Drobo

Win7 32bit SIIG FW800 and 1.6.8 = Awesome

Thought I’d drop by and report some good things. My setup, Windows 7 and Firewire 800 is working very smoothly since I’ve upgraded to 1.6.8 and firmware 1.36. The computer stays on all the time, used as a server. Drobo spins hard drives down when supposed to, and wakes up drives reliably. I’m extremely happy, and it’s SMOKING FAST when reading and writing data. No problems at all.

Here are my specs:
Dell Optiplex
P4 2.8Ghz
2GB RAM
SIIG FW800 PCI Card - 5.36 Unibrain driver
Windows 7 Pro - 32bit
Drobo version 2 w/2-750GB segates and 1-1TB Hitachi
Dashboard 1.6.8
Firmware 1.3.6

I hope this helps any that fall in a similar boat. I will be very slow to upgrade when a new firmware or dashboard version comes out, unless it offers proper drive size reporting for the windows side.

Now you got me curious… Two questions:

  1. Is the SIIG FW800 card 32-bit or 64-bit PCI (long or short PCI)?
  2. What kind of read/write speeds are you getting?

It’s the 32-bit hardware. As for read write speeds, I can’t quantify and provide numbers right now. I’ve been transfering stuff between usb drives for years, and I can tell you while the usb 2.0 drobo connection is not up to par with normal usb 2.0 drives, the FW800 certainly makes up for the speed. I can honestly say it transfered about 500GB much much faster from another USB 2.0 drive to the drobo with FW800, than just moving the same 500GB from one external USB 2.0 drive to other USB 2.0 drive.

Relative, but still good info. Thanks!

I installed PassMark’s benchmark software and here are some numbers based on my above setup:

Sequential Read (Uncached)
7.3 MB/Sec

Sequential Write (Uncached)
4.3 MB/Sec

400MB/sec is wholly unrealistic for any drobo, even the elite, i suspect its falling foul of some caching somewhere or possibly its doing dummy read from the “virtualised” space of the drobo - i.e. where there isnt any data

You’re right…I am unexperienced at this stuff, and I noticed the test was set to ‘cached’. I set it to uncached and now it reports more realistic numbers. I will edit my orignal post.

Hmm, I should run a Passmark test on my Drobo (I bought PerformanceTest a while ago for another project)… will have to remember to try it later.

Ok guys, the numbers I posted earlier, just don’t seem right. Probably because I don’t know how to benchmark stuff.

So instead I just copied a 1GB movie from the drobo to the C: drive and it took 23 seconds. That’s 44MB/sec. I renamed the same file, then copied it back onto drobo and it took 85 seconds… That’s 12MB/sec…

thoughts? Does that sound right?

We use HD Tach to benchmark the Drobo on Windows machines.