Can I connect DroboPro directly to an Ethernet switch?

You can connect one or more DroboPros to a network and have them accessible from a single host, provided the host is on the same subnet. First, directly attach DroboPro using USB 2.0, FireWire or Ethernet cable to your host, and choose an appropriate IP address, then connect each DroboPro to your switch. This host will be the only computer on the network able to directly access DroboPro. To share DroboPro to the entire network, simply turn on file sharing using the file sharing controls in your host’s operating system (i.e. SMB or AFP). Please note you must set a unique static IP address for each DroboPro using Drobo Dashboard and only one instance of Drobo Dashboard assigning static IP addresses should be running on that subnet.
Since DroboPro is such a high-performance device, it can fully consume all bandwidth on a Gigabit Ethernet connection, resulting in performance compared to directly attaching DroboPro. Please see http://www.drobo.com/iscsi for more information.

Is there a way to do this under OSX? I would be very interested in connecting the DroboPro straight to an ethernet network.

I had understood from Mark F that you could share a DroboPro between multiple computers on a network, by creating multiple “smart volume”, and (somehow?) assigning independent IP addresses to each volume?? True, or not true?

Now that would be interesting, sharing a DROBOPro amongst numerous computers!

Connecting multiple hosts isn’t recommended unless you are using VMware or another OS that is “cluster aware” – DroboPro doesn’t arbitrate access. If two computers mount the same volume they will corrupt the file system. That is why Drobo Dashboard mounts the 'pro to only one volume. Advanced users using VMware by pass Dashboard and manage the connections to DroboPro through VMware’s tools.

Hi Mark,

I don’t think Suite B is talking about connecting to the same volume here. Rather I think he is asking about creating multiple volumes and then having different computers access each volume.

Corndog is correct, Mark.

I understand the horrible problem of trying to do multithreading on a volume, synchronizing everything, etc. Well, I really DON’T understand that, I only know it would be a horribly complex problem, and one for which operating systems exist.

My question is whether multiple computers can access separate volumes, completely independently, either with separate IP addresses or some other magic.

Short answer: No.

Long answer: DroboPro is targetted for single host and dual host (a la VMware/ESX/Vmotion) environments. DroboPro does not police which hosts access which SmartVolumes (aka LUNs) on it. In other words, there is no support for stopping one host from corrupting the other host’s filesystem. Without this support its inappropriate to recommend using DroboPro in this way.