Drobo

Am I doing this correctly?

Hello and thank you for reading my post. I’m going to put it in points so it’s easier to read.

The below is what I’ve been doing to back up my DVD collection (personally recorded and irreplaceable). Please critique any steps that I should do better and answer a couple of the questions I have if you can.

  • I purchased a Drobo Pro with 8 drives (12.5 TB of usable storage)
  • I have about 3000 DVDs (10 TB) of boxing that I’ve recorded over the years
  • I am in the process of copying them to the Drobo and have filled about 3 TB of it.
  • Once I have copied the full DVD collection (all 3000), I would like to make a full copy of the 8 drives and store them off-site.

Question: How do I make an exact duplicate of my 16 TB drobo (with 10 TBs filled) on another set of 8 Drives without purchasing a second drobo. This set is for back up purposes only and will be stored off site to be used only in case of damage or theft of my currently used Drobo Pro.

Question 2: Am I going about the backing up process correctly? At the rate I’m going, I will finish in about 3 months

Question 3: Should I be turning the Drobo to Standby mode at night? Currently the green lights on the drobo are always on (24/7)

Question 4: I intend to watch my boxing matches straight from the Drobo instead of the DVDs in the future. I watch boxing everyday - can my Drobo and HDs handle that type of frequent use?

Thank you for your time.

  1. A drive cloning application like Clonezilla might work, but I don’t know how-specific Drobo’s addressing of drives is (for example, cloning won’t duplicate the drive’s serial number).

  2. Actually there are a few things to consider on the subject of backups…
    How easy is it manage?
    How easy is it to access?
    How fault-tolerant is it?

Clones of DroboPro Disk Pack:
Manageability: Keep them together, all is good. Order doesn’t matter.
Accessibility: [color=#FF0000]Requires a working DroboPro chassis.[/color]
Fault-tolerance: Array is fault-tolerant, up to one drive (SDR) or two drives (DDR) of the pack may “go bad” while stored and the data set is still intact.

“Loose” drives (JBOD):
Manageability: [color=#FF0000]Difficult to know what pieces live where. May be alleviated by intelligent backup software.[/color]
Accessibility: Easy to access on any machine - no extra hardware requirements necessary (beyond whatever interface the drive uses, but USB-PATA/SATA adapters are easy).
Fault-tolerance: [color=#FF0000]Not fault-tolerant. Mirroring could be done manually or by means of intelligent software, but overall it is tedious.[/color]

So… Depends on how you want to back up. Given the amount of data you have, if you frequently add/change your collection and want to keep “up to date” often, I would recommend getting another DroboPro.

You’d just be “rotating” disk packs between the DroboPro at your primary site and the one in storage.

If quick disaster-recovery isn’t an issue, then you could live without another DroboPro, but I’d definitely pick up a spare when they end-of-life, so you have a spare unit. Then again, I’m also the guy who still has Zip drives for the “one day I might find something on a Zip disk…”

  1. No real reason to push a Drobo to full standby unless you plan not to use/access it for an extended period of time. If it’s idle long enough, it’ll put the drives to sleep.

  2. Sure, your Drobo is more than fast-enough to handle DVD content playback. DVD maximum transfer rate is 9.2 Mbps or 1.15 MB/sec. Well within the transfer rate of any of the Drobos.

also, there are issues with just storing drives - you would have to regularly test them/spin them up

are you compressing the video as you copy it?

MPEG 2 is a fairly rubbish format and you can easily make it 3-4 times smaller without any noticeable loss in quality

(Compression) Format-wise it really depends on what you want to do with them.

Docchris is correct for distribution and “just watching” MPEG-2 is not as efficient (compression-wise) as newer codecs like H.264, however, if your intent is to edit or do frame-by-frame playback or forensics, then there are still advantages for MPEG-2 over more-highly-compressed codecs.

Thanks Bhiga and Docchris for all the information and insight.

I think based on your advice, I will make up a disk pack that I’m pretty sure I won’t need to edit and store that off site. I also didn’t realize that I’ll have to spin the drives up and test them occasionally so I’ll have to take that into consideration. It may be easier to have a second drobo pro, however, that’s another $2200 on another drobo pro with 8 HDs

I’m not compressing because each DVD has a nice menu that allows you to pick each individual fight. When I trade these with other collectors, that’s how folks like them so I’m just keeping them as is. I also need to edit them sometimes.

Thanks again for all the help this will definitely make me think about things carefully.

My input was based mainly on the fact I have digitized my bluray and dvd collection, and while the bluray are bit copies, the dvd ate all converted to h264 and have been compressed by a factor of 4 and even when freeze framed, I can’t tell the difference!

I’m sure youcould rip them fight by fight and when someone wants them you could probably rebuild them with just the fights they want and a custom menu?

Just a thought :wink:

You’d definitely get more “bang-for-buck” storage-wise by recompressing, but I guess it depends how many of your peers are “purists.” :slight_smile: I’m considering a mass-recompression myself, as I have a large DVD library.

handbrake is amazing (especially with a 4ghz quad core i7 :slight_smile: (and even then it takes a while!)

DOOCHRIS the idea of ripping each fight and recombining during trades is excellent. I looked into it for the past couple of days trying to rip the video without reencoding. I was able to use WOMBLE MPEG VIDEO to rip certain fights out in .mpg format without reencoding and then I can use TMPGEnc to recombine with a custom menu.

That’s an excellent idea. At this point I have over 10000 fights so the time it will take to do that will be huge but I’m sure it will be worth it as I will be keeping these fights for a lifetime.

Thanks again for all the advice and if you have any other tips I’m all ears.

haha, im just curious about why you are storing them - surely once you know who is won, they would be boring? (i’m not very sporty… heheh!)

unless its you fighting in them i guess?

There’s a small group of collectors who enjoy watching old fights regardless of the result or knowing how the fight went. Unfortunately for my wife I’m one of them - I just enjoy watching old fights and fights that I"ve seen before. I can’t explain why but it’s just one of those things. At this point, it might also have become somewhat of an obsession to archive fights.

These fights aren’t released officially so the only video record exists with production companies who won’t release them and small collectors such as myself.

I’m going to look into Handbrake. It looks interesting. I’ve recently used WOMBLE to rip individual fights in .mpg format and it does it without reencoding them.