I have been meaning to move off Firewire to iSCSI for a while. Finally got around to it - and wow iSCSI performance is much better than Firewire!
The MacMini has only a single ethernet port which makes it a little difficult to setup a separate VLAN for iSCSI to the DroboPro. I have documented the configuration I used below.
MacMini OS X Snow Leopard
Linksys SLM2008 Switch
A VLAN is basically splitting a physical network switch into two or more virtual network switches. A PC can only see the traffic for the VLAN its port on the switch is assigned to.
This tutorial details how to configure a DroboPro, MacMini and Linksys switch such that the DroboPro is in its own storage VLAN, and the MacMini can see both the storage VLAN and the regular network.
I used 192.168.1.x for my computer network as VLAN 1
I used 192.168.2.x for my storage network as VLAN 2
First step is to configure the DroboPro. As per the manual hook it up via USB or Firewire and use the DroboDashboard to set an IP Address. In my case I used 192.168.2.200 with subnet mask 255.255.255.0. Shut down the DroboPro, change from USB/Firewire to Ethernet, and hook it to the SLM2008 switch.
Next step is to configure the switch. From the VLAN menu all the ports on the switch are in VLAN 1 by default. From the SLM2008 Web interface I created VLAN 2 to use as my storage network.
I assigned two ports into VLAN 2 - the port connected to my DroboPro and the Port Connected to my Mac Mini
I unassigned one port from VLAN 1 - the port connected to my DroboPro. This way the DroboPro will only see traffic for VLAN2.
When using VLANs in the network each packet is tagged with a VLAN ID number. Computers and storage devices like DroboPro do not put a VLAN ID tag on their outgoing traffic.
In the VLAN Port Settings in the SLM2008 Web Interface you can configure what VLAN ID is automatically added to these untagged packets. By default traffic on all ports is tagged with the Default VLAN ID of 1.
The port connected to DroboPro is only in VLAN 2 so we want traffic coming into this port from DroboPro to have VLAN ID 2 tag added. For the port connected to DroboPro select “2” in the PVID menu.
The default settings for everything else on this page is fine.
At this point the DroboPro is connected to the switch, it will only see traffic for VLAN 2, and its outgoing packets are marked for VLAN 2.
At this point the MacMini is connected to the switch, it will see traffic from both VLAN 1 and VLAN 2, however its outgoing packets are marked for VLAN 1 only - so it cannot send data to the DroboPro (yet).
The last step is to configure the MacMini so it talks to both the computer network and to the storage network.
This is done by creating a certain type of Virtual Network Interface on the MacMini. The regular network interface will talk to the computer network and the virtual network interface will be used to talk to the DroboPro.
On the Mac go to System Preferences --> Network
Click on the Picture of the Cog in the Lower Left to open a drop down menu. Select “Manage Virtual Interfaces”. From the popup window click the + to add a new VLAN. Give it a descriptive name - e.g. “Drobo VLAN” and for the “Tag” enter the same VLAN number used on the SLM 2008 switch - in my case “2”. Select Ethernet as the Interface.
This now creates a new network interface in the Network Box. Select the “Drobo VLAN” interface and Configure IPv4 Manually to enter an IP Address. This IP Address should be in the same subnet as the DroboPro.
I used 192.168.2.1 with netmask 255.255.255.0
You want to leave the default gateway blank. This Virtual interface will talk on the DroboPro storage network only. It will not talk to your router or go out to the Internet.
So now any traffic to 192.168.2.x will go via the Virtual Network Interface which will tag it for VLAN 2.
All other traffic will go via 192.168.1.x as this has the default gateway defined. This traffic is untagged and the SLM2008 switch automatically tags it for VLAN 1.
Now the MacMini and DroboPro can talk on a private VLAN.
Reboot the MacMini and the DroboDashboard should probe and find the Drobo via iSCSI. If you have any issues make sure the DroboDashboard application and service are not blocked in the OS X Firewall.