Drobo

You don't get what you pay for....

Ok… I know you pay the “Drobo Tax”(akin to the “Apple Tax”) when you buy drobo stuff in general but seriously… I’ve found the drobopro FS for $1800 at the cheapest. If you add in the cost of drives say around $100 each you can expect to shell out around $2600 per unit. All you really get is some NAS action and the ability to remotely sync files… BUT ONLY IF YOU PURCHASE TWO… which costs another $2600. SO now that we are at $5200 we get to store things relatively safely and sync files between two locations. I like their target market too, “small and home businesses”. Like Joe Shmoe is going to want to spend $5200 to sync files between his bedroom and his garage. For that amount of money Joe Shmoe could buy two servers and two installs of windows server 2008 R2 for about $3500. Then he would be able to sync files using DFSR which is the most robust file syncing utility anywhere at the moment. Not to mention all of the other wonderful things you could do with two win2k8 R2 servers. Then Joe would still have almost $2000 to put into some decent NAS unit(s). Why pay for what you don’t get? By the way I have a drobo S and a drobo FS. I’m not against drobo or data robotics. I’m just amazed at the arrogance in them asking so much for so little. Thoughts? Does any one agree or am I just off my rocker?

i buy drobo just because im not poor.

really.

I agree, you simply dont get good value for your money.
Though I am one of them who can afford and will pay a little “Apple/Drobo-Tax” for things that look nice and just work. But the difference from a Drobo device and say an “Apple-Drobo” device is that it would have been quiet and had way better performance.

So then are you the same person who would buy a $50,000 Chevette rather than a $50,000 Cadillac just because you have the money? That’s not a perfect comparison whatsoever, I’m just poking fun. I do see the scenario where… if for personal use… I wouldn’t want two huge servers laying around but two nice black boxes would be nice, but how many drobopro FS’s are going to be used for personal use?

There is a market that the Drobo fits well into and that is one where performance isn’t on the top 5 list of “must haves”. And I’m not being snarky. If you must have high performance then Drobo isn’t the box for you. The niche it serves well are the non-technical folks who just want a box full o’ drives where they can store their stuff. They don’t want to have to deal with knowing about the different types of RAID, drive specifications, etc. It works well for them.

Having said that I don’t understand the market segment that the DroboPro FS and Elite are targeted at. If you are spending $2500 (with drives) on a box (Pro FS) or $3500 (Elite) chances are you have a consultant hawking said box to you. If that’s the case s/he should have the expertise to set up a NAS box, it takes less than 30 minutes to configure. At that same price point are some really first class 8-slot medium to high-performance NAS. For the price on an Elite I can drop in two 8-slot NAS with about 12 drives and get replication and dual-drive redundancy. So…I’m kind of lost on who either would appeal to. Doesn’t mean that there isn’t a market, just not one that is obvious to me.

I am a small business and power home user and I didn’t buy the DroboPro or DroboElite simple because it’s over-priced for my needs.

I held out for the release of the Drobo FS which is still pricey compared to other small home NAS devices, but the easily expandable RAID made it worth it in my opinion. The performance is so-so and the apps haven’t lived up to the hype, but I’m still happy with it. The issue I have now is that I can’t convince anyone else I know to pay the price for a Drobo when they can buy Home servers with better features for a lot less.

Now that is funny!! That would have to be one tricked out Chevette.

Now that is funny!! That would have to be one tricked out Chevette.
[/quote]

I am from Sweden and with our taxes that kind of money you get just an average family vehicle.

back to drobo, i just love the easy way to expande the storage, my time doing something else but migrating normal raid sollutions to larger onces is well worth the extra money you pay for a drobo device.

caver…I was just looking at how to do that on my 8-slot NAS. It’s not “plug in a drive and wait” easy but it’s also not too difficult. Basically I plug in the drive and tell the box via the web interface to expand the volume to include the new drive and wait. Viola, expanded volume.

Which is better? Neither as it depends on what you like/want/need. I like the positive confirmation that “yep, I want to expand the storage” rather than have the box make an assumption. But then, like you, I’d like to have log files too. :slight_smile:

For another comparison to a low-end home NAS device, I recently swapped the drives in a DLink NAS. I replaced the mirrored drives with larger drives and it was not at all easy and was limited after several hours over 2 days.

After swapping the first drive, it created a second volume in the next space and magically shared them both as volume1 making me think I lost all the data. Deleting the second volume cleared that up.

After swapping the second drive, I had the volume1 mirror rebuilt on the new drives. The admin now only lets you create a new volume on the second drive but it can’t be mirrored. The space on the first drive is now unavailable. There is no way to expand the drives and every tool I’ve tried does’t want to touch the RAID volumes.

At this point, I will have to copy all the data off the device, delete the volumes and recreate them to get the new space and then copy the data back.

I know this is not a real comparison to devices in the DroboPro FS price point, but for a small biz user without a real tech department the Data Robotics RAID is very robust and easy to use solution…at least making the Drobo FS a good solution if you don’t exceed it’s limits.

j_hah…I don’t doubt it. D-Link (among some others) never did thrill me much overall. I did a lot of shopping before settling on a NAS and actually sold my first one (Netgear ReadyNAS) because their support for AFP (Apple) at the time wasn’t all that great. It may have improved since then, I haven’t checked.

I then got a Drobo 2nd gen and can’t fault the ease of us aspect. It’s the performance on this box that rubs me raw. I didn’t expect NAS speed but I didn’t expect <10MB/s using FW800 either. (That’s a sustained read speed. If I’m going after one file it can hit 25MB/s. If I run the Kona test benchmarks it falls in the middle at around 15MB/s.) At that speed moving any large amount of data around is painful. That’s when I started shopping for a NAS again.

I settled on a QNAP 4-slot (TS-439) after a lot of reading. It was easy (for me) to set up and I helped a photographer friend set his up (he uses Lightroom and needs to move large files around). Expanding volumes is nearly as easy as Drobo (I say nearly since you do need to tell it what to do). The downside is that if one isn’t technical then there is a learning curve. Once set up, however, it’s not any more difficult to manage than Drobo (though Drobo Dashboard is much nicer to deal with than a bunch of web pages).

I recently decided to add another box to the mix and gave Drobo a second, third and fourth look, specifically the Drobo Pro and Drobo S. My target is to get roughly 40 to 50MB/s sustained, a bit less than a FW800 attached drive but about three times more than my 2nd gen. My options are FW800 and iSCSI, no eSATA and so the Pro looked most promising. It looks like I’d get my speed expectation but for the price I could also get an 8-slot QNAP which is much faster. And comes with more diagnostics (not a must have but nice since I am quite capable of troubleshooting). Downside is that it’s not plug and play easy as Drobo and uses a so-so web interface for management.

I finally settled on the 8-slot QNAP as I couldn’t ignore the performance difference, which for me is important. I’m now in the process of migrating what data I was storing on Drobo (basically second tier storage, stuff I have stored elsewhere but want a second back up of). Getting that 2.33TB of data off of Drobo was an 85 hour effort. I’m now left trying to decide whether to move Drobo to where I planned (as a archival backup destination for our computers…performance isn’t important there) or simply decommission and sell it. I have to admit that getting 8MB/s of reads during the migration was very disappointing and so is the cause for my doubts. Normally on a local copy using the same software I’ll get around 25MB/s from FW800 so I expected more. What’s worse is that this is about the same speed I had gotten when I originally migrated to Drobo and when I moved data around when the QNAP 4-slot arrived. Soooo…nothing in recent BeyondRAID updates seems to have improved my situation.

Any way, the only real point of this ramble is that if I were to spend >$2,000 on a solution I’d expect it to be the best solution for me. Drobo Pro FS and Elite may well fill a niche where performance isn’t important. However Elite is marketed to the small data center environment and I can tell you (since that’s my career) for the price I’d go with other options. Buiocchi saying that they’re to only player at that end of the market doesn’t make it so. (Though it is common these days to repeat something so often that people believe it.) To me it’s sort of like paying for a Mercedes and getting a small Ford 4-banger under the hood when you could pay for a Mercedes and get a Mercedes under the hood.

i work with computers all say. at home i just want my shit to work. the less interaction from me the better. price isnt really that important.

i would never dream of deploying drobos at work due the the poor performance for our needs.

IT has been my career all of my adult life and I just want my stuff to work too. I also want to get fair warning when something is starting to fail as I really hate surprises. If I can do all that and for the same price get decent performance I’ll go with it.

I reset the Drobo today and started pushing the files I want to store on it over and got 28MB/s for the first push and 26MB/s for the second and third. I’m on the fourth now and we’ve slowed to 13.5MB/s with Drobo being only 10% full. The difference appears to be that file sizes. The first three rounds were all large files (~500MB to 1GB each) and this last one is lots of smaller files (Word documents, email and such so from a few KB to a couple of MB at most).

I totally agree with that. I bought the DLink a few years ago because Drobo didn’t have a real NAS solution and I wanted a cheap sort term device while I waited for what become the FS. DroboShare doesn’t count as a NAS but that is another topic. Overall the DLink surprised me as a solid cheap solution for good performance and stability but not ultimately what I wanted.

Thanks for the comparison. I originally looked at the first QNAP 4-slots when they first showed up but I wasn’t sure how flexible and expandable the RAID was and at that time there wasn’t a lot of unbiased info about them yet.

[quote=“Buzz_Lightyear, post:10, topic:1912”]
Any way, the only real point of this ramble is that if I were to spend >$2,000 on a solution I’d expect it to be the best solution for me. Drobo Pro FS and Elite may well fill a niche where performance isn’t important. However Elite is marketed to the small data center environment and I can tell you (since that’s my career) for the price I’d go with other options. [/quote]

Agreed! As an IT professional as well, I don’t see the Pro FS and Elite as a smart small biz data center solution at all based on price and performance.

Second that, I was looking to implement Drobo in my company as simple storage solution with maybe backup to other site … so I bought one for myself to see what it was all about …
No thanks, I’ve got 50 local users, I’m not going to risk business bacause of all the hassle, I’m going to stick with a 15 000 euro server with normal RAID and Windows server.

If Drobo cleans up their act I might buy the next one that comes out but not until firmware, apps and support is good.

I have 'em for personal use. :)[hr]

I have 'em for personal use. :)[hr]

I have 'em for personal use. :slight_smile:

I am the person that purchased the DroboPro FS and I have to say I wish I had done a better job of researching. The device is slow and a serious pain when setting up the different applications. My motivation was to have easy expandability and remove the need to purchase multiple units of the same hard drives in case of failure. I got it but I can’t say I am completely satisfied. I do have to say though that I saved money buying the Drobo compared to a QNAP.