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Drobo, USB2.0, 802.11n, Questions about Networking and Speed


Starhawk
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I've recently been thinking hard about getting a Drobo, but have held off due to the USB bottleneck, which is currently the only interface on the thing. Im planning on using it as a network drive attached to a router for access from any computer, Apple TV, etc.

 

That being said, the fastest I will be connecting to the router is 802.11n, and from what I understand, 802.11n and USB 2.0 are practically the same speed. So, if Im never planning to use a wired connection to the router for Gigabit Ethernet, that means there's no reason to not buy a Drobo because of USB 2.0 only?

 

On the other hand, I've heard the Drobo itself is actually slower at outputting data than USB 2.0. So if what I posted is true, it may still be worth waiting for the next model anyway.

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Are there no 3rd party benchmarks for the drobo?

 

It's been a while since I looked, but a while back I saw some benchmarks comparing USB2 externals to FireWire 400 and although the theoretical speed is almost the same, the FW drives in practice were a good bit faster. this was several years ago, and things may have changed since then.

 

I ended up buying a Western Digital MyBook drive with a FW800 interface for my Time Machine backups, so far it's been a breeze, plug it in, tell Time Machine to backup and that's it.

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http://www.drobo.com/products_droboshare.aspx

 

Add to the Drobo to make it a real NAS. Makes it a lot more useful IMO.

 

It's a pretty cool gadget. I like the ease-of-use factor WRT automated backing up on empty space, upgrading individual disks, etc.

 

I know how to tweak/reconfigure/rebuild mirrored/striped/etc drives (and do it all the time in my role as an OpenVMS sysadmin at work) but that doesn't mean I want to sit and fiddle with it at home.

 

I'm going to build one of these later this year as my Magicjack VOIP/Media streaming/Printer sharing box:

 

http://us.shuttle.com/kpc/

 

The Drobo would match it nicely. :D Like two little Borg cubes.

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Add to the Drobo to make it a real NAS. Makes it a lot more useful IMO.

 

My understanding of DroboShare is that it doesn't make Drobo a "real" NAS. It's just a Drobo on your network. Still slowish and it doesn't have the sharing support found in real network attached storage devices.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

My Drobo arrived today. This thing is quieter than the other two OWC drives I had to send back (see other thread).

 

I'll be using this for a backup and a primary drive. Im looking forward to them releasing a new version of the Droboshare, at which time I'll probably also be using it to stream media from.

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  • 1 month later...

I just competed a survey that Drobo sent me, which included this question that might be a sign of things to come:

 

380395862_QHaNd-L.jpg

 

I picked #2 even though I dont have anything that uses eSATA. I'd feel like I'd probably end up using FW1600 faster than I would eSATA, and that's on the lower end model. I just liked the 8 drive capability and the fact that it could withstand two hard drive failures. I was then grilled on pricing.

 

To Mods: Feel free to change the name of this thread to "Drobo" or something.

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My Drobo 2nd Gen experience so far hasn't exactly inspired confidence in the Drobo's reliability. The 4th drive bay refused to recognize any drive in it (including known-good drives swapped from other bays), until I upgraded to FW 1.2.4 last night, after which it immediately recognized and allocated it. Then today I got 3 erroneous critical warning emails: cannot protect against single failure, data protection in progress, critically low on capacity. At least from what I can see in Drobo dash, all drives are green.

 

I emailed back Drobo support, we'll see what they have to say. That too doesn't really make me comfortable, my first support request (about the 4th bay being DOA) took over a week to get a reply, and a completely wrong one at that ("obviously the drive you put in the 4th bay is bad, try using USB instead of FW, do a disk check").

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