I’ve had my Drobo FS for a while now, and I’m incredibly disappointed with the throughput of the device.
When only one machine on the network is accessing files, it works great. As soon as another computer attempts to access data on the device everything slows to a crawl.
The media center in the living room is streaming a video. Then a user in the home office begins to copy some files. Shortly after that user in the home office starts copying, the video in on the media center will pause and begin to buffer. If the home office user stops accessing the device, the video will finish buffering, and play normally without delay.
That’s one example, I’ve noticed this behavior in many different situations. In all the situations, the common thread is this:
when the disk array has to deliver to more than one connected user, all the users suffer delays.
I’ve run several small test along these lines:
Computer A begins to copy 2GB of data, the estimated transfer time is approximately 4 minutes. Computer B begins to copy 2GB (a different set of files) and the transfer time is approximately 6 minutes. Then the estimated time of Computer A’s transfer increases to 10 minutes, 12 minutes, 15 minutes. And Computer B does the same. The transfers will complete eventually, after exceeding the OS estimates by several factors.
I don’t have similar problems transferring data from client-to-client (single-drive to single-drive).
The Drobo FS is connected to a gigabit switch. All of the drives in the device are 7200 RPM drives with 64MB caches. Some of the machines on the network are connected with gigabit ethernet, some are on 802.11n wireless. Some of the clients are Linux, some OS X, some Win7. I’ve tried removing all the data and resetting the device to factory settings, and copying all the data back. The device has the most recent firmware. The clients are all fast, modern computers.
I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a NAS device to serve data to 2 or 3 connected machines at the same time. I would understand if the performance dropped slightly when multiple users were accessing data, but as it stands the performance drops severely.
Is this typical?