Drobo for Dummies

I am about to update my system with a 2013 iMac 27" and Drobo 5D. Going through most of these posts is a little daunting, especially given the problems reported and my inability to keep up with most of the solutions. Much of my time on a computer is spent photo editing and it is time for increasing and condensing my storage.
I have 5+ years of Apple Aperture libraries and vaults to transfer to the Drobo (set up with Seagate drives).
1)Should I set up the Drobo on my old Mac Pro and transfer files from my several WD EHDs to the Drobo and then set the Drobo to the iMac (with Mavericks).?
Or set up the iMac and Drobo and one at a time plugin the WD drives to transfer the data. Sounds like the latter would be less challenging.
2) With the system setup it sounds as if I would be better off isolating my Time Machine to another EHD and avoid the Drobo ( defeating the consolidation plan). My TM has been running for 5 years and has .6TB. I keep very little on the computer; mostly editing software.
Thanks for any suggestions.


Where do you backup your Aperture libraries?

The OS takes more than .6TB.

You didn’t specify the capacity of your 5D.

If you want to use it for Time Machine, just configure a separate volume.

5 2TB Seagate Barracuda drives on the 5D.
TM uses around 650 GB
Libraries are backed up now on a 3TB WD EHD.
Vaults on a separate 3 TB WD EHD .
TM and various Folders etc. on a 1 TB WD EHD.

My concern was the issues some are reporting with TM should the Drobo get close to full. Since, obviously, I am not terribly literate (but willing to learn) on the computer side, I don’t want to screw around with the Drobo and jeopardize the Vaults or Libraries. I do plan on having a second backup for these which I will keep off site and refresh at regular intervals.[hr]
mgriffin34, thanks for the link. When the new iMac arrives next week I will see how I make out with it. What are the downsides of creating a TM Sparsebundle?

Time Machine’s strength and it’s weakness is using a volume until it is full.

As long as the volume is less than the physical space available, TM will work beautifully.

I have a Drobo (v2) and a Drobo 5D attached to my i7 Mini.

TM uses a 8TB volume on the v2 Drobo even though it has 4x3TB WD Reds. The ‘extra’ space is on a volume called ‘buffer’ that is used for nothing.

Never forget to use the 3-2-1 rule for backup. 3 copies of your data, 2 on-site, 1 off-site. I use Time Machine and Crashplan.

hi smbysshe,
just to add to what mgriffin said…

whenever you “transfer” any data from your other/loose drives onto a drobo or other drives etc, never do a move.
always essentially do a copy and paste, and then verify (with a tool) that everything copied correctly, before you go to the next step of deleting the old data or using the new copy as master source.

if your source files are stored in a low number of Large files, then maybe quickpar can help you, but otherwise a checksum utility which scans and verified all the files and folders that you copy, to see if they have been copied correctly, would be needed (but i dont know which one is good on a mac) :slight_smile:

im not the best person to advise you on mac and timemachines, but if you do have a lot of data currently on 1 instance, then i’d recommend copying it all to the drobo, and keeping your loose drives as backups etc, especially if you have 5 years worth of source you want to keep.

Thank you both.
The new iMac just arrived yesterday and I am in the process of setting it up and transferring the “everyday” old Mac Pro stuff.
I am also waiting for an mSATA card for the Drobo before I set that up. I plan on transferring one Library at a time and checking that all is well with Aperture. Then do the same with Vaults (a type of Aperture backup).
Once all is working the vaults that are still stored on the old EHD will become the second (and offsite) backup, to the Drobo.
Will also set up Time Machine on Crashplan.
I am sure I will post if there is an issue!

(please also post at the end, if you did it successfully too with no issues) :slight_smile:

So far pretty painless (I am knocking on wood).
I did chicken out a bit and placed the TM on a separate EHD.
All my photo Libraries and Vaults are now on the Drobo. (I have kept the other EHDs as a second off site B/up).
Aperture and plug-ins seem to work fine retrieving images from the Drobo and the workflow clearly is significantly faster compared to my old system. I don’t need to measure it, I’d rather go take pictures.

Thanks for the advice.