Drobo

Problems playing iphone video from FS

Searched before posting and found many helpful threads on performance and streaming video issues, and would also appreciate your insight.

Background
Just purchased the DROBO FS. Have 3 x 2TB drives installed with under 1TB in data stored. Not using dual-drive redundancy. iMac core i7 2.8 Ghz with 6GB of RAM.

I’m using the FS to archive my photography, including the videos taken from my iPhone 4.

Problem
I am not able to play any of my iPhone 4 videos stored on the FS using the QuickTime player that Lightroom opens for viewing video on the iMac. The first few seconds of the video will play properly, but then will skip, pause, etc. This is occurring even on 40 second videos.

Based on my forum research my next steps are as follows:

  1. Set up Jumbo Frames for Gigabit Routing.
    I have not yet adjusted the MTU/jumbo frames for Gigabit routing, but I’m not sure if I have a fully-compliant Gigabit network, so it might be moot.

  2. Wait. Some posts state that new Drobos may “settle down” and start to perform better after “digesting” the data transferred. Not sure how long this process should take.

  3. Contact Drobo support.

Any additional suggestions or insight are welcome. I’m frankly disappointed at the poor performance out of the box. I read enough not to expect a speed demon, but feel that I should be able to at least view videos stored on the unit. Plus I’m one of those people who paid the “DROBO premium” expecting the unit to “just work”.

Thanks everyone.

What you’re seeing is definitely unusual - blu-ray videos should play just fine, let alone iPhone videos. As you mentioned, if you’ve recently written all of the data, the Drobo is probably reorganizing it to ensure redundancy. Otherwise, I’d look at your network. Jumbo frames are more of a “nice to have” and can give you a boost if your gear supports it, but they’re certainly not required. I run a home theater PC with all of its video content on the DroboFS and don’t use Jumbo Frames.

Check a few basics:

  1. No wireless links anywhere between the DroboFS and the Mac. Even on an 802.11n network, you run into more packet loss and retransmissions, which can mess with video playback.
  2. Make sure all devices between the DroboFS and the Mac are gigabit-capable. If you’re crossing your router, this includes its ports as well.
  3. Finally, make sure your cabling is decent. Cat5E and Cat6 are recommended for gigabit networks. You may be able to get away with plain Cat5 at lower speeds, but it’s just another place you can lose throughput.

Thanks for the quick reply and the reinforcement that I’m not being unreasonable in my expectations.

There are no wireless links between DroboFS and my Mac and I’ve been pretty good at using cat5E cabling. But I do have a lot of devices on my network.

The data on the Drobo is quite new and I just added my third 2TB drive, so I’m hoping the issue is related to creating the redundancy.

Regards.

Hate to say it, but I got BD rips (about 4-5 GBs in size) working over 802.11n without any issues to my Boxee Box.

I haven’t tried iPhone4 vids with mine, but it should just work even over wifi. MOV files aren’t that uncompressed to disallow playback over wifi-N.

If you have another device to check if playback is horrible, this would be good to test. IE: Mac to Mac to determine if it is a problem with the networking. If that works just fine, then it would be “safe” to say it isn’t the network.

Assuming it traverses all the same devices and there are no bad cables.

That said, if you just added a drive, it’s probably doing its data-reorganization dance. Give it a while, and it may improve on its own.