Docchris, I think you have a good idea, but I’m not sure how practical it is.
As I’m sure you know, most electronic components have a U-shaped failure curve, with a certain amount of infant mortality, a lengthy period of good performance, followed by old-age failures. The question is how long does it take for the infant mortality problems to reveal themselves? Sure, if it is DOA, that’s easy to spot, but if there is a leaky capacitor, or a spindle bearing that only got 80% or the right amount of lubricant on it, how are you going to know – those things might not fail or a month or two? In other words, I think it is unlikely that a single day’s worth of testing would be likely to reveal anything, and perhaps not even a week.
Knowing you from your posts over the last year, I’m pretty confident that you have all of the data on your DroboPro backed up somewhere else as well (hopefully off-site), so that you aren’t at risk of a single catastrophic failure. If not, that’s something that you might want to address, urgently!
Regrettably, in my case I didn’t think through these issues well enough, and wasted time upgrading my DroboPro multiple times. (Yes, I had an existing backup. Or two. Or three!)
Finally, I did what I should have done in the beginning, and that was to remove all four 1 TB drives from a Drobo V2 and put them aside, then put four 2 TB drives in the V2 (my ArchiveDrobo), then copy all of the data from the DroboPro to the expanded V2 (much faster than rebuilding it).
Then I took the old 1 TB drives and added them to the DroboPro to increase the capacity that I would loose by turning on dual disk redundancy. After adding the first one, I turned on dual drive redundancy, and then added the remaining three all at once, so that it could rebuild quickly.
Shortly thereafter, I got an error message concerning one of the original 1TB drives, now about 18 months old. I sent the Diagnostic log into Tech Support, and they confirmed that one drive had taken too long to respond, and that another drive was “being watched” and looked like it might be about to fail. I therefore bought two more 2 TB drives, and replaced the two suspect 1 TB drives, one at a time (in order to maintain the dual drive redundancy).
Since then, I’ve taken those two WD drives, plus a 1TB Hitachi drive that I salvaged from my TimeCapsule after the power supply failed, and I’ve put them in a Drobo that I can play with. I’m using it for Time Machine for my MacMini, but there really isn’t any data on the Mac Mini, so if those drives were to fail it wouldn’t be catastrophic.
So at the moment, I have four 2TB drives in the V2, with 3.49 TB out of 5.42TB available. I’m using ChronoSync to backup my Mac Pro to that drive.
On the DroboPro, I have six 1TB drives plus two 2TB drives, with 4.16TB used out of 5.38 TB available with dual disk redundancy. I’m using ChronoSync to backup the Mac Pro to the DroboPro as well, and also have a Time Machine volume on that drive.
Both the DroboPro and my ArchiveDrobo contain multiple versions of all of my data, snapshots ken roughly six months apart. One of these days, I will have to get serious about data deduplication!
Finally, I am also backing up the Mac Pro to a Drobo V2 connected to my Mac Mini, using CrashPlan+ over the Internet, just to be sure it works. The advantage of CrashPlan+ is that the data on the disk is encrypted, which is importance since the Mac Mini is exposed to the Internet.
Once everything is synchronized, I will be able to access data from my office (via XP), or when I’m on a trip (via my MacBook), and no other solution I have found allows that on a cross-platform basis. However, because I am deliberately doing this over the Internet, I am limited to my uplink speed of 2 mbps, and I’m averaging about 1.5 Mbps. And at that rate, 20GB files take a long time!