Encrypt Existing Data on a Drobo 5Dt (macOS)


I am wondering if it is possible to encrypt a Drobo 5D that has already been setup and formatted and contains live data.

My client is a small design firm. They use a Mac-mini as their file server with the Drobo attached directly to the Mac via a Thunderbolt 2 connection.The Drobo “hosts” shared folders for projects, accounting, and archives. Most designers work live in real-time from the server and Drobo.

The Mac-mini itself is running macOS 10.12.6. with macOS Server 5.2. The Drobo is running firmware 4.1.2 [7.195.105127] with Drobo Dashboard 3.3.3. The Drobo is configured with five 4TB hard drives producing a single HFS+ volume of 14.35TB capacity of which 5.2TB are used and 9.1TB are free.

The firm has clients which require that their data be stored on encrypted drives.

Is it possible to encrypt a Drobo in the first place? If so, is it possible to encrypt Drobo with existing data without erasing/deleting the data?

If it is not possible to encrypt a Drobo with existing data, the design firm has just ordered a second Drobo Dt to be used as a “backup” of the first. If I can set this new Drobo up from the start as an encrypted volume, I can copy the data from the first Drobo to it.


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This may not work for you but it is possible to create an encrypted sparse disk image using the Disk Utility and store it on the Drobo. This image file can be mounted like a normal filesystem and any data in that image will be encrypted if you set it up that way. One drawback I can think of is that if you want to backup the files in that image there may not be a way to do that incrementally when backing up the sparse image file itself. Here is more info about this: https://support.apple.com/guide/disk-utility/create-a-disk-image-dskutl11888/mac


Encryption is only supported on the Backup volume.

Backup Volume: Encryption


I tired encrypting the volume of a Drobo using the Finder and it worked for a little bit. Then the Drobo started reporting that the drive was full and other errors.

NEW QUESTION: Could I format an entire Drobo volume as a Time Machine backup? If so, could I then encrypt it? If so, could I use that encrypted Time Machine volume as a normal volume?