Solved: Reliable 86MB/s RW Backups With Time Machine and Lion

I feel your pain

I tried that approach before on Snow Leopard, X Serve and an external sata raid from OWC computers. Running OSX Server it was the server for a workgroup. It worked very well as a Time Machine Server. Out of all the experiences (freenas, drobo and OSX Server), OSX Server was the easiest solution. Certainly the mac mini and thunderbolt enclosure would be an amazing solution.

I decided against that purely in my case because of cost and that I’m paying directly for it, but it would be the best solution.

I decided to switch to FreeNAS after a week-long stretch where the Drobo FS went offline every single day. I was also tired of the constant buffering while watching videos over my gig-e network. I’m copying files off the Drobo FS at a whopping 5 MB/s over SMB. I tried some samba tweaks to speed up the connection, but those brought me down to 2MB/s. I’ve tested the FreeNAS machine using some PATA drives that are going to be replaced by the Drobo’s 5x2 TB SATA drives, and I was able to get read/write speeds in the 35-45MB/s range.

I’ve tested my network and am able to reliably copy in the 30-60MB/s range with Linux, Windows and Mac computers, so I don’t think that is the reason my Drobo FS reads are so slow. There’s no help from support and no real solutions on this site. I doubt FreeNAS will be perfect but if the server will stay up most of the time, start in less than 20 minutes when it does go down, and stream HD video over my gig-e network then I’ll be doing just fine.

IMO the CPU in the DroboFS is just too slow/busy to even approach saturating its network connection