Using Drobo with Time Machine

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by smallnshort247, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. smallnshort247 macrumors 6502a

    smallnshort247

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #1
    Hey guys,

    I just setup my new Drobo 2nd Generation and I'm having a bit of trouble. Right now I only have 1TB drive inside (I'll be getting a second drive later this week). What I want to do is create a second volume or learn how to "partition" the drive for Drobo so I can use half of the space for time machine and the other half for my normal files.
     
  2. Wavell macrumors regular

    Wavell

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    Essex, UK
    #2
    You need to setup your timemachine partition using the DRobo Dashboard utility that came with your DRobo. Doing this will erase whatever data you currently have on your Drobo. :)
     
  3. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #3
    Following on from this, you would need to create the volume in the Drobo Dashboard thats big enough to include all the space available for data.

    for example, i have 4 x 2TB drives in mine which leaves me with 5.5TB of available memory for data. I created an 8TB volume in the Drobo Dashboard and then used the Mac Disc Utility to create whatever partitions i needed (not adding up to more than the 5.5TB i had to play with). This is defiantly a good idea for Time Machine as you can specify the exact size of the partition for it, rather than go by the volume sizes available in the drobo dashboard that aren't very flexible. You can them partition the rest for other data etc. easy :)
     
  4. smallnshort247 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    smallnshort247

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #4
    I have another question. I still don't really understand the whole adding drives idea. Right now I have Two 1TB drives inside my drobo. So do I select 2TB as the volume size? The thing I don't understand is when you add more drives it still says the volume size is 2TB. Sry I'm such a noob! haha
     
  5. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #5
    well the whole selling idea behind Drobo is the fact its expandable storage, you need to get your head around this to reap the benefits.

    When you're in the Drobo Dashboard and its asking you to create a Drobo volume think of it as a "virtual" drive, because its virtual you can specify to create a drive bigger than the amount of memory you have available. i know that probably doesn't make much sense but its actually quite smart. When you store stuff on on of these virtual volumes it basically stores the data across the disks on your Drobo which keeps it secure if one of them dies.

    I'll give you an example, as you have 2 x 1TB drives in there at the moment. That should leave you with 1TB of usable space right? Despite only having 1TB of available space right now you can create a much bigger Drobo volume (such as 8TB like on mine) If you need more than 1TB of usable space all you need to do is plug in another hard drive, the majority of its space will be added the Drobo volume.

    The thing you need to do is figure out how much space you might need in the foreseeable future and creating a Drobo Volume of the right size for that, then partitioning it as needed for your time machine and other data. Then in the future add more sata drives when needed.

    I'm sorry if this post is a little long! Do you have any idea how much storage you intend in putting in your Drobo in the future? and the size of the Time Machine backup you would need?
     
  6. smallnshort247 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    smallnshort247

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #6
    Once again thanks for taking the time to explain this to me!

    Well having 2TB's worth of storage available to me is a different feeling. I usually don't have a ton of data that needs to be backed up but I'm starting up a little VHS to DVD converting business so I plan to save all the customers raw video files on the drobo, kind of like how your doctors office saves files on you. I knew this would take a ton of space and I didn't want to put all that on my MBP hdd. I purchased two 1TB drives for my drobo because buying two 500GB drives didn't seem wise considering the price difference. I honestly think it will take me a good amount of time to use up the current space on the drobo before I need to add another drive.

    I like the way you put it as "virtual drives". I think that is what confuses me the most about the drobo. It just was hard for me get the idea of having a volume thats bigger than the current available space you have as of now.

    Since i have a 640GB hdd in my MBP I'll probably make the partition for time machine 640GB even though im only using a little over 200. With that said, do you think I should still select 2TB on the Drobo volume thingey?
     
  7. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #7
    No problem :)

    Before we decide what size Drobo volume you are gonna need to know what your storage requirements are. i understand you were intending to keep a copy of your customers video, but are you going to back it up using time machine or just have a single copy of it? and are you open to spending more money on hard discs if the need increases?

    You sound like you may be underestimating the amount of storage you are going to need if you are getting into the business of converting/storing VHS and DVD (for example, DVDs are anywhere between 5-9GB each)

    I do similar work with video and have 2 x 2TB external drives for storage/workflow (to not clog my boot drive with files!) and a Drobo with 4x2TB drives for time machine backups. It sounds like alot of space but when you are working with large video files or disc images it very quickly disappears!

    Because you only have 2 drives in your Drobo right now and they are both the same size you will find only 1TB of it is available over your 2 drives (for protection) which won't be very much space at all if you want to work on video and do full backups of everything.

    this is off topic but i do recommend checking out the legalities involved in converting peoples VHS to DVD. i assume it goes without saying that doing this with copyrighted VHS tapes would be illegal but here in the UK there are various data protection and privacy laws which im sure would have an impact on how you stored copies of personal videos (wedding and parties etc) it could seriously come back and bite you in the rear! im sure you would atleast need consent from your customers letting them know why it was stored and for how long
     
  8. smallnshort247 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    smallnshort247

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #8
    Well first about my storage requirements. I only plan on keeping three things on the drobo. Converted video files from customers, Any large video files that I personally have but don't need to keep on my MBP since I rarely watch them. And finally, a time machine backup of my MBP. Those are the three main things I plan on using my drobo for.

    My true fear is overestimating. I'm currently building the business model and I don't want to invest too much money into it yet. I'd much rather need to buy more drives in the future due to running out of space rather than have too much wasted free space. I guess you could say a drobo is already a big enough investment lol.

    As for the legalities, that's a very good point. The video I convert will only be their personal content. I won't be converting any type of copyrighted video or audio. As for keeping the customers video saved on the drobo, that was also another good point. The main reason I considered keeping their videos saved on the drobo was kind of for their own good. If they lose the DVD that I converted for them, I'd offer to sell them a replacement for a certain price. Also, if down the line other family members want a copy of the DVD I made months ago, all I'd have to do is look up the files stored on the drobo and burn more DVD's. When doing the paperwork with the customer, I'll make sure to have them sign or something to give me permission to keep their video stored.

    So with that said, what do you think I should set the volumes as? 2TB?
     
  9. smallnshort247 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    smallnshort247

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #9
    I finally get it!

    http://support.datarobotics.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/23

    After reading a question someone asked on there, it really cleared what I didn't understand up along with what you told me too. At first I set it as 2TB a volume but I don't want drobo to create another 2TB drive if I eventually run out of space. I went ahead and picked 16TB so it will all mostly be on one volume. So once again, thanks!

    Also I was testing out my VHS converting hardware/software and I recorded 7 minutes of test video. That took up 300mb! A full movie is usually around 700mb's and thats usually one hour and a half. Its crazy how much space a 7 minute video could take. I'm glad I went with a drobo over something like a 1tb my book by western digital.
     
  10. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #10
    woohoo glad you finally got it!

    I do recommend you check out the following link to the Drobo Calculator, this will let you pay around with disc configurations

    http://www.drobo.com/resources/drobocalculator.php

    In order to keep your time machine backups in check (as they will eventually fill any partition they are on) go into the Mac Disc Utility and create a partition on the Drobo volume you have just created for use with Time Machine. Also create another Partition for your video and format the rest as free space (as you cant yet get 16TB of drives to fit in your Drobo!)
    Lets say we look ahead for a minute, as you have created a large drobo volume which will let you easily add more drives later. You already have 2 x 1TB in there which will currently give you just under 1TB to play with, but in the future you go out and fill it with another 2TB and then another 2TB when needed. This gives you a total of 3.6TB of usable space on your Drobo when is full of Drives.

    Bearing this in mind and what you have said before id create a 640GB Time Machine partition and a 2.6TB partition for your video data on the Drobo Volume. This would leave 10% of the available space after your Drobo was full with the drive configuration above (Its best not to use the last 10% of usable space on your Drobo as it slows it down considerably which is no good for video!) Format the rest of the Drobo Volume as free space and your done :) How does that sound?
     
  11. smallnshort247 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    smallnshort247

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #11
    I'm kind of lost on that one. This is what I did before going to sleep last night. I selected the 16TB volume. When I went into disk utility, the smallest they'd allow me to make the time machine partition this time was 1.5TB. Back when I had the Drobo Volume selected as 2TB, it allowed me to select the time machine partition as 640GB. I don't quite understand that but oh well. Also there is another thing I don't understand. Back when I had the 2TB volume option and put some video data files on the Drobo, one of the blue lights lit up on the bottom showing that the drive is just a little bit used. Now that I selected the 16TB volume and then went back to put the same files on it, there is no blue light.

    Oh and also, why do I need to partition again for the video? Can I use the non time machine partition for video? I threw some personal files on the drobo just for the heck of it but once the business gets rolling, I'll only keep business related content on it. I have another 500GB my password western digital external hard drive for anything I personally need.
     
  12. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #12
    had a similar issue creating a small partition on mine, did you try dragging the size of the partition in the disc utility to make it smaller? Try dragging it right the way up so its less than a Terabyte then specify the size of the partition you want on the box on the right.
    If it doesnt allow you to go less than a terabyte you could try typing 0.64 and see what it does?
     
  13. smallnshort247 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    smallnshort247

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #13
    Typing 0.64 worked! I'm honestly not used to dealing with TB's worth of free space. Its strange not to see things not listed as GB anymore haha.
     
  14. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

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    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #14
    haha awesome! welcome to the world of Terabytes, you can now officially laugh at people with meager storage! They can laugh back but they're not sitting there with atleast a trillion usable bytes are they?! mwahahaha!

    (im glad my girlfriend cant see this :eek: ....)
     
  15. smallnshort247 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    smallnshort247

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #15
    Hahaha. Also after trying to partition the time machine partition as 640gb or 0.64 it said it wasn't supported or something so I'll just keep it with the limited amount of TB as possible.
     
  16. gdeusthewhizkid macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    NY|NJ
    #16
    honestly i am looking to get a drobo because i really dont trust the time capsule solution. but this post is confusing me. how would i set up my drobo to backup a mac mini with a 500gb time machine drive, a 2 tb media drive, a 250 gig hard drive with my logic production sounds and a 500 gig mb pro.

    help ??
     
  17. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #17
    It's quite simple really, just set up your drobo on one of your macs by going into the drobo dashboard and create a drobo volume, then partition it however you need to using the mac disc utility. When you have done all of that you plug it into the airport extreme base unit you've got using the USB port. Then yo go into your time machine options on each mac and ask it to back up to the drobo that's now being shared over your airport. Time machine will keep the backups for each mac separate. Does that answer your question? Hope it helps
     
  18. Snik, Jan 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011

    Snik macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    #18
    Using Drobo with Time Machine

    I have just acquired a Drobo-FS and filled it with 5*2TB drives and connected it to our wireless network.

    Two of our Macbooks have connected up with no problem.

    But the third Macbook doesn't see the Drobo in Drobo Dashboard. The MacMini sees it in the Dashboard - but I can't persuade it to permit me to set up a Time Capsule on the Drobo.

    Also the Macbooks that do backup using the Drobo won't permit the non-capsule partitions to be mount!

    All a bit frustrating. Any insight would be appreciated.
     
  19. gdeusthewhizkid macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    NY|NJ
    #19
    ok that helped alot. I bought 2 1tb drives. and i partitioned the 1tb drive into 2 seperate 500 gb drives. one partition for a superduper clone and another for time machine. That's for my mbpro. Im going to copy my media 2tb drive that's only half full into the other 1tb drive. When i get another 2tb internal ill put 2 tb drive into drobo copy both 2 1tb drives into a 2tb internal drive and put all 3 of them into drobo to get continous backups. :confused:

    I think i just confused myself even further does that make any sense...
     
  20. Paulywauly, Jan 7, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011

    Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #20
    wow dude somehow that was pretty hard to get my head around i think youve confused me not just yourself! hehe

    It sounds like your expecting to put the drives into the drobo and be able to use them all separately? Thats not how it works, adding more drives will just add more available space to your drobo. Also another thing i noticed in your post is that you expect to be able to use all of the storage on the drives you've bought? Doesnt work like that either im afraid. If you put drives in and it uses an amount of that storage for data protection incase a drive breaks. e.g. if you put 2 x 1tb drive in you'll have 1TB of usable space, if you put 2 x 2tb drives in you end up with something like 2TB usable. 4 x 2TB is 5.5TB of usable space (not 8TB)

    Id defiantly recommend having a closer look at the documentation on the website and checking out the links i posted for smallandshort247 a few days back. once you get your head around setting up a drobo volume and partitioning its all quite easy to work out.
     
  21. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

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    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #21
    Never used a drobo FS so im not sure how much help i can be with the dashboard for it sorry, but dont try setting it up as a Time Capsule (because your not using a time capsule!)

    First thing to do is make sure your Drobo volume has been formatted with HFS+. If thats already done mount it in the finder so it appears on your desktop. Then go into your Time Machine options and Select Disc (not set up time capsule). You should be able to select the drobo partition thats mounted on your desktop. You should be able to do this with all the Macs on your LAN if they are networked correctly. Time Machine should store all the different backups on the drive separately in files called sparsebundles. hope that helps
     
  22. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #22
    One thing to look out for when using a Drobo as a Time Machine target is the fact that the Drobo will claim to have more usable capacity than it really does.

    This combined with the fact that Time Machine will happily use up as much space as you give it; and only get "selective" once it detects its storage drive is getting full.

    This means that Time Machine won't throw out old backups, attempting to fill up your Drobo beyond its current capacity. Probably best to make a Time-Machine-only virtual drive on the Drobo with less-than-max capacity so that Time Machine can act like it normally does; and you can have another "useful" virtual drive of larger size for non-TM use.
     

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