Drobo alternative

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by initialsBB, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2010
    I've been using a Drobo at work for a year and it is now almost full up using 8x2TB drives. Seeing as it's not the most stable piece of hardware I've used, often even being a pain just to boot up, I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good alternative ? Anything with similar functionality but more stable would be great. It has to be Firewire 800 or a similar setup as it is directly attached to an iMac that is the media server and backup station for 4 edit suites that connect up using gigabit ethernet. We'll be implementing a real server later on (maybe an Avid ISIS) but are waiting to move to a bigger facility sometime next year.
  2. musique macrumors regular


    Apr 10, 2009
    Just a suggestion

    What if you could change your environment a little? If you work on the Mac Pro, it has two Ethernet ports. You could get a NAS and plug that into your MP's second Ethernet port. That would give you gigabit ethernet speeds between your MP and your directly attached NAS.

    It may not work for you, but it's a thought. I have a Netgear ReadyNAS Pro on my gigabit network and I can't tell much difference in speeds between files on it and files on one of the internal drives on my Mac Pro 3,1. There are other companies making these small NASs (Thecus, QNAP, Synology, etc.) and I don't know much about them. However, the support group forums at Netgear (http://www.readynas.com/forum/, I think) has been truly helpful for most of my problems.

    Good luck.
  3. treestar macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2010
    4 edit suites connecting off of one FW800 port? That is a major bottleneck. Most 16+ TB storage devices are eSATA or SAS which the iMac can't do. I honestly can't recommend a good alternative to a Drobo because your options are very limited with the iMac. It's a wonder you even got a Drobo because it isn't the right tool for the job. You need a fileserver with gigabit ethernet or you need an external RAID like the G-technology G-SPEED eS PRO XL connected to a SAS card. You'd need a Mac Pro to do that.

    What is all this storage for? If you don't need speed then you can continue to use FW800, but I don't think you'll find a device with more space.


    One more alternative if you have a Thunderbolt equipped Mac is to get a couple large Thunderbolt storage devices and daisy chain them. You'd definitely get enough speed out of that.
  4. martinX macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2009
    I'd recommend 8 x 3 TB drives.

    If you are moving and getting a 'real' server, why waste thousands on a new system - not to mention transition costs - on a new piece of equipment?

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