Drobo

Pricey but what a lot of people want...

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/data-robotics-launches-drobopro-fs-aimed-at-smbs/39987?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+ZDNetBlogs+(ZDNet+All+Blogs)

Yeah, was just about to jump and upgrade my Drobo v2 to a DroboPro and now this has been announced.

I’m not bothered about the FS abilities though, since want to host from my Mac Mini Server.
I wonder if it’s got a faster processor and more memory than the Pro though?

Also, it’s a lot more expensive :confused:

i woull expect that it has similar performance to the pro, but we will have to wait for someone official to comment on that[hr]
on that note its quite amazing that the “tech specs” dont mention performance at all!

Yeah, I’d expect it to be the same, but be nice to get some word on it.

Also, I assume with the move to all the FS ones support will still continue for the older models for a significant amount of time?
e.g. firmware updates for bigger drives etc.

i dont think that the pro is being retuired in favour of this - i think the pro is still the “current” in their line or direct attached devices.

the Drobo FS hasnt replaced the Drobo S

I like having the option of a NAS-type unit with built-in sharing (FS, Pro FS) and a DAS-type unit that I can attach and share my way (Gen2, S, Pro, Elite).

The Pro and Elite will still have better performance since it’s over an iSCSI protocol interface. The FS and the Pro FS are just over ethernet.

Ah, thanks Jen!
Guess I’ll stick with my pro plan then…

My host only has one Ethernet port though, so will be using FireWire.
Glad the hardware not a massive upgrade though, makes my decision easier!

Cheers,
Westy

http://support.datarobotics.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/502/kw/502

Curmudgeonly as ever here. :slight_smile: It’s nice but not at that price point. For the price of the Drobo Pro S and Elite I’d recommend my customers get a full blown 8-slot NAS. I don’t see many businesses plugging any old drive they have laying about into a Drobo Pro/Pro S/Elite, Drobo’s biggest selling point. Heck, for $2000 I can get three Drobo FS units, have triple connectivity, box redundancy and 15 drive capacity. :slight_smile: Which reminds me, where is “Suite B” these days?

I hope I’m wrong and it’s a success but I think Tom Buiocchi is showing his Brocade roots.

[quote=“Buzz_Lightyear, post:10, topic:1872”]It’s nice but not at that price point.
I don’t see many businesses plugging any old drive they have laying about into a Drobo Pro/Pro S/Elite, Drobo’s biggest selling point.[/quote]
+1 !!!
The biggest selling point of the Drobo (and main performance weakness) is its heterogeous disk capacities handling.
But that appeals mostly to individuals.
What I would like is a Drobo S :

  • cheaper, only +30% vs Drobo, not +100% !
  • quieter (HTPC usage in the living room)
  • sturdier performance wise (defragmentation)
  • with a web-based dashboard

It’s a bit of an illusion. Drobo is sold as being plug-and-play easy with the Pro/Pro S/Elite targeted to businesses. Trouble is that it’s not really plug-and-play easy, especially if something doesn’t go as planned (e.g. rebuild times, volume configuration). That means having someone with some industry knowledge/experience be it in-house (not likely) or an external consultant/support person. If they’re doing that then the plug-and-play option really isn’t a selling point and, as said, I don’t know any companies with a pile of SATA disks that they want to turn into storage. Business storage, even small businesses, is planned and normally requires a higher level of availability than happens at home or perhaps with single person businesses.

Anyway, I hope they’re successful but with the price points of the new Drobos introduced in the last year they are price competitive with small NAS solutions (QNAP, Netgear). Other than the “use any drive” thing I don’t see an advantage. If performance and flexible interface options are included the scale tips the other way. Heck even on the Pro using iSCSI requires knowledge of initiators and targets to understand properly, not something that the average user is going to possess.

I’d go for an ‘S’ with FW800, eSATA and Ethernet (iSCSI only) since it should have adequate performance (at least with eSATA and iSCSI) but since I don’t have eSATA and can’t install it on my iMac there’s nothing there for me. DroboPro has iSCSI (cool) but I suspect is not much faster than Drobo 2nd Gen on FW (Docchris correct me here please if I’m wrong) and it costs twice the price of the S for three additional slots. Mneh.

FW on 2nd Gen Drobo you can see transfer speeds up to 40-45 MB/s.
eSATA on a Drobo S you can see transfer speeds up to 75-80 MB/s.
On a Pro with iSCSI you can see transfer speeds up to 95-100 MB/s.

:slight_smile: Jennifer…I’ve never seen 40-45MB/s on my 2nd Gen on FW800 (only device on the bus). It’s consistently ~24MB/s on a good day and that was with 7200RPM drives once data has been loaded. The good news is that it was consistent from 35% (when I started) to 80% (when I started swapping drives to add capacity). I’ve tested with WD GP and Hitachi 7200RPM drives and the results are roughly the same. Not sure how the new Seagate 5900RPMs have affected performance.

Thanks for the numbers on the S and Pro. How is the S on FW800? I don’t have eSATA and have no place to install it on either my Mac mini or iMac.

If I use my 24MB/s 2nd Gen as a baseline I can expect (conservatively) ~43MB/s from the S on eSATA (if I had it) and ~56MB/sec on iSCSI. And yes I could be surprised and actually get closer to the “you can see” speeds. That would be awesome but I’d rather set the bar lower and be pleasantly surprised.

FW on S, up to 50 MB/s

The operative word here is “up to”.
Due to data fragmentation issues, an “old” Drobo data set filled @80% will likely achieve only half of those best-case numbers consistently.
And that is definitely MUCH worse that more classical RAID solutions.
So unless Data Robotics finds a way to ensure stability of its “best performance” across a wider usage spectrum, more and more Drobo customers will get frustrated and investigate alternatives…

I understand it is a tough issue, since kind of intrinsic to the beyond Raid algorithms, and I am not very optimistic considering the continuing power supplies and fans noise issues, although much easier to fix.

This is PURE marketing!!!

Jennifer…thank you.

Geej…yeah, I know the “up to”. I’m okay with their phrasing it thusly so long as I also know the “real world” number. The reason I asked is that if the marketing number of the 2nd Gen FW800 is 40 to 50MB/s and the S on FW800 is 50MB/s then I can guess that I should see about 25% more throughput on the S than on my 2nd Gen. Since I get ~24MB/s with the drive at about 60% my expectation for an S on FW800 would be ~30MB/s. Not spectacular and not what I’m after.

My guesses for eSATA and iSCSI are just that since the interfaces are much different. eSATA would be da bomb if I had it. My former PowerMac did and it was very fast. For iSCSI I’d go with a separate GigE network and share the Drobo from my Mac mini server or iMac. I’ll do the same if I move to iSCSI on the QNAP.