I’ve been using Drobo for a long time - my first one was a first generation along with the clunky droboShare box. I have two drobos now, but the one in question is a 5N thats still running 3.1.1 because I’ve been too afraid to upgrade based on all the nightmares here, and my past experience (I have never had an issue free upgrade). It’s 5x2TB, and running low on space, so I’ve been trying to understand what my options are. It took me a while to realize that
I can’t just put in any drives I want, despite what they said when it was sold, because there’s a 16TB limit apparently only for this 1 model.
I’m too scared to swap out the disks one-by-one, and wait eternity for each individual disk to rebuild with zero data protection.
I’m not sure if I should risk upgrading first before swapping out drives, because of my history with upgrades. Release notes are useless, so I can’t tell if there are any bugs fixed which might impact me.
Every single interaction I’ve had with Drobo Support over the years has been terrible. Awful. A nightmare. I dread running into a problem and needing them.
So based on the above I see that I just shouldn’t be using this product. I don’t trust it - I’m afraid of it!
So I think I’m going to get myself a nice synology 1815 and copy over all my data and just junk these. Thoughts from others who have gone through this same process?
even though i am still using drobos, i dont think theres anything wrong with your points or worries about upgrades and drive failures etc in general…you should see 2 or my “wd10eads” and “wd15eads” threads to see all the possible things that i thought about when doing mine and they are fairly long threads
what i would like to say though is that it is very prudent to have more than 1 copy of your data, at least where possible. (its not cheap doing replication etc but when another friend here mentioned to remind me when i was a bit worried that i perhaps needed more backups of my data, it made me think of a question to ask you…
do you have any other backups of your data? if not, then theres nothing wrong with getting another device (even a drobo or something else or external standalone drive etc) to make some backups at least of your important data, and even if you got something else, i would still at least keep the drobos as well, so that you have a backup both ways.
Having “offload” data to a NAS or RAID-Array… is NOT a backup. Is more of a archiving. All NAS storage with some form of RAID protection, only protects you from physical drive failure. Other “disaster” may happened and results in lost of all data.
Since you have in mind to get a Synology NAS, and with your current Drobo 5N. You can now truly have 2 copies of the data in 2 separated NAS. This eliminates the potential single point of failure.
In this case, you could either make the Synology NAS as the primary (or Drobo 5N) and the other as the secondary replicate.
Sorry for not clarifying. I do have all the data replicated offsite, however it would be a long process to do a full recovery of everything from the remote site. The connection between the two locations is not superb and it would probably take a few days to a week to recover everything. This only gets worse as the data grows.
If money were no object, of course I’d have two local copies and an offsite…but as always, budget does matter.
Frankly, I view the offsite as protection against a fire, or some terrible error in which everything is deleted - I really, really shouldn’t have to worry about upgrading the firmware.
If you don’t want to upgrade the firmware then don’t. Nobody is forcing you and it won’t wear out - it will continue to function as it has always done. I’m not really sure what you’re asking in your original post, other than reassurance that you’re making the right decision. If you’ve decided to get a Synology unit then do so and enjoy it - you don’t need anyone’s blessing here. The other guys are simply suggesting that, rather than dispose of it, you might like to consider keeping your old Drobo as another backup. Alternatively, sell it, donate it or smash it with a hammer if it makes you feel better.
I’m sorry you weren’t able to understand my post. The point is I don’t know if I should upgrade the firmware or not before replacing drives, because I have no way of knowing what bugs exist and/or were fixed, because the release notes don’t give much insight.
The second question was what other people who have gone through this same process and/or decision tree have done, and how it worked out for them.
Thankfully, and what may be interesting to others, is Drobo’s new management for sure understood my post, and reached out to me privately. We had a very, very good conversation and I was hopefully able to pass along some constructive advice to them from my perspective as a very long time drobo customer who is deeply unhappy. It was a great call, and the information I received from them convinced me to push back my decision making process on moving to a Synology until January. (hint, hint)
Nobody knows the details of the new firmware, other than the engineers at Drobo. All we users get to see are the release notes, which as you point out are pretty useless. If you’re happy with the firmware you currently have installed then stick with it. It will work just as well with new drives as it does with your current ones. Several people report here that they have problems with firmware updates - either the process itself or with functionality afterwards. The decision is ultimately a personal one. The most recent 3.3 update seems to be mostly security related, without offering any additional functionality. I’m personally sticking with 3.2.2 until I see a compelling reason to change. On the other hand, if I had your 5 x 2 TB configuration and was running short of space, I would replace as many drives as I needed to (one at a time, of course), without hesitation. The 5N is actually quite a lot faster at rebuilding than the earlier models. For what it’s worth my configuration is 5 x 5 TB with dual disk redundancy enabled. I could have chosen 5 x 6 TB with DDR and not quite hit the volume size limit but 5 TB drives are currently the sweet spot in terms of cost per gigabyte. I upgraded in stages from an initial configuration of 3 x 1 TB without any issues. The Drobo expansion capability works well provided your drives are good.
I’m glad you received an encouraging response from Drobo. I wish they’d similarly reach out to others who post on this board with questions and problems and address some of the concerns expressed here because I’m seeing the same issues crop up time and time again.