Drobo Reviews on Newegg are Troubling...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Sparky9292, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. Sparky9292 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2004
    Poor Reviews of the Drobo on Newegg.

    My 500GB External SATA drive died with the click of death last night. I've lost tons of baby pictures/movies etc. I do have some of it backed up, but I'm sure I'm going to lose something.

    I don't want this to happen again.

    I want a NAS RAID-type storage solution that works well with OSX/PC. The Drobo is getting bad reviews on newegg -- and I really value the newegg reviews. What other choices are there?

  2. ag55 macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2009
    I was looking into a drobo but decided to go for a mybook studio edition 2tb. im using 1tb mirrored for redundancy.

    the drobos performance seems to be the same as the first generation, its more expensive than the mybook, firewire 1600/3200 soon.

    the endless storage is appealing in the drobo but the speeds seem to be bad.
  3. MovieCutter macrumors 68040


    May 3, 2005
    Washington, DC
  4. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    For about $30 less you could build your own reliable and much more functional Linux Server or NAS, minus the hard drives. Capable of RAID 5 on up to 6 hot swappable drive bays. You could save about $150 if you did not want the hot swap bays. Which would mean opening the case on the occasion of a hard drive failure.

    Power usage should not be drastic as the cheapest Intel Celeron uses 35W (1.8Ghz Conroe) and some motherboards capable of 6 port SATA RAID 5 can have a built in ICH10R RAID controller and video. Since the CPU provides more performance than needed you could even underclock the CPU and use less energy.

    A server or NAS would also be available to all computers on your network for file storage with quick connections via gigabit Ethernet. Moderately quick by 802.11n. All with the addition of a $50 to $75 802.11n router with 4x10/100/1000 Ethernet jacks. Assuming they have 802.11n or gigabit ethernet. The 802.11n cards can be had for $20 to $30 and gigabit Ethernet cards can be had for less than $20.

    For RAID 5 you will need at least three hard drives. Even with a RAID 5 NAS, Server or Drobo. You should have all the external hard drives needed to keep a backup of all your files, at least the important ones, and stored in at least a fire/water proof safe bolted to the floor, preferably stored off site. The best backup system in the world is useless against theft, vandalism, riot, terrorism, flood, fire, other acts of god or curious children.

    Personally I would not buy a Drobo. Just because I can build a much more versatile and expandable Linux server for the same price. With how massive storage is. Unless you are saving lots of HD Video that server should last you many years. The vast majority customers I see use less than 8GB for their files.

    You could likely save some more money buy buying a RAID 5 board with less SATA ports. As three hard drives is likely going to be more than sufficient for a long while.
  5. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    I like my Drobo pretty well, but it's not a NAS. The Droboshare, from what I read on their community pages, is a piece of crap.

    My Drobo is plugged into my Mac Mini, which shares the contents with various devices as appropriate. A NAS, for me, would be a waste of network bandwidth.

  6. alriyn macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2009
    I've got a thecus 3200pro running in RAID 5 and use it as backup for Time Machine as well as NAS. Works well with OSX, linux, and windows.
  7. ButtUglyJeff macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2008
    New York. The state, not the toilet.
    I have a Drobo + Droboshare. The Drobo by itself can Time Machine with one machine. I purchased Droboshare to make it seen by the 3 computers that use the network.

    If I was starting over, I'd still buy the Drobo, but skip the Droboshare for a Time Capsule instead.
  8. Sparky9292 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2004

    1. Can you have multiple computers using it for Time Machine? I have my mac and my wife has hers.. Can it do both?

    2. Dumb question, do all three drives have to be exam same?

    3. The reviews say it's noisy. This true?

    4. The maximum space for 3TB drives is 2TB on a raid config... correct?

    Thecus 3200PRO at Newegg for $359
  9. MovieCutter macrumors 68040


    May 3, 2005
    Washington, DC
    For $30 more than that, I get the value of all the time it would take me to set that up, and not have to deal with configuring anything. Not to mention using any drives I have lying around of different sizes and brands. Basically....a braindead solution. I've been using 2 Drobos for over a year and they've been perfectly fine for all the uses I have for them (HD video editing, archiving, iTunes storage, AppleTV playback, etc) But hey, to each their own.

  10. Bonsai71 macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2008
    RAID is not the same thing as a backup

    Then stop using a single device and location for your important files, because even if the drobo were getting glowing reviews, if the logic board or power supply failed, and the company was no longer around, or your particular box was no longer serviceable, your data set would be inaccessable - even though the drives were perfectly fine.

    I just had this very thing happen with a Lacie 'Big' drive - the 2 drives in the external unit were still fine, but the logic board failed, and the drives were unreadable, because they were hardware striped, no OS could make sense of them, also it was old (I am happy with the product / company, it lasted about 6 years) and I had to resurrect an old IDE motherboard to access the drives.

    However, I didn't lose a thing, because the all the data was on another drive as well. A backup drive. I re-formatted the drives, and they are part of another computer now, still working.

    This is a common, and recurring thread I see, people mistaking RAID (1 or 5) as a backup - it isn't. This is especially true of hardware RAID, cards or boxes, because the hardware creates a single point of failure, even if the drives can fail, and be recovered, the RAID controller itself isn't redundant.

    What you want to do is build the simplist thing you can, and then double it. All of it, not just the drives. I would look into Time Capsules or Airport Extreme + a USB drive as a continuos incremental backup to whatever external, or internal drive you like - even something like a Drobo - you still need to back it up. I would also look into online backups, they survive your house burning to the ground, or all your equipment getting stolen.

    Which is how my friends lost all of their babies pictures :(
  11. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Good advice ^^.

    Something most people don't heed until it is too late. I learned the hard way. Had my disk in my macbook fail, then my backup as well. How or why, no idea.

    Now I have multiple redundant copies. One in the mac pro, one external and then the time capsule. Just for time machines. Important work is also in 2 extra drives I have laying around. I just moved to Philly, so I will be getting a new safe deposit box to keep one in.

    Backup and then backup again.
  12. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

    Jul 8, 2008
    my house
    great advice! And it has got me thinking on a few things.

    any suggestions on how i can backup my drobo? with another drobo?

    We have important things like baby pictures on my MacBook and her iMac. Both are backed up to an external HD via airport extreme. Therefore, the 'important' stuff is in 2 (3) places.

    I suppose I could stick the airport extreme in the garage to protect from fires? Too bad Mobile me is only 10GB or is it 20GB :confused:

    And advantage of drobo is it will let you know if a drive is failing before it's too late.
  13. frogger2020 macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2006
    I use a DNS-323 for storage and backup purposes. One of the disks is my network storage which backs up nightly to the second disk. The backup is a daily incremental backup so all file changes are stored. The linux based DNS-323 has a very active modder group who creates software modifications including this backup software which has a similar functionality as time capsule.
  14. alriyn macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2009
    1. Multiple computers is fine. I have a MacBook Pro and a mini that I use with Time Machine.
    2. Not sure about the drives. I just bought 3 TB drives when they were on sale through newegg.
    3. It IS noisy. I keep it in the basement. I don't need to see it as you can check status, reboot, etc, remotely. I have mine set up through dyndns as well for internet access.
    4. 3TB = 2TB in Raid5 for me.
  15. Donar macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2008
    Share one drobo on the net, mount it on another computer where the second drobo is connected and let CCC do it's thing. If you do not have/want a second drobo you could also backup (depending on volume size) to a two or four terabyte MyBook Studio II.

    Personally i have a drobo connected to my computer which holds a copy of the 2 TB MyBook II which is connected to my NAS. I was too lazy to setup arsync to automate the backup so i do it manually - bad idea i know...
  16. akutad macrumors regular


    Jul 12, 2008
    London, Ontario, Canada
    +1 I have the mybook studio edition 1.5TB and I love it.
  17. feelthefire macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2006
    Ok, so, I had been planning to do a drobo+droboshare for a central storage solution in a lab that has 9 computers total, a mix of macs and PCs.

    Whatever I use needs to be networked somehow (can I network all this through something like a time capsule or a mac mini instead of a droboshare?) and remote access would be a plus. I CANNOT set up an actual server as the university does not allow private servers. It would have to be set up through an existing system. Speed is not really all that important.

    Is there a way I can do this? I need the following:

    central file storage on an existing network
    remote access (maybe through back to my mac on mobile me?)
    has to be self contained like the drobo OR be able to be run off a desktop system and shared over the network.

    Anyone can help??
  18. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    My Drobo works very well; I know it's a proprietary solution, so I don't depend on it fully for that reason; I still back up my important data off-site; I still keep DVDs around to archive stuff I won't be access in a long time, but need a medium that's not likely to have moving parts prone to failure, is water-proof, and definitely does not store data in a proprietary format.
  19. feelthefire macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2006
    I think I am going to go with a Linkstation Quad 4TB for what I was thinking.

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