Wanting the most out of new drobo


I’ve been a long time gen1 drobo user, but I am getting an update, a gen3 drobo coming very soon. I would like to make the most of it. Gen1 was only media storage on a 2010 iMac via firewire 800. It never got that full. I only used 2 drives and even then only ever 3 dots full. We have the iMac, Macbook Pro, and an apple tv, currently all wireless.

  1. What more can I do with the drobo?
    Currently is has mostly digital download movies, but I would like to eventually ‘backup’ my dvds and Blu-rays into iTunes and probably also plex. Is it wise or unwise to also have a separate partition for a TM backup for either one or both machines? Does that work well? Streaming home movies from it hasn’t worked well in the past, though we just upgraded the router.

2). Hook up to iMac or Router?
Updated the router to a netgear N6250. It is the only USB 3 device in the house. If I hook up the drobo3 to the iMac it will only be USB 2 (and not current firewire 800 speeds), but it will be wired. Do drobos (or any harddrive) work well connected to routers? I’ve never attempted or saw what the benefit may be. Maybe it would be best to be wired at least while I’m backing up hundreds of dvds?

Thanks for your thoughts.

TM uses some file system tricks that make it very difficult for Drobo to manage file-by-file replication across disks. Even the Drobo documentation is clear that you need a separate “special” volume for TM to work in. This works well, and not doing it this way doesn’t work very well at all.

Interesting. Because I see on the product page that YM is well supported with drobo. My question was die it work well doing TM and media storage.

It will work fine.

However, it’s not a good practice to keep your data and the backups of your data on the same device.

If you still want/need to do that, then yes, use the built-in support for Time Machine to limit the size of the backup. If you don’t TM will keep running until it fills up all your available space. On a Thin Provisioned volume, that is a BAD THING. :slight_smile:

Besides the current sepetate TM backups I have, I use crashplan.

I guess I was wondering if it would work and/or a good idea (or not) to put large drives in the drobo, have 3 volumes, 1 for media and 2 for TM from an iMac and Macbook Pro.

First I’d like to know what is a more ideal set up for connecting the gen 3 drobo. It’s first function will be to hold media. I would like to eventually use plex and ‘backup’ hundreds of dvds. If also using it with TM volumes is a bad idea, I won’t do it (though I will have super duper clones plus crashplan)

Right now I have a gen 2 drobo (firewire 800) connected to a 2010 iMac. We also have a 2010 Macbook Pro and netgear n6250 router, but everything is wireless (that may change). Gen 3 drobo can hook up to iMac, but only at USB 2 speeds. It can also hook up to Netgear through USB 3, but still limited to wireless speeds.

I’m guessing it will be best to leave wired to iMac while backing up dvds. Once that’s done and the house is CAT6 wired, then it may work better connected to the netgear as a media/plex server, potential TM ‘server’.

I suppose a second question would be, what can I do with the gen 2 drobo (firewire 800)?

I have a Gen2, Gen3 and a 5D.

All three are connected to a MacMini server.

The Gen2 holds TM for 5 connected Macs and a local crashplan cache for Windows clients.

The Gen3 is for disc images.

The 5D is for iTunes/documents/Lightroom

Both the Gen2 and Gen3 are connected via USB. The 5D via TB.

While there have been some with luck using a DAS Drobo attached to an access point, it’s not recommended since Dashboard can’t see and/or manage the devices.

In addition, unless you are really wanting to walk on the edge, you need the Drobo with the Time Machine archives to stay physically attached to a Mac. Using a mounted network volume in an unsupported setup is asking for trouble.

Backups usually work ok, but restores are really hit and miss and there is almost no way to do a ‘bare metal’ restore.