Drobo Impressions.

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by AppleDApp, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. AppleDApp macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    #1
    Does anyone have prior experience with the drobo?

    I want to use it to backup my MBP and possibly a future iMac. I also want to store my media library on it and back that up on the drobo as well.

    What are your impressions on it?
     
  2. macmongral macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    #2
    slow but very good at what they do they will rebuild the array when one drive is replaced takes about a day
    mine has 4 tb and useful storage is 2.7 tb

    cons expensive

    but i would not be without one
     
  3. tersono macrumors 68000

    tersono

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Quite a few reports of array failures with drobo. Personally I'd recommend a 4-bay Synology disk station in RAID5 mode. Faster than the drobo and reportedly more reliable.
     
  4. OmegaRed1723 macrumors 6502

    OmegaRed1723

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    The Waste
    #4
    I have a Drobo 4-bay, currently filled with WD20EARS drives for 5.44TB of useable space. I started with four 1TB drives and upgraded incrementally as my storage needs increased. Each redistribution of the disk array took around two days to complete, which seemed agonizingly slow to me. I see sustained write speeds of roughly 32MB/s, connected to my Mac mini via FW800. The newer, five-bay S model may see slightly higher speeds.

    I use mine solely for media storage, and it houses my movie & TV show collection, as well as my iTunes music library. The device works very well for this purpose, and has no trouble serving up multiple 1080p files to different devices simultaneously. The way I see it, yes, it's slow to move files onto the Drobo, but you only move the files once, so its not that big a deal.

    You can use the device for Time Machine backups, though I haven't done so. You would want to create a separate partition for it, otherwise it will eventually chew up all the space on your Drobo. It's perfectly capable of writing to the disk while feeding a 1080p file to one of my other machines, so I'm sure a TM backup would be no sweat.

    I bought mine second-hand for a song, so the con of it being expensive didn't apply to me. It is extremely simple to set up, and requires little-to-no monitoring. When the array gets close to capacity (or should there be a drive failure), I have it set to send me an email so I know immediately. All in all, I'm very pleased with it, and would definitely buy another one in the future, even at full price.
     
  5. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68030

    ugahairydawgs

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    #5
    No problems streaming content from the Drobo?
     
  6. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    Jul 24, 2009
    #6
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I love my drobo's
     
  7. timish macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #7
    I have two.

    One is a DROBO Pro with (8) 2TB Western Digital Green drives with 64MB cache on each drive.

    The other is a DROBO S Second Gen with (5) 2TB Western Digital Green drives with 64MB cache on each drive.

    The Pro is connected to my Mac Pro via iSCSI
    The S is connected via ESATA

    Both transfer data to and from the mac at around 90MB/sec.

    Streaming multiple movies from the units via 802.11N is fine.

    I'm very happy with the DROBO units and with DROBO support.
     
  8. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68030

    ugahairydawgs

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    #8
    Thanks for that. Been going back and forth between a Drobo and Synology NAS for the past couple of weeks. Finally pulled the trigger on the Drobo this morning.

    If any others are in the market, the best deal I could find from a reputable seller is in the link below.

    http://www.jr.com/drobo/pe/DRT_DR04DD14/
     
  9. timish macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #9
    Once you get it, check out www.drobospace.com

    You can't register there without a valid Drobo serial number.

    It's a good resource.

    If you bought a Pro, DO NOT use Drobo Dashboard greater than 1.8.4 if you connect via iSCSI. (trust me I know, it does not work right)
     
  10. lulla01 macrumors 68020

    lulla01

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Location:
    U.S
    #10
    Drobo

    i bought a new drobo fs. After playing with it i realized that it was complete overkill for what i need. The hardware was also cheap in my opinion. I think ill live with the WD externals.
     
  11. OmegaRed1723 macrumors 6502

    OmegaRed1723

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    The Waste
    #11
    None whatsoever. I can stream 50Mb/s 1080p Blu-Ray rips all day long. The only issue I run into is trying to start playback when the disk array is idle. It takes a few moments for all four disks to spool up, and occasionally the software will timeout and throw an error. It's not a big deal--I just wait a couple seconds till I know the Drobo is awake and then start playback. The Drobo S and FS both have the ability to prevent the array from going to sleep through the Drobo Dashboard software; my Drobo 4-bay doesn't have that capability.
     
  12. mwhq macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    #12
    I'm also close to buying a Drobo. What is the total cost of the FS packed with WDCG 2TB disks? Trying to determine whether it's a better solution as opposed to a Mac Mini with externals for my media server connected through Ethernet hooked directly to my TV.
     
  13. OmegaRed1723 macrumors 6502

    OmegaRed1723

    Joined:
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    The Waste
    #13
    $1034.95 if you buy the drives and the Drobo FS separately on Amazon.
     
  14. lulla01 macrumors 68020

    lulla01

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Location:
    U.S
    #14
    costco

    costo had the drobofs+i think it was 6 tb for 900 something dollars. That is a great deal. Plus remmeber costco doubles that manufactures warranty.
     
  15. mwhq macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    #15
    Thanks for this. Bit lazy of me actually not to work it out myself :rolleyes:

    So with the people who are Drobo'd up, why do you prefer that solution rather than something like a Mac Mini setup? RAID redundancy? Flexibility?
     
  16. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68030

    ugahairydawgs

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    #16
    I bought a Drobo more for the redundancy than anything else. There is a ton of media that I am going to keep on there. Last thing I want to do is lose the data because a drive dies.

    Personally I'm going to pick up a Mac Mini used down the road and run the Drobo through that.
     
  17. OmegaRed1723 macrumors 6502

    OmegaRed1723

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    The Waste
    #17
    I have a mini, actually. My Drobo is connected to it via FW800. I went the Drobo route simply because I needed the storage, and wanted a bit of protection against a drive failure. It doesn't provide true redundancy, but what's on there is entertainment, not my livelihood. I could have another Drobo to backup my Drobo, but they're both in the same location, so what if the place burns to the ground??:eek: It all gets a little too intense for me. One spare disk gives me some breathing room in case something goes awry, and it gives me the flexibility to simply pop in higher capacity drives should my storage needs continue to increase.

    There are other options out there that have hot-swapping capabilities and the like, but there are actually relatively few that have a FW800 option with as many bays as the Drobo. That, and a chimpanzee could operate it. I love to tinker, but not with my storage. Just let me turn it on and be done with it.
     
  18. mwhq macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    #18
    Very good reasons. For the sake of sanity I would backup the Drobo, just hang something off the back of it and use CCC to back it up, be horid to have to rebuild it all again even though it's not your livelihood.

    So taking into account you have a Mini, why the need for a NAS? why not something like the G-Speed Q?
     
  19. OmegaRed1723 macrumors 6502

    OmegaRed1723

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
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    The Waste
    #19
    My Drobo is the regular 4-bay DAS model, not the 5-bay FS NAS unit (which only has an ethernet connection, no FW800). G-Tech makes great stuff, but you are tied to Hitachi drives since you have to buy the units pre-loaded. I like the ability to mix and match if need be, and buying bare drives on Amazon is cheaper. Also, swapping out drives is easier with the Drobo because you can just pop in a naked drive into each slot; no need to screw it onto some proprietary plastic cage like you do with the G-Speed units.
     
  20. jeremy h macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #20
    Funny the OP should ask about Drobo's as I'm contemplating one right now.

    I'm working off a Mac Pro running Time machine. The Pro has 3 HD's in all backing up to Time Machine (2TB WD). I've also got another Firewire'ed disc with some bits on.

    I want to continue with my internal discs - in terms of them backing up to Time Machine. On these will be both current and recently completed jobs. But I want to hive off older finished work onto a searchable raid type device as I occasionally have to pull the odd job off. (I'm beginning to drown in old stuff). I'm not intending to work off it.

    So I'm thinking of then having a Drobo on Firewire...

    So a few questions...

    Will it really protect my files like a raid (without using Time Machine - which I'll still use on my internals)?.

    Be searchable like a normal HD?

    Any recommendations on reliable discs to buy for it ?

    Can the Drobo be daisy chained on FW800?

    Thanks in advance
     
  21. OmegaRed1723 macrumors 6502

    OmegaRed1723

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    The Waste
    #21
    Will it really protect my files like a raid (without using Time Machine - which I'll still use on my internals)?.
    Yes, though it only protects inasmuch as it provides a buffer against 1 disk (or 2 disks if you get a Drobo S) failing.

    Be searchable like a normal HD?
    Yes, once it indexes it will be searchable through spotlight.

    Any recommendations on reliable discs to buy for it ?
    If you're not going to actively work off it, 5400rpm drives should be fine. The WD Caviar drives have been perfect for me.

    Can the Drobo be daisy chained on FW800?
    Yes.
     
  22. jeremy h macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #22
    Hi Omega, great thanks for your swift response. Very helpful.

    Am also considering Synology DS410 (but understand that one is not Firewire).

    Just been looking at the UK reviews for the Drobo on Amazon and to be honest they're a bit off-putting... Hmmm... decisions... decisions...
     
  23. AppleDApp thread starter macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    #23
    Thanks for all the replies. I currently have two 2tb drives in a windows pc and a 1tb drive for my time machine backups (MBP).

    How would I move the three drives without losing data once I get an iMac?

    currently two drives are formatted in NTFS.
     
  24. OmegaRed1723 macrumors 6502

    OmegaRed1723

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    The Waste
    #24
    Am I understanding correctly that these three hard drives are what you would like to put inside a Drobo, or other DAS/NAS device? If that is the case, it is impossible to do so without losing all the data. These devices all reformat the drives and configure them to operate as a single drive. Also, Time Machine backups are tricky to migrate to new disks. It's not as simple as moving the sparsebundle file to the new drive. I've only changed TM drives twice, and both times wound up starting from scratch with a fresh backup.
     
  25. Bwa macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Location:
    Boston & San Jose
    #25
    I have a Drobo Pro with 14 TB in it. Works great for Time Machine.

    I also bought a 5-bay Synology for ~$800 empty. It was loud, complex, and I sent it back. The Synology is definitely fast and does everything but it's also hard to use. I design enterprise storage software but when it comes to using a computer, I don't want to deal with all of that.

    The main power of the Drobo, beyond its simplicity, is thin-provisioned volumes. You can create a volume bigger than your disks today and grow the disks over time to provide that space. In order to pull this off, Drobo lets you mix and match disk sizes. When I first got the Pro, I had some 300 GB disks and a few 1 TBs. Now it's four 2 TBs, a 3 TB, and three 1 TB. No re-formatting to get there. I expect it will end up being 8 x 3 TB eventually.
     

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