Drobo FS painfully slow, even after clearing off some files

Drobo FS, Firmware 1.2.6 (4.44.64324)
5 x 3.0 TB drives (Hitachi Deskstar 0S03228)
Mac OS X 10.9, Drobo Dashboard 2.5.2 (64171)

I’ve had this Drobo for several years now, and while I would never called it “speedy,” it worked reasonably well enough for my needs. However, over the years I have accumulated quite a bit of junk on it, to the point where it reached about 98% full, at which point it REALLY slowed to a crawl.

Last night I went through and freed up some space by deleting a bunch of files, so that now the Drobo is back down to “only” 84% full. But at least Drobo Dashboard has finally stopped complaining, and all the lights are green.

The only problem is the Drobo itself is still super slow. I mean, slow to the point of taking ~5+ minutes for a Finder window to open (which usually results in Finder freezing up with the dreaded spinning wait cursor) and I can hear the drives in the Drobo churning away furiously. (in fact even after unmounting the Drobo from all of my computers I can still hear the drives accessing - is the Drobo re-arranging data in the background or something?)

The drives themselves appear to be fine (no error messages, and all green lights).

As it turns out the drives I have installed are “coolspin” drives (apparently some sort of power/heat saving technology that slows down the rotation speed to save power/lower heat?) Could this be affecting my performance?

Any ideas as to how I can increase my performance? Replace my drives with non-power/heat-optimizing models? Clear off more space?


More likely than not, simply waiting another day should clear things up. Drobo is probably still busy doing cleanup and rearranging the data in the background, and as drives tend to get slower as they get more full (due to fragmentation, etc) it might take little bit.

If it’s still slow tomorrow, then it might be the sign of a drive having issues - maybe it has more than a couple of recoverable errors, so it’s taking some extra time to move data to spare blocks.

While your drives do put a limit on the maximum speed, the Drobo FS itself is fairly slow in terms of its own storage processing power, so your bottleneck is likely still the Drobo FS itself rather than the drives. IOW, faster drives probably will not help.

Upgrading to a Drobo 5N, on the other hand, should give you a reasonable speed boost, unless there’s something wrong with your drives, or you fill it to 95%+ again.

hi, also take care not to overfill your drobo too, as that can cause problems.

eg, if you have 2 volumes showing 2TB max free space on each, it doesnt mean that you have 4TB of free space on the drobo. (you might only have 3.7 tb or similar) so just a friendly reminder to also check the drobo usage level, and not only the O/s free space levels :slight_smile:

I’ve had nothing but painfully slow speeds since I switched to Mountain Lion from Snow Leopard. Based on my google searching, this is a common problem that Drobo has yet to fix. Problem is, I have students that need to upload and something that took 30 minutes in Snow Leopard is taking 3 hours in Mountain Lion. Unfortunately, it’s up to the school which OS is installed.

hi luezuve,
do you know how long it has been since the switch?

maybe the new mac version is re-indexing all of the drobo fs data, and once it completes, things will settle down and work more quickly again?

(eg maybe the Lion is still surveying his territory) :slight_smile:

Sorry for the new username, even after resetting my old password, my old username won’t login to the forums.

It’s been many months later and the Drobo FS is as slow as ever. It’s incredibly frustrating. We’re building a new facility and have elected to not use Drobo anymore.

Put in a support ticket - a few others here (including myself and Paul) had the same issue.
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