Explain to me your concerns about proprietary RAID like Drobo

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by bennibeef, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. bennibeef macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    #1
    Hey guys,

    I'm using drobo for two years now, before that I used normal raid solutions in servers etc. but I dont have time anymore to do all this and keep it working if something fails and love its just working.

    But can someone explain to me the downside or fear of their raid solution? I mean okay everyone is saying if your drobo fails you cant read your data without buying another drobo - Well yea but what other solutions is there anyway?

    If my 500$ raid card fails - well I have to go out and buy another card

    Whats the idea here? Do you expect yea my card broke but well I try to read all the data disk for disk in my interface and store it somewhere else? Well you cant get your data this way either - buy a different raid card? Yea that maybe could work and you get your array read there but yes you are buying another 500$ card

    If my drobo fails yes I have to go out and buy another drobo **** happens. Or is this all about oh god my drobo fails I buy now a synology and man my array isnt working there? I'm not sure if you could get it working if your synology or qnap or whatever fails and you put that array in another nas box or attach it to a raid card what the chance is to get it read correctly (But I think it should be possible)

    No offense guys but give me some points here I'd just like to know maybe I'm missing something here
     
  2. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    If you need an array... use an array. However, you still need to backup the data. Do not count on any array to preserve data.

    With 6TB drives available now... many use cases can be performed using two... one for data, and a 2nd for backup.

    /Jim
     
  3. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #3

    With inexpensive 4TB+ hard drives available, revisit your use case. You may have no need for RAID after all. RAID boxes made sense for the home when storage was expensive and less than 1TB.

    If you like RAIDs and do RAID5 with 4TB drives and one drive fails. It takes so long to rebuild (a day) that another drive may fail and you loose all the data... no recovery except from the backup. So you need RAID 6 or 10 perhaps... more drives.

    In the home, RAID strategies make sense for small drives or performance use cases. But no need for an external box as OSX software can do striped for performance and mirror for redundancy.

    So, for storage capacity, one alternative to a RAID is to buy two 6TB drives, use one as the primary storage, the second as backup and either mirror them or use backup software. For performance, buy two (or more) 3TB drives and one 6TB drive, use OSX to RAID0 stripe the two smaller drives which provides 6TB of storage, and the 6TB as backup.

    The best answer depends on how much storage capacity do you need, any performance issues (is 30MBps good enough), and your backup strategy.

    The enterprise is a different animal.
     
  4. Alrescha, Jul 16, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014

    Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #4
    I do not think you are missing anything. As you have pointed out, if the chassis/card/product you purchased fails, you are going to have to buy a replacement from the same vendor. I think the singling out of Drobo as 'proprietary' is a red herring.

    A.
     
  5. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #5
    The real point here is that you cannot rely on any single RAID, and if you value your data, you must have at least one backup of all that data you value....
     
  6. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #6
    Well sure, I just did not interpret that to be the question.

    A.
     
  7. bennibeef thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    #7
    Yes - thats something to think about and I'm not using an array for performance (with drobo not possible anyway) and my drobo isnt a backup strategy thats not the point here. Its just a way to save stuff with failover and I am using the 2 drive can fail option which is basically raid 6. If I go out and buy 2 4TB drives which is enough for mirrored in raid 1 I dont feel very confident to be honest. If one of those fails, yes I have the other one and yes even if this one fails I can rebuild with a real backup but its the just the way I feel save with my data (maybe I'm overly cautious here but on there is all work stuff)
    its just to have the best way in no downtime in access to it.

    I just wanted to know your opinions about this. And no one knows a real argument against "beyond raid". Even if someone has, it wouldn't change my opinion, but everywhere you read someone recommend a drobo to someone or even someone reviews it, the first negative point is that it is a proprietary format. And well you have this problem either way if the unit itself fails.
     
  8. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    You seem to believe that having an array (either RAID or your Drobo) increases your data security. This is the flaw in your thinking.

    You should consider your Drobo to have exactly the same reliability as a single platter drive of the same effective size. It might actually have lower reliability. Devices like RAID and Drobo introduce new failure mechanisms that do not exist in single spindle drives.

    Irrespective if you have a single drive, or an array... backup is absolutely required if you care at all about the data.

    /Jim
     
  9. bennibeef thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    #9
    Then again I just wrote there the drobo isnt my backup or security strategy and even if all drives fail at once I still have my data because the drobo isnt the backup. There is living all the stuff. Its job is to serve the files even if something breaks and double breaks (2 drives) I still dont have to fiddle with some sort of device to use the real backup. In my opinion if I never have to touch my backup to restore then everything is working fine. (Lets think the drobo itself isnt breaking what could happen anytime but there is always the backup of the unit). And if the drobo fails well I go out buy a new one an put all the drives in there and everything is up again.

    Its not about the real "security" to loose the data itself its just about how fast can I get to data and is it always there.
     
  10. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #10
    If you are going to reconstruct the data from backups anyway... it doesn't matter, replace with what makes sense to you without constraints.

    Confidence and doing something the way you always have can be a good thing. Just saying that a RAID should not be giving you much confidence, thats a false sense of security perhaps from years ago and from marketing. Have you any experience recovering a failed drive in RAID5 or 6 array? It takes a long time and performance slows to a crawl. Its a lot easier and quicker to swap in a drive in the mirrored set. You are up and running at full capability much faster.

    RAIDs do have their place today, but the landscape and technology is changing making their place narrower and narrower.

    Because drive prices have fallen much more than RAID boxes, it is less money to swap in a new 4TB drive in a mirror than to replace a failed 4TB RAID box containing, what, three or four 2TB drives, otherwise it seems to be as functional equivalent as you think. The only constraint proprietary has is if you want to use the same drives and not reconstruct the data, you have to replace the RAID box with the same brand and perhaps model.... if they are still in business and offering the model.
     

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