Drobo 2nd Gen Performance questions

I am a brand new Drobo owner (bought that thing 3 days before the annoucement :)) …

I have the Drobo connected to my MacPro using FireWire 800. Running test software i come up with rather slow transfer rates, the locally connected Drobo is infact slower than the ReadyNAS that i have in the network as a backup system.

Here is the report from QuickBench, i am just wondering if that is the performance i should be seeing, or if something is terrible wrong in my setup. I did switch between firewire and usb, but the numbers are pretty similiar, no big differences there.

QuickBench™ 4.0 Test Results
©2000-2007 Intech Software Corp.
Test file created on Dienstag, 24. November 2009 at 10:24:45 Uhr
Test Volume Name: Drobo
Test Volume Type: MacOS Extended
Test Volume Size: 3.999 Terabytes
Test Volume Free Space: 3.338 Terabytes
Allow Disk Cache Effects: Disabled
All reads and writes performed sychronously

Standard Test Results:
Test Cycles: 1

Transfer Size Sequential Read Sequential Write Random Read Random Write

4 KBytes 0.784 MB/Sec 2.175 MB/Sec 0.360 MB/Sec 1.783 MB/Sec
8 KBytes 5.028 MB/Sec 2.824 MB/Sec 0.731 MB/Sec 1.162 MB/Sec
16 KBytes 8.148 MB/Sec 5.414 MB/Sec 1.395 MB/Sec 1.259 MB/Sec
32 KBytes 16.324 MB/Sec 9.434 MB/Sec 2.660 MB/Sec 2.166 MB/Sec
64 KBytes 23.524 MB/Sec 14.172 MB/Sec 5.307 MB/Sec 3.862 MB/Sec
128 KBytes 31.534 MB/Sec 21.181 MB/Sec 10.224 MB/Sec 5.631 MB/Sec
256 KBytes 37.156 MB/Sec 25.416 MB/Sec 14.413 MB/Sec 9.118 MB/Sec
512 KBytes 39.461 MB/Sec 27.214 MB/Sec 18.259 MB/Sec 12.236 MB/Sec
1024 KBytes 39.448 MB/Sec 26.057 MB/Sec 21.886 MB/Sec 11.602 MB/Sec

Standard Ave 22.379 MB/Sec 14.876 MB/Sec 8.359 MB/Sec 5.424 MB/Sec

Large Test Results:
Test Cycles: 1

Transfer Size Large Read Large Write

2 MBytes 38.391 MB/Sec 27.581 MB/Sec
3 MBytes 36.308 MB/Sec 27.174 MB/Sec
4 MBytes 36.082 MB/Sec 27.156 MB/Sec
5 MBytes 35.774 MB/Sec 26.977 MB/Sec
6 MBytes 30.190 MB/Sec 27.015 MB/Sec
7 MBytes 36.221 MB/Sec 27.223 MB/Sec
8 MBytes 34.822 MB/Sec 27.014 MB/Sec
9 MBytes 34.262 MB/Sec 27.168 MB/Sec
10 MBytes 23.357 MB/Sec 27.276 MB/Sec

Large Ave 33.934 MB/Sec 27.176 MB/Sec

Extended Test Results:
Test Cycles: 1

Transfer Size Extended Read Extended Write

20 MBytes 33.796 MB/Sec 23.700 MB/Sec
30 MBytes 32.579 MB/Sec 27.418 MB/Sec
40 MBytes 31.222 MB/Sec 24.365 MB/Sec
50 MBytes 33.535 MB/Sec 27.299 MB/Sec
60 MBytes 22.074 MB/Sec 15.550 MB/Sec
70 MBytes 26.282 MB/Sec 14.335 MB/Sec
80 MBytes 26.909 MB/Sec 15.928 MB/Sec
90 MBytes 26.762 MB/Sec 17.299 MB/Sec
100 MBytes 24.822 MB/Sec 22.870 MB/Sec

Extended Ave 28.664 MB/Sec 20.974 MB/Sec



looks pretty normal to me

2nd Gen:

USB Read: Up to 30 MBps
USB Write: Up to 25 MBps
FW Read: Up to 50 MBps
FW Write: Up to 35 MBps

I’m actually very curious about this as well. I’m only getting 30MB/s Read and 22.5MB/s Write over FW800, with a pair of 7200rpm 1.5TB (approved) drives. What do I need to do to get closer to those numbers? I need the extra thoughput for my video work, I’m getting dropped frames.

Tests were done with the AJA System Test app on a Macbook Pro.

That sounds like Firewire 400 speeds. Make sure you are running in Firewire 800 mode

I just did the reset test and it’s still reporting the same speeds. Even before the reset test Drobo has been reporting 800Mb/s connections. Any ideas?

Are you on an intel mac?

Slow FireWire performance occasionally occurs, most frequently with Intel-based Macs. You can check your connection speed by opening Apple’s System Profiler (Applications->Utilities) and then selecting FireWire (under Hardware in the left panel).
In the main portion of the window, you can see information about the FireWire devices that you have connected to your Mac.

The entry for Drobo or DroboPro probably shows a connection speed of 400 Mb/s instead of 800.

To solve this issue with slower FireWire speeds on a Mac:

For Drobo:

Put Drobo into standby mode.
Once in standby mode, the power light turns orange.
Unplug the FireWire 800 cable from your Mac for a few seconds.
Plug the FireWire 800 cable back into the Mac.
The Mac should now connect at a 800 Mbps data rate.

Hi, Is there a way to do the same on PC ? How i can know for sure on a intel pc the firewire speed ? I bought a firewire 800 card but the performance are very slow. Usb 2.0 is so far very faster and stable. I already did a search and it’s looks like that windows7 and firewire 800 doesn’t fit together :frowning:

windows 7 on Q9550 2.83

I tried that according to the FAQ, and there’s no improvement. I did the test on my system which is an Intel Mac on Snow Leopard, making sure it recognized it as an 800 system.

To remove any doubt, I tried it on a Power PC G5 system running Leopard, checked if it was 800, and did an identical speed test using the AJA System Test software. I got the same speeds! It has to be something with the Drobo.

How did Data Robotics do its speed benchmark tests? According to the Drobo tech specs, on Firewire 800, it sustained a 52MB/s read and 34MB/s write, using two 7200rpm drives and the AJA System Test app at DVCProHD 1080i60, 1GB file. I’ve done these exact tests with my Mac Pro at the office and am not achieving speeds close to that. Please help us.

It’s pretty much like you said, the Drobo is slow. The claimed numbers are not achievable in normal usage. It’s barely usable for iPhoto/iMovie as has been reported all over these forums. It’s really only good as a backup device unfortunately.

I use my Drobo V2 on my HTPC primarily to store and watch ripped movies and I’ve never experienced an issue with slowness…and I’m using USB. I’m running XP Pro SP3 on a 2.2 GHz AMD Phenom quad-core processor with 2GB of ram. I don’t know my actual transfer rates, but it works perfectly for me.

If that is really the case, than I am sorely disappointed in Drobo. I’m not asking for miracles, but I am asking for a truthful answer. How do I get Drobo to match the posted speeds, especially if I’m matching the benchmark equipment? Or am I being wrong by assuming the data posted on the website, claiming actual sustained throughput, was correct?

I know it’s not designed for high-bitrate footage, but it should at least keep up with my external individual FW400 drives. Don’t get me wrong I love my Drobo, but this whole thing about claimed sustained rates versus my real-world sustained rates, is really starting to infuriate me.

[quote=“AzDragonLord, post:11, topic:748”]

I use it as a HTMac, and the Drobo-V2 speed is OK for ripped DVDs (using FW800).
But although I have not yet made the test, I have some concern the Drobo bandwidth may be barely sufficient for Blu-Ray rips reading.
Does anybody have experience with those ?

yeah its fine- i had a big library of them on mine

dont forget that blu-rays have a max data rate of about 40mBITs/second (and that tends to be peak rather than sustained)- so you only need to sustain about 5-6 MB/sec to easy accomodate them

I am returning mine. After 10days of testing i had the following nice observation:

The longer the write is sustained on the drobo, the slower it gets. I tried, with SuperDuper, to copy 260 GB from a ReadyNAS NV+ to the Drobo (which was empty at that time). This took 48 hours, and was NOT done. Write speed dropped from initial 10MB/s to 0.5MB/s at the end.

I tried to use TimeMachine to backup my machine to the drobo. After 30 hours it copied 70GB.

This is ridiculous. The Drobo is nice technology in principal, in practice ( I tried this with a 2009 Macpro and a 2007 Mac Mini) the thing is utterly unusable for my environment.

And yes, i tried every trick mentioned here in the forums or the knowledgebase to get more performance. I tried firewire. I tried USB.

Then you have the issue that you can not wake up that thing again after a shutdown without unplugging it. That’s not very convenient.

And the data loss possibility when you loose power.

I am spending more, and get a ReadyNAS NVX for what i want to do. Same expansion features, but, according to all tests, that thing is fast and reliable. With my past experience wtih the NV+ i should have done this directly, but i wanted to save a few bucks…


Blu-ray 1x = 36 Mbps (4.5 MB/sec)

Not sure if the behavior is different between Win and Mac, but file size definitely makes a difference, and simultaneous access definitely slows it down. You might get better results with Drobo-S, not sure.

Not sure what the wake-up issue is on your system. Mine wakes up fine between power up/down. I’ve only had to disconnect the interface cable 3 times, and that was to move the unit from one machine to another. I should mention I’m USB-connected, and on Windows 7 and Vista.

Data loss when you lose power is a concern for any storage solution, a UPS is a must.

Regardless, hope you find something that works for you.

actually… because of video quality issues, blu-ray video plays back at 1.5x (if memory serves me right… it could be 1.6?) they defined the standard… then realised it didn’t look quite good enough, so the video stream is capped at 40Mbits with another 8 for audio and they’ve just specced the players at a higher minimum speed (im on a bus on my phone - ii’ll check the numbers when i got home!)

but this counterintuitively means that a device fast enough for 1x blu-ray may not be fast enough for blu-ray video![hr]
and reading and writing at once definitely slows down the 'pro so im sure it will slow down the S!

I’m in the process of spec-ing a Blu-ray drive so this is very good to know, thanks Docchris!

At 1.6 times “1x” it’d be 57.6 Mbps or 7.2 MB/sec. Still well within a DAS Drobo’s performance assuming you’re not doing a lot of simultaneous access of other files. I’d be hesitant to try it on a DroboShare though.

Also well within USB 2.0 and Firewire-400 (1394a) transfer rates.

"BD Video movies have a maximum data transfer rate of 54 Mbit/s, a maximum AV bitrate of 48 Mbit/s (for both audio and video data), and a maximum video bitrate of 40 Mbit/s. "

god im good… (or just very very geeky!)

6.75 MB/sec total datastream then. Thanks!