So if I’m backing up to my Drobo 5N what’s the best way to keep stuff “in sync?” Shall I use a utility to do this or is there some app that I can have the Drobo to “monitor” a remote folder and automatically update?
I have a large lightroom library on my mac that will change often - and so far syncing from the mac seems painfully slow - often times it will hang.
The 5N also seems to have a problem pushing folder sizes to my mac I’ve noticed. Getting info seems to calculate forever unless I restart. Is this normal?
“Keeping in sync” and “backing up” are two entirely different things! What is your synced copy worth once you/your kid/a hacker/piece of malware deletes all your stuff? There goes your “backup” - dutifully synced to your now-empty photos folder, the second after the originals are nuked. What you need in backup solution is versioning and incremental storage. There are many options - I, for one, use CrashPlan and couldn’t be happier.
Rsync (part of the free Apple Xcode developer’s bundle for OS X) is quite reliable and has features to maximize file synchronization efficiency. You’ll need to be comfortable with command-line tools to use it, however.
There is one endemic problem keeping files synchronized between a Mac and a Drobo. Drobo’s implementation of the SMB protocol is, to put it as charitably as possible, nonstandard. Unlike other Linux-based servers, the Drobo 5N’s SMB configuration automatically and quite nonsensically modifies the permission bits on files transferred from an OS X filesystem. (No matter what file-copy tool is used; this is not an rsync problem.) So the while the content of the files will be unaltered when you make a round trip between a Mac and a Drobo, the file permissions in most cases will not be correct when you move the file back to the Mac.
I’ve been in contact with Drobo customer support and they acknowledge this pathological behavior. No timeline for a fix, however—or even a commitment to modify the Drobo’s SMB configuration.