Drobo

(Drobo FS) or (Drobo + DroboShare) ?

I know that the droboshare will be discontinued, but in the mean time, it’s a way to save almost 100$, and have SATA + USB plugs.

Some shop are selling Drobo (4bay) + DroboShare bundle for less than 600$ CND, where the Drobo FS is 700$, and only have a GBLAN connector.

Why is the drobo FS so expensive ? Does the extra one bay cost that much ?
What’s the big difference between Drobo and Drobo FS ?

Thanks.

If you don’t already have a Drobo, get the FS, no question… The FS has a much faster CPU and more RAM for improved performance, plus has AFP support for the Mac folks.

Where can we found theses specs ?

They are not under the tech spec tab of the product page.

Drobo + DroboShare you can expect to see speeds around 5 to 10 mb/s. Mostly limited by DroboShare but also because you connect the Drobo to the DroboShare via USB.

Drobo FS you can see speeds around 30 to 40 mb/s.

The DroboStore NO longer sells DroboShares.

Drobo FS also supports Dual-Disk Redundancy (DDR) in additional to standard Single-Disk Redundancy (SDR).

If you’re buying new and don’t already have a server to do the network serving, go Drobo FS.

Yes, but isn’t that just mean to setup the RAID5 to use 2 spear disk instead of 1 ?
This doesn’t require a more advanced raid controller, or more CPU power…

I really like the drobo philosophy, but the drobo FS is … expensive.

Ps.: I’m still interested in doing a real tech spec comparison.

Right now, I just need to have a network mirror raid to have my data safe, and access them under 2 computer (Win+Linux).
I feel like drobo doesn’t have this kind of product, and paying 700$ for a 2 disk raid seems overkill.

No, Dual-Disk Redundancy is NOT equivalent to RAID5 with 1, 2, or any number of hot spare(s).

In RAID5, when you lose one disk, it has to rebuild (onto a hot spare, or a replacement) during the rebuild, data is NOT protected against an additional drive failure. Lose another drive before rebuild is complete and you lose the array.

DDR equates in RAID-world to RAID6.
When the first drive fails, the array is still protected against an additional drive failure - even if rebuild has not yet completed.
When the second drive fails, then the array is no longer protected.
If a third drive fails before rebuild is complete, that’s when you lose the array.

So SDR, lose one drive OK, lose a second drive - data is gone.
In DDR, lose one drive OK, lose another drive OK, lose a third drive - data is gone.

Although Data Robotics does not sell DroboShare anymore, you could also buy a Drobo-V2 and connect it through USB to some WiFi router which allows the connection and network sharing of a USB disk, such as Apple Extreme Base Station or Cisco/Linksys Wireless Router WRT610N.

The benefits :

  • Drobo-V2 50% less expensive than Drobo-FS
  • you get WiFi sharing too
  • Drobo-V2 is quieter than Drobo-FS
  • connection options more flexible than Drobo-FS alone (direct or network attached)
  • disks packs can be migrated between Drobo-V2->Drobo-S/DroboPro

The drawbacks :

  • you loose DroboDashboard alerts
  • likely, the router will recognize only 1 Drobo partition/volume
  • Drobo-V2 is slower than Drobo-FS
  • only Drobo-FS supports optional dual disk redundancy
  • for maximum network performance, you need a router which supports Jumbo Frames (AEBS does not)

Another potential drawback: not all routers support multiple volumes or GPT, which means you might only get access to the first 2TB of your Drobo.

Some more alternatives to DroboShare, with the usual limitations.
Silex SX-3000GB
CONRAD NAS-ADAPTER

Fewer of them with WiFi capabilities thou (Apple Extreme Base Station among those).
Wonder how many among Drobo users did experiment successfully with some of those alternatives ?