t3h Drobo

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kalisphoenix, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816

    kalisphoenix

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    #1
    Now that I am unbanned (come on... I was complimenting the n00b... seriously) and have some money to spend, I have some questions to ask.

    I'd like to have some redundant storage available. I've never been particularly good with backups, and I'm a real pack rat, so I figure I need a lot of storage with a full backup.

    I'm looking at a Drobo. To make it economically optimal would cost about $900 (Drobo @ $500 + 4x400GB HDs @ NewEgg). I'd end up with 1.1TB of available space, so that's about $.81/GB, hardly optimal, but fairly decent considering the features of the little guy.

    Of course, that's $900! I feel like I should just buy a used MDD or Quicksilver Power Mac and use the 2x400 IDE drives I already have.

    Does anyone have any opinions on the Drobo or any other inexpensive but quality drive enclosures/arrays? I'm hoping to spend about $500 absolute max, and as you can see, I'm a bit queasy about that.
     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Shh! ;)
     
  3. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #3
    I've been thinking about a Drobo. I wonder when we can expect a price drop.

    You know, you don't have to buy 4 drives right off the bat. That is the beauty of Drobo. You can add as you can afford. Which is probably what I would do.
     
  4. kalisphoenix thread starter macrumors 65816

    kalisphoenix

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    #4
    Maybe this Fall or Winter? It still doesn't have hardly any name recognition, even among geeks, so they can't be selling too many.

    The Drobolator encourages me to. If I spent $600 (Drobo + 1 400GB), I'd have only 185GB available, so it's roughly $3.24/GB. Wow! :eek: If I spent $700 (Drobo + 2 400GB), I'd have 370GB free, or $1.89/GB. At $800, w/ 3 HDs, it becomes 743GB or just over a buck a gig.

    It's not really a matter of having the money now -- I do have the money now. The bigger deal is that I'm pissed the Drobo doesn't take five drives, which would mean (I think) I could get 1.6TB for $1000, or $.62/GB :) It's a cost-per-gig thing that I'm upset about, even though it's feature-rich, seems to be highly-regarded in the few reviews I've seen, and isn't any more expensive than a cheap-o RAID array.

    But at the same time, I could theoretically throw a cheap ATA RAID card and two more 400GBs (I already have two) in my old Sawtooth and get a big RAID array for much less. But then it's not available via USB, and I'm trying to get rid of clutter and huge power-sucking machines, etc.

    So I dunno. I'm torn about the amount of money (I could buy a whole new Mac, or a colony of goats!), but I still want a lot of storage... and storage that I can trust.
     
  5. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #5
    Patrick Norton reviewed Drobo on dl.tv a couple of weeks ago (http://dl.tv/ - scroll down to episode 171)

    He really liked it. He yanked a couple of the drives out on air and it apparently was able to recover all the data (albeit 18 hours later).

    I'd need to view the episode again to confirm, but I seem to recall his saying they are working on firewire and ethernet support in future releases so I'd wait for that.
     
  6. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #6
    It sounds like you want more RAW storage than data protection.

    Drobo overall offers more data protection than a typical RAID. It really depends on what you want. You shouldn't look at data backup from a cost per GB perspective since you will always be disappointed. You should focus on data protection, because it really comes down to this: "how much is your data worth?"

    I do wish Drobo was firewire or NAS. Maybe in the next version.
     
  7. kalisphoenix thread starter macrumors 65816

    kalisphoenix

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    #7
    I wouldn't consider any storage solution that didn't allow me to lose any arbitrary drive with zero data loss. If I did, well, I already have four cheapo external enclosures with two 400GB HDs, a 250GB HD, and a 120GB HD -- so 1.1TB, roughly, and it's already up and running. Cost per gig is low. And I don't trust the setup at all.

    I don't see any value in a system so redundant that it could survive two drives failing -- not that it's a bad thing, but I wouldn't pay extra for the capability. I have absolutely crucial data, which I already backup, and then stuff I'd simply prefer not to lose. If two drives fail on me within the space of a couple days, well, I guess I'll just have to re-rip my movies and music. I'll still have a copy of the *really important* stuff.

    So with that in mind, I'm looking for the solution that offers the lowest cost per gigabyte while being able to survive one failed drive.

    So far, that seems to be a Drobo. Or, really, my Power Mac with a RAID card and more drives, but I'm willing to pay the cost difference between the RAID card and the Drobo for the features (being able to hot swap drives of different sizes, general ease of use, size, electricity savings, etc).

    I'm probably just bitching, which is my style. I want to be reassured that I'm making the right decision, since they're a relatively new company and I don't tend to trust unknown companies.

    Mine will be NAS. It works fine with Airport Extreme(n).
     
  8. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #8
    Yeah I know it works with the extreme. How well will the software work though? Will it still be able to tell it is a Drobo?
     
  9. kalisphoenix thread starter macrumors 65816

    kalisphoenix

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    #9
    I don't think the client software does anything more than monitor. The device manages itself. If I'm not misunderstanding you.
     
  10. kalisphoenix thread starter macrumors 65816

    kalisphoenix

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    #10
    I'm checking this out right now. Looks pretty good :) Thanks for the link.
     

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