Drobo

Suggestion: Let end-users access diag info for EOL products

Dear Drobo,

It is your company policy to prevent customers from reading diagnostic information from their Drobo products. The result is that we depend on Drobo support to obtain essential information, such as temperature readings and why a disk was marked as bad.

Since Drobo v1 and Droboshare products are no longer supported by Drobo, owners of those devices have lost access to their diagnostic information.

I suggest that Drobo provide a way for customers to read their diag information after End of Support, whether by releasing a tool to read the encoded format or by releasing an update that disables “encryption.”

I respectfully request an official response from a Drobo agent.

ref: http://support.drobo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/594

(Note: I’m aware that Drobo is averse to “official responses” and particularly to posting in these forums. I believe Drobo would prefer to have this conversation in these forums than in a more public venue. I could be wrong.)

+27!!!

+1 from me on this. This is a great idea - if it’s no longer company-supported, it’s a GREAT olive branch to customers with older units. The community at least would then have the opportunity to support itself, and that does breed loyalty which then turns into future sales and revenue for Drobo.

+99 from me. I can outplus Spiney with one hand tied behind my back :slight_smile:

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.