Thinking of getting a drobo, should I?

Hey everyone so I’m thinking of buying a drobo 5n. Currently I run a Mac mini with plex on it with a seagate 4tb and. I’m thinking of selling off the Mac mini and seagate to get a drobo. Biggest reason is to get raid mirroring so j never kiss my media if my drives crash. The drobo apps also sound cool. I have some questions below

How many drobo apps are there? Is their a list of current Apps?
Which hard drives should I buy?

My Mac mini doesn’t really serve any purpose but to run plex server, do you guys agree in switching to drobo? Any downsides you see?

Thanks again

I wont comment on your situation but I wish I had never seen or heard of mine some people think its acceptable to work sort of some times I suggest you do some more comparisons with other options. drobo support I have found sadly lacking just my thoughts regards

njbrodeur87, ignore this “justlookin” guy, like pretty much everyone else here does - he’s trying to bomb every thread on this forum and venting his misplaced frustration.

As for your question, I’d personally recommend keeping your Mac Mini and getting a direct-connected (USB/Thunderbolt, e.g. 5D) Drobo to go with it. If you enjoy using Plex (and who could blame you for that as it’s an awesome piece of software), you could be disappointed moving the server to Drobo. Plex is a bit too much for Drobo’s CPU and memory and it’s hardly surprising as it’s not really meant for such workloads. I’m using a mini PC and a Drobo combo myself (only I’m a Windows guy so that’s Intel NUC for me) and couldn’t possibly by happier with this setup.

I have had a few of the drobo zombies flame me for having an opinion I am entitled to an opinion whether anybody else agree’s or not njbrodeur87 I suggest you spend a lot of time on here reading other people’s posts & how much help they get it varies wildly from trashing other people’s opinons to drivel about posted grammar not being correct instead offering any help they offered excuses why my drobo should only partially work. you will also find if you should disagree with anything a drobo zombie has to say they will start slinging insults publicly posted on here. do a search on google for drobo usb3 problems you will find entire web pages people have built with there ongoing frustration that is drobo & usb3. I have spoken to some very pleasant people on here that have tried to help & I have been nothing but pleasant & polite in return. i will tell you ZBIG the same as I told the other insult slinging people keep your nose out of my posts they are opinion which I am entitled to I have not posted anything unacceptable you are free to offer what ever advice help opinions you have so am I.
ps I forgot to say (misplaced frustration) is drobo speak for don’t know how to fix

I have a Drobo 5N running Plex and I absolutely love it!
There is some leg work when updating Plex on the Drobo since they don’t seem to push updates to the dashboard all that often and never for PlexPass members so you have to manually update as PlexPass member to have the latest version (Plex is working on an auto updater).

There is some initial setup and getting your hands dirty so to speak if you want to use PlexPass updates or be on the latest Plex server. It amounts to installing an SSH client and punching in some text to the command line.

Overall my 5N does it’s thing without much intervention.

Here is a pretty good list of apps Some are community supported so they have varying degrees of setup and configuration.

This community is usually very helpful with lots of information. I personally have 5x4TB drives in my Drobo 5N but you will need at least 2 drives to make the Drobo work. You can add drives at any time and swap one time at a time between rebuilds all while not loosing access to your data.

Downsides: Cost would probably be a major one, obviously the Drobo 5N is expensive and hard drives depending on size can also be, especially when buying 5 of them. The Drobo 5N isn’t the fastest NAS available either, that’s not to say it isn’t sufficiently fast but don’t expect anything crazy, I consistently get around the 50MB/sec range which would double when I have the mSATA SSD in there. Could be a downside depending on what you expect, but there is no web interface you have to use the Drobo Dashboard application to manage the Drobos. Not really a downside but something to take note of, data recovery isn’t impossible but you can’t take the drives out and try to recover from them yourself so that can be a costly path, make backups that’s really the only sure fire method.

I love and prefer the Drobos because they look nicer and take up less physical space than any of the main competitors and makes storage management dead simple. I load it with drives a drive fails I swap it, my concern is usually no more than that. Dual drive redundancy can be turned on and off with a check box at any time.
Personally I have my Drobo 5N setup to obtain media via torrents process with SickBeard or CouchPotato and serve it with Plex and it’s been working flawlessly and largely without manual intervention (except for updates) for years.

Good luck with your search, please let us know what you go with and why if you would.

I love my Drobos. I own a 4-bay (Gen2), 4-bay (Gen3) and a 5D.

However, if I was buying today, I would get the answers to a few questions before parting with money.

  1. When will BeyondRAID be updated to support drives >4TB? and single volumes >16TB?

  2. When will BeyondRAID be updated to allow for user-selectable volume sizes. Right now, you are limited to the volume size you pick when you create the diskpack and you are limited to the Drobo choices (1,2,4,8,16TB).

  3. Will the new BeyondRAID require a reformat of the diskpack?

I need more space, but I am delaying until July 1st (arbitrary date) to decide on buying more drives for my current Drobo’s or switching to another product (Synology or FreeNAS).

I’ve sent multiple emails to Drobo asking these same questions and the answers I have gotten (when someone has responded) have not been promising.

Also, keep in mind, that RAID is not backup. RAID protects you from some hardware failures. Nothing else.

Always use the 3-2-1 rule for vital data.
(3 copies, 2 on-site, 1-off)

I’ll provide my 2 cents: NO
I have a 5D, and there are two strong reasons for my opinion:

1 - It only recognizes 3 out every 4 drives that I’ve placed in it. Drives that work fine on other computers or in other NAS units. Yeah I know this is because of their “more strict” acceptance criteria, but these other drives are fine. Most recently it wouldn’t accept a brand new WD Se under warranty. Ran all kinds of test on this drive and can’t find anything wrong.

  1. Support - if you don’t pay for Drobo care don’t expect any help. I was literally told by a phone rep that he felt bad and wanted to help me with my (at the time) under warranty Drobo 5D, but policy did not allow him to speak to me unless I gave a credit card and paid the 169$.

At the time I bought it it was the cheapest “NAS” with thunderbolt… I’m in the process of migrating over to another NAS now, but had to essentially buy additional 4tb drives so I could move data. It just do happens I had three though that I bought for the DROBO it won’t accept. :frowning:

Google “Scott Kelly” drobo - he describes many problems I have experienced.

I’ll toss in my remaining bytes as well, since that’s all that’s left after trusting my data to a Drobo …

I’ve been running RAID for years now, besides Drobo, and have had multiple disk failures along the way, but have actually never lost data until a few weeks ago on a Drobo.

My suggestion is that you head on over to FreeNAS, and build yourself a far speedier and robust system then Drobo. BeyondRaid is all nice 'n fine until it fails, and when it does, it fails at such a monumental level that’s it’s a wonder that they’re still being made and sold.

To have a system, that can actually mark a drive in a raid set as bad while it’s doing it’s rebuild operations is not something you want to entrust your data to.

Also note, if BeyondRaid fails, there are NO tools out there that will allow you to recover any of your data, there are facilities that will do it, but you can expect to pay anywhere from ~2000-7000$ for a 5 disk recovery. Where as with a normal RAID (FreeNAS) there is at least a chance to recover with various tools out there.

If you’re not in a position to build a system yourself look at many of the other appliance solutions that allow you to run normal RAID.