Drobo

Why use AFP, not SMB?

Is there any advantage in using the AFP protocol to access shares on the Drobo? Whenever the Mac accesses a share using AFP, the SMB shares slow down to a crawl, and I can’t e.g. stream video to my PC.

I now switched the music streaming application (Logitech Media Server) on the Mac server to use the Music share via SMB, and no longer via AFP, and the problems are gone.

So why is AFP used by default in the first place?

Thanks! Martin

P.S. I know that TimeMachine needs AFP, that’s why I don’t use the Drobo at the moment to backup the Mac server.

As you noted, AFP is required for Time Machine. Otherwise, it’s mildly better at meshing with Mac systems and preserving metadata, although the software on the DroboFS that powers it - netatalkd - has had issues, especially in performance.

If you’re dealing with pure data files - music, movies, pictures, things that don’t have extra metadata, permissions, or resource forks - then anything from AFP to SMB to NFS will work fine.

I also have this probem.

My main Windows 7 PC is decent enough. But if I browse the FS with my MacBook it is slow as. And if I’m watching WMC it stops for minutes if the MacBook accesses the Drobo. Unbelievable.

Is it possible to force the Mac to access the Drobo using SMB? If so I’d like to try it & compare.

Maybe the firmware update resolves this issue, we’ll see. To use SMB, you need to mount the shares on the Mac manually, instead of via Drobo Dashboard. The difference is dramatic (on firmware 1.2): I now have my Music server back on the Mac, using the Drobo shares via SMB. I have no issues with accessing the Drobo from my PC.
Regards, Martin

Update: The new firmware makes AFP more stable. TimeMachine backups now seem to work reliably. But any AFP communication from a Mac to the Drobo still kills SMB performance. While the Mac is doing a TimeMachine backup, I therefore still can’t use the SMB shares to stream Video.

I don’t have Dashboard installed on my Mac. I only have Dashboard installed on my Windows PC.

So I have been browsing the Network in Finder to access the FS.
If I right click the FS in Finder to “Get Info” it says that the FS is a “Mac server”.
If I “Get Info” for the PC it says the PC is a “PC Server”.
They also have slightly different icons.

So I think the way I’m doing it is not SMB. Are you saying there is another way to manually browse the FS on a Mac?

I’ve seen many ways to mount and access shares, but I didn’t try most of them.
What I use is the autofs mechanism, which is outlined here: Autofs.

Autofs is useful if you need the shares to be mounted automatically as soon as they are used, even before the first user logs on to the mac.

Correct - Macs use AFP if it’s supported, which it is on the Drobo. So unless you specifically ask for it (using “Go” > “Connect to Server” and specifying an smb URL), the DroboFS will mount using AFP on a Mac, and SMB on Windows.

I’ve accessed the Drobo with SMB now. Thanx for the help. I’ll be interested to see which works best.

Any chance you could document how you did it? I followed this tutorial, but found it wouldn’t mount.
http://www.kristijan.org/2010/11/automount-afp-shares-in-osx/

Not sure if you my command was correct though.
10.0.1.14:/Media /Volumes/Media url automounted,url==afp://Eric:[password]@10.0.1.14/Media /Volumes/Media 0 0