Should I Get a Drobo?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by AndrewMRiv, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. AndrewMRiv macrumors regular


    Oct 29, 2013
    I have been searching the forums on Drobos and I have seen mixed reviews. I have seen that they are easy to use, easy to upgrade, and easy to maintain especially for those that are inexperienced with RAID. (I am not experienced with RAID Configurations at all. I have only read up it).

    I have also seen reports that the Drobo does not properly wake from sleep with the Mac, their support sucks, and that they are flaky.

    Others have stated that their products are not flaky anymore but I would just like to ask if people think that it would be a viable solution for me to get a Drobo.

    I currently use a Hackintosh but am getting rid of it soon for a new iMac with a small SSD on it for the OS and Applications. I would want to store everything else on the drobo. It would hold pictures, videos, audio, homework, etc.

    I have a huge amount of files. It is currently all on a 3tb Internal 7200 RPM HDD and I'd like to just pull that out and throw it into the drobo and eventually just add more as a I go.

    What do you all recommend? I'd like to still be able to salvage the 3tb HDD in my Hackintosh if possible.

    Thank you.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I have a drobo and I'm happy with. Its specifically the drobo mini.

    I do not like the hybrid RAID set up, but other NAS and DAS makers have done this, so they're not the only ones. I've had no problems with support but so far I'm still in the warranty period.

    My Mac and drobo wake up, I've not had any issues with the drobo sleeping/waking.

    I will recommend is that you consider a backup plan for your drobo (or any other DAS). If the drobo fails, you do not want to lose your data. I backup my drobo to another external disk, though my external drives are meager - only a couple terabytes, so getting another external drive isn't that expensive.
  3. entropyfl macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2009
    I've had a 2nd gen FW800 drobo for 3 years now and below are my pros and cons. My particular unit has been sent for repair twice which was inconvenient but they have good customer service so wasn't to bad. I use mine as my main iTunes library and also have photos and home movies backed up to it.

    good customer service
    expandable storage

    much slower than a normal FW800 drive (apparently new gen that you would get is meant to be a lot faster)
    v noisey (new gen is meant to be quieter)
    slow to boot when woken from sleep.
    slow rebuild times if a drive does fail.


    I was struggling to come up with positives to be honest.. I like it but I don't love it and do kinda regret buying it when has its slow times.. if i had to do it again or if i was you i'd probably get a couple G tech thunderbolt drives and daisy chain them.
  4. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    My thought is you should not get a "training wheels" raid setup. This is not to insult anyone who has a Drobo, but I just hear a very consistent mixed review on the devices. Mainly because the device is slow and loud (both criteria that made me pass on it).

    I got a Synology DS-212j (2 bay) about 2 years ago. I had heard it had great features, and was easy to maintain and whatnot. What I was not totally prepared for was that I had no idea what I was doing with the thing when I got it. I wouldn't say it's difficult, but it wasn't totally obvious how to get it running. Sure enough I slowly found my way and now have a decent understanding of RAID and now have a network media/backup device that I'm very happy with.

    My point to the OP is that if you've been reading up on RAID then do the logical thing and get yourself a better reviewed unit and just take it a step at a time. It's not that bad, but just be prepared to play with the thing for a day or two before you start to get comfortable with your purchase.
  5. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    The OP didn't state if he plans on a NAS or a DAS. No NAS will compete with a TB-attached DAS (like Drobo 5D). With a new iMac I'd vote for DAS.

    PS you can't simply drop your existing 3TB drive into Drobo (or any RAID array) and expect it to work. Your drive will be formatted for the array so you need to make sure you have no valuable data on te drive you insert into disk array.
  6. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    The newest Drobos are whisper quiet, and Thunderbolt is pretty fast.
  7. Pheo macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2011
    Wouldn't say my DroboMini is whisper quiet (interestingly its much quieter on USB3 than Thunderbolt - think the TB Controller generates a fair amount of heat).

    But certainly it is very fast, and a good option for photographers and videographers IMO.
  8. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Cool. I didn't know they had TB now. I'm a big advocate for network storage, but that is absolutely a personal preference. Good luck to the OP.

Share This Page