Questions from a new user with an old Drobo

Hi, everyone. I’ve heard about Drobos from afar for a long time, but never had a great need for one or enough spare money to get one just for fun.

But my workplace just acquired a secondhand DroboPro (from another part of the organization; not like, from the dumpster) and I’m trying to get up to speed. After a few wobbles and false starts, I’ve gotten it hooked up to a couple of machines in turn and fiddled with it. Updated the firmware, and did a reset from within Dashboard.

My most burning questions:

(1) Can a DroboPro just sit on a network port as NAS, or is that only the FS or something? If it has to be DAS, do you recommend a modern Mac or modern Windows box for its controller?

(2) If the worst happens and the Drobo itself dies irrecoverably (like in some of the horror stories on this forum), how do you get the data back out without having another Drobo on hand to swap the drives into?

(3) Am I nuts to think about putting data on this thing at all? It’s got 8x3TB WD Greens, and has been sitting in a drawer untouched for about the past four years. I’m absolutely going dual-disk, since I don’t remember Greens being known for their robustness, and several might well decide to give up the ghost at once. In no case would I put absolutely critical or unique data on a hand-me-down like this. What I have in mind is some data that would be difficult, annoying, and embarrassing to have to regenerate or re-request, but could probably be reacquired if absolutely necessary.

Basically, we’re not really committing to Drobo storage as a philosophy; we’re mostly trying to figure out how to use this unexpected bounty of disk space well without getting burned! Thanks for any thoughts and advice – and thanks for the answers on the forum that I’ve already used in order to get this far. :slight_smile:

hi jdrum00, its always nice to be able to utilise something with more space :slight_smile:
here are a few thoughts for you, on your questions:

for 2) if the main hardware has a fault, and the diskpack drives are ok, then there is a migration process that can essentially see the diskpack working in a compatible / replacement model, for example via the migration process which can be found here: http://www.drobo.com/resource-center/migration/

you would require another drobo chassis/hardware, though the process does work, for example, i was able to successfully migrate the diskpack from my drobo-s-gen2 when the power switch broke and was able to access my data again.

for 3) youre absolutely right to use dual DDR mode if available, as that is always a very good feature to enable, and i have had a green drive fail on me before, (at the time i think i was on 11 green drives and 1 failed after about 4-5 years i think)

if you now have drobo pro available for use, but if it is also empty, it might be a good idea to start from scratch and do some preps, for example, you could remove the drives and reset the drobo, and update the firmware a couple of times to bring it to the latest version (and to check that the latest firmware has taken and been accepted etc), and to also try putting each bare drive (1 by one) in a standalone caddy or something similar, (not in the drobo) and to run a full sector scan of each drive.

this way, you could try to spot a potentially flawed drive before you start using it, just in case.
even just with the free WD utils (data life guard) on windows should be ok to run the 3 main tests, (actually 4)
first to check the smart status info, then to run the quick test, then the full extended (several hours test), and then to finally compare the smart info again.

(other tools could work too, and ideally a famous tool spin rite would be ideal but i dont think it will work on a 3TB drive)

for your a) above, the migration page puts the drobo pro in the DAS category…
techinally, there probably isnt much of a problem if you are going to be controlling the use of the drobo pro, since there should still be a relatively easy way to have any DAS, simply shared from a host computer, though i have not used one myself.( but there are some other drobo pro users that could have some more info too though in the meantime you may as well start checking those drives… .it can take ages) :)[hr]
btw here is a link for you with the latest firmwares: