Drobo

Bought 4 DroboPro's, 2 not working so far

First, let me say, that I really like the simple and “Apple-like” product that the DroboPro is.

And I was the one to pitch it here at our company, as I really like the promise of the product.

Second, I’m not a big on complaints and I consider myself a pretty patient man :slight_smile:

OK, so here is the problem:

I have bought 4 DroboPro’s so far and I’m supposed to order 4 more in the near future. We are looking at maybe 10 DroboPro’s for our company within the next 6 months.

But I’m considering my options now, as 2 of the 4, we have already bought, are not working.

Anyone else experiencing this kind of failure rate?

1) The first one suddenly wouldn’t turn on. The power lamp didn’t even light up. I moved it around to different power outlets but no go.

Then suddenly after a couple of days, it magically turned on.

I put it in the server room again, but after a week it dies again.

It must be a faulty power supply and I have send it back to my dealer.

2) The second one suddenly disappeared from the server (Finder, no volume mounted). This happened over night.

It had 8 x 2TB drives and lot’s of research data on it (the data is being backed up to another 16TB DroboPro every night).

I tried rebooting it many, many times (I actually used 4 hours in the cold server room, not a fun day :wink: )

It only completed the reboots, like, half of the times. The other half it just lit up all the lights (not doing anything) or it stopped when lighting all the blue lights (7 or 8 out of 10 got lid).

Somehow it finally mounted but told me no volumes where present.

I had to reboot the server to get to this point (this is not so fortunate when the Drobo’s are part of a production environment).

DashBoard said it had 14TB unallocated space and 15XB free (I don’t even know what “XB” is).

At this point I figured I’d try a reset (as I had a backup). Resetting from the DashBoard didn’t work, the Drobo never restarted and the app hang.

To make a long story short… After a lof of restarts and resets and an upgrade to latest firmware 1.1.3 and DashBoard 1.6.0 (1.6.1 wasn’t out yet at that point), the Drobo finally mounted (and was found by the DashBoard) again.

I can now create a 16TB Volume, but if I try to rename the Drobo, after it restarts (which it doesn’t in the first try), the Volumes are “reset” back to the no volumes and XB mess.

It’s now caught in this “loop” :frowning:

3) To make it even more interesting, I now have a third DroboPro here in my office and I upgraded it to firmware 1.1.3 and installed DashBoard 1.6.1 on my test laptop.

I had to reboot the laptop (shouldn’t be necessary imo.) and it took several tries before the DashBoard recognized the Drobo.

It now sees the Drobo just fine but I can’t rename the volume. DashBoard tells me it’s unable to rename (with all the Drobo’s we have and are going to have, we need to give them proper names, both the units and volumes).

This product is intended for small businesses and I expect it to work in an environment like ours.

I must say that our Apple RAID’s and Promise RAID’s, thus far, are working much better and stable than the Drobo’s (I know that they are a in a totally different class both feature and prise wise).

But in the end, I think that a small business targeted product should not behave as we have experienced so far with 2 (3) out of 4 units.

PS. We are using Mac OS X 10.5.7 Server running on an Intel Quad XServe.

We are using iSCSI but during all my troubleshooting I have been using the supplied USB cable (as iSCSI has an even lower success rate than USB/FireWire when rebooting etc.).

We are in the process of contacting Drobo Support also, explaining all this, and I hope they can help us. We just need a stable product for our IT environment, that’s all.

Regards
Martin (Denmark)

Mac OS 10.5.7 has a known connectivity issue over USB. I highly recommend updating to 10.5.8.

And yes please open a support case so we can assist you with your DroboPro’s.

Hi Martin,

I just thought I’d let you know that you’re not alone, DroboPro also works strangely in Finland. I get iSCSI disconnects, occasional hardware write failures, drops in transfer speed, software update problems, relayouts taking ages to complete, and other issues. I’d also like to see a higher transfer speed, I had to go from 100+ MB/s over the network in my previous setup to about 25 MB/s with the DroboPro (and sometimes under 10 MB/s).

My impression is that this is a great product concept that has not been tested enough to work well in many very basic usage scenarios. I’ve been working with Drobo support for a couple of months and some problems in the firmware have been diagnosed, but so far none have been fixed.

I suppose you can use DroboPro for some archiving purposes without many problems, but for a file server main storage unit it just doesn’t have the performance or reliability. I’m currently moving my files back from the DroboPro.

Hope you have success with support!

Im running x64 win 7 on a machine with a core i7 overclocked to 4ghz (so i have 4 x hyperthreaded 4ghz cores) copying off drobopro (its pretty full - 80% ish) from an 8TB NTFS volume. I’ve got 8 drives in it (4 x WD 2TB 4 x WD 1.5TB) and at the moment its got single drive redundancy via iSCSI over GBe plugged directly into one of the MB’s sockets - writing to a 7200rpm 2TB drive (hitachi) over SATA 300…

wow thats a lot of geeky technobabble isnt it…

I’m moving 1.6TB of large files (all over 1GB - most 3-4GB)

its been going a few hours now and the speed has leveled out… at 15.5Megabytes/sec

For those of your following my personal set-up - yes i have temporarily moved my pro and changed connection method (the USB connection to an atom powered machine woudl have taken far far too long to move all this data)

oh and i would imagine XB is eXaBytes which is 1,000 PB (PetaBytes which is 1,000 TB)

so congrats on your 15million TB volume :slight_smile: i assume you are going to back up the entire internet for us?

Thanks for the reply Jennifer.

I didn’t know there was a “known” issue with USB and DroboPro / 10.5.7.

It wasn’t “known” to me at least :slight_smile:

Upgrading our XServe’s from 10.5.7 to 10.5.8 is not something you just do.

We have several servers and it will require downtime, backup, testing, etc. etc. in a fairly large company like ours.

We will update our servers eventually but I wasn’t planning on a Drobo forcing us to do this.

I have bought a 3 meter FireWire 800 cable, that I will use for managing all the DroboPro’s in the server room.

Are there any “known” issues that I should be aware of when using FireWire and 10.5.7 Server Jennifer?

Thanks
Martin

The known issue with USB and 10.5.7 wasn’t exclusive to the Drobo. It was with any USB device connected to Mac OS 10.5.7. That is why 10.5.8 was released so quickly after 10.5.7 and right before Snow Leopard.

There weren’t as many issues on FW as there was on USB but I would still recommend upgrading to 10.5.8. There is a reason Apple comes out with upgrades to THEIR software.

Also after updating your OS, I would recommend running repair disk from disk utility on the drobo volumes. Connectivity issues can cause data corruption which needs to be repaired.

So when the before mentioned units are connected via iSCSI then the USB related problems should not have any effect in that configuration - or…?.

Please make a comment on that issue.

BR TvE (thinking about buying the new eSATA equipped Drobo)

the connectivity issue was with Mac OS 10.5.7 with usb and sometimes FW had some issues.

Ok - so as long as you have succeeded in configuring the unit (via EG USB) and you’re using iSCSI you should NOT have any problems using the Drobo’s with 10.5.7?

You shouldn’t but we always recommend that your OS should be up to date.