Is Droboshare REALLY appalling slow?


I have a Synology DS209 and a Drobo V2 with Droboshare.

On the DS209 I can copy a 4.7Gb file in 3 minutes.

The same file to my Drobo takes 38 minutes!!!

Both connected to the same Gb ethernet network both with Cat 5 cables.

This is REALLY slow.

I have seen a peak of 19Mb/s from the Drobo which I would be very happy with bit most of the time it can barely manage 1-2mb/s!!!


Just tried another test.

Using a backup program from Intego called Personal Backup.

I initiated a backup of my Microsoft Mac Outlook folder with 1.87Gb of data which I think is individual files for each message.

On the DS209 it took 12 mins and 48 seconds.

On the Drobo it took 5 hours, 37 mins and 57 secs!!!

It is not even in the same ball park!!

One last test, just to make sure it is not the Drobo.

I attached it to the same Mac via Firewire and ran the same backup again.

5mins and 16 seconds.

Not bad, I am happy with that.

It seems the Droboshare sucks big time!!!


Droboshare is a low-power sharing device, similar to the feature some routers provide.
It isn’t a speed demon by any means.
Even though it has Gigabit Ethernet, it’s not going to achieve anywhere near the max Gigabit throughput of 125 MB/sec.
However, it can and will burst beyond the max Fast Ethernet (100BT) throughput of 12.5 MB/sec.

If you have a computer that’s on 24/7 (or at least whenever the Drobo’s content needs to be shared) then that would be a better option, though you lose the ability to manage the Drobo remotely through Drobo Dashboard.

For some DroboShare is fine for their use, but if you need maximized throughput, it’s not going to fit your bill.

Droboshare is an appalling product,

Yes, I have kinda come to that conclusion!

A shame really as the idea is very good, just poorly executed!


For a device slower than an ice age, it sure was big.

You can almost see the mods trying to hold a straight face when they say 9MB/s

Is there anything else that I can put between the Drobo and the network that will allow me to have a little more acceptable speeds? Do I need a dedicated computer sitting between it just for the network piece?

Direct-attach the Drobo to a real server, and have the server share content on the network.
Avoid the router-type boxes - most of them have low-power embedded-type processors lik DroboShare and that won’t help your throughput.

I have my Drobos connected to a Windows Home Server machine and it runs quite well.

What kind of transfer speeds are you looking to achieve?

I was hoping that since I believe the max rate of USB2 is 45 MB/s that I would reach at least 25 as a sustained rate.

The Drobo is attached to a real server. Well maybe not a server but an I3 processor with 4GB of ram running Windows 7.

Just to make sure, you have only one data connection on the Drobo, yes? Either USB to the PC or DroboShare, or Firewire to the PC.

If you use your Windows 7 machine to serve files to other clients on the network, it’ll be much faster than DroboShare. However, keep in mind that Windows 7, as a workstation-class Windows OS, has a 10 incoming connection limit. This counts mapped drives as well. You’ll notice if you hit the limit, because the client will be waiting until a connection frees up before it continues.

Mac OS and *nix-based system don’t have this limit.

And, of course, the Win 7 machine would need to be running for clients to be able to access the shared Drobo content.

Thanks Brandon. All good points. I do appreciate it.

There is only one connection to the Drobo that is USB. I actually have a Drobo and DroboPro each plugged into USB.

Just to make sure, you’re recommending that I upgrade the OS to Windows 2008 or something similar to get around the 10 connection limit, is that correct?

Officially, yes, Microsoft wants you to upgrade to a Server license (eg. Server 2008) to run more than 10 connections.

Of course, you would not be the first to be dissatisfied with that. P2P users were bitten by this long ago. I used a tool to bump the connection limit on Windows XP. The same site claims to also support Windows 7.


@rdo: The “TCP connection limit” thing is a different issue from the number of incoming Microsoft networking (shares, etc) connections the OS supports. The TCP connection hack does not change the number of share connections.

If you’re looking mainly for file-serving, Windows Home Server v1 (ie, not “Vail”), based on Windows Server 2003 core, is available for OEM installs and supports 10 users. I’m not sure what the connection limit is but I haven’t run into it.

Windows Server 2008 introduced a number of new versions, so one of the lower-end ones might be a better choice.