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Author Topic: Drobo external drives are you using it  (Read 41847 times)
andyptak
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« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2007, 07:39:43 AM »
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I have one and I like it. It can be a little slow at times as I hear it whirring away, doing it's thing even when I'm not doing anything - "housekeeping" I assume. And I wish it wasn't USB. But what the hell, I'm not in a race and generally I don't notice any difference from any other external drive. I have four 1TB drives in it and I find it simplifies my work flow because Windows thinks it's one big drive.

It's not perfect, but it's not a toy either. It's just another tool which some people will like and others won't. I just like the piece of mind, yet I do use SyncToy to back everything up (again) to another drive in the office system. Can't be too safe!
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larryg
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« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2007, 08:27:43 AM »
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I have one and I like it. It can be a little slow at times as I hear it whirring away, doing it's thing even when I'm not doing anything - "housekeeping" I assume. And I wish it wasn't USB. But what the hell, I'm not in a race and generally I don't notice any difference from any other external drive. I have four 1TB drives in it and I find it simplifies my work flow because Windows thinks it's one big drive.

It's not perfect, but it's not a toy either. It's just another tool which some people will like and others won't. I just like the piece of mind, yet I do use SyncToy to back everything up (again) to another drive in the office system. Can't be too safe!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=158912\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks so much for your input.  Are your backups usable by any other computer or just uploading to the Drobo.   If not usable by other computers on other drives is there an option where you can just copy the files to another external drive??

Offsite storage comes to mind.

I personally think the simplicity of the system (from my standpoint and input) is
important and also not too concerned with drive speed.
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PatrikR
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« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2007, 02:26:47 PM »
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Thanks so much for your input.  Are your backups usable by any other computer or just uploading to the Drobo.   If not usable by other computers on other drives is there an option where you can just copy the files to another external drive??

Offsite storage comes to mind.

I personally think the simplicity of the system (from my standpoint and input) is
important and also not too concerned with drive speed.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
What do you mean by usable by other computers? Yes you can hook up your drobo to another computer and read the files. But you can't put the drives to another sata box and read them. Drobo is proprietary format. Meaning if something happens you're a on your own.

If you get one make sure it's not your back up. Turn off hd sleep option from energy saver.

Drobo has a user forum called [a href=\"http://www.drobospace.com/forum/0]http://www.drobospace.com/forum/0[/url] - there's alot of interesting reading about this amazing system. Worth checking out so you'll know what to expect.
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Patrik Raski - Espoo, Finland
jjj
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« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2007, 06:25:47 PM »
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I was thinking of getting a DROBO earlier this year until I came across a much better alternative. Earlier this year as most people are painfully aware, MS released Vista with great hoo-ha, which was a bit of a damp squib. What most people don't know is that MS also released another OS which has been very favourably received by those few who saw it. It's also handy for Mac as well as PC users - my next PC will be made by Apple, so that's kind of important.

I just got my hands on the HP EX470 Windows Home Server Box, which has Gigabit ethernet [esssential for such a device, USB lke the DROBO has, is simply not up to the task], a single 500G HD and the option to add 3 more internally plus another four externally via USB and it also has an ESATA connection too. So I intend adding 1TB drives to rack it up to 8TB and that's without using the ESATA.
No point buying the EX475 version as it just has two 500G drives instead of one and I regard 500Gs as too small.

Alternatively you could just buy the WHS software and stick a bunch of hard drives in a box with a motherboard and some memory. But it wouldn't be as small or as neat as the HP. Mind you Tranquil make a dinky WHS box that makes the HP look fat. But it can only hold one HD, so not so good for photographers.
The HP WHS software has also been praised for it's lack of bloat.
I think WHS and the various machines that are made to MS's specifications may well kill off the DROBO, not good for those left with data on a proprietory box.

You can also set the WHS to duplicate any data you have on it onto two drives, so if any one drive dies you don't lose your back up. It's generally quite clever and even better, it's quite easy to use.

http://www.tranquilpc-shop.co.uk/acatalog/T7-HSA.html#a77

http://www.amazon.com/EX470-MediaSmart-Ser...r/dp/B000UY1WSK

I have 2 laptops and a desktop machine hooked up to my server and what's quite clever is that it only stores the different bits, rather than the 3 different complete intalls. It also saves time as by the time of say the third install [assuming same OS], a lot less will need to be copied across.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2007, 06:58:25 PM by jjj » Logged

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budjames
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« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2007, 03:56:37 AM »
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I was considering a Drobo for as my backup instead of the Lacie 1.2TB drive using File Synchrozation on my MacPro. My friend owns 2 Apple retails stores and he was selling them. When I asked him about it, he says that they have had so many problems with the units failing that customers were returning them. The manufacturers tech support and responsiveness to the problems was so poor that he stopped selling them and strongly urged me to not buy one.

I love the concept, however, it sounds like the product is not quite ready for prime time use.

Bud
« Last Edit: December 09, 2007, 03:57:21 AM by budjames » Logged

Bud James
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larryg
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« Reply #25 on: December 09, 2007, 09:54:04 AM »
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I was considering a Drobo for as my backup instead of the Lacie 1.2TB drive using File Synchrozation on my MacPro. My friend owns 2 Apple retails stores and he was selling them. When I asked him about it, he says that they have had so many problems with the units failing that customers were returning them. The manufacturers tech support and responsiveness to the problems was so poor that he stopped selling them and strongly urged me to not buy one.

I love the concept, however, it sounds like the product is not quite ready for prime time use.

Bud
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=159408\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This is the kind of information that helps one make  better buy/not buy decisions.  

I have had several Lacie hard drives (500gb) crash and I given that up as my primary storage device.
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larryg
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« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2007, 03:48:03 PM »
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now here is a possible thought
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/5004...500P_eSATA.html


Sonnet 3.75   gb    array   about $3,000  ESata  hot swap ablility
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Michael Tapes
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« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2007, 03:51:02 PM »
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I have had so many Lacie & Maxtor drive crash (actually not the hard drive but the power mechanism)  I need something a bit more automatic and dependable.

The Drobo system intrigues me.   With this system in addition to
to backing up to large drive (and DVD's)  should  be sufficient to keeping the files safe and up to date.
Anyone have real experience using this system (Drobo).
I am thinking of using 1 TB   drives to maximize storage options.
Any quirks or problems, surprises etc.

I know there already has been some discussion  about the system but would like an updated review by people really using it
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=153719\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I have been using the Drobo for about a month now. I also was turned off to it at first after the WOW factor wore off. But the more I thought about it and researched NAS and other RAID solutions, I came to the conclusion that this box is hassle free. Load it up (or not) and go. No software to configure, nothing to worry about in terms of drive failure, as it always protects against 1 and sometimes 2 drive failures. When and if a drive fails it warns you loud and clear and you simply pop in another drive (of any size/make/model that will give you the amount of protection that you need based on your current "used space").

I projected out that the potential hassles of all the other solutions, outweighed (th the negative side) the cost of the Drobo...I value my time.

Now the downside. It is not a speed demon. But I am using it for near-line storage. My C: drive (yes Windows) is a 10K RPM Raptor on a RAID1, with a monday/wed/fri/eom backup rotation for the secondary drive. Likewise, my "current data" is also based on a RAID1 box with the same backup rotation M/W/F/EOM. Everything else is on the drobo, and it is backed up to another Drobo which has 3 4-drive sets for backup and off-site rotation (timing to be determined). I am set with peace of mind and a simple solution. At any time I can plug the Drobo into any machine, Mac or PC and read the data with no configuration or software required.

I discussed at length with Seth Resnick who is also running 2 or 3 for the same reasons as me. But I think he is running it as near line.

So my experience was

--WOW!!!!
--Not for me (slow USB2...I am used to eSATA rates)
--Yup. A simple and cost effective solution that can be implemented simply and fast, so in the end cost effective for me.

BTW...But I have a $25 off code if you end up buying a Drobo from their store. Just enter it in the coupon box on their eStore. Good through the end of the year

EVMTAPES

If you have any questions let me know.

Michael Tapes
mtapes@rawworkflow.com
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Michael Tapes
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PShizzy
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« Reply #28 on: December 09, 2007, 11:25:57 PM »
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I'm a happy Drobo user. Had one for at least 4-5 months now (maybe longer, I don't remember). I purchased 4 500gb drives, and total to my door cost was about 1k.

Installation: click the drives in. Install the software (optional but reccomended). Plug in.

A monkey could do it, so I was able to manage

Since then, here are all the errors and issues I've encountered:

None.

Really, it's that easy.

Downsides: Slow. But considering it's a mirror of another fast drive, it's only purpose is to not die.

I use Syncback to create a "watch folder", so that as I ingest any images, I automatically have a backup. Once I caption, edit, and more or less add the fine details to my work, I can move it to a proper folder on my main drive, and mirror that to Drobo.

Drobo is proprietary, but RAID's aren't exactly easy to deal with. Considering the lack of maintenance I've had to do in the last 5 months, I'm quite happy with the unit. I've had many more problems with my desktop or laptop in comparison, and if I had to bill myself for time lost or hire someone to fix it (though I am technically proficient), I would have made up for the premium paid on the Drobo easily.

If anyone has any questions, please let me know.

I'm currently storing over 800 gigs on there.

« Last Edit: December 09, 2007, 11:26:23 PM by PShizzy » Logged
digitaldog
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« Reply #29 on: December 10, 2007, 08:09:10 AM »
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I've been on the fence about this product, still am but leaning on letting it go.

I've got a 5 drive Raid system. It works, it didn't cost an arm and a leg. What I keep hearing from users here is how easy Drobo is to setup. Maybe because I'm on a Mac but it was pretty darn easy to slap in three drives in my Raid and use the Apple Disk Utility to build a Raid 1 from two drives. The third is a single backup. And my unit is SATA so its fast.

If all Drobo brings to the party is ease to setup, I can't justify the price (or speed).

I've seen the unit in action, it looks cool and I like the idea. But I think until they either lower the price and make it more competitive and/or speed this pup up, its not for me a very compelling product.
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Andrew Rodney
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2007, 11:54:34 PM »
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For whoever was running windows home server ....

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=10163
« Last Edit: December 29, 2007, 11:54:52 PM by DarkPenguin » Logged
budjames
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« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2007, 03:43:08 AM »
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I was very interested in the Drobe when I first saw it. I have a friend who owns a couple of Apple retail stores. He started selling the Drobos when they first came out, mostly to Mac users. He said that they had so many problems with reliability and DOA that clients returned them. That combined with terrible support from the manufacturer led him to the decision to stop selling them.

For the price of a Drobo, I just bough an Iomega UltraMax 1.5TB RAID drive (2x750GB drives) with triple interface (USB, FW400 and FW800) that I configured with the flip of a switch to a 750GB RAID 1 Mirror drive. I attached it to the USB port on my Gigabyte Airport Extreme to use as a redundant backup for my MacPro. It works great and if the unit fails, I can pull the eSata drives and install them in my MacPro to retreive the data as the drives are formatted in Mac HFS+. No proprietary drive formats like the Drobo or the Buffalotech units that I used to use (Linux).

I like the idea that any backup up drive can be ready by any Mac. My 2 cents.

Bud James
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Bud James
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Mark Guertin
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« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2008, 03:45:14 PM »
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I was seriously considering one of these units, but as said by previous posters, the USB only interface was a bad thing.  If they shipped with FW800 or sata I would probably own (at least) one by now.
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BillPelzmann
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« Reply #33 on: February 06, 2008, 10:23:02 PM »
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I was seriously considering the DROBO option, however, the HP EX470 Windows Home Server Box appears to be a better alternative, for me.

Has anyone tried to run Lightroom with the image files stored on this server ?
I understand Lightroom will not run on a multiuser server, probably because of file locking issues.
Just wondering if the WHS os can be configured as a "single" user system and avoid this issue ?
« Last Edit: February 06, 2008, 10:24:15 PM by BillPelzmann » Logged
kaelaria
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« Reply #34 on: February 06, 2008, 10:43:33 PM »
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Bear in mind - the HP server solution is NOT for backup - it is for storage.  It has zero protection against hardware failure, unlike a RAID unit.  HP even recommends you use external drives to backup the server.

The Home Server and Drobo are apples and oranges as far as intent.  Drobo is competing with RAID NAS units.  The HP server is competing with JBOD arrays.
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BillPelzmann
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« Reply #35 on: February 07, 2008, 12:43:25 PM »
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..... NOT for backup - it is for storage.  It has zero protection against hardware failure, unlike a RAID unit.  HP even recommends you use external drives to backup the server.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172903\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That's fine, but I understood the system can be configured to designate "backup" drives, i.e. in a 4TB configuration, 2 drives (2TB) used for storage, with a duplicate copy on the other 2 drives?  Is that incorrect ?
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kaelaria
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« Reply #36 on: February 07, 2008, 12:55:59 PM »
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No that's not correct.  It uses 'watched folders' that it will duplicate the files into - but there is no mirroring to separate drives.  That's RAID.
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jjj
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« Reply #37 on: February 07, 2008, 01:03:51 PM »
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I believe WHS can save all data on two separate drives. In effect mirroring.
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kaelaria
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« Reply #38 on: February 07, 2008, 01:38:23 PM »
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Not exactly: http://h71036.www7.hp.com/hho/cache/565653...5-121.html#Back

Is there a RAID option on the HP MediaSmart Server?

The HP MediaSmart Server uses a sophisticated technology in the Microsoft Windows Home Server software called “folder duplication.”  For extra protection, selected shared folders can be duplicated on a separate hard drive on the HP MediaSmart Server.

Selected folder duplication works with both internal and external hard disk drives.   Selected folder duplication is superior to RAID in that you don’t have to duplicate those folders that don’t need duplication – for instance, TV shows and PC backups.  This utilizes hard disk drive space more efficiently.  This technology allows you to add different or higher capacity hard drives as they become available without sacrificing space on the new drive for RAID.  As you add hard disk drives to the system your overall storage capacity simply grows larger by that amount.


Does HP’s MediaSmart Server offer hot-swapping of drives?

You can remove a hard drive (both SATA and external USB drives) without powering down the system, but first you must “remove it” via the Home Server Console.  Content is migrated off the hard disk drive to be removed; you will get adequate warnings if there’s not enough room on other hard disk drives for the content.  The hard disk drive indicator on the unit glows purple, telling you it’s ok to remove the hard disk drive.  You insert a new hard disk drive, then go to the Home Server Console to “add it” to your volume.  The overall capacity increases, and the LED glows blue to indicate that the storage has been added.


How do you backup the HP MediaSmart Server itself?

You can selectively backup files to a backup device such as an external hard drive, CD/DVD or tape that is connected to one of the PCs on the network.  Folder duplicates provide a form of “internal” backup of the HP MediaSmart Server since the shared folder with duplication enabled is mirrored on a second drive in the HP MediaSmart Server.
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a_krause
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« Reply #39 on: February 07, 2008, 03:46:31 PM »
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apparently there is going to be a firewire drobo released at the end of quarter 2 of 2008.

i have a drobo, and am very happy with it. a little slow at times, but im not a photo journalist, so its not like i am very against the clock.. worth it for me and my situation.
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