Drobopro

Long time since my last post.. But I will note bore you guys with some long and extensive post.

Recently I came across Drobo, and the model I chose was the drobopro. Pretty neat little box. For those of you who does not know what it is, chek it out here: drobopro details. Basically it’s a box for 8 SATA drives that dynamically takes care of your raid volumes. You set it up like a kind of thin-provisioning, and then just add drives as you go. Drobo calls it BeyondRAID technology. With the drives currently on the market, you can theoretically get 16TB of storage, all attached through FW800, USB or iSCSI. I bought it for private use. Primary to solve my current and future storage needs in a easy way, but also to test the unit. This can be a cheap online backup storage for small to medium sized companies. It has a rack mount option, so for those that don’t need and don’t have the cash for a NexSAN SATABeast, SASBeast, SATABoy or SASBoy, this could be a option. And what an option considering the BeyondRAID technology..

So far, I have unpacked the Drobo, hooked it up to the computer of choice (Mac mini) through FW800. I have wanted to do some performance tests, but am currently stuck with very poor performance. I have 3x2TB WD green drives (WD20EADS). Gives me a total of 6TB raw capacity (4TB with data protection). I have been in contact with Drobo support when I had time left over between work and travel, and we are slowly solving the problem. It might be a hardware fault in the drobo itself, but I will get back later on this topic. So far, even though the Unit has not met my personal needs, I am excited about it, and hope that I will get it to work with good performance soon.

Comments (2)

DionFebruary 23rd, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Any updates on how your drobopro is working. I’ve been having issues with mine through USB. I can’t get more than 5MB/s transfer. Before with firmware 1.0.3 i got full 30MB/s but one drive seemed to fail. After update to 1.1.5 all drives were green but my transfer dropped to the above mentioned 5MB/s. Data Robotics support said that after a firmware update the Drobopro had to rebuild itself. A week has passed and no change. I followed their instructions to set the spin down to never and to not turn off my pc. But still no change in the transfer rate.

robertkMarch 1st, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Actually, my drobopro is working OK now. What was wrong in my case was that one drive out of 3 was faulty without drobo reporting it faulty.
I believe that drobo is just scanning all drives S.M.A.R.T to see if the drive reports any problems. In my case, the drive reported all well, but actually it was broken. The drobo was working, but speed was terrible.
I checked all drives independently. First all in the drobo, then the one that behaved suspiciously in a standalone computer.

By doing the above, I was able to notice that one of the drives was broken. One of the drives took 20-30 times longer for the drobo to format. I removed all drives and inserted the two other drives. Refomatted all, and speed was great. I get up to 70MB/s (on FW800).

The drive that was faulty did successfully format on a standalone machine. However it took a whole day to format it. Writing to it gave a performance of blazing 0.25MB/s. I Sent the drive to WD support, and have already received a new one. During the time drive was in transit, I bought another two 2TB WD drives. Now I have five 2TB drives in the drobo, and it all works well.

I would suggest you to try the same thing as I did. Maybe one of your drives have the same problem. Try one drive at a time in the drobo. If any of them show signs of being slow, try that drive in a standalone system. It might be the same problem as I was experiencing.

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