Drobo update

I have received some questions about what happened with the drobo.

Apparently, one of the drives purchased at the same time as the drobo (WD20EADS) 2TB drives was faulty. It reported fine when doing S.M.A.R.T tests, so the drobo thought it all was fine and wrote to it. The drive could write data, but it was slow as back in the 1980′s. Needless to say, I sent it in to WD for a replacement.

It took two weeks to get it replaced. Once the new drive arrived, I had already bought another two WD20EADS drives and put them in the drobo. It was therefore not urgent to insert the replaced drive.

Drobo has been working fine. Some days ago I inserted the replaced drive. The drobo was blinking yellow for a while and then everything was fine (all green). I did not have any data on the drobo at that time, since I had been running tests, but I had deleted the test files. The yellow blinking (while it was syncing data) was pretty fast. I am guestimating it to approx. 1-2 minutes.

Yesterday I decided to move some data over to the drobo. It all went fine, but the drobo notified me it had a drive failure. Look at the drobo itself, and sure, there is a red LED blinking. Guess which drive?

Today I am sending back the failed drive to WD. What is really bothering me is that I received a faulty drive from them (in exchange for my other faulty drive), and I am forced to pay the return shipping for it.

Overall, I am happy with the drobo, but after reading a lot complaints online about people having problem with drobo’s losing data, I am having doubts. I will do some hardcore testing with it to make sure my data is not lost. The whole point is to be able to have a secure, easy accessible, and easy expandable storage subsystem. What I am doubting is not any of the latter but the fact that it might not be secure. I had some ideas on building my own storage subsystem using a small server running OpenSolaris with direct attached storage (DAS) and ZFS. There are some issues though. Will go more into detail later.

By the way, anyone attending MySQL UC 2010? I’ll be there!

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