Copying from a thread I had in the DroboFS forum; it’s probably better to place it here.
I’ve been extremely pleased by the latest Drobo Dashboard update. These are just the major benefits I’ve already run into:
[list]Drobo Dashboard auto discovery is much improved for network Drobo’s
Drobo Dashboard can now use a fixed IP instead of auto discovery for network Drobo’s
With a fixed IP, Drobo Dashboard also now works across VPN connections
Tools are more logically laid out and prominent in the Dashboard UI
[*]Manual firmware updates are now visible in the Dashboard UI
With all of these improvements, my feelings towards my DroboFS have improved considerably and I’m quite a bit happier. Hopefully the days of it being a constant source of frustration are behind me.
There are still some improvements that can be made, however. Here are a couple so they don’t get forgotten:
[list]On Mac OS X, Drobo Dashboard should mount shares in the system standard location. If we can do this via simple AppleScripts, then there should not be a reason to mount them in the custom location they are currently placed - notably different than if the Finder mounted them - causing file paths to change and many programs to break.
When Dashboard updates are made, they need to be released for all supported platforms simultaneously - none of this “2.0.3 for this device, 2.0.5 for this device, 2.1 for this device” etc. Obviously the Dashboard has to be able to manage them all in one package, or else people who own multiple Drobo units will be very upset when they can only manage some of their devices. By that token, offer the improvements to the entire user base, not just some of them.
Drobo Dashboard should be better synchronized to new releases made on the web site - we shouldn’t have a case of new releases being available for days on the web site, but not appearing in the Dashboard.
Drobo Dashboard should highlight the first Drobo device it finds. For the common case of a single device, it avoids the confusing situation of most of the user interface looking like it’s ready to use, but it’s actually disabled and grayed out.
For network Drobo’s, Drobo Dashboard should allow hostnames for manual connections in addition to IP addresses. This allows maintaining centralized control over addressing, whether that is via something as simple as a hosts file, or as complex as internal DNS.
A minor nit with the layout of “Tools”. I’d argue that “Device Reset” should be last in the list, as it is a destructive operation that should be normally avoided. Meanwhile, “Software Updates” is a very common need - I’d move its section up, possibly to the top of the tools.
[*] On Mac OS X, please use standard window decorations (close, minimize, zoom). Nothing says “lack of attention to detail” like seeing Windows “X Dash Square” on the right side of the window.
I’m happier (no, really!), but there’s still plenty that can be done.