Drobo Questions

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by crotalus99, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. crotalus99 macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2007

    I have the original Drobo usb. I have been happy with it, but it can be slow at time and I can not stream HD content without a glitch "sometimes".

    I am considering getting a newer version and trying to decide between the Drobo S vs Drobo FS.

    My Mac Mini sits next to the Drobo and the ethernet hub so I can easily go either way.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. sfwalter macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Dallas Texas
    WHy not get just the Drobo not the Drobo S or Drobo FS. It only has 4 bays compared to 5 on the Drobo S. However the standard Drobo does support firewire 800. Does your MacMini have a firewire 800 port?

    I am looking into getting a Drobo or the Drobo S. From what I've read the Drobo S for twice as much doesn't give much more over the standard Drobo. With the Drobo FS you can only connect it via ethernet cable to your network so you would be limited to your network bandwidth.

    If I was you I would get the standard Drobo, if you are set on either the Drobo S or Drobo FS then get the Drobo S.

    Just my thoughts.
  3. pdpfilms macrumors 68020


    Jun 29, 2004
    The biggest improvement I interpreted from the Drobo FS to S is the speed improvement of eSATA. If you can't make use of it with a Mac Mini, I wouldn't bother. FW800 will give you improved speeds, sure, but may not be worth the drastic increase in price.

    However, I will say that I've been editing HD regularly and my Drobo S is performing perfectly via eSATA. Neat little box.
  4. Sykotic macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2009
    I have a 2nd gen Drobo but connect it via USB 2.0 to my 3 year old Dell desktop. I stream HD all the time even two different programs to two different systems (a Mac Mini running Plex and a WD TV Live).

    Only time I have issue is if I'm trying to copy a file or there is too much other read/write activity going on (extracting, for example).

    I didn't hook mine up via FireWire 800 because performance proved no better. After tons of research it seems PCs suck at Firewire performance outside the use of video extraction from camcorders, etc. Drobo actually advised against using Firewire for data validity reasons, if I recall correctly.

    But I'm surprised you are having issues over USB of streaming HD.
  5. OmegaRed1723 macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2009
    The Waste
    I also have a second generation Drobo, connected to my Mac mini via FW800 and loaded with four Western Digital 2TB Caviar Green drives. I use Plex .9 and streaming has been seamless, even with very large (>20GB) 1080p rips.

    I know lots of folks have pissed and moaned about how slow the Drobo is; I have not found that to be the case. Coming from an external Seagate drive connected with USB 2.0, the Drobo seems incredibly snappy.
  6. crotalus99 thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2007
    Thanks for the replies.

    My thought with the FS was that it could be used as a network drive. Since the mac mini can't use the esata do you think that having it connected with ethernet would be faster than usb 2.0 or firewire 800?

    My understanding was that even the current Drobo with usb/fw was faster than my original usb only?

    Does anyone have an FS?
  7. musicpenguy macrumors 65816

    Oct 29, 2006
    So here are some thoughts:

    I got last week my first Drobo - a DroboPro - it was around $1300 - and I have to say VERY IMPRESSED well worth the money.

    It is hooked up via the ethernet port using a new technology ISCI for a very fast connection and it keeps my other ports open.

    I use WiFi and it works great that way. I am able to stream HD content to the new AppleTV from it without a glitch.

    Also I have it setup with FileSharing on the Mac mini to share it out to other Macs on the network to use as a TimeMachine drive (a special partition for this) as well as use for the universal iTunes/iPhoto libraries.

    I hope this helps - ZumoCast is also a great app to access the Drobo worldwide

  8. OmegaRed1723 macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2009
    The Waste
    Yes, the 2nd generation Drobo is faster than the Drobo, even on USB. The FS and S both have a faster processor, so they will be quicker than a 2nd gen Drobo. If you go the FS route, connecting via ethernet will be on par with FW800, provided your computer is hard wired to the router. Obviously, WiFi data transfer rates will be considerably slower.

    The downside I see to the FS is that it's ethernet or nothing. If I want to add a second Drobo down the line (or even just another FW800 drive), I can daisy chain. With the FS, that's not possible.
  9. Jeradin macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2008
    Was just trying to decide between Drobo S and FS, but 4 bay would likely be fine with the Drobo 2nd Gen.

    I really liked the FS NAS idea, but I have a Netgear WNDR3700 with a USB port, likely just as good to connect the Drobo 2nd to it and have NAS with that setup right?

    I understand copying files to and from the drobo USB might be slower then the gigabit, but likely no by to much.

    currently I have a Seagate with firewire 800 and it is fast.. but even transferring over eithernet to the Seagate I can do 6GB transfer in 4 mins, where my timeCapsule takes 30mins to copy the same 6GB folder.
  10. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    I have both a Gen 2 and a S, and the S is definitely faster (and can even handle video editing in FCP, something the 2nd gen couldn't do). It is worth the extra money.
  11. Capt Crunch macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2001
    Cleveland, OH
    If you're deciding between the FS and the S for performance, get the S.
  12. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Drives connected via USB sharing on your router tend to be extremely slow - generally less than 10 MegaBytes per second read/write, and often less than 5 MB/sec. That is glacial.

    Now the Drobo is not a fast device by any stretch of the imagination (its achilles heel), but it should generally be good for 20-30MB/sec. It doesn't matter how you connect it though, except for convenience, because that speed is easily handled by USB2 - let alone FW800 or Gigabit Ethernet.
  13. Jeradin macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2008
    Thank you for the advice.

    zhenya, good to know the numbers, I had guessed my speeds would drop but not by that much! Guess I am letting go of that easy solution.

    also after reading more for the price and speed and proprietary way Drobo works, I am leaning to a straight NAS, or a raid connected straight to the macmini and share it through my network.

    OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2- great price, great reviews, but no LAN connection...

    LinkStation Pro Duo 4.0TB NAS - LS-WV - Would like to wait for the next version with 4 bays, but its damn pricey.

    LaCie 301359U 4TB 4big Quadra - pricey but damn that thing is sexy.

    Synology DS411j - this is likely what I should get, 4 bar, great reviews, FAST and solid.

    Dale Jacobs
  14. philipk macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2008
    I know you didn't ask but get rid of the ethernet hub and replace it with a switch no matter which way you go.

    Now that switches are so cheap, all ethernet hubs should be replaced. The switch does a better and faster job on the network.
  15. Sykotic macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2009
    I had been using my Dell PC as my main computer. I have a Drobo formatted in NTFS connected to it via USB.

    I've now taken my Mac Mini, which had been serving as my HTPC, and am wanting to use it as my main computer.

    So I would like to move the Drobo and connect it to the Mac Mini instead. However, it is formatted in NTFS which may, or may not, present issues. I'd also like to connect it via FireWire 800 for the faster read-write capabilities. I have too much content stored to move it off and re-format into a Mac compatible format.

    I'm curious of whether or not I could interface with it via VMWare Fusion/Windows emulation and write to it that way? I've seen some solutions that claim they can write to NTFS drives from a Mac but I don't want to find out I have a bunch of corrupt data down the line if it is an imperfect solution.

  16. rkuo macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2010
    The DroboPro is MUCH faster than the Drobo v2. I get 10-20MB per second max ... adequate for streaming content off, extremely painful for loading or unloading content en masse. The DroboPro seems to be able to keep up with my RAID array native speed over iSCSI ... so I get 2-3x performance. Quite a difference.
  17. rayray5340 macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2010
    Drobo Setup?

    I am hopping someone can help me with my Setup. I have my new Drobo currently connected to my Airport Extreme via the usb. I have noticed the drag on my network when I'm moving huge files. I also have noticed it when I'm trying to stream video content. Sucks I know and I have read all the post talking about it. My question is: If I ran out and purchased a Mac Mini, plugged the Drobo into that and used the Drobo in a DAS setup, will my other Macs in the house see the Drobo in my network. the key here for me is to be able to access the Drobo remotely and yet have the speed of it being connected locally and get better transfer speeds?
    Any Ideas would greatly be appreciated.

    One other problem that comes to mind is that when in the NAS setup I dont have Drobos dashboard and I wonder how should I place it in standyby mode to move from one place to another and not risk loosing or corupting data. Going from DAS to NAS is spelled out but what about the opposite?
    Looking for this answer for a week now. any Ideas?
  18. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    What do you mean by a 'drag' on your network? How are the computers accessing the Drobo doing it? Wireless or over Ethernet?

    What purpose would the Mac Mini serve? Yes, you'd attach it to the Drobo, but what would the Mini be doing?

Share This Page