1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Drobo FS - Any Users With Feedback?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Anthony Parsons, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    I am looking at buying into the Drobo line of network storage, specifically the Drobo FS. I'm hearing good things, but would love to hear from anyone who currently uses them.

    What I was specifically looking for was a solid RAID solution, but also important a non-delayed NAS that is truly networked, which the Drobo FS is, not using USB or firewire to a computer.

    I use the time machine right now for testing, and its fantastic for what I need it to do, but I am also looking at a more robust solution for my wifes company files and backup storage with redundancy, which Drobo does really well reading it.

    Feedback from those who use it or have used it would assist and be much appreciated!
  2. Pepelac

    Pepelac Well-Known Member

    We've got one at the work, but i've no any responses from users (admin installed it on friday). Maybe next week :)
    What about Synology products?
  3. dutchbb

    dutchbb Well-Known Member

    I've bought one a month ago (S) and I'm happy with it. They are not exactly the cheapest solution but they are very easy to use. The good thing is that, unlike RAID, you can use any size HDD and any brand that is supported (I believe most are). They can be inserted at any time on or off and everything else just goes automatically.

    Here are my personal findings summed up:

    • Easy to use
    • Use any size HDD from any brand you already have (3,5 inch SATA)
    • Pretty fast if the Drobo has eSATA connection (Drobo S)
    • Looks better than most other solutions
    • Efficient use of disk space (10 TB = 7,26 TB available for data)
    • Expensive (in comparison with RAID)
    • Proprietary format for data
    • Heavy (but I didn't compare with other solutions, so...)
    • A bit noisy if on your desk
    For people who do not want to mess around with RAID and have the money, I think it's a good solution.
  4. Kier

    Kier XenForo Developer Staff Member

    I bought the 4 disk Drobo last year and filled it with the quietest 1TB drives on the market, but with the fourth drive inserted the Drobo switched into perpetual hairdryer mode and was impossible to live with. The USB connection was also very slow (obviously) so it went back after a few days.
  5. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that... yer, I automatically ruled out the USB or firewire models... which is why I am looking at the FS model, which is gigabit connection 10/100/1000.

    Is it any noisier than say a PC when the fans kicks in, or the HDD noises from a PC?

    Do they have any lag when working on files?

    What are the quietest drives Kier, if I may ask? I see many suppliers offer Western Digital and also Samsung drives, which are a bit more expensive than the WD.
  6. Steve Machol

    Steve Machol Active Member

    I used Drobo at first but I had a lot of problems with it. I then just purchased a standard 1TB standalone drivefor my automatic backups and not only was it significatly cheapper, it works flawlessly.
    Anthony Parsons likes this.
  7. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    At the moment I have the Apple 2Tb time machine, which is excellent, bar its lag when it hibernates after a few minutes, without the ability to stop HDD hibernation within it. If it allowed hibernation to stop, it would be great... because it can take up-to 5 seconds before it gets going again, which is too much time when working on files constantly, especially my wife and her employee's with MYOB files.

    Right now I am still using our server for her company files and only using the time machine for my files, itunes, media, etc...

    Must go look at Synology products as mentioned by pepelac...
  8. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    Synology products look pretty good, but they don't seem to be as compatible with all softwares and abilities, especially for mac. I would say they seem pretty much of a muchness between them both... even prices are similar. Each have specific features over the other, though I need the most from mac compatibility, especially time machine, which Drobo is fully compatible with.
  9. Steve Machol

    Steve Machol Active Member

    Honestly any USB drive will work. I have two low cost USB drives backing up our two Macs with no problem.
  10. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    Yer... I need RAID though and network, for an office environment + media server. USB just can't perform with multiple users needing access to large files, whilst streaming media content and such.

    We do have USB drives, which are good for mobile solutions to take with us when we travel, but I have tried them and USB 2 just doesn't perform as fast as we require as an overall network solution.
  11. dutchbb

    dutchbb Well-Known Member

    Yeah that would be the best choice for you.

    Depends on the PC really. This is something you'd have to hear in person to really be sure. But if I would compare it with a PC, it wouldn't be the quietest no, but it's not that bad either. I'd say somewhere in between. The HDD's do not make that much noise, but I use brand new WD 2TB.

    I use it mainly to put my movie collection on and my computer backups. I work on files on my computer and use the Drobo S as a backups storage (which is the best way of securing your data). Watching movies directly from it is without delays or screen artifacts. Transferring files through eSATA or FireWire is quick enough for me.

    You're not asking me but I'll answer anyway: Samsung is known for their quiet HDD's, but IMO the WD20EARS (Bulk, Caviar Green) has a very good value for money and is also not very noisy or energy consuming.

    Hope this helps.

    The point of using a Drobo or RAID (at least for me) is that if a drive fails, you will lose no data. But there are of course other advantages over separate USB drives.
  12. Steve Machol

    Steve Machol Active Member

    No problem. I was thinking of my home Macs. All I know is that I was disappointed in Drobo and had a lot of problems with it, mainly getting it to make regular backups.
    Anthony Parsons likes this.
  13. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

  14. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    Yer... I was thinking about sticking with their recommendation, which is the WD default with purchase. A local Melbourne tech shop is a retailer for them, so I will go see them near time to purchase I think and hear them first, before making any final decision.

    Exactly what I need it for... and it offers dual redundancy, which we really need for my wifes client MYOB files. We have dual onsite redundancy now, with one external redundancy, ie. if the place burnt down or all computer equipment was stolen, we have a 24 - 48hr external backup for worst case.

    That backup is an issue Steve... will have to look at that with techs here to see if it functions as its supposed to or not. I was looking at its apps, as I would prefer having the media server software inbuilt, so that I don't need to leave a system on running itunes to stream network data to apple tv... which it seems to be able to support... but if I have to leave one system on, so be it... as worst case I see it has an app for wake on lan functionality, to wake the computer from hibernation and not have to leave it running 24/7 like a server.

    I don't want to make the wrong decision with this one... changing server storage methods in order to reduce space, but not sacrifice quality or efficiency...
  15. Lost

    Lost Well-Known Member

  16. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    That's only a software, not a hardware solution. Thanks though... interesting read.
  17. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

  18. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    Well... I got my Drobo FS delivered here today with 5 x 2TB Western Digital drives, and it is sitting right beside me at present whilst I set it up and play around with it... and the most I can here from it is a faint whisper of a fan running from under it. I am writing 10GB of data to it as well... not a whisper of HDD noise. LAN connection is nice and fast as usual...

    So far... looks really good, extremely tiny, sits well on the desktop and isn't ugly... overall, impressed.

    As mentioned above... not sure the USB versions would work the same considering the serious speed limitations of USB... but the LAN version seems pretty damn sweet.
    dutchbb likes this.
  19. Floris

    Floris Guest

    Thanks for posting your experiences guys, it helps me decided what i will upgrade my local backup system too, because dealing with almost 8tb of data i seriously need more robust backup solutions.
  20. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    What I really like, is that you can swap in any drive size into these newer NAS solutions... you don't have to have all the drives the same size... but you can mix them up.

    I get it now that I have it... as the BeyondRaid technology doesn't physically partition any drive you setup, but instead you create what is more a folder, but its a mappable folder to Windows or Mac as a drive, and they all share the same space, regardless what they physically use. The BeyondRaid then duplicates and stores its own redundancy. If a drive sector fails, it just takes out that sector and continues use, unlike RAID which would drop it completely.

    Using the 5 x 2TB disks, single redundancy, I had about 7.xTB available. Switching to dual redundancy, which we need for the security of our files, it left me with about 5.8Tb of usable space. You would obviously need more bays than I have for what you need to store... but I know the LAN type are speedy. I can set my disk run down time and control that, so during the day I have no pauses when accessing data... compared to using the Apple time machine, which you can't control, and if its not used for a few minutes it spins down and creates a few second pause. Stupid thing...

    I looked at a few similar systems, and I think it really comes down to specific taste, price and opinion... as they all are much of a muchness. I know the Drobo was more than some others, but I'm not regretting it with the most noise being a fan whisper coming from it.

    Well... this was all trial and error, but I can now safely step away from our larger home server we have, sell that off, and stick with smaller desktop storage solutions.

Share This Page