+99 from me. I can outplus Spiney with one hand tied behind my back
Unlike most high tech products, the Drobo is engineered not to tell us the most basic data about our machine- simple things like drive temps and SMART data.
On the other hand, the only promise Drobo makes regarding the longevity of support is “One year after discontinuance of a product”. A product can be discontinued tomorrow, and since each new tweak to the i/o interfaces constitutes a new product, that guarantee amounts to “one year or three years, but three years only if you buy 3 years of support up front”. A 3 year contract is about 50% of the cost of the device- a significant investment for a new user unsure if this is the right long term solution for them.
On top of all that, purely from a hardware point of view a Drobo is a very bad deal. I would be hard pressed to find a $100 4 drive enclosure slower than a Drobo V2- and that includes USB 2.0 enclosures. In fact, for $100 today, I can get an eSata 4 disk enclosure that will outperform an $800 Drobo S (and in fact I did).
The only thing that makes a Drobo worth even considering for an instant is the feature set and support provided by Drobo, Inc. That feature set and support comes at a relatively huge inflated price- at best, before all the uncertainties are considered.
Drobo, Inc makes it increasingly difficult to justify the very premium cost of a Drobo. Consider all the above and you see why any knowledgeable person would be very reluctant to invest in a Drobo, with it’s encrypted log file, unless they have money to burn and don’t mind replacing models at Drobo’s whim as models are replaced and EOL’d. We’ve already seen this with Drobo V1, which was sold by DRI as recently as 2.5 years ago when I bought my V2.
I think the encrypted log file without significant diagnostics available on Dashboard is a huge mistake.
About 6 months ago now when I renewed my Drobo V2 support for the 2nd year a sales executive assured me that enhanced diagnostics would be released in a new Dashboard version concurrently with the then to be officially announced 12 bay enterprise models. That never happened. We got Dashboard V2 with a cosmetic remake (and never even certified for my V2). It does indicate that Drobo knows this is a sore point with it’s user base (I had a litany of complaints that I voiced as I was trying to straighten out my Drobocare contract renewal). Sore enough to make empty promises. But, as is typical, that promise went unfullfilled and I have learned not to rely on promises from Drobo. I’ll believe it when I see it.