Going from DAS to NAS and Droboshare video server performance

I just got a Drobo. I plan to connect it to my Mac via Firewire 800 while I fill it up with videos. Later, assuming it’s fast enough to serve video (such as burned VIDEO_TS DVDs) to my Macs connected to my Gigabit network, I’d like to get a Droboshare. Questions:

  1. If I first use it via Firewire 800, can I later switch to using Droboshare and keep all the data I placed in the Drobo while it was connected via Firewire (i.e. no reformatting needed)? And can I switch from Droboshare back to Firewire 800 easily without affecting my Data?

  2. Is the Droboshare fast enough over Gigabit network to serve videos?


Edit: I plan on using 4 WD 2TB drives.

You will not need to format when you move the Drobo to a DroboShare.

The DroboShare operates on 1/4th the speed of USB 2.0

Thanks. I just read a Drobo knowledgebase article stating that when connecting a Drobo to a Droboshare, all file & folder permissions are stripped, and it’s not possible to assign permissions when using Droboshare. I suppose that’s one change when switching between “direct attached storage” (DAS) and Droboshare (NAS).

I don’t have a Droboshare, and was reading the manual - looks like you only have two options for security - letting all network users access the Drobo OR specifying a user ID and password. The instructions look like you can only create ONE user and password, right? I suppose there’s no way to create two classes of users: one user that has read & write access, while another user that only had read access? This is important for me. I don’t want others (i.e. my very young kids) accidentally deleting files in the Drobo, but they need read-access to the videos. If there’s no way to do this, then that would be a disadvantage of using Droboshare for me. In that I case, I may consider using my existing Time Capsule, which supports creating multiple users with different permissions - however, the Drobo dashboard doesn’t work with it, so it’s not ideal).

With the DroboShare you are correct, you can only create 1 user account.
There are no permissions on the DroboShare as well.

Thanks for confirming. Multiple users would be a good future enhancement.

Actually Jennifer that’s not technically true, but it’s not easy for someone who has never used SSH to admin linux boxes. I know for a fact that I have several SMB users setup on the Drobo, and have manually configured the permissions on certain folders.

Randman, what you want to do is get yourself a linux box installed somewhere and learn how to configure and admin users and folder permissions. Then you want to look at setting up samba on it. Once you can do that, then the Drobo will be much much much easier to work with as you can get direct SSH access.

It’s something that could take a while to learn how to do, but if you want to do advanced stuff on the Drobo you really need to learn Linux command line processes.[hr]
If I get a chance it’s another tutorial I’ll have to write. Currently doing one for ctorrent/dtach

Happy Days!

Is there a Drobo App available that will allow user/file permissions to be set-up easily ? This is a pretty basic requirement I’d think for any NAS device, and is something that my ancient Buffalo LinkStation came with about 5 years ago !


I’m familiar with Unix (worked with IBM’s version, AIX, for many years). MrBriz - are you saying that it is possible to SSH into DroboShare and get command line access to in order to create users, chmod, chown, etc.?

Can’t comment on the permissions stuff but I can say from experience my droboshare is fantastic at sharing video over the network. I can’t say I’ve tried playing a video_TS folder over it but I have played back multiple instances of 720p h.264 video wirelessly to my laptop when I first got it to test it out without it skipping a beat.

I’ve found anarticle via google that someone actually hacked into the drobo and droboshare and “mess around”. It’s a “hackable” busybox Linux running on ARM CPU (?). So, any Linux/Unix guru should be able to access the stuffs inside but since we’ve just got ours last week. Still toying w/ DroboDashboard & BeyondRAID.

Getting into the DroboShare Linux distro through SSH is not hard, however it is embedded linux and the built-in commands for managing users, ownership and groups is not available. I am no guru and perhaps a real linux genius can help us. We purchased the DroboShare BECAUSE it said embedded Linux and we hoped to administer users and access.

sechannel, you can find all different “easy to install” extensions for the DroboShare on http://www.drobo.com/droboapps
But if you purchased the DroboShare because it said embedded Linux and hoped to administer users and access with some easy GUI then you should not blame DRI but your own lack of research.
As allready stated DRI clearly states that you have two supported methods of user management, either none or a single user.
Everything else that is possible to do with the droboshare is clearly labled as not supported by DRI.
(And if they had saved the old forum you could see that I’m not a DRI-fanboy…)

@Dowser - I did not say I was looking for a GUI, but thanks for your help.

“supported methods” & “not supported by DRI.”

Sorry to hear they deleted the old message boards. I am sure many of my questions would have been answered had the old information been available.

Note to self: Do better research, don’t blame DRI.

randman, sorry I haven’t been around for a while and forgot to subscribe to new posts!

Yes that’s true. There is a DroboApp called Dropbear, it’s a little SSH app. It works perfectly and yes, you can go in and chowm, chmod etc.

… and it was this openness that sold me on the product.