Drobo hard drive any good for imovie/FCP?

JWFerne

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 1, 2006
155
0
Anyone use one of these new Drobo drives. It looks very interesting, but I'm not sure it has the speed necessary for editing movies.

Are there better solutions than the drobo for everyday storage and backup?

www.drobo.com
 

lighthouse_man

macrumors 6502a
Mar 13, 2005
602
1
From my experience, if you intend to capture, try to avoid an only USB interface disk. I had troubles with dropped frames all the time. Firewire is the only way for me.
 

JWFerne

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 1, 2006
155
0
yeah was wondering about the USB connection... makes sense that it would/could drop some frames.

As far as an overall solution it's actually pretty intriguing how you can add drives on the fly when the space gets too small. You can swap out a 300gig for example and put in a 750 etc. All at the same time it's backing up the data on the other drives so you never loose anything. I dunno if it's a cost effective solution, I think it's probably a luxury more than anything.

Are there any other solutions like this that are most cost effective and hopefully have a firewire 400/800 connection?
 

RedTomato

macrumors 601
Mar 4, 2005
4,016
314
.. London ..
From the review I've read, if you swap out a drive, it still has to rebuild the array, which could take 10+ hours, same as on any RAID array.

If there is enough empty space before you swapped out, then the drobo array is still accessible (just much slower). If you were tight on space, then you have to wait before you can get to the data.

The advantage is that all this happens automatically, and for what it does, I think drobo is excellent. I run a RAID5 array, and yes, it's a bloody headache for the small-office low-end raid user without tech back-up. If I had a drobo, it would save a lot of hours trying to learn about and setting up the raid, and would probably be worth the investment.

Disadvantages are as you say, no firewire, no network, stupid flashing lights that stay on and distract you.
 

absurdio

macrumors 6502
Aug 25, 2003
380
0
RI, Chi, and/or NY.
Same question: USB gonna be too slow?
I'm interested in using the thing as a media hub. Hook that thing up either to a mac mini (and then make the drobo 'public') or an Airport Extreme (which supports nothing faster than USB anyhow, tragically) and then have my movies and music accessible whenever/wherever.
But will that work?
I don't do any kind of video editing really, so that doesn't bother me. But would it be fast enough to watch movies from pretty seamlessly? Is this a dumb question?

Also: I think we're kindof allowed to be pissed at the Drobo people; if you're building an infinitely expandible storage enclosure, you're probably thinking about using this thing for a while (i.e. you're gonna keep replacing the drives while hanging on to the enclosure); the whole idea is that you're future-proofing yourself a little bit. But if that's the case, why USB, for chrissakes? The oldest and slowest of all the available connections. Ugh. Gimme a drobo with firewire in the next week, and I'm sold.
 

lighthouse_man

macrumors 6502a
Mar 13, 2005
602
1
USB2 is actually faster than Firewire400. Streaming and even editing from a USB2 disk is not an issue for me. The only problem is when you capture because you need a seamless flow of data which Firewire provides but not USB.
 

absurdio

macrumors 6502
Aug 25, 2003
380
0
RI, Chi, and/or NY.
USB2 is actually faster than Firewire400. Streaming and even editing from a USB2 disk is not an issue for me. The only problem is when you capture because you need a seamless flow of data which Firewire provides but not USB.
After some poking around, it seems like the official explanation is that the drobo unit itself is slow enough that including firewire 400/800 or eSATA or anything wouldn't speed it up; that is, the drobo is the limiting factor on speed, not the connection.

But USB has to be fast enough for the simple stuff i'd be using it for, i think. I'm pleasantly surprised to hear you can edit from a usb2 disk. that's great news. thanks kindly.

unfortunately, my further poking around has lead me to this (mostly for drobo owners, i guess): is it true that no matter what disks you have in the unit, it appears on your desktop as a 2TB drive? That seems like it should be really easy to fix...and like it'd be really annoying if not fixed. Anyone?
 

zioxide

macrumors 603
Dec 11, 2006
5,725
3,711
USB2 is actually faster than Firewire400. Streaming and even editing from a USB2 disk is not an issue for me. The only problem is when you capture because you need a seamless flow of data which Firewire provides but not USB.
Theoretically USB2 is faster than Firewire 400 (480mbit vs 400mbit) but in real world tests firewire always comes out faster. This has to do with the fact that firewire provides a constant stream on it's own bus and USB2 uses burst transfer and it also has to go through the CPU.
 

absurdio

macrumors 6502
Aug 25, 2003
380
0
RI, Chi, and/or NY.
Theoretically USB2 is faster than Firewire 400 (480mbit vs 400mbit) but in real world tests firewire always comes out faster. This has to do with the fact that firewire provides a constant stream on it's own bus and USB2 uses burst transfer and it also has to go through the CPU.
Yeah, I've heard that. And the external harddrive i'm using now is firewire 800, which beats both other formats pretty easily. But it has occurred to me that, much as i don't like the idea, i guess usb2 could actually be totally sufficient for my needs.

Seems kinda to have a $500 enclosure that promises to be slow, but i suppose it might not actually be slow in ways that really affect me...