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Drobo
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Corey1081
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:44 pm    Post subject: Drobo Reply with quote

I am looking into buying a Drobo for my HTPC;however, the only info I can find on it comes from the company. I would like real world experience with it. My questions for drobo owners are...

Do you like it?
Would you recommend it?
If not then what kind of external drive would you recommend?
Is it loud if left in a ventilated cabinet?
Is it slow via usb, or firewire?
Can I connect it to both my time capsule via usb, and to my mini via firewire at the same time?
Does it work as well and as easy as the companies website leads you to believe?
Any other comments or concerns you can offer would be greatly appreciated

Thanks
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philiparcario
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

buy owc's unit instead.


http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/MEQX2KIT0GB/


320 and add your own drives or go for a loaded by owc version. it is far far lower in noise. you can go to it via fw800 and then daisy chain to a second fw800 or fw400 external hdd. it is faster then drobo



it is a rebranded glyph forte

http://www.glyphtech.com/products/forteraid/

this is a far better unit then a drobo I own one now for 2 weeks works great. it is faster then drobo I have copied as high as 45-50mb with fw800

drobo gets to 35mb tops with fw800 . {note mb not gb}


just remember if you use your own drives you must use 4 of the same.


link for fast samsung 1tb on ebay

four of these are about 350 on ebay with bing four are about 315 plus an empty unit from owc at 320 total is 635 for a 4tb unit. drobo 4tb is more around 700 . if your drobro breaks it is very hard to recover your data. it is supposed to be better with the owc gear.
_________________
2010 Mm 2.4 C2D oem 320gb hdd 8gb ram
2012Mm base 2.5 with 16gb ram diy fusion drive
2012Mm quad with 8gb ram oem 1tb hdd

promise pegasus r6 3x 3tb + 3x 4tb =21tb hdds
lacie little big disk 2x 512gb ssds
synology 2tb disk station
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Corey1081
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info..

A few more questions.

I would like to have some Raid in my external. How often do drives fail in reality? If I were to use it for my HTPC with movies and other media content on it and stream it on my network to my mini. Is drive failures really something I should worry about?

Also can I connect the external to my mini and to my TC for a faster connection to the mini and to be able to stream movies wirelessly on my network?
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geeji
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:52 am    Post subject: Re: Drobo Reply with quote

>Do you like it?
Mostly yes, but I am not so convinced their firmware is 100% reliable, especially during drives rebuilt (because a drive failed or because you want to add a bigger one).
And protecting against rare hardware failures while increasing the risk of catastrophic software failures is a bad trade-off.

>Would you recommend it?
Yes and no. For critical data, I would probably recommend a separate save, which kinds of defeat the purpose of a "fail safe" raid.
Anyway, a single drive in a single location does not protect you against theft, fire, etc...
But if you need a single 16TB volume regardless of ultimate data protection, it is great.

>If not then what kind of external drive would you recommend?
That's the problem : all forums talking about RAIDS have people bitterly disappointed by some aspects of those...

>Is it loud if left in a ventilated cabinet?
Drobo v1 was loud. Drobo 2nd gen is much quieter

>Is it slow via usb, or firewire?
It is slower than a single disk, and cannot saturate either USB2 or Firewire.
Drobo-S is supposed to be faster, but the price gap with Drobo is ridiculous (+100% !)

>Can I connect it to both my time capsule via usb, and to my mini via firewire at the same time?
No.

>Does it work as well and as easy as the companies website leads you to believe?
Yes and no.
Rebuilding a 2TB disk can take 2-3 days. On Drobo, if anything fails during that period on one of the other disks, your data is cooked.
On Drobo-S, you are protected against a second failure, but then need to have 2 disks out of 5 devoted to data protection : 40%, compared to 50% for simple mirroring.

Also, although the Drobo is flexible and accommodates different disk sizes, to increase your data volume you need to upgrade at least 2 disks on Drobo, and 3 on Drobo-S/Drobo-Pro if dual disks redundancy is activated.
See the "Drobolator" on their web site.

Also, format your Drobo volume to 16TB the first time, because it is impossible to reformat later without loosing all your data.

And finally, plug your Drobo into a UPS, since you definitely don't want a power failure during a 3-days long drive rebuild; it occurred twice to me, and although I did not loose any data, I sweated too much Confused
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philiparcario
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

drive failures will happen. you need to worry about them. all you need to know is if the drives are burned in a fire, stolen or broken how important is the data.

I have a 2tb hdd in my banks safety deposit box. It has 25000 songs in mp3 and in apple lossless (50000 total) it has photos (3000 and counting) it has some movies of my wedding and some home movies some tv shows/events. I can't replace that if lost.

All the dvds I can replace if I need to. If you have client data I would recommend a real boatload of backups.

there are a lot of raid backup plans/drives. how much data do you need to protect.


with the one below you can go from any size hdd up to 2tb in a mirror


http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/usb/raid_1/Gmax
_________________
2010 Mm 2.4 C2D oem 320gb hdd 8gb ram
2012Mm base 2.5 with 16gb ram diy fusion drive
2012Mm quad with 8gb ram oem 1tb hdd

promise pegasus r6 3x 3tb + 3x 4tb =21tb hdds
lacie little big disk 2x 512gb ssds
synology 2tb disk station
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Corey1081
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for all the great advise and information
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philiparcario
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

good luck with the choice you make.
_________________
2010 Mm 2.4 C2D oem 320gb hdd 8gb ram
2012Mm base 2.5 with 16gb ram diy fusion drive
2012Mm quad with 8gb ram oem 1tb hdd

promise pegasus r6 3x 3tb + 3x 4tb =21tb hdds
lacie little big disk 2x 512gb ssds
synology 2tb disk station
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cclear
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just some feedback since I have had the v1 drobo for over 2 years now. I love it. Works fantastic. I have it sitting behind the TV on the floor, and mine at least doesn't make a lot of noticeable fan noise. If your copying a lot of data to it, you can heard the fans spin up a little bit, but if your just watching content from it, I never notice it. I have western digital drives inside, they seem pretty quiet. Also, while it is slower as a drive, I play full 1080p HD video files from it, and have had no problems with it, works great. Also, expanding it for more space has been so easy. I just add another drive or larger drive as needed. I have no idea how it works, it just works and I love that. Currently it has 1.2 TB of content, with 1 TB to grow. My experience has been positive.
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Corey1081
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love the concept of the drobo, but I am unsure if it is the best option for me. my main concern is streaming HD content from the drobo to my mini. Do you have any problems with lag or delay when playing 1080p via your Drobo? Do you have your drobo hooked up via firewire or usb? Thank you
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cclear
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had no problems playing HD files. I have 1080p h.264 w/Dolby Digital files, around 8-10 GB in size. No dropped frames from Plex. I am using the v1 Drobo - which is just USB 2.0 directly to my Mini (Core 2 Duo 2.0). From my experience, I would totally recommend the newer Drobo and connect the firewire cable directly to the mini.

The only time I will have a wait time is if the drives aren't spinning. (you haven't been playing content for a hour or so, they spin down to standby.) So when you first go to play something, you can wait for a few seconds while they spin up.
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geeji
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Corey1081 wrote:
Do you have your drobo hooked up via firewire or usb?
As I explained before, Drobo is slower than either Firewire400 or USB2, so it does not make any difference performance-wise whether you connect it using one or the other.
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boiledfrog
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got a drobo v2 connected to my Mini via firewire. I have had it for about 6 months now and have had no problems, though I know reviews on it are mixed. One thing you can't beat it its ease of use. Mine sits in a ventilated cabinet beneath my TV. I don't ever hear it. Though to be fair I have case fans installed on the back of my entertainment center which, while extremely quiet, also tend to mute out any other component noise.I also play uncompressed Blu-Ray rips (35 GB) with zero problems. My Drobo+Mini+Plex cranks it out without any hangups.

Once this drobo fills up I'll daisy chain a new one via firewire.
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Sparky9292
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

philiparcario wrote:
buy owc's unit instead.


http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/MEQX2KIT0GB/


320 and add your own drives or go for a loaded by owc version. it is far far lower in noise. you can go to it via fw800 and then daisy chain to a second fw800 or fw400 external hdd. it is faster then drobo


Wow.

So it's $320 plus 4X1TB 5400RPMGreen drives at $320... so $640 total compared to $750 for the Lacie 4Big, or $690 for the cheapest Drobo.

Plus this has every port on the planet (USB/FW400/800/eSata) except Ethernet (not a NAS)

I'm hoping that big fan is quiet.

Can't find it cheaper even on it's original name Glyph.
http://www.smalldog.com/product/75048/glyph-technologies-ftrd-4000-4x1000gb-4tb-raid-firewire-800-usb-esata
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geeji
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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Comparing the ForteRAID vs Drobo differences :

PROS
===
- much faster (hardware RAID)
- more reliable ? (less software)
- slightly less expensive

CONS
====
- all disks must have identical capacity (otherwise, alignement to the smallest) => you need to change all 4 to get any capacity increase (on Drobo, you need to change at most only 2)

CONCLUSION
=========
Unless you absolutely need the increased speed, the Drobo is likely a better compromise.


Last edited by geeji on Wed May 19, 2010 3:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sparky9292
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

geeji wrote:

CONCLUSION
=========
Unless you absolutely need the increased speed, the Drobo is likely a better compromise.


Yeah, if you only use the Drobo for streaming 1080p video, then even the first gen drobo is fine. It's fast enough.

The only major concern is if the Drobo dies, then you have to buy another drobo to read the drives whereas if your Raid 5 dies, then you can buy ANY cheapo raid 5 to recover your data.

I LOVE being able to slap in different drive sizes I have laying around the house. Knowing that I don't have to throw out all of the drives to upgrade is epic.
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