Initial Time Machine backup seems super slow. Is that normal?

I just got a new Drobo on Friday. I loaded it with 4 Seagate 1.5TB drives with the proper firmware. It was easy and I am not a computer tech person, I’m a graphic designer. I plan to use the Drobo purely as a reliable Time Machine backup for my home office work computer. I don’t plan to open, view or work with files on it. Its just for backup. I will keep using my other drives for working with files. My first impression is this sucker is slow. Real slow! Is it normal for the Time Machine backups on the Drobo to take so long? I am attempting to backup about 400gb and it is real slow. Like about 100mb per half hour. It was much faster when I began yesterday. It appears to be getting slower as it goes on. Does that seem normal to you? I assumed an array drive would be slow but not this slow. My hope is that after the initial backup the subsequent backups will be easier/faster as the new data will be in way smaller chunks. I’d really like to stick with Time Machine if possible. I love the ability to go back to an older version of a file. If not, I may have to rethink using Time Machine and maybe consider another backup software.

Two questions (short version):

  1. Is it normal for the Time Machine backups on the Drobo to take so long?
  2. If Time Machine is the problem can you recommend a good alternative Mac app that does incremental backups?


Anybody here?[hr]
Does anyone know what a typical read write speed is for a Drobo connected to a Mac with Firewire 800? Anyone care to share what they are actually getting with their set-up? I’m not getting anything near the speed that the Drobo website says is possible.

I don’t use Time machine.

I’ve been told that Time Machine backs up at slower rate than manually moving data over.

Read/Write speeds for FW800 should be Read Up to 50 Mb/s and Write up to 35 Mb/s.

I don’t use TM with my Drobo. I’ve got almost 3 million files on my TM backup drive and I didn’t want all of those files on my Drobo.

Has Data Robotics internally tested the Drobo with Time Machine? I imagine they have. Do you know the results of that testing and what they found to be a typical read write time between Drobo and Tim Machine that is connected via the Firewire 800 port?
Just trying to figure out if this device is operating as it should.

I was told TM speeds are around 3/4 Mb/s.


Did you mean 3/4 (.75) mb per second or 3-4 mb per second?
I think I’m getting around 3/4 to 1 mb per second.
Which may be normal if you meant 3/4.


3 to 4 Mb/s

I think I’m bad at math. I looked again. I think I am getting approx. 3.7mb/s. So, based on your comment that’s normal for Drobo & Time Machine. I’m glad my Drobo is working as it should but that speed is kind of disappointing. I was hoping there was some kind of error.

Are you on snow leopard?

I heard that SL was going to improve TM speed by 2X.

Yes. Running Snow Leopard.