What to do with 3.3TB of data... stick with drobo or get a NAS?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by s4yunkim, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. s4yunkim macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2009
    So.. I'm starting to think I might need to rethink my storage/backup solution, and I could use some opinions...

    Right now, I have about 3.3 TB of data, which includes documents, music, photo libraries, dvd/bluray rips for Plex Media Server, etc., all served through a 2009 Mac Mini.

    As the amount of data I had grew, I was adding hard drives/enclosures left and right, and eventually ended up with a bunch of different drives/enclosures, some on USB 2, some firewire, etc.

    This eventually led me to invest in a 4-bay Drobo, which I populated with 3x 2TB drives, giving me 3.6TB of usable space. I initially decided to go with a Drobo because of it's flexibility (being able to add drives when needed), and the fact that if a drive failed, I could just replace it and be good to go.

    I've been using this setup for about a year, and it was working for me, with a few exceptions:

    1. Drobo is SLOOOOW. I have it hooked up via firewire to my Mac Mini (which runs as my server), and although it's not so much of a problem when grabbing documents, or listening to music on iTunes, it tends to lock up when watching videos, or doing thing simultaneously, like listen to music while copying a file off.

    2. As I'm starting to max out the data usage, I feel like it's starting to throw errors more frequently. Lately it's been locking up my finder (can't fix it by relaunching, I have to restart the computer), and it randomly gives me a message saying files can't be copied to it (something about Error -50).

    I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to be the next authors of a Drobo horror story, and so I'm looking for options. I realize that even with a Drobo, my data isn't really "backed up", just protected from drive failure. But if there is a chance that the Drobo itself is going to kill all my data, I guess it's not really different from having my data on standalone drives anyway. Plus, instead of 3.6 TB, I'd get all 6TB of space available for usage...

    So my question is, do I add more capacity to my Drobo and hope it stops throwing errors, or should I invest in a cheap NAS enclosure? I have 3 2TB drives, meaning I'd either have to have a 4-bay NAS enclosure or buy 4 separate cheap ones :-\. (Building a freeNAS box is out of the question, I live overseas in a tiny tiny studio, and tower would take up space and heat up the room too much)

    Or is there a better solution?

    I've thought about buying cheap USB enclosures for them as well, but I've had issues with reliability in the past, having multiple USB drives hooked up to a hub, and eSata doesn't seem like a viable option since I have a Mini…

    Thanks in advance for reading the long post! ><
  2. s4yunkim thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2009
    Also, any body have experience with the Buffalo LinkStation Duo? :)

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