Time Capsule VS Drobo - Need Advice

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by MacFanJeff, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. MacFanJeff macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Location:
    IL, USA
    #1
    I was wondering if anyone out there has BOTH a Drobo and Time Capsule and could give their impressions of the two. While it's obvious the price of the Drobo would be more, I am speaking strictly on the features and performance between the two.

    Time Capsule seems to be getting mixed press and is OK, but lacking in some things. As have been pointed out, it seems a little slow no matter what and tends to run hotter than most would like. Also there are some issues with it showing up at times according to some reviews. Just wondering how the speed and other things compare with the Drobo.

    Also, I note that Drobo has a new Wireless Networking control module for the Drobo and they state the unit works fine with Time Machine for backups. Just thought I would ask to see what others think and if they have both units to compare.

    Thanks for any info.
     
  2. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #2
    They are 2 different worlds really, the drobo is designed for redundant storage whereas it's not possible on TC. On the other hand TC is made for Leopard and it works with Apple's own built-in Airport software which will make it easier for software updates and maintenance.
    As far as heat that can vary depending on the user's whereabouts. My TC only gets warm when I am dragging and dropping files to it and during backups. It does not overheat, I can't say I am lucky I just don't think that's happening to everyone but mine operates moderately warm.

    Sorry I don't own a drobo but again the drobo serves differently than TC.
     
  3. orfeas macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    #3
    According to the DataRobotics site, the Drobo is certified to work with Time Machine, but not the DroboShare. Their sales reps confirmed this as well. The issue still remains that you cannot use Time Machine with any NAS device other than Time Capsule. There is a hack out there to make it visible to Time Machine, but I don't know that I would trust it for my backups.

    Do you own a Drobo? I am considering purchasing one and wonder how well it performs with file transfers.
     
  4. mindcrash macrumors member

    mindcrash

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    #4
    I have a Drobo with 1.6TB of usable storage and am very happy with it. I use it to stream movies & TV shows to my :apple:TV and it works wonderfully for this. That said, transferring files back and forth can take a little while, but I'm never transferring less than a gig at a time. It's USB 2.0 so that should give you some idea of the speeds involved. It's my understanding that Drobo is a little slower due to the fact that it reads/writes across multiple disks.

    Anyway, I would whole-heartedly recommend it.
     
  5. orfeas macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    #5
    Thanks. I just ordered the Drobo. Should have it in a few days. My TC is working fine for what it was designed for, TM backups for two laptops. The Drobo will primarily be used direct connected to my MBP, but I will play around with connecting it to the TC and go in through the Gigabit from the MBP. I am not sure what the bottleneck would be that way as opposed to direct USB. I will post my findings here in a few days.
     
  6. negatv1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    MI
    #6
    The bottleneck is going to be the USB regardless of what the drobo is plugged into. A computer, TC, or even the drobo share - they all communicate over USB to the Drobo.
     
  7. MacFanJeff thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Location:
    IL, USA
    #7
    I wish Drobo had a Firewire 800 or eSATA connection for it as that would REALLY sell the unit for me. Right now, I am looking to augment the Time Capsule with a unit such as Drobo, but don't know what I should go with. I have seen the "G-Safe" units from G-Technology but don't know much about them. Does anyone have any thoughts on this or what do you use for protection backups for storage? I really would like the Drobo, but maybe something like the G-Safe would work too or another unit like it.

    Thanks.
     
  8. orfeas macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    #8
    Well here is my experience with the Drobo and TC so far. I started transferring files to the Drobo via USB and noticed throughput of roughly 17MB/s. This is about a Gig per minute if I am not mistaken. I thought it should go faster than that and called their support people. They told me that the bottleneck was not the USB in this case but the Drobo itself and that it gets a max of 20MB/s. No wonder they offer it as USB and not FW800, they aren't even reaching the USB limit. Now don't get me wrong, I love this drive and it is perfect for what I need, a primary backup location with built-in redundancy. I hooked it up yesterday afternoon, and started to transfer files from my various bricks (single external drives) to the Drobo. By this morning I had transferred about 1 TB of files. For me it doesn't matter that it took this long for the transfers. Once the files are there, I won't have to do this again.

    I will transfer some large files to the TC and then hook up the Drobo to the TC and do the same test and get some throughput numbers for anyone interested. I just can't get to it tonight.
     
  9. mindcrash macrumors member

    mindcrash

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    #9
    I use it to stream movies to my :apple:TV and it's fast enough for that.
     
  10. tequilaparis macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    #10
    Have more info?


    Hello Orfeas,
    I have already a Time Capsule, and I am thinking about buying a Drobo. Do yo have any experience on working on photos that are on your Drobo? Is it fast enough? Thanks in advance
     
  11. VoR macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    I'm interested in how they compare. 17MBs from a cheap consumer nas device isn't too bad compared to the ones I've tested.

    edit: way to notice the post dates... The new model looks quite neat, and the bandwidth they claim seems quite decent.
     
  12. woody74 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #12
    I have photos stored on a TC and am trying to edit them across a wireless network but it is just too slow. If you are using RAW files then I think you either need to be connected by ethernet or have them on the Mac hard drive. Bit of a shame I can't keep them on the TC for security and to keep my MBP drive clear but it just doesnt work at an acceptable speed. I am also finding this with movies through iTunes. With wireless the speeds are just not good enough for decent playback. Are other people find this or can people stream videos from their TC wirelessly at a good speed for playback?
     
  13. tequilaparis macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    #13
    Streaming thru TC


    Hello woody,
    I have an Lacie External Drive connected to my TC, and I use it as my Music and Video Library, I have not had any problems with my Itunes Library, nor watching videos directly from the drive. Are you setting your TC in the "n" mode, that helps a lot! If you have not , try to change your preferences ,
    Regards
     
  14. orfeas macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    #14
    What is your wireless connection speed to the TC?

    Are you setup to use the "n" speed or are you connecting at "g"? I have the original 2.0GHz MBP Core Duo, and it does not support the wireless n speeds. You can confirm yours by launching Network Utility and selecting the (en1) interface (see attached picture). On the bottom left it will list what it supports. Mine is a/b/g. To get the higher speed wireless connection, you'll need to see an n in there, which means your hardware supports it.

    I am not an expert at this, but in the past anywhere I've worked, even on a wired ethernet network, it was not advised to "edit" any files on remote network shared drives. Interruptions in the connectivity (during an edit or a save) could potentially corrupt your only copy of the file on the shared network drive (in this case the wireless TC). Perhaps technology has advanced and this is no longer an issue, but I would recommend copying the current image file(s) you are working on from the TC to your MBP (local hard drive). Finish your edits, then transfer them back. I'd feel safer that way.

    Regarding the movie playback, check to see what speed you are connecting at. I get the occasional stutter at the 54 speed. Since I do not have an n adapter I cannot comment on how smooth it should be at n speeds, but check to see what your machine is capable of and then confirm you are actually connecting at that speed.
     

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