Drobo on the cheap!!!

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by nando2323, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. nando2323 macrumors 6502a

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  2. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

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    #2
    I saw this yesterday and am really deterred by the reviews. Only about 50% rate it 4 or 5 stars.
     
  3. nando2323 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    One thing about reviews you need to consider is the person's level of understanding the technology. I cannot tell you how many reviews I have read that says, oh this doesn't do this or that and the other. But it is clearly stated on the Specs or instructions it's limitations and guidance. Not to say that there might be something genuinely wrong with the thing. I just think that it is just something to take into account when reading consumer reviews.
     
  4. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

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    #4

    Exactly right which is why I spot checked the ones that were 2 stars and under; pretty much the ones where they sounded like they new what they were talking about. The issue that concerns me is loss of data, granted no 1 solution is entirely perfect.

    I was gung ho when i saw this at work and by about 7pm I was like UGH.

    With that said I'm about 70% sure I'd get it today.
     
  5. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    #5
    So are you saying it's probably safer for me to buy my own enclosure and use a RAID 1 or RAID 5 over using a Drobo? I'm tempted to get this, but I haven't heard of too many people using these things.
     
  6. moez macrumors regular

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    #6
    It is beet to build your own box rather than using an enclosure. Its easier to add had drives later on. If its important data then make sure its RAID 1. If its or media files then maybe a proper Backup solution like TimeMachine should be adequate
     
  7. nando2323 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    I think a lot of people that do video editing use these. Hop in on that thread and I bet you can get some insight from them. I would personally get a drobo just from watching their videos on their site, and the fact that it has thin provisioning which I don't think you can get from any consumer device ATM.
     
  8. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

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    #8
    What's this?
     
  9. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030

    Darth.Titan

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    #9
    I've had one for over a year now, and it's worth every penny. Idiot proof setup, easy maintenance, and transparent redundancy. What's not to love?

    Yes, I could have created my own RAID array that functions the same, but That wouldn't have saved me much money. Also the Drobo has a development program and there are some pretty cool apps available for it. I'm interested in experimenting with the iTunes server app.
     
  10. DAMAC3 macrumors regular

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    #10
    I almost bought a Drobo several months ago, but then I sucked it up took the time to learn enough about unRAID to build my own system instead. I spent about $200 to build a system that would easily accommodate 10 drives (space and power). Add another $100 of so for the unRAID license and I can have up to 16 drives (my tower won't hold it, but that is the software limitation). If my equipment fails, I can plug any one of the drives up to a machine running Ubuntu and access what is on that drive. If something goes wrong with the Drobo, I have to buy another one to access any of my data. That and the cost is what prompted me to not buy a Drobo. I understand 100% the convenience factor and ease of use. That is well worth the extra cost to many. I am taking the prerequisite classes (already graduated once) to start a Master's in Computer Science, so I figured I needed to learn Linux commands anyway. ;)
     
  11. nando2323 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Thin provisioning is a method used by large storage arrays i.e. a true NAS, SAN to show to the OS a large amount of space but only actually having "physically" a smaller amount of space. Basically you can setup your device to show your OS for example a 16TB volume when in fact you only have 6TB of physical disks. But as the disks fill up you can replace the smaller disk or add more disk until you reach that 16TB limit. The advantages of this is as bigger disks become cheaper you can add space. The disadvantage of this is that you need to be careful of how large or small you set the provisioning as you cannot change that as I am aware of unless you format.
     
  12. prostuff1 macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

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    #12
    Actually, the limit for drives was just up'ed in the Pro version. You can now have 20 data drives in one system if I remember correctly (Yup, link here)

    I am also a fellow unRAID user and loving it. Currently have 2x750GB, 2x500GB, 1x1TB, and 1x1.5TB drives protected from drive failure. So about 5TB worth of storage that is protected.
     
  13. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

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    #13
    Provisional storage? So I can say I plan on eventually using XXTB althought I'm only starting with 2TB? What is the point of this?
     
  14. CarlsonCustoms macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Here's my take..

    I bought a drobo awhile ago. At first I thought it was great. Its super simple to setup and manage. I had it loaded with 4 500gig drives and then I upgraded to 4 1tb drives.

    I had the FW800 version and it was slow. Slow slow slow. The problem is I sold off a raid 5 array box to get the drobo becuase I wanted something compact and easy to maintain. I didnt' think I was going to lose as much speed as I did.

    The reason I finally sold my drobo was the noise. Its so freaking loud and anoying. Granted with my raid 5 box I had noise but at least with that box I put it in a closet. With the drobo since its a direct attached storage it has to be near you.

    I ended up selling mine for very near the same price as I paid so I was happy in the end.
     
  15. nando2323 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    So you do not need to reformat or create new additional volumes if you want to add more drives, like you have to do in a traditional RAID setup. Keeps things more organized IMO and adds more flexibility. Also it's great that instead of buying another enclosure to slap on your desk you can just replace the smallest drive with a bigger one and keep on keeping on.
     
  16. voodoofish macrumors regular

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    #16
    I have a drobo and told it to tell my mac it has 16TB even tho it only really has 4x1TB drives in it. This is because I keep my itunes videos on it. As I get more videos and run out of space, i don't have the problem of some videos itunes uses being on one volume, and some on another, separate volume - they're all in the same place.

    if i had not told the drobo to tell my mac it has 16tb free space, if i added more hard drive space to the drobo i would have either have to reformat the whole thing (ie. reformat the drobo and loose all the data on it), or create an additional volume, which would contain the extra space i'd added to the drobo. i don't understand raid so i don't know what you'd have to do with a raid set-up if you wanted to add extra hard drive space, but the impression i get is that with many types of raid you can't just add space to them anyway, you'd have to create a whole new raid array. i would never bother creating my own raid, so for me the advantage to the drobo is against using regular external hard drives, which would still mean my files would be spread over multiple hard drives as i had to buy new ones for more space (and of course that the drobo protects against a single hard drive failure, or more if you're not using up much of the available space on the drobo and you have more than two hard drives).

    while it's true having files on different volumes is not a problem in itself normally for accessing content, since itunes shows them all in the same library, long term this would get really messy if i kept having to add new volumes, so i figured eventually i would want to consolidate some of my older, smaller volumes into one new large one, as hard drive capacities constantly increase. this could be a hassle if itunes doesn't automatically update the library when i move the files from one drive to another (i've noticed itunes does sometimes automatically update the references, but sometimes it doesn't, especially if i'm moving files between drives).

    the only disadvantage to this is that Mac OS shows I have loads more free space on my drobo than my drobo can actually hold with the current hard drives that are installed in it - but drobo dashboard, and the lights on the front of the drobo, make it easy to see how much space you actually have left. the drobo software warns you formatting the drobo to 16TB will make your computer take 16 minutes to start up as the OS scans a drive it thinks is 16TB, but that's not been the case - so perhaps that only happens with windows, in which case that would be another disadvantage.
     
  17. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

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    #17
    Cool, thanks Nando and Voodoo. I understand, but would never have thought of it in a hundred years. But I could see it as a small selling point.

    BUT, if you only have 4 TB and Mac OS thinks you have 16 how do you know when you're approaching full capacity? Do you just have to know?
     
  18. voodoofish macrumors regular

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    #18
    Drobo dashboard (which you don't have to install to use the drobo) has an icon in the menu bar that shows you how full it is. the blue lights on the front of the drobo also represent how full it is, so you can tell if you don't install drobo dashboard. if the drobo's nearly full one of the green lights next to one of the hard drive goes orange to tell you to replace that drive with a higher capacity one if you want more space.
     
  19. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

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    #19
    I went ahead and ordered it today. I will keep an extra eye on it in the first few weeks. Wish me luck
     
  20. voodoofish macrumors regular

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    #20
    good luck :D when i first got mine the only thing i found weird with it was that the drives didn't pop-out like they do on the internet video. when i emailed drobo they said the drive eject mechanism just needed to loosen up from the drobo being used (presumably from the discs spinning in it then?), which i thought sounded a bit weird, but they were actually right and after about a week the drives popped out fine. other than that it's all been plain sailing so hope it is for you too!
     
  21. vvebsta macrumors 6502a

    vvebsta

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    #21
    these things are very good for the average consumer...but not a very good solution for professional work...especially if your dealing with high definition video, or really large files.
     
  22. TRAG macrumors 6502

    TRAG

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    #22
    Drobo and movies

    I don't know much at all about RAID systems, I just like the Drobo simplicity. I'm nearly sold on it. I heard that it isn't really backing up and it's very slow. I read in another thread that the loudness depends on which drives you use so I won't have qualms about that.

    I would like to know how actual users have faired with DVD rips. I'm in the process of creating a Mac Mini HT system. I rip entire DVDs using Mactheripper and am not interested in convert it so it opens up in DVD Player. I rip all of my DVDs to an external HDD and time machine OS X on another drive of the same kind. I know that doing this with a Drobo wouldn't be actually backing up (I have the actual discs for that), but how well does it play DVD rips and VIDEO_TS files? Does it play them well with no skips or stutters?

    I'd appreciate any feedback.
     
  23. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #23
    icy dock 4 bay raid enclosure w/ esata and an express card slot + Mac OSX = my mbp raid solution

    Much cheaper then a drobo (unless a drobo contains the drives as well)
     
  24. Donar macrumors 6502

    Donar

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    #24
    I do not know how well it plays DVD Rips, but i have no problem playing 720p/1080p .mkv's from it.
     
  25. gcmexico macrumors 6502a

    gcmexico

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    #25
    *
    this is exactly how I set it up...my drobo has 4X1.5tb drives, connected to my mac mini...holds all my media, works like a charm....but it can be noisy at times
     

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