The long-awaited Drobo review

I’d been waiting for the time to put together all the videos, audio, and pictures for this review for a while and I’ve finally caught up on other projects so am getting this out for the listening and reading audiences to enjoy!  For those that subscribe and read via RSS, sorry because this is a video-heavy post and you’re just going to have to visit the blog to get the content today! Trust me though, it’s worth it as I take a look at how the Drobo performs in a real world environment with hot swapping drives, and the perils and pitfalls that surround storage area networks…


[podcast format=”video”][/podcast]

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9 comments for “The long-awaited Drobo review

  1. Parkylondon
    March 2, 2010 at 5:25 am

    Surely the crux of the problem isn’t the Drobo. It’s an underpowered UPS? I have a Drobo and it’s simply the best IT related item I have ever bought. If your UPS can’t handle both surely it’s your problem and not Drobo’s?

    • March 2, 2010 at 10:45 am

      Um, I specifically stated in the review that I didn’t think the UPS could handle support of both, and since the data is more important, only the Drobo is on there. Guess I needed to make that clearer! 🙂 (Or you missed it during your listen…LOL)

  2. Charles
    March 2, 2010 at 5:43 am

    This is why photographers shouldn’t be doing technical reviews. Once the data is written to disk it’s safe, even if the case of a power outage. I’m not sure how exactly the drobo does writes, but if there is a power outage while you are writing files or maybe moving files you might lose information in just those files it’s currently writing. That shouldn’t be a problem in most modern systems.

    What is more of a concern is that the drobo only supports single redundancy and not dual. With today’s large drives and long rebuild times raid 5 (or similar protection methods) aren’t good enough.

    • March 2, 2010 at 10:58 am

      Um, not sure where you got the impression that I am more of a photographer than a technician. If you read my “About pages, here:

      You’d know that my profession is Information Technology…I understand that the data is safe, but what I didn’t get is that the the notification lights go off when it’s not connected to a computer. It’s like it needs the Dashboard, and I just felt as though that didn’t make a lot of sense.

      And FYI, I never claimed this to be a technical review – just my personal observations on how the Drobo is working for me. As you did note though, the long rebuild time was not something I was particularly fond of…4 hours for a 1 TB drive was just too long.

  3. SteelToad
    March 2, 2010 at 6:18 am

    I think perhaps you are confusing OnLine with Active. Online, indicates that it has a connection with the computer. If the computer ‘goes away’ or is disconnected, it has to go offline, that doesnt mean that it’s not working. If you’re on a phone call and the other end hangs up, your phone might say that you’re disconnected, that doen’t mean that your phone isn’t still working.

    • March 2, 2010 at 11:00 am

      Good point SteelToad – that does make sense…I hadn’t thought of the online versus active factor. I should test that theory and power down one computer then connect another one…see what happens! 🙂

      That said, the 4 hour rebuild time for adding a 1 TB drive still seems a little excessively long.

      • SteelToad
        March 2, 2010 at 11:09 am

        Remember that the data is being spread across multiple drives. It can only be written at a percentage (ususally about 75%) of whatever the maximum write speed is of your SLOWEST drive. If you’ve got 3 super zippy drives and the fourth is filled with molasses, you’re probably doing all writing at 75% of molasses speed.

        • March 2, 2010 at 11:34 am

          Good point, I went and checked the specs on my invoice history from Newegg and found these:

          1 TB drive = SATA 3.0 32MB cache
          160 GB drive = SATA 3.0 8MB cache

          Since the two 160’s were already in there and its repartitioning across a newer drive, wouldn’t it be safe to assume that data is being written to the 1.0 T drive and not the 160 GB drive?

  4. March 4, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Where do you work from? Would you be available for a collaboration abroad?

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