Drobo

E-Mail notification does not contain drive details

Because the details in the notification mail are non existent I have trouble locating a possible faulty drive. To give you an idea, I’ve included the messages that I received yesterday.

[list=1]
[]Your Drobo: “Drobo-FS” has reported the following critical alert. Drobo cannot currently protect your data against hard drive failures.
[
]Your Drobo: “Drobo-FS” has reported the following informational alert. Drobo detected a drive was removed.
[]Your Drobo: “Drobo-FS” has reported the following warning alert.
Data protection is in progress, but you may continue accessing your data. Do not remove any hard drives.
[
]Your Drobo: “Drobo-FS” has reported the following informational alert. Drobo detected a new drive was added.
[/list]

I did not remove a drive, so I suspect one of the drives to fail sometime soon. But the notification mail is not telling me which drive caused the problem. Imagine two drives with this problem at the same time. It is not comforting to receive these messages and not know what is going on. Please Drobo, do something about it!

Today I called support and they told me I had to look at the drobo lights, but that is of no use, since everything is green again. I guess I need to point a webcam to the drobo to record the lights changing color :wink:

Now they want me to send the drobo log to them (which is encrypted so I can’t read it myself). Fine with me, but looks like a lot of manual support for something that seems so easy to implement.

In “View Todays Posts” there are 9 threads listed.

Three of those threads have a common thread (pun intended):

http://www.drobospace.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=2460

http://www.drobospace.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=2461

http://www.drobospace.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=2467

That common thread is this: for, in this case, 3 very different reasons, a Drobo inadequately reported a serious operating problem, such that only a log submission to tech support could determine that a drive needs replacing and only tech support could adequately determine which drive needs replacing.

We can come to several logical conclusions:

  1. The Drobo email alerts, blinking lights and Dashboard reporting is totally inadequate, in many cases (3 in discussion today!) for a user to self-diagnose many apparently routine problems.

  2. If you do not have Drobocare you are screwed

  3. Most importantly, from my point of view, I have previously discussed (arguably complained) that DRI’s Drobocare policies are such that we, as customers, can expect, at most, 3 years of Drobocare. In some cases perhaps as little as one or two (for a Drobo V1 purchased at the end of it’s sales life). DRI promises only that Drobocare will be available “as long as a product is currently sold”, no more. Any more is a “gift”, not a promise or a commitment.

If you own a Drobo V1 you understand this because you cannot currently renew your Drobocare and therefore cannot support your Drobo if it experiences what these three users experienced within the last few days. If you just bought a Drobo V2 you were not given the option of a 3 year contract and you cannot be sure that Drobocare will be offered when your 1 year current contract expires. If you own any other model you just have to hope for the best, I guess, the best being that your model is not replaced in the intermediate future?

I am cross-posting this to those three different threads because they are three different models, all with the same problem, and unless you read every post here you may not notice this pattern. I am posting this because my previous complaints/discussions are not theoretical- they are real world problems and the fact that there are 3 cases in current discussion illustrates it is a common problem. For this reason alone, I would be very hesitant to throw more money at a Drobo.

I appreciate the cross-post Neil. It sadly confirms all of my worst beliefs about DRI support - namely, that there is none, and all of us who gave them money over the years are suckers.

I would suggest it is not “none” but “very uncertain/ambiguous/speculative” (take your pick) at some inevitable point. If you take Docchris’s point of view in my 2nd link, you might come to the conclusion that it is “lots/infinite/never-ending”. That is quite a broad spectrum of possibilities and why I am so vocal about this.

I also want to be very clear that I have had many very positive experiences with DRI tech support, all with one tech rep that I have managed so far to “keep on my case”. But all within warranty or Drobocare. My only issue is what lies on the other side of that wall.

Well, yes - I’ve had some truly outstanding phone support. But as you pointed out, it’s all going to hit a brick wall eventually and we’ll have no recourse. The day DRI declines to extend support for a unit, it may as well be a ticking time bomb.

Meanwhile, their level of technical support in these forums, useful diagnostics, and product documentation is abysmal. It ensures that without DRI (and their limited support contracts) you don’t have a prayer of self-support.

you may like to know that california state law states that a company must provide repair options for 7 years and the rest of the states is 5 year. that however does not say how much they will charge for it :frowning:

When on the phone with DRI about my Drobo V2 Drobocare I had a discussion about the V1, mainly in the context that I would be next.

I was told they have a standard repair charge to swap out the Drobo V1 with a working box. The cost was $300. I did not ask and was not told if the swapped unit had any warranty or if it was new or used. I was too busy telling the rep how ridiculous that was, given that a brand new V2 with 1 year warranty sells for as little as $350, and $400 max.

Those laws have no teeth. I guess that is how a company gets around it.