macrumors member

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    Nov 3, 2008
    #19
  20. jimthing, Mar 1, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013

    jimthing macrumors 6502a

    jimthing

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    Location:
    London, UK
    #20
    NO NO NO, to the Dro-dro-bo!

    I'd certainly not go for the Drobo 5D as Drobo's have the most terrible rebuild times imaginable when a drive fails completely, and when they are "moving data" around at various times, slowing the thing down to USB2 speeds. At the price (Drobo + 5x 3/4TB drives, with or without the mSATA to give it its so-called 250MByte/s speed: for Thunderbolt on a 5-bay, that's sloooooow!) this is simply is not worth the money per TByte, if you're building a completely new set-up with new purchased drives for it.

    For a bit more money, I'd go for 2x the new "LaCie 5big Thunderbolt" in 5x2TB's=10TB (or 5x4TB's=20TB, if you want that much), making sure to use R0.
    Using the first one as your main storage drive (in R0 striped), and the second one as a backup clone of the first (also R0 striped).

    It uses OSX Disk Utility to software raid offering R0 or R1 only (no R5 thus available) [or JBOD, of course]. Hence why having two gives you the data security you need.

    For this kind of amount of data, unless you have unlimited funds you can't really use Time Machine's incremental backups, unless you buy 2 or 3 times the amount of backup storage, for every one amount of storage you actually need for your files.
    e.g. say you know you need 10TB's for your data over the next 3 years. Then to do incremental backups [like the ones Time Machine does every hour, then it flattens to weekly/monthly ones], you'd probably want to have at least 20TB's additionally for these backups, to give you a period of back-history, if needed! WAY too expensive for almost everyone, I'd think! Hence cloning instead, offers the next best thing.
    (I've ignored off-site backups, as that's another cost most people can't afford for this data size anyway.)


    Anyway, the throughput on speed tests reviews online is MUCH MUCH better than these Drobo 5-bay units (typically 6-700MB/s! smashes these Drobo's with mSATA to pieces) and will be more robust if (when!) a drive fails, as you won't have the huge Drobo rebuild & slowdown headaches. Just having to swap the drive in the failed R0 and copy the data form the clone or vice-versa (from the first R0), over Thunderbolt should only take a few hours, compared to the Drobo's weeks of rebuilding and slowdown pains.

    Also if you buy a decent amount of storage (for what you expect to use over the next 2-3 years), you won't have to "upgrade" for a decent period of time, saving you a load of hassle re-re-moving data. And you get the LaCie's MUCH better performance for all this time too!

    The LaCie will cost you more, but the TCO (total cost of ownership) over the longterm will be less, as it'll last you longer (maybe even 2-3 YEARS, depending on how much storage you buy upfront), and you can sell LaCie's on for pretty good money too, compared to these cheapo Drobo things, when you decide to upgrade in the future.
     
  21. Giuly, Mar 1, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013

    Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #22
    I don't see that at all. If you have a RAID1 of a RAID0 with Scorpio Blacks, it does about 300MB/s at best. On a BeyondRAID, of those four disk three would be stripped and one used for redundancy, and then you have the mSATA SSD on top of that, which basically turns the whole thing into a hardware Fusion Drive and probably caches the write operations for the redundancy, making it as fast as a 4-disk RAID0, but with redundancy.

    If you only have the RAID0 like you've described it, yes, it's faster, but once one drive fails, the data is gone for good because there is no redundancy.
     
  22. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

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    UK
    #23
    Although the Lacie drive looks interesting - it comes with 2 problems.

    1. That huge blue ball at the front! Since the unit will sit in my entertainment centre connected to my Mac mini server, I couldn't bear that blue thing looking or flashing at me!
    2. The price!

    I can pick up a brand new Drobo 5D directly from Drobo for just under £450. So a pretty substantial saving already. Hence the reason why I was drawn to Drobo. I also like the simplicity etc. I work with computers all day and don't want to come home to fix more errors etc!
    I would probably fill it with 3TB drives, although start with 2 or 3 drives and expand as and when need be.

    The lacie drive speeds do look pretty awesome, but it doesn't use RAID5 at all, which is a shame. The other question to ask oneself is what would you do with all that speed?
    The Drobo 5D speeds are plenty enough to cope with several streams, and to edit HD video directly off of it. Thats what I need it for - video editing and server backups.
     
  23. jimthing, Mar 2, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013

    jimthing macrumors 6502a

    jimthing

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #24
    I found the LaCie Thunderbolt, which comes with high quality Seagate DX 5x4TB drives [20TB total] for £1425 (perhaps less if shopping around further).
    LaCie supply the Seagate (Seagate now own LaCie) DX "desktop premium" (7200rpm) vs. the standard DM "desktop mainstream" (5900rpm) ones, so they are the best quality before you pay double for Enterprise drives.

    The Drobo you personally can get at £450, then add 5x4TB drives [20TB total] (cheapest I found was around £175 each for only similar DM quality = total £875), + 64GB mSATA is around £75 (as Drobo suggest), thus grand total = £1400.
    And one of those drives would be for the proprietary BeyondRaid parity redundancy, then Drobo overhead, makes it only 14.52TB (according to their checker here: http://www.drobo.com/products/capacity-calculator ).

    The LaCie is therefore effectively the same price with more space, and you get R0 (700Mbyte/s) performance, rather than the Drobo's (250Mbyte/s) slow performance.
    (read the professional reviews online —or even Amazon ones— please, not hear-say quoted above: mSATA drive does not make these much faster than without adding it, just adds data-transfer reliability.)

    Sure the Drobo can do rebuilds on drive failures, but whichever of these you go for you also MUST have a separate backup, as if the Drobo or LaCie set-up failed completely, you'd lose entirely everything.
    You could go for a different slower backup to the LaCie clone suggestion of course, but having just one multi-drive enclosure with no local backup solution, is asking for trouble.

    Trust me, I learnt this lesson the hard way — I had only a single multi-drive R5 USB2 set-up a couple of years ago which failed entirely: lost everything.
    Don't go there.
     
  24. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #25
    Which makes it necessarily £2850 for the LaCie, and still £1400 for the Drobo 5D, as you can just get a new Drobo and pop the drives in if the old one fails, and the hard drives themselves have redundancy obviously, so you only replace the ones that fail and have the data rebuilt.
     

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