Improvements Please ?

Hello to all.

I am new to the Drobo world having purchased my unit about 4 weeks ago. I am using it as a backup device. I have 4 x 1.5 TB drives in the drobo and it is set to incrementally backup my FreeNAS 3.6TB server (5 x 1TB in RAID 5). I have the Drobo connected via Firewire 800 off an iMac or MacBook Pro on my gigabit Lan.

This is a great unit and a great product.

  • eSATA

As good as the Drobo is, it could be allot better if it had an eSATA interface. If it had eSATA, it could be used as a full on server as well as for backup duties. I would like to buy another Drobo to replace the FreeNas tower, but the data transfer speeds are too slow for this use. I get over 100MB/sec data transfer rates with the FreeNas Raid array. It would be great to have one drobo as the main server and another as a backup server/device.

  • Disk Utility

I had a power outage the other day and somehow the UPS did not work properly (I think it is faulty and I will need to replace it). I could not mount the drobo to the desktop due to the directory structure being corrupted. The Mac disk utility could not repair it. I purchased Disk Warrior 4 and it fixed it no problem.

In my humble opinion, the Drobo should come stock standard with a disk utility that is capable of doing this given that these types of things will and do happen from time to time. If Drobo cannot compile a utility of this order, again I Would suggest that Disk Warrior or a cut down version of the utility should be bundled with the Drobo and factored into the cost. I found it very inconvenient to have to spend a few hours trying to find a solution etc. In my view it would add to the overall completeness of the solution and professionalism of the unit. And surely it would cut down the number of people having to contact support and the number of complaints!!!

just my 2 cents.

eSATA - I have been wondering & asking abt the future gen of Drobo or larger DroboPro or DroboPro II unit to have eSATA and/or the 16-bay unit I read from somewhere w/ 4/8Gbps FC HBA option but DRI is reluctant to disclose any product road map. IMO, the bigger, faster & RPS enabled DroboPro unit should have already been in design or production cuz the demand is obviously there.

Disk util - that’s a tough one cuz the drobo supports many different OS/NOS and DRI has to conduct extensive compatibilty tests for all those OS/NOS and that’s a major undertaking and a support nightmare.

The choice or options should be left to the resellers or drobo’s owners. Besides, DroboApps is the place for us to share.

DRI needs to focus on making faster and more reliable drobo/droboPro!

Just another two cents from a drobo user/dealer/evangelist.

Indeed and there are other products on the market as well with eSATA and the speed difference is huge. A FC HBA option would be fantastic too.

Quite so… I had forgotten about the fact that the Drobo is a cross platform device. I guess I was coming from the assumption that most Drobo users are probably Mac users and so a Mac utility would be highly beneficial… I have several different PC’s native windows (XP prof and Vista x64) and a linux box (Unbuntu), a FreeNas box and a few Macs. I chose to format my Drobo with HFS + because I find the Mac filesystem and interface pretty good and I assumed that DRobo would probably operate best under the Mac environment?

I imagine that drobo is aimed at complete ease of installation and use, so it has USB2 and Firewire800 ports because those are ubiquitous on existing systems.
Newer systems routinely come with eSATA ports these days, so drobo will almost certainly follow in time.

How much time? I have no idea, but the PC my employers will send me in 9 months time will have an eSATA port, so I’ll start saving.