Drobo or TC + external HDDs

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Rocco83, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. Rocco83 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I hooked up a nice network built completely for multimedia at my parents house and the TC worked fine for them with the limited amount of DVDs they have. For me though I have a collection of 600+ DVDs and Blu-Rays along with 100 gigs worth of songs on iTunes. I am having a harder time trying to decide if I need something more than a simple 2TB TC and an external HDD.

    I am wondering if a 2TB TC and external HDD as backup would be enough for a collection like that if I were to rip all my DVDs onto the TC. OR should I try something like Asus RT-N56U and a Drobo 4-bay storage array?

    With the Drobo if I have a HDD go bad it would be much easier to replace than a faulty TC HDD and it backs itself up with redundant drives. I also like that I can keep throwing in HDDs or switching out HDDs to get up to 16TB storage in the Drobo as my collection grows. and I'm not sure whether the 2TB of the TC would hold all my media?

    Anyone using either of these setups have any input they can help me out with?
     
  2. DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

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    Feb 26, 2011
    #2
    Theres a few users with Drobo's that report back good things. You might want to check, I think iTunes had some issue with the folder needing to be restored after rebooting? I can't remember.
     
  3. Rocco83 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Thanks for the input. I am going to do a few searches for Drobo on the forums methinks. I think I may have put this in the wrong forums, If a mod comes across this can it be moved to the peripherals forum. I think that might be the correct one. Thanks.
     
  4. munkees macrumors 65816

    munkees

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    #4
    It is worth doing your homework, I looked into Drobos, until I read the bad stuff that people reviewed, Drobos works good until something goes wrong, it is the going wrong, and how to fix the problem that scared me from Drobos. It is your data, if you get a Drobos, I would recommend getting another to back that one up.
     
  5. Rocco83 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Going the Drobo route is pretty much soaking up all of the money I can afford to use on this network. I have no problem going the TC route if 2TB is going to be enough to hold my media library once it is ripped.
     
  6. munkees macrumors 65816

    munkees

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    #6
    I have been running about 1.5 TB, I think I will hit 2 TB in about 1 to 1.5 years time, hopefully, things will have changed to make this work. I use 2 2TB external, one to host the files the other backup, total cost $250, been in play for about 1 year, see it lasting another year.

    I really like the drobos idea, but it does not safeguard about extreme failure such as it fries all the drives, has happened, and people lose all data. I think the best approach is to use 2 external dual drives (each drive has 2 1.5 or 2TB drives) this will give you 3 - 4 TB storage and the same for backup (time machine). The cost will be the same if not cheaper.
     
  7. OmegaRed1723 macrumors 6502

    OmegaRed1723

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    #7
    Regardless of what you choose, no device is failure proof. Someone will always have a horror story regarding company X or Y. Personally, I've been using a Drobo for some time now with no issues. A drive went bad in the array once, and my data was protected perfectly. Over time I've also upgraded all 4 drives to larger capacity, so my array has been redistributed a total of 5 times without a problem. My iTunes library (~130GB) and my video library (~4TB) are all on there, connected to my Mac mini via FW800. iTunes has never had trouble finding my files.

    Regardless of which brand you choose, I would recommend a solution that allows you to grow over time. That way you can start with just a couple drives and add to the array as you (inevitably) need more space.
     
  8. ohio.emt macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    I have heard good and bad about drobo, best bet would be if you could try one to see if it meet your needs. I heard a lot about slow transfers as the biggest complaint. I bought a readynas by netgear as it was best for my needs, and haven't had a problem. Also you might look at synology disk station.
     
  9. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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  10. OmegaRed1723 macrumors 6502

    OmegaRed1723

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    #10
    Definitely slow transferring data. 31MB/s is about all I can get on a sustained transfer.
     
  11. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    #11
    My old Drobo averaged about 30Mbps read/15Mbps write, which was painful. What was worse is that this was sort of the upper limit. It was very inconsistent. Once I was transferring about 900 150Kb photos over that were taken on my ancient digital. It stuttered even when doing this. It was the last straw. After that, I got my Synology and couldn't be happier :D
     
  12. Rocco83 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    this is the first time i've actually seen positives for Synology haha. Looks like I will have to look into some synology products. Anything in the same price range ($350) as the Drobo you would recommend from Synology. I really don't think anything lower than a 4 bay would work well for me.
     
  13. Rocco83 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Synology it is

    I think I'm going to try a 2-bay Synology NAS with 2 3TB HDDs and a couple 2TB external HDDs. Runs close to the same price and the reviews for Synology seem to be a little better than Drobo. The only thing that bothers me is that a few people say they only have 2.7TBs usuable after formatting their 6TBs.
     
  14. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    #14
    That's the same for any Redundant drive system. One drive disappears for redundancy, and the rest is because of formatting loss.
     
  15. Rocco83 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    ahh, my bad, wasn't thinking and forgot about the redundancy haha. I may need to scrap that idea and go for the 4 bay.
     
  16. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    #16
    You'll enjoy good futureproofing with the 4-bay, I wrote a review on the DS411j. Search forum for "ds411j honest review." (on mobile ATM)
     
  17. Rocco83 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    anyone who uses handbrake to rip their dvds able to tell me roughly the size of their dvds once ripped and compressed?
     
  18. AppleDApp macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

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    Jun 21, 2011
    #18
    A DVD is usually compressed to about 700mb blurays go anywhere from 8 to 20gb. it really depends on the settings you choose.

    Also on a side not When I first heard of the drobo a few months ago I thought it was the best idea. since then I've been doing quite a bit of research. I learned that typically they are slow and loud expensive for what you get.

    Here's what I learned from the Synology NAS faster, tons of features, wider range of NAS somewhat cheaper. however you can't put new drives in will the power is on and it's a little harder to put drives in. A 4 bay NAS would be great allows 12tb for the time being I doubt you will need that much space. your collection is no more then 2tb IMO.
     
  19. Rocco83 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Thank you for the help, It looks like I am going to have to go with the 4-bay. I was hoping to be able to get off with the 2-bay, but if I care to be able to expand on my collection I need a 4-bay :(
     
  20. AppleDApp macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

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    #20
    why the sad face 4-bay nas enclosures should be standard. What's your budget for this solution?
     
  21. mike457, Jul 18, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011

    mike457 macrumors 6502

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    #21
    As an earlier poster mentioned, Handbrake file size depends on the settings. I use the ATV2 preset and feed my movies to a 47" TV. Usually, standard DVDs are 1.5-2GB in size; blu-rays rip to 2-4GB.

    I use a Drobo with firewire 800 myself. I've had it since this model was introduced; I think that's about four years ago, now. I was looking at the same problem you're looking at. My itunes currently is 3.5TB in size, so I needed space and reliability. It is true that transfer speed is slow. I now use WD green drives, and the fan doesn't come on a lot. Certainly my furnace/air conditioning is more noisy. However, the Drobo is more noisy than my iMac.

    When I started with the Drobo, I had four 1TB Seagates, the ones with the firmware problem. All four and two replacements failed on me over a six month period (not all at the same time, thankfully), even though I did the Seagate firmware updates on the drives. Despite the failures, I lost no data, and it was easy to switch to more reliable, larger drives . The Drobo is now chugging along happily with WD 2TB Greens.

    It's worth remembering that people who post to forums are usually people with problems, and I certainly posted on the Seagate forum. People who are happy with their Drobos don't need to post about it! :)

    BTW, the four-bay Drobo 2 (the firewire 800 model) currently maxes out with 2TB drives. Drobo says that there will be a firmware update later in the year to allow larger drives. All the other current models take larger drives now.
     
  22. Rocco83 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    I was wanting everything to come in at around $750.
    I'm at $750 with:
    Synology DS411J - $374 (after shipping)
    2x Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB HDD - $160
    ASUS RT-N56U - $130
    Western Digital WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit - $100.

    Unfortunately not in that $750 is Mac Mini for HTPC, 2x ATV2, 8GB RAM upgrade, and a 128GB SSD. I know I can live without the RAM and the SSD for a few months no problem. the Mini isn't necessarily a concern at the moment either as I have a nice old gaming tower collecting dust that can be repurposed. I do however need the ATV2s.

    Anyone need a 250GB new XBOX360 with a few games and goodies for a couple ATV2s? haha. I think next after that I am going to have to get rid of a few $1000 worth of my wine collection to fuel my Mac habit.

    of the 2TB i'll start out with in the Syno, I'll have 1.8TB usuable? That may not fill up as fast as I had thought. If I trade my Blu-Rays out for regular DVDs and do 600 DVDs rather than a mix I should be fine. Even at say 1.5GB a burn that is only 900GB correct? The ATV doesn't do so great with 1080p if I'm not mistaken so if I rip them for 720p that should save some space? Most of the torrents I see are around 700mb which would give me roughly 420GB if I ripped my movies down to that size. In the end I would imagine I could get away with the 2-bay Syno?

    Sorry for the rambling, Trying to see how best to fit my desires to my budget. The movies would be streamed to a 32" LED-LCD 1080p 3D, and a 50" Plasma 1080p. Higher the quality the better, but I can dip a bit on the quality I guess if it will help with fitting all my DVDs onto the HDDs.
     
  23. AppleDApp macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

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    #23
    why did you need the mac mini? Why are you using powerline ethernet? I haven' heard many good things about it.
     
  24. zedsdead macrumors 68040

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    #24
    I highly recommend one of the newer Drobo S drives. Much better than the original models. I use it for iTunes and video editing and it works great.
     
  25. AppleDApp macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

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    Jun 21, 2011
    #25
    The Drobo S is rougly 200$ more then the 2nd gen Drobo and only adds another bay (and esata and usb 3 but I doubt mac users take advantage of this)

    Synology offers more for less. PC-less features saves lots of power and eliminates the need to get a mac mini to run an iTunes server.
     

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