Drobo

Help: Based on this schematic, is the Drobo FS what I need?

Hello!
It’s time to get a Drobo (FS?), as I’m done with so many external backup drives for all of our Apple iMacs. We have 3 Apple iMacs in our family in addition to 2 AppleTVs.

What I would like to do is purchase a Drobo FS to store all of our family’s music, photos, and movies (“content” from here forward). Then, I can point each iMac’s iTunes and iPhotos accounts to the Drobo FS for content (as opposed to keeping the content on any of the iMacs an AppleTVs).

Does this schematic seem correct?

On the Drobo FS, I would create three folders (i.e. “Family Music,” “Family Photos,” and “Family Movies”) in it’s top-level directory and drop everything into the appropriate folder… correct?

Then, I would just make sure that each iMac always remains connected to the Drobo FS over the Ethernet network, always… correct?

Since the AppleTVs are synced to one of the iMacs, and the iMac would always be connected to the Drobo, the AppleTV would be able to stream anything on the Drobo FS (that was synced to that iMac’s iTunes account)… correct?

Thank you so much in advance for proofing this. I have spent a couple of days reading news and posts about Drobo, and I think the Drobo FS is what fits my needs best.

Have a great day,
BD

you might want to take a look over at the synology.com site I think I almost wish that I went that way before I bought a pair of drobofs’s. I think the only disadvantage is the beyondraid vs traditional raid but I have been quite dissapointed with the performance of the drobo personally.

i would half agree with newhorizon that it is worth looking at the synology option.

the drobo is a good device for storing stuff on your network, files etc, as you seem to be suggesting above. putting my movies and music on it works a dream. Also, the beyondraid is a great feature.

however, if you are going to want to do slightly, and i mean slightly, more technical stuff on it, and are not big into SSH etc, i would look elsewhere.

in conclusion…as a simple storage point it works brilliantly.[hr]
i would half agree with newhorizon that it is worth looking at the synology option.

the drobo is a good device for storing stuff on your network, files etc, as you seem to be suggesting above. putting my movies and music on it works a dream. Also, the beyondraid is a great feature.

however, if you are going to want to do slightly, and i mean slightly, more technical stuff on it, and are not big into SSH etc, i would look elsewhere.

in conclusion…as a simple storage point it works brilliantly.

Given that you seem to potentially be reading multiple streams simultaneously, I would look at something faster than Drobo FS - either a computer with a heftier CPU and a direct-attach Drobo, or a NAS-type device that has a more-powerful CPU like Synology.

I have a droboFS which is good for what it does as a NAS. But droboApps are a joke as they are not really supported by drobo and the average person don’t know how to mess with command lines. If you want streaming features, schedule on/off, etc… then consider a Synology. So in addition to having a FS, I also bought the Synology DS411. This is the 4 bay 1.6GHz Marvell embedded CPU, not to be confused with the DS411+II which has an atom processor which is 200 dollars more. The DS411 performs faster than the droboFS and 200 dollars cheaper than an Atom-Based NAS.

I have been too looking at both the DS411 and DS411+II and cant decide which to go for…but this is not the forum for this conversation[hr]

iTunes music and movies will likely stream just fine. I have my movies on my Drobo FS and two Macbooks that run iTunes to stream them to Apple TV 2. One is wired, the other is wireless and it works just fine. Granted, these aren’t HD streams and I never do more than one at a time, but it should be able to handle it.

I keep the video files on the drobo but the iTunes libraries are on each individual computer. This way they can’t corrupt each other, but occasionally I’ll find that one computer unmounted the drobo so then nothing streams.

Sharing photos through a DroboFS might be painfully slow. Generally with movies and music you just need the library to be fast, because the files themselves will be streamed over time. But with photos you better be prepared to wait for everything :).

I bought my Drobo FS two years ago and it’s pretty much been downhill from there. At first it was a very nice solution. Didn’t have the raw speed or the complexity of some of the competitors, but it was easy and worked very well for general storage and time machine backup.

Today I can’t stand the dashboard, they’ve completely broken the time machine support, haven’t added any new features, nor have they built an upgraded/faster DroboFS. None of these are good signs. If I had a place to stash 4TB of data for a week I’d probably get a Synology. The DS1511+ is a fast 5-bay system, and it doesn’t look like a dishwasher out of the 1970’s (the 4-bay synology does)

If at least one of your Macs is on 24/7 you could just hook a regular Drobo or Drobo S to that and share out from there.

TBH, I’d look elsewhere… In comparison to some of the other NAS solutions out there, the FS is kinda slow; I’ve been having nothing but problems with mine for months, since the “upgrade” to dashboard 2.0.x, and I’ve been extremely frustrated with DRI’s support. They’re friendly and quick to answer, but short on actual solutions…