important questions regarding Airport Extreme

I’m thinking of getting an airport extreme or a time capsule. But before choosing the airport extreme, some 2 important question, which I hope someone could answer me:

  1. When I connect the drobo to the AE, is there any way I could check the available hard drive space?

  2. Will the Drobo be always on when connected to the AE? Will it go to sleep ( = all the lights off + hard drive spins down) after a while? I don’t like the idea that my Drobo will always be running… Will the drobo then turn on when I want to access the drive?

My drobo is now connected to a Mac Mini as a mediacenter. Whenever my mini goes to sleep, my drobo follows. I would like the drobo behaves the same way when connected to the airport extreme, is that possible?

thanks in advanced.

I have a similar setup as you. I have a Mac Mini & Airport Extreme.

However, I keep my DROBO (2nd Gen) connected to my Mac via FW800 since the Airport Extreme only has USB2.0 connectivity for AirDisk and I enjoy the extra bandwidth of Firewire. I just share the DROBO over my network from the Mini, and it works in the same fashion.

My Mini never sleeps, just the display, so my DROBO doesn’t “sleep” per-se, but when the drives are not accessed for 15 minutes they do spin down into a stand-by mode I guess you would call it. Since the Airport Extreme doesn’t sleep, I would expect this to be the same behaviour if the DROBO is attached to the AE.

Any AirDisk attached to a AE, should show up on your desktop, so yes you’d be able to check available disk space.


  1. No. Drobo Dashboard won’t be able to see the Drobo. You’ll only have the capacity LEDs on Drobo to monitor the free space

  2. It won’t go into StandBy, but as mentioned, the drives will spin down after few minutes without data being transfered

so is there a big difference in energy consumption when the drobo is in standby or in sleep-modus?

This is by no means a scientific study but as a general guess based on watching the power draw from my ups connected to drobo the load drops about 20w when putting the drobo into standby.

That is drobo v2 with a 2tb Wd green 1.5 tb seagate and 750gb hitachi fan running at low speed.

Obviously your mileage will vary based on installed drives, ambient temperature etc but hope that gives you a general idea.

thnx, but are you talking about the drobo in standby modus or in sleep modus? Sleep modus = lights completely off and it occurs when you put your computer asleep

I’m talking about sleep mode by your definition. when all the lights are off. It’s the mode the drobo goes into when you shut down the computer or put it to sleep. It’s also the mode the drobo goes into if you click on “standby” button in the advanced controls on drobo dashboard. So, by DRI’s definition your sleep mode and their standby are the same thing.

If your looking for a measurement of how much power is consumed when the Drobo is running but has spun down the disks. I imagine it to be pretty close to the same amount since the main power draw is going to be the hard drives themselves.