Drobo

DroboPro vs. QNAP TS-859 Pro

[quote=“Snapper, post:19, topic:1033”]
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.[/quote]QNAP does offer it, well at least the TS-859 Pro does, but it’s not as friendly and flexible as BeyondRAID.

After two days of testing and reading those threads, I agree with aluff (and to go in more details) that for Mac users connecting to a Linux device like this through CIFS, AFP and with an underlying ext3 or ext4 FS, is asking for big trouble.

That being said, after upgrading the QNAP to the 3.3 beta firmware, the GlobalSAN iSCSI connection is now stable and usable, while retaining the extra added features and performance.

I still have a few days to decide whether to keep it or return it for a 2nd Pro…if only the Elite pricing wasn’t so completely out of touch. Currently at 2849€ (with VAT) from a DRI official reseller here in the EU, and that’s with an ongoing promo! :-/

I have returned the QNAP.

When used over iSCSI with a Mac under OS X 10.6.3

  • 3x kernel crash (with current 3.2 production firmware, with the 3.3 beta as of the 28th it’s OK)
  • 4x FS corrupted (any firmware versions) - i.e. if the system crashes and/or the initiator doesn’t disconnect correctly, the FS basically is hosed
  • Countless iSCSI disconnections (same)
  • QNAP doesn’t make the initiator = you take your chances with the GlobalSAN one and hope it works
  • CHAP and jumbo frames are supported, but using them exacerbates the aforementioned issues
  • ext4 is supposed to make rebuilds faster, but seems even less friendly to OS X - i.e. more -36 or -47 errors than with ext3

When used over CIFS or AFP (regardless of firmware used)

  • Files/directories that can’t be deleted (error -36 or -47)
  • Craptastic peformance that boggles the mind

I didn’t lose any data, as I was only testing it. It might be fast and offer nice features, but unfortunately the software layer is unreliable with Mac OS X, so it’s not for me.

oh dear… thats not good.

i guess it shows the inherent difficult in designing these, what are after all, extremely complex devices.

I’ve got two Drobo Pros connected to an Xserve, mainly because I’ve never had a problem with Drobos and needed cheap/big storage. There were a few other options (we’ve got some large OpenSolaris boxes that are brilliant) but we thought the Drobo Pros would be the “easy” option. Big mistake. With two connected to the Xserve, over both iSCSI and Firewire, they hang constantly. What’s worse is that the log files are encrypted and I’m just going round in circles with support. They keep asking me to do things that I’ve already done, or things that just seem entirely unconnected with the problem, without any explanation or reasonable chance of making a difference.

We’ve had Promise VESS RAID units (not a dissimilar price for 16 slots) and their support is excellent, you can just speak to a person on a phone, you get an answer quickly, and their support suggestions don’t come across as “Quick, give them something else to do so they don’t realise that it just doesn’t work”. If I’ve got a server with dedicated NICs for the iSCSI connections, a suggestion to install an unnecessary switch, which will in effect just half the bandwidth available, doesn’t sound like a plan, moreso “clutching at straws”. Especially when the same issue happened with Firewire!