Drobo 5N and mSATA SSD Drive Performance ?

Has anyone added a SSD drive to their 5N with noticeable performance? If you have, I would love to hear from you. I added a 5N to my home / office network, with WD Black 7200 RMP eSATA Drives 3TB + 2TB + 2TB and for a device that is suppose to be a network access server, I couldn’t even get my iTunes library to play with out intermittent interruptions. The performance was horrible, and I went back to the external drive off my MacBook.

If anyone added an SSD drive, did you install the 64 or 128 MB card?


I installed a 128MB card several years ago, but I’m not certain if it helps or not. The SSD health shows 100%.

hi d4neli, it might be a few things to bear in mind as well…
for example:

  • it might take some time for data to become optimised
  • it might be worth checking to see if your card was sandforce-based, (because those are especially known to be incompatible)
  • can i check if you had just moved your itunes library onto the drobo, (or was it just that it was always there, but didnt play properly after putting in the msata?)

Hi Paul - I moved the iTunes library to the 5N, and then had iTunes rebuild the library. A point you make is in optimization. I didn’t give that any thought? I did have it on the Drobo FS and didn’t have any issues with it, but do on the 5N. Maybe I didn’t give it sufficient time to optimize? I can’t remember from the time I moved the library to the time I fired up iTunes?

Maybe I should try it again.[hr]

Do you remember where you purchased your card? I’ve been looking at MacSales and Crucial and a few other vendors but can’t seem to come up with any success.

This one…

thanks for more info d4neli,
i think it was a case of 2 lots of optimisation… (for example depending on how much data was generated/re-generated, it may have been a case where you moved x amount of data onto the 5n, which would optimise itself, and then also re-generating the library probably generated/regenerated x amount of data, which also would do some optimising)

i think if your drobo is still having plenty of free space, with solid green lights for example, then if you try just leaving the drobo overnight to settle it might be all that is needed.

btw can you see how your 5n is connecting?
maybe directly connecting it to the computer (as a test) could be useful.

also if the library is still slow, is there a way to try accessing something in the library, but instead of playing it with itunes, to use another program instead, as a test? (i seem to remember another user who was able to watch a movie in another program instead of via itunes and it worked fine)

also, are you connected via afp or smb?[hr]
(btw dragon is also known sometimes as LOTL… lord of the links) :smiley:

Hi Paul - Sorry I dropped out for a few days. Started backing up all my photos to the Drobo using Chronosync and that took a lot of time, several days to be exact. Chronosync started hanging after hours of running, and I had to keep restarting the syncing again and again.

I’m connected via smb. The optimization concept seems more and more probable. I haven’t tested it out again because I just had too much going on. I was doing some research and discovered that the WD Red Drives are designed for a NAS. I don’t know if this is pure marketing hype, but I need to replace the 2 WD 2TB drives in the 5N and may splurge for one to see if there is any improvement.

The 5N has a CAT 5 cable, the one that came with the unit, to a CAT port on the back of the Xfinity router. In my previous configuration about 2 years ago, I had the Xfinity connected to an Apple Extreme and the Extreme to a 4 port switch and the FS at the time connected to the switch. I can’t remember having problems back then which keeps leaning me to the Optimization issue.

I’ll follow your testing methodology to a computer just to eliminate that variable and will post in a couple of days if I don’t to distracted.

And thanks once again for all your input. Cheers

ok cool no worries, please let us know how things go whenever you get time

When I bought my Drobo 5N in November 2015, I ran all sorts of performance tests on it, including trying the performance tests both with and without an mSATA SSD installed. In my tests, the Drobo 5N performance was better without the mSATA SSD than with it.

I detail some of the tests that I ran here: http://www.drobospace.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=145185&pid=194097#pid194097
and here: http://www.drobospace.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=145185&pid=194110#pid194110

And a post where I talk about being surprised that the mSATA worsened the performance rather than improving it is here: http://www.drobospace.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=145185&pid=194112#pid194112

Just some additional data points for you to consider. Good luck.