Drobo

DroboPro vs. QNAP TS-859 Pro

Performance comparison between DroboPro and QNAP TS-859 Pro:
http://blog.insanegenius.com/2010/01/data-robotics-drobopro-vs-qnap-ts-859.html

I replaced the DroboPro with a QNAP 639, having also a ReadyNAS and a QNAP 809. Never looked back.

Simply put, if you’re geeky and have knowledge of RAID and how to set one up, then Drobo is not the solution for you. Get an external RAID case and make your own RAID, or get a more tech-y RAID unit like the one mentioned.

Drobo is not for those who like to roll their own, want to know every little aspect of what’s going on under the hood, or want to squeeze every last drop of performance out of their devices.

Drobo is for those who don’t want to learn (or in my case, maintain) the technology. The world has space for both Drobo and non-Drobo people, because there are a lot of computer users of varying technological savvy.

That sounds a bit black-and-white. I don’t need to know every little aspect of what’s going on, but when things go wrong, I’d like to know something about what’s happening. And I don’t need every last drop of performance, just a consistent, reliable stream.

Also, what you say may be true about the original Drobos, but you can’t be non-savvy to use the DroboPro, in my experience. You need to manage volumes in a certain way, configure the firewall to get iSCSI to connect, update firmware to get rid of issues, shut the device down in a certain sequence, and so on.

From what I have read, it is not that difficult to use the QNAP devices. In fact, you can initialize an array without connecting it to a computer. Also, they are web configured and don’t require client software. And if you don’t need the complexity, you don’t need to use the rsync replication, Amazon S3 backup, web server, print server, iTunes server, MySQL database, BitTorrent client, Active Directory access, installable applications, surveillance camera recording, and other extras. Maybe a bit later :slight_smile:

Anyway, a great article. Having tried the DroboPro first, I’ll probably try a QNAP if I can end my since-November DroboPro repair case with the local retailer and get my money back.

The Drobo is good for others too. I am geeky and know how to handle a RAID. The Drobo was actually an economical choice for me!!! I had a couple of drives of different size and age. Despite the high price of the Drobo V2 I think I could save some by reusing the old drives and buy single drives as my need expands.

My data is not life-and-death important so the Drobo is the only place I store it. Infinitely better then at single drives as before, but not as good as having a separate backup. The Drobo is a nice middle way.

Yeah, im exceptionally geeky, i’ve been watercooling my pcs for 8 years (being a laser engineer - if its good enough for my 300MW laser - its good enough for my pc!), and ive just raid 0/1/5 over the years, owned readynas devices.

i just like how drobo look & works

per, STB & Docchris - you all know what Drobo is - and isn’t.

I think the latter is where we’re seeing more “disgruntled” users, people who expected more from Drobo than they got.

As for me, I’m quite geeky too, having moved from the BYO RAID to Drobo. And per does have a good point on DroboPro - at least if you try to use iSCSI. :slight_smile:

I LOVE my qnap 639pro. It’s a completely different beast from my drobov2.

You really mean “M” like in “mega”? Hooolyy…

haha, yeah, trust me - if you are working with it, you need to know exactly how powerful it is - i can push it up to 330MW if im feeling brave.

that takes the target from room temp to just under 2 million C in 800 picoseconds :)[hr]
oh and of course you can tell when its running because the power cable going to it gets warm to the touch :slight_smile:

Awesome :slight_smile: I just hope that Leon’s colors are not because at some point he was just a tiny bit too close :wink:

Just to pitch my $0.02

I just bought this week a DroboPro with 8x 2 Tb WD Greens (dual redundancy), to backup my main RAID-6 setup on my Mac Pro (using OS X 10.6.3), based on a 1.2 GHz Intel IOP348 controller, WD RE4s and Addonics storage bays.

The DroboPro or that QNAP TS-859 Pro are dwarfs performance-wise compared to my main RAID setup. However after some +/- 20 years of using RAID setups, with the difficulties of migrating to different disks, very long rebuild time when HDs start going down or the dataset crapping if you write on it during a rebuilt, having to use same drives/firmwares, not to mention corruption of data; I find the brain-dead ease of use of the Drobo really awesome and reassuring.

Directly plugged the DroboPro to my 2nd Ethernet interface, didn’t have to use the USB interface at all, and the Drobo Dashboard directly saw it. I didn’t have the issue the reviewer of the original post had, which I guess wanted to assign static IPs, but that’s not needed as both devices assign themselves a 169.254.x.x IP address with a direct Ethernet attachment.

It took maybe 10 mins to setup, including getting it our of the box, inserting the 8x HDs and going through the two or three firmware downloads and reboots.

Can’t get any easier than this, unless you buy the unit with HDs already installed from a reseller.

It’s not super fast , but I have now transferred more than 7 Tb of data already without a single glitch using Synchronize! Pro X.

If we could get a better/bigger (more HDs)/faster Drobo with aggregated Ethernet interfaces, fiber or whatever and the horsepower to go with it. :slight_smile:

I’m about as technical as they get and I didn’t choose the Drobo because of its ease of use. I chose the drobo explicitly because there wasn’t a need to have uniform drive sizes… something that RAID pretty much requires(0).

I started speccing a Solaris 10 ZFS box which would give me the same functionality as the drobo but decided against it since the hardware costs between the drobo and the PC weren’t great enough to motivate me to maintain a Solaris box again :smiley:

(0) If you want to use the whole block device that is.

There are a number of reports of QNAP users with file corruption issues on AFP shares. I encountered this issue with a Synology NAS (a major QNAP competitor using the same BusyBox open source software).

I’d prefer it if my DroboPro supported Jumbo frames and showed better performance of course. Data integrity is most important, though, and I have no complaints about my DroboPro in that regard.

[quote=“aluff, post:14, topic:1033”]
There are a number of reports of QNAP users with file corruption issues on AFP shares. I encountered this issue with a Synology NAS (a major QNAP competitor using the same BusyBox open source software).[/quote]Do you have specific posts, threads, reviews in mind regarding those file corruption issues? I’m fairly tempted to buy one myself to complement my Pro.

As I have both devices now, I can concur that the 859 Pro is indeed faster, and offers way more features (hardware and software) than the DroboPro. It’s both a SAN and NAS device; with two NICs.

However you have to go with the free (as beer) globalSAN iSCSI Initiator for OS X, as QNAP does not provide its own. That initiator has a clear tendency to kernel crash your system (tested with OS X 10.6.3) if it doesn’t like how you have configured the target or can’t use it for some reason (3x crashes in a row while testing). Atto also commercialize an initiator, which apparently is of better quality, but also costs $200 per seat - caveat emptor then.

While configuring a NAS is pretty much child’s play for most people in this forum, it’s way more complex to setup than the DroboPro, and you have to make due with the usual BS associated with this type of device. Screws, flimsy aluminum parts (i.e. disk trays), more noise, craptastic UI design and very time consuming old school RAID procedures like disk syncing (a good 1/2 day for a 8x 1.5 Gb array). I have not performed the bad sector scans yet, but I expect this will also be very long.

All-in-all they are two different kinds of animals, none is clearly “better” than the other.

just reinforces my view that for my usage (massive media server) drobopro is infinitely more suitable for me - as long as it can server 1 stream at 5 megabytes/second, im a happy bunny :slight_smile:

its sitting in a closet (i’ve had to ventilate the door - before you ask), its not too noisy, and until i reconfigured it yesterday i dont think i had set eyes on it for about 6-9 months

[quote=“DigitalFury, post:15, topic:1033”]

I personally wasted a bunch of money and time with a Synology DS1010+ before my DroboPro:
http://forum.synology.com/enu/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=22558
http://forum.synology.com/enu/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=16917
http://forum.synology.com/enu/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=23037
http://forum.synology.com/enu/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=18714

Supposedly Synology fixed the underlying issue in the latest code but I was sick of daily restores to un-corrupt my data.

QNAP issues:
http://forum.qnap.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=27853
http://forum.qnap.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=24849
http://forum.qnap.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=25427
http://forum.qnap.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=25316

Even the DroboShare (which uses the same BusyBox codebase) has complaints:
http://www.drobospace.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=935

Bottom line is I don’t trust Linux to handle my Mac data anymore.

I disagree with this. I am an IT Professional, a Virtualisation Specialist. I bought a Drobopro based purely on the fact that I have had to upgrade my standard RAID based storage twice in approx. 1 year. Getting all my TB’s of data off to another storage device, rebuilding my RAID and copying all that data back on is not only arduous and slow, but inherently risky.

If I could by a storage device like a QNAP but with the ability to dynamically grow my physical or virtual space, without a rebuild, I’d buy one.

I’m currently running many VM’s off my Drobo, along with storing over 3TB’s of data. It’s performing fine.

For me, the benefit of not having to go through the days of rebuilding my old RAID solution is enough for me to buy a Drobopro. For others, maybe that’s not so important.

I’d put you in the same group as me - don’t want to maintain the technology. I haven’t seen you complaining that you’re not getting “maximum” performance from your drives. :wink:

Not killing my hearing any further and being able to transparently upgrade the size of my array were my two top factors for choosing Drobo. I upgraded the capacity of my old 12-drive RAID twice and both were quite painful.