Slow data speeds

I bought a Drobo2 and Droboshare bundle after hearing good things about them. I also saw them advertised and in use on the GeekBrief TV podcast, which I’ve watched for years. DR even use the promo vid from that podcast on their front page.

Now that I have a drobo, and I moved my iTunes library onto it (you know, to keep it safe, sort of the entire point) I was shocked to find that the data came off the drobo so slowly that I couldnt actually watch an episode of the very podcast that lead me to the purchase!

Given the price of the Drobo, I think I’m allowed to expect better. I tried everything and it’s the same when accessed from Windows 7 and from OS X. Eventually I spoke to tech support and they said “Droboshare is slow, that’s just the way it is, try a DroboPro if you need speeds”

Sure, I can afford a DroboPro. The standard Drobo2 is very expensive already for the worlds slowest external USB enclosure.

Support said that 10mb/s is the most I could expect to see. I’m getting between 2 and 5 on mine.

Is this really right? Can anyone get halfway decent speeds out of theirs or should I just give up and get a refund?

Hi matphillips,

i bought also a drobo + droboshare. When i connect the drobo directly via usb 2.0 to my vista pc, i got 12,5 mb/s. If i connect it via droboshare and wlan 802.11n (linksys router, intel pc card) i got about 5.7 mb/s.


DroboShare is slow. Max rate is 10 MB/sec (megabytes) according to Jennifer.

Connected directly to USB 2.0, I’m getting a varying range depending on size/type of file, but it has peaked so far to 30 MB/sec (again, megabytes, which would be 240 Mb or megabits).

Hi Mat,
I feel your pain too - I found myself in the same boat when I got my v2 Drobo & Share. To speed things up & make the Drobo a viable shared network drive I bought a 2nd hand Mac Mini off eBay & connected the Drobo to that via Firewire. I then set up user permissions onto folders etc & share it across my network via the Mac. Works pretty well, and the Mini works out cheaper & more versatile than a Share unit !

Thanks for the comments, it looks like I’m not alone here. I purchased the Drobo and DroboShare as a bundle as I wanted to be able to access the Drobo from a laptop as well as a couple of desktop machines, I dont have a use for a very large external USB drive!

I did open a support ticket on this just before I posted the forum comment. Support have responsed, and I’m copying their response below. I dont think there’s anything confidential in it, but if posting this is considered bad form, then I have no problem with a forum admin removing the quote.

The response from support basically says that the DroboShare is useless and if I want to network the Drobo, I should use something else. Can someone tell me why the unit is still available for sale if it’s so bad?

I still think the Drobo is a great product, it’s just a shame that when they built v2 and added firewire, they didnt think to put a network port in it at the same time. That lack of function, combined with the insult that is DroboShare (1000Mbps network connection that provides 100mbps throughput) means only one thing: I’m currently backing up the drobo to spare drives and it’s going back to Amazon as soon as possible for a full refund. Returned as Unfit for purpose.

Such a shame, it looked nice too. I’m replacing it with the less pretty but cheaper and more functional QNAP TS-410.

Support response:
[color=#0000CD]Hello Mat,

Thank you for contacting Data Robotics technical support. You’ve asked if there is anything that can be done to speed up the DroboShare.

The DroboShare will only read/write at 5-10 MB/s depending on your network, which isn’t fast enough to stream video correctly. There isn’t a way to speed up the DroboShare but there are alternative ways to connect the Drobo to make streaming possible.

If your router has a USB port on it you could connect the Drobo directly to it. This simulates connecting it direct to a computer and sharing it. Drobo Dashboard cannot connect in this configuration. You could also connect it directly to a computer and share it, though the computer would have to remain on for the Drobo to be accessible on the network.

I had my upper level support review the diagnostic file to be thorough; no errors were found, your Drobo is working perfectly.[/color]

[quote=“matphillips, post:5, topic:588”]
The response from support basically says that the DroboShare is useless and if I want to network the Drobo, I should use something else. Can someone tell me why the unit is still available for sale if it’s so bad?[/quote]
I wouldn’t go so far to say it’s useless, but I would definitely qualify it for being useful for those with only SOHO needs, not streaming or high-performance multimedia (MP3s are fine) use.

I’m doing a mass data migration over direct-connect USB 2.0, but I still plan to move my Drobo back to the DroboShare afterward. Why?

I have multiple machines that need to access the Drobo, and DroboShare eats way less power than any of my existing machines.

But that said, I will be changing my setup in the future to have a small form factor PC directly connected to Drobo for sharing.

If I didn’t have needs for a 24/7 PC, I probably would have stuck with DroboShare because it’s fast enough for my needs of MP3s and general file storage.

However, since I do have a need for a 24/7 PC, it makes more sense for me to move toward the PC-based sharing solution. I might end up getting a second Drobo for multimedia use and leave the “just files” one on DroboShare. We’ll see…


I don’t think support knoe their arse from their elbow. I stream 1080i and 720p films off a droboshare to my mini no problems what so ever, and my son can be streaming cartoons etc to an appletv from the same drobo at the same time.

I see movement of around 19mbs

That’s very good news, and also quite interesting. I wonder if there’s more than one hardware revision of the droboshare?

Is that 19 megabytes or 19 megabits?

Most compressed HD streams are far less than 19 megabytes (152 megabits - this would yield approx 1.2 GB/minute, or over 60 GB/hour)

19 megabits is only 2.375 MB/sec (megabytes/sec), well within the 10 MB/sec Jennifer stated.

If you’re getting 19 megabytes/sec, please tell me what firmware revision of DroboShare you have, because I’d LOVE that kind of speed!

Hi, I don’t really understand anything you wrote above but 1 gig files take about 40 seconds to transfer.

Lots of small ikkle files can take a little longer. Istats menus gives me around 19mbs

Some things to try if you are on a mac.

Open terminal and type in sudo sysctl -w net.inet.tcp.delayed_ack=0

Put your password in, then try a transfer. I have no idea what this command does, if it kills everything on your network don’t blame me. But for me it made dramatic improvements across the whole network. As I understand it, ACK is something to do with wireless, but what ever its for it makes massive differences. i.e. I transfered my itunes library of 80 megs (No music in there just database) too the drobo before putting that command in, took about 14 mins. With ACK on 0 it took 30 seconds to transfer back.


I’m trying to copy files from QNAP TS209 to Drobo via DroboShare by using rsync but speed is far slow (max 600kB/s)

Both units are Ext3. How would you transfer files on my situation?

My support ticket has no answer since i created it (5 days ago)

Im starting to think about returning this stuff :frowning:


I have not used rsync on the Drobo Share before, but as you are transferring from one NAS to another my guess would be that the CPU on one or both of them would be slowing you down.

When running over a network rsync uses an algorithm to transfer only parts of a file that have changed rather than the entire file. Working this out does require CPU resources.

I would recommend you disable this behaviour and try another speed test.
The rsync command-line option is “-W” to transfer whole files only.

Hi, I have done some speedtests with xBench and use my Drobo/DrobShare via SMB and HFS+ formatted. Here are the results:

Disk Test	14.70	
	Sequential	10.05	
		Uncached Write	6.09	3.74 MB/sec [4K blocks]
		Uncached Write	22.90	12.96 MB/sec [256K blocks]
		Uncached Read	10.33	3.02 MB/sec [4K blocks]
		Uncached Read	10.71	5.38 MB/sec [256K blocks]
	Random	27.36	
		Uncached Write	32.29	3.42 MB/sec [4K blocks]
		Uncached Write	32.85	10.52 MB/sec [256K blocks]
		Uncached Read	99.43	0.70 MB/sec [4K blocks]
		Uncached Read	13.38	2.48 MB/sec [256K blocks]

Which IMO isn’t that shining on a Gigabit ethernet. I’m not sure if the droboshare processor speed is the limiting factor here.

Made some TCP optimizations and got around 2MB/s more for the 256K block tests. So this is 14MB/s for sequential and around 12MB/s for random.

I’m wondering why the read speed is so much lower than the write speed. Has anyone an idea why this is the case?

This topic has been looked at previously. Check out


I’ve just ordered my Mac Mini to replace the droboshare which I think had really good promise but failed to deliver based on poor hardware.