Drobo

Drobo FS vs Drobo S (and using the S on linux)

I currently have a drobo FS, and am thinking about replacing it with a drobo S.

on the fs I’m getting about 26MB/s reads and 35MB/s writes, the few numbers i’ve seen for the S seem to at least double those numbers.

this will be attaching to a linux server (ubuntu 10.04) using esata, any pitfalls i should be aware of?

on one page, they talk about LUN (logical unit) size, but it looks as if i can make one of up to 8TB instead of having to split it up, currently have 5@2TB (7.22 capacity by dashboard), so i should be able to make 1 drive?

i understand the difference in the filesystems available, but disregarding the different formats, this will just show up on any computer i plug it into as an external drive, same as plugging in a regular external USB drive?

The big difference between a Drobo and a “dumb” external hard drive is that the Drobo uses its understanding of the filesystem to actively manage capacity (thin provisioning) and redundancy (it does RAID only on actual data, rather than at the raw block level). That’s why filesystem is so important.

Drobo is primarily designed for NTFS, HFS+, and FAT32 filesystems. ext2fs* and Linux support have been in beta since the beginning, and there’s no word on if or when that might change. “Beta” in this case means that it mostly works, but isn’t really supported by Data Robotics, so you’ll be relying on other users for help.

Hopefully someone else can chime in about their experiences managing a Drobo from Linux. (Dashboard isn’t required to connect the Drobo, but other than looking at the blinky lights on the front panel, it’s the only way to check status, get diag info, or be alerted of problems. That can be important.)

*maybe it’s ext3fs; I don’t know.

it appears there are command line tools, and they actually suggest using ext3, and on the page it says "it was developed with assistance from the vendor (Data Robotics Inc.), and in every case, based on vendor documentation, and with at least encouragement, if not outright support. "

http://drobo-utils.sourceforge.net/

People do use Drobos with Linux. You’ll probably be fine. Certainly, DRI is happy to see it work.

If there’s a problem, though, be prepared for Tech Support to remind you that “Linux support [is] currently in beta” and wash their hands of the situation. Keep in mind that DRI even encoded the diagnostic logs to prevent customers from reading them. How self-supporting do you really want to be?

The KB article titled "How do I Use My Drobo with a Linux machine? " might be useful.
http://support.datarobotics.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/165/kw/Linux/r_id/100004