Drobo

DroboPro network requirements?

After reading http://www.drobo.com/resources/iscsi.php and the User Guide, I have several questions.

  1. Why does the web page show an isolated network segment for the DroboPro connection, while the User Guide does not? Is this just to keep customers who never read instructions from trying to connect more than one host to the DroboPro iSCSI target, or is there a functional reason why DroboPro is unhappy on a shared segment?

  2. Why does the web page state that “the DroboPros and the host [must be] on the same subnet”? Is it just that the DroboPro network stack is entirely broadcast-based (i.e. it cannot route TCP/IP)?

DroboPro works fine on a shared network, though if you do this you should assign it a static ip address.
The automatic discovery and mounting protocol implemented by DroboPro and Dashboard require it to be on the same subnet. As an advanced user, you can route packets across networks to get to DroboPro, but be aware that this will disable Dashboard’s ability to see and monitor the DroboPro.

To both of these questions I can confirm that iSCSI software does not require this. They are both arbitrary choices made by Data Robotics.

  1. iSCSI can work on the busiest network, along with other traffic. It’s no secret that this could affect performance, however.
  2. iSCSI is a TCP protocol, and as such can route anywhere on any IP network, and easily through NATs, firewalls, VPNs, or whatever.

There is, however, the possibility that the protocol used by Drobo Dashboard to connect to the DroboPro requires some of these restrictions.