Drobo

eSata Cards with DroboS

I have a laCie eSata card in my Mac Pro. While its not on the list of approved cards I’m wondering if it will work.

On another note, I have a first gen drobo which I’m selling. I was going to go with a straight Raid10 setup but then saw that Drobo finally has a eSata box out. I’m looking for feedback on the Drobo S, good? Bad?

It should

Better than Drobo gen2, but like I mentioned in my other post, it’d be easier to make recommendations if you can give us an idea of what you’re trying to accomplish.

A lot of folks end up in disappointment simply because they expected a product to do something it wasn’t intended for. I’m also secretly trying to find out if you’re expecting RAID10 to be better just because 10 is more than 5 or 6. :slight_smile:

well come on bhiga, i can expect better than that from you - why not recommend raid 50 or 60 - they are both obviously way superior

actually just while typing this i realised i have heard of raid 50, but never heard of raid 60 (maybe its a theoretical possibilty but the controllers dont support it)… although you could do it by using the raid hardware to do the raid 6 and use windows for the 0 across those two volumes…

im tempted to set one up - just… because…[hr]
oh and apologies to the OP - i realised i just totally hijacked this thread with my random ramblings.

as bhiga said - what are you trying to do, i could drobo as viable alternative to raid 5/6 but not really in place of raid 10

I intended to use the raid 10 to stripe 2 disks and have them mirrored. I would use 4 2TB drives, set it and forget it. No disk swapping or any of the cool things you can do with Drobo. My experience with the first gen box was pretty good, but not great. I ended up having some weird issues with it. Drobo Dashboard kept crashing (on a G5 with 10.5) and the unit wasn’t as stable as I expected. I had to pull data off it and reformat at least twice over the years (teh drives are fine). And I tried to use it as a time machine box, but could never get it to work. I thought a raid 10 box would be less of a headache since it has no software that monitors it. That being said I’m willing to give the Drobo S a try but I’m having trouble with the $800 price tag. I use the backup for backup. Client files, images etc. I fit the marketing profile, I’m a “creative professional”.

So, do you need speed, or just size?

What you describe (mirroring two stripe sets) is RAID 0+1, if you stripe two mirror sets then you get RAID 10. There’s a subtle but important difference, as RAID 10 can potentially survive two drive failures if the drives are on separate mirror sets.

Either way, you still end up with something managing the array, whether it’s software or hardware based.

The risk in OS-based RAID is that if the OS gets hosed, it’s trickier to restore the array (at least in Windows, though it’s a lot easier now than it was in the NT days).

I used to have a 12-drive RAID-5 array. It was fast. I used it for video editing.
But it was a pain to expand, because my RAID controller didn’t support online expansion, so I had to migrate data off, then back on in order to increase the volume size.

Now that I don’t do much video editing, I don’t need the speed, so I chose Drobo for its ease-of-expansion and semi-portability.

If your plan is to use the RAID for backup, then I’d recommend RAID 5 (equivalent to Drobo single-disk redundancy), or RAID 6 (equivalent to Drobo S dual-disk redundancy).

Maybe storage density/price-per-TB isn’t as big an issue for you as it is for me because you have less data than I do, heh.

Brandon

Hi Bhiga,

I think you’re recommendation for a RAID 5 is correct. I did some research and RAID 5 would be the logical choice. I would prefer a Drobo S, but the price tag is making it prohibitive for me to purchase. I can get a 4 bay Raid 5 box with 6tb storage for the same price. I’ll give it some more thought before I commit.

Happy New Year dubwise,

Having “been there” (had a RAID 5 setup before I moved to Drobo), the thing I’d look for in a solution is “online expansion” - or the ability to increase the size of the array without having to copy/restore the contents. My old RAID 5 controller didn’t support that, so upgrading was a PITA. That was one of the major factors for me choosing Drobo, along with lower power consumption compared to my server tower.

I’d go with Drobo S if you’re going to use Dual Disk Redundancy. Be careful with the eSATA RAID boxes though - many of them don’t actually have hardware RAID controllers and are just port-multipliers, relying on the host computer for RAID functionality. That makes the box much less portable between both OSes and eSATA controllers.

Brandon