Drobo Update?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mtfield, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. mtfield macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    #1
    I've been looking into NAS options, and have started to look seriously into purchasing a drobo and hooking the usb cord to my AEBS and I think it would do fantastic. Looks like a great piece of hardware. I'm a filmmaker and have a couple other drives, so my thought process is I use those drives A.) I have a smaller drive that is easily transportable.. and B.) use the bigger one for project that I am working on currently so that I have the FW 800 for a speedier scratch disk. Then I can use drobo for time machine, itunes storage, and archives of past video projects... does this sound like a sold set up??? What I really want to know is if drobo is due for an upgrade... I'm not totally sure how long it's been out (I think a year...) if so seems like it should get a revamp soon... even though i'm not sure what can be improved... anyway any word on if this little machine is going to get a makeover anytime soon??? Thanks!
     
  2. ButtUglyJeff macrumors 6502a

    ButtUglyJeff

    Joined:
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    Location:
    New York. The state, not the toilet.
    #2
    I have heard rumors of a 6 bay Drobo, and firewire support, but only that. Just rumors. I'd like to see a transfer speed increase myself, though I doubt that would be enough for me to upgrade units.

    There used to be a forum, at Data Robotics' web site, but it has since gone down. That's where these rumors would spread. Kind of like here.
     
  3. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #3
    A couple of things:

    I don't know if you plan to shift video projects via wifi or not. From experience, shifting very large files over wifi is a painful experience.

    Most network attached storage is very slow, until you start spending good money. It's ok for small files, but when you get to shifting a 10GB file (which is a small video project) then you start getting very long transfer times and mysterious failures.

    Also Time Machine on a Drobo over an AEBS is an unsupported solution. Yes, it might *seem* to work with a hack, but no way, no way would I ever trust my backups to an unsupported hack. False security is worse than no security.

    I'd get either

    - a Time Capsule (how much is a proper working, supported Time Machine worth to you?)

    - or find an old Mac mini or mac laptop or something else with gigabit ethernet, and connect the Drobo to that, or connect several large drives mirrored (e.g 2x1tb separate externals - faster and cheaper than a drobo) and use that as a networked Time Machine repository plus network storage.
     
  4. mtfield thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    #4
    Thanks for the warning... Yea, I know what you mean about long and inconsistent transfers over wifi, I plan to just plug them both into to my computer directly whenever I have a big transfer like that (My 320gb lacie via FW800 and the drobo by the USB 2.0.. it still will be a bit on the slow side, but I think I can live with those speeds...) As for time machine... I presently have it backing up via another LaCie 320 which is attached to my AEBS and seems to be working great (albeit a little slow..) Are you saying this too is unsupported? or is it something specifically with the Drobo??? Also I was under the impression that my AEBS had a Gigabit ethernet??? thanks for your help guys!
     
  5. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    Location:
    .. London ..
    #5
    You've got the right idea about file transfers.

    About Time Machine on a disk attached to an AEBS, a lot of people do that, and it *seems* to work. However, it's still officially unsupported. Which is maybe fine for some people and some home use.

    It isn't for me. I don't want to risk TM failing 6 months down the line or when my system disk dies and I need to do a complete reinstall from the TM backup.

    It stores millions of files in a complex nest of files and folders and links, and I'm not sure how bulletproof it is when dealing with large transfers over a flaky wifi connection.

    That might be why Apple recommend running network TM off a host OSX machine - there's more software and processor power in there to deal with issues that might crop up.
     
  6. mtfield thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    #6
    Yea I understand what you mean about not trusting the wifi connection... thus far *crossing fingers* I have only lost one document that I needed time machine to recover, and I must say over that wifi connection to load up the time machine program and go back through it was the longest and most lagged experience I've ever had with a mac. I At the moment I have two externals that I use for a mix of TM and for my digital work, but those are about as maxed at as they could be. What I'm thinking is I will do time machine on drobo and use my current work on one of my externals... then with the other external use... i forget the name of the software... but that one program that makes an exact clone of your HD and keep that on an off site location. So if things do go very wrong with TM I will always have that other back up... My hope is to keep that one updated weekly.. but I'll see how I do with that... :rolleyes:
     
  7. macintosh tech macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    #7
    The forums are still there: http://www.drobospace.com/

    You just have to be a registered member and have a Drobo serial number.

    I personally do not use time machine. I have a Powermac G4 running as a server, it has 5 drives in a RAID 5. Those are mirrored to the Drobo for redundancy. That way, my files are being pulled from a fast RAID over gigabit, while the Drobo does its thing in the background.
     
  8. ButtUglyJeff macrumors 6502a

    ButtUglyJeff

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    #8
    Its not the "hack", you imply it to be. Its far more legit...........

    http://www.drobo.com/pdf/time_machine_app_note.pdf
     
  9. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    Location:
    .. London ..
    #9
    That info you linked to has nothing about running TM on a Drobo (or other disk) linked to an AEBS.

    It only shows TM running on a Drobo linked to a Mac computer. That's fully supported by Apple, and will hold the TM store for any other Macs on the same local network.

    My concern is about running TM on a Drobo (or any disk) directly plugged into an AEBS or any other network disk interface. That's unsupported. It can be made to 'work' via the hack, but I wouldn't trust it.
     
  10. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #10
    Can any drobo users comment on the noise level?
     
  11. macpluslaptop macrumors 6502

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    Jun 5, 2007
    #11
    drobo update

    FWIW, I talked to a Drobo rep at MacExpo last Jan and he indicated (with a nod) that the firewire version was in the works. They can't talk about it. But I have no other confirmation of this. I have friends who like the Drobo USB version, but I wouldn't ever rely on USB for large data transfers. It's too painfully slow.

    I hope Drobo announces their plans soon, because I can't wait much longer without some indication.
     
  12. pprior macrumors 65816

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    Aug 1, 2007
    #12
    Obviously the rumors were true - firewire 800 is released.

    I ordered one and was told at least 2 weeks till it ships (? vaporware)

    Can anyone comment on NOISE levels?
     
  13. ButtUglyJeff macrumors 6502a

    ButtUglyJeff

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    #13
    It does make noise. When its moving data, or booting up, there's a humming sound. And when it gets warm you hear the fan running.
    But I wouldn't call it loud...........
     
  14. pprior macrumors 65816

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    Aug 1, 2007
    #14
    Could you compare it with, say, the noise on the Mac Pro.

    My mac pro I can barely hear under my desk. The RAID5 box I just sent back was WAY louder, when I shut it off it was a dramatic drop in room noise, and it was touted as "quiet" in reviews I read.

    And are you talking about the new one (supposedly quieter) or the original drobo?

    Thanks so much for the feedback
     
  15. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    IOWA
    #15
    Everything I've read about connecting a Drobo (or any other external for that matter) to an AEBS makes the process out to be simple. Anything plugged into the AEBS, shows up on the mac as any other connected drive. There is no 'hack' involved, or even any additional software. If you can connect a regular external to the AEBS, you can connect the Drobo to it. It appears just as a normal (2GB) drive. It's that simple.

    If I am wrong, please correct me, but this is what I've gathered from researching a lot about it and getting feedback from others with this setup.
     
  16. pprior macrumors 65816

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    Aug 1, 2007
    #16
    I think the issue is that apple does not support time machine backups to ANY drive hooked to an AEBS via USB without the hack. I may be wrong on that, as I don't use that setup, but I think time capsule is the only way to get support that way.

    Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong :confused:

    Oh - and any more comments on Drobo noise!!??
     
  17. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
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    #17
    Oh, yes, that was fixed with one of the recent updates. AEBS now works perfectly as a network gateway between computers and external drives. No hack required.

    Hooking a Drobo up to a wireless network through AEBS should work perfectly now.

    P.S. All I know about noise levels is that the first drobo is "kind of" noisy, and the new one is supposed to be significantly more quiet.
     
  18. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #18
    As far as I know, no.

    From Apple:

    Nothing about disks connected through AEBS there. (and funnily enough, nothing about TC either)

    I'm one of the people who got burnt, buying a buffalo linkstation with the intention of using it as a TM drive, so I'm bitter about that.
     
  19. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #19
    I did a little research and found the sources I was talking about. USB drives off of AEBS ARE working now. A Drobo connected to an AEBS for use with Time Machine should be a great solution!

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=457214&highlight=aebs+time+machine+update

    http://www.macrumors.com/2008/03/19/apple-updates-time-machine-and-airport/

    http://www.macrumors.com/2008/03/19/time-machine-now-works-with-airport-extreme-usb-drives/


    If I remember right... they made these firmware updates about 1-3 months after Time Capsule's launch.
     
  20. ButtUglyJeff macrumors 6502a

    ButtUglyJeff

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Location:
    New York. The state, not the toilet.
    #20
    I have an origional Drobo. Does anybody have the new one yet?

    The noise is different then my Mac Pro. I think the Mac Pro fans are louder, being that the Drobo only has one. But the Drobo is up on my filing cabinet, and I definately hear the humming sound from time to time, whereas I don't hear my Mac Pro on my carpeted floor.
     

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