Drobo S - Have a few questions?

Just got the email regarding the updated Drobo S. It looks interesting, but I can’t figure it out. This question might just for the Data Robotics, but maybe someone read it and I missed it:

  1. Is the virtual volume still limited at 16TB? If so can be created more than one or are we still limited to one?
  2. Will the read/writes be faster over eSATA or that just another gimmick? (We all know how slow the Drobo V2 over FW800 even though we know that FW800 supports a much faster throughput)

Otherwise I think the new unit looks great… I would love to buy one, but I find it hard to justify unless it’s significantly faster than the old one.

  1. Thin Provisioning
    That’s the Thin Provisioning of the BeyondRAID partition and I believe the newly DrobS is still limited to 16TB but since the 3TB drive will soon be available in early 2010, I’m sure DRI will be releasing a new firmware early next yr to support the larger cap drives. The Smart Volume feature is not available in the “S”. Only DroboPro & DroboElite.
  2. eSATA
    eSATA has a theoretical throughput as high as 3Gpbs and that’s no gimmick. Equipped w/ the faster CPU & eSATA interface, the new DroboS will definitley out perform the Drobo v2. How fast or relatively how fast & how stable? Let’s wait & see.

I would also love to buy one as well.

think it will work with the droboshare?

Only 1st Gen and 2nd Gen Drobos work with DroboShare.


The volume size limitations have little to do with Drobo per se : they depend on the intrinsic properties of the file systems and the limitations introduced by the Operating Systems accessing them. You could thus create, using some specific utility, a very large NTFS partition, but your system (XP for instance) would be unable to access it.
The question thus becomes “what is the safe, common, maximum size for a data volume ?”.
Although NTFS could theoretically go much higher tha 16TB, XP base implementation limited it to 2TB, and 16TB works only with Vista or W7.
On Mac 10.4 and above, HFS+ goes up to 16TB.
If for Mac/PC sharing purpose you want a FAT32 volume, size goes down to 2TB.
See Drobo support summary here.

[quote=“Jennifer, post:4, topic:745”]
Only 1st Gen and 2nd Gen Drobos work with DroboShare.

[/quote]Where does this limitation comes from ?
Considering the price of the new Drobo’s, Droboshare should be built-in…

[quote=“Jennifer, post:4, topic:745”]Only 1st Gen and 2nd Gen Drobos work with DroboShare.[/quote]Is there any solution in the works to this issue (perhaps an improved DroboShare with a Gigabit interface (and not just a gigabit NIC, but actual Gigabit speeds ;))?

Right now the slick Drobo-S is rather useless to me as I can’t connect it to my network.

Dear Bramus! & Friends

For US$800 one might think such would be incorporated into the device.

I’m wondering what the street price of the S is going to be. I’m guessing US$499-549.

I’m further guessing that if an updated DroboShare were going to be available anytime soon, it would have been announced along with the S and Elite.

Of course, I don’t know squat. I would have guessed Data Robotics would have announced these new storage devices at PhotoPlus Expo last month in New York. What photographer wouldn’t want a Drobo?


Can you move your drives from Drobo V2 and put them right into the Drobo S? That is my main question, then I can just purchase another drive and not have to worry about data.

That is a huge kick in the nuts that the drobo share will not work =/ right now the Drobo S isnt looking all that good especially when I spent extra money for a drobo share.


[quote=“vashachiroku, post:8, topic:745”]
Can you move your drives from Drobo V2 and put them right into the Drobo S? That is my main question, then I can just purchase another drive and not have to worry about data.[/quote]
The answer is yes (now that the Drobolator bug has been confirmed by Jennifer, see this thread), but it is a one way street : Drobo -> Drobo-S, no return possible.
And yes, to benefit from the Dual Disk Redundancy option, you have to buy 1 more drive, as big as your biggest drive.

For the Droboshare, I “share” your concern, and I am a bit surprised DRI did not managed to make it compatible with Drobo-S, which furthermore had the same footprint. What was the technical incompatibility anyway ?

Ran - Geeji is absolutely correct that volume size is ultimately limited by the host file system.

Regarding the number of volumes, Rambo is correct that we only expose volume management in the DroboPro and DroboElite. However both Drobo and Drobo S will auto-create a new LUN as soon as the inserted drives exceed the size of the existing LUN(s) up to a maximum of 15 LUNs.

Regarding performance, our eSATA implementation on the Drobo S is NOT a gimmick like a lot of external drive enclosures that simple slap an eSATA connector on the unit. Please see the other thread on performance where I have commented, but the summary is Drobo S will sustain 70-90MB/s of throughput using eSATA.

Geeji - Regarding the Drobo S and DroboShare, the Drobo S is positioned as performance desktop storage aimed at creative professionals and small/home businesses that need sustained throughput in the 70-90MB/s range. As you are all aware, the DroboShare attaches via USB so there would be no performance gain in using the Drobo S with DroboShare which would have led to an unsatisfactory end user experience.


Jim Sherhart
Data Robotics, Inc.

You guys should be putting this on Billboards - not having to buy a whole second set of disks to migrate from the G2 Drobo makes this a whole different ballgame for me.

Question regarding migrating - if I migrate from a FW800 Drobo to a Drobo S, can I then add a drive and enable 2 disk redundancy, or does 2 disk redundancy have to be enabled when the volumes are first setup?

You can enable Dual Disk Redundancy. If you have a minimum of 3 drives you don’t need to add a 5th drive as long as you have the space available for it.

The street price of the Drobo S is $795. Rather steep if you ask me. I’m on the fence with this one. I’m selling my 1st Gen Grobo and I might buy a Raid10 enclosure for $300.

RAID10 will give you less available storage space.

But the core question is what your intended application is and what the order of importance is between speed, overall storage capacity, and ease-of-expansion.

Okay, now that I’m actually out of space and need to upgrade. What speeds should I expect from the Drobo S via FW800 and eSATA?

Figures and notes:

Thanks bhiga.

I’m now looking for a good eSATA card for my Mac Pro; I’m running Snow Leopard Server, so that means it’s the 64-bit kernel… The Sonnet adapter listed as compatible does not support the 64-bit kernel. I’m not sure about the other one and I’m not really willing to experiment (considering I just dropped a lot of dough onto a Drobo S).

Are there any recommendations of eSATA adapters I can use? Or will the Sans Digital adapter work?


Search the knowledge base for “esata card” - there is a list of recommended eSATA cards sliced N diced by OS.