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Thread: DROBO Storage device

  1. #101
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    Quote Originally Posted by curtd View Post
    Yes, thank you, I have the Drobo Dashboard, newest version and it works fine. I was more curious about how you were "filling it". Do you use SuperDuper or something like that and how?

    Peace, Curt
    Okay, got it now

    I use Carbon Copy Cloner and do scheduled copies from my working file drive to the DROBO. My current schedule is 1x daily, but I have considered changing this to a higher frequency. I also do a manual copy (via CCC) immediately after any large upload of images to my working drive. For example, after a shoot I will create a folder for the job on my working file drive, upload the images from the cards to that shoot folder (or folders), then launch CCC and run a manual "image synch" so the new shoot is immediately backed up to DROBO.

    Cheers,
    Jack
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  2. #102
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    Quote Originally Posted by dlew308 View Post
    Has anyone looked into amazon's online storage solution? I forgot all about it, I may check into that again.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html?node=16427261
    I use a variation on the backup strategy that Jack has described:
    * internal hard drives to store current photos
    * External 2-bay (WiebeTech eSATA) RAID 1 enclosure for redundant backups (I cycle four drives through this device, keeping two drives in the device and the other two at separate offsite locations).

    I also back up the contents of each CF card (immediately after download) to DVDs which are then stored at my two offsite locations.

    However, I've also started to back up my "selects" (any image rated with one star or more in Photo Mechanic) to Amazon's S3 using Jungle Disk, which is available for Macintosh, Linux, and Windows. The software is $20 (there's a free 30-day trial) and can be installed on as many machines as you want with a single S3 account. Your data can be encrypted.

    Amazon's charges are:
    * $0.15 per GB-Month of storage used
    * $0.10 per GB of data uploaded
    * $0.17 per GB of data downloaded

    I also opted for the Jungle Disk Plus service which costs $1 per month. This enables block-level file updates (allowing you to upload only the changed portions of large files) and upload resume (so you can resume uploads of large files where they left off).

    The Jungle Disk software allows you to mount your Amazon S3 storage bucket as a network drive. You then drag files and folders to initiate the upload process or you can schedule automatic backups. My ADSL connection isn't super-fast but I've found that the Jungle Disk + Amazon S3 combination works pretty much as advertised, providing an extra level of redundancy for a couple of dollars a month.

  3. #103
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    One of my external drives died a couple days ago. Been a wake up call to get my storage situation fixed. Luckily I didn't lose any pictures. Are people still happy with the Drobo? This is the solution I'm looking at right now. Has anything better appeared on the market recently?

  4. #104
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    Quote Originally Posted by cjlacz View Post
    One of my external drives died a couple days ago. Been a wake up call to get my storage situation fixed. Luckily I didn't lose any pictures. Are people still happy with the Drobo? This is the solution I'm looking at right now. Has anything better appeared on the market recently?
    Solid state drives. How much money do you have?

    I'm sticking with my array of WD Passport drives. They're cheap. And unless I get stupid (I always keep that option open, just in case ) they are no more or less vulnerable that the 'C' drive in my computer. SSDs are projected to drop in price at around 26%/year over the next 3 years. I'll be looking a solid state alternatives for working mass storage at that time.

  5. #105
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    I'm definitely not rich enough for solid state. I've got 5 external drives, well 4 now with a lot of other stuff on them too. Living in the tiny apartment I am now the multitude of cables and power supplies is a PITA so I was looking to consolidate a bit more. Amazon Japan doesn't seem to sell the Drobo anymore so I'm going to have to start hunting. Maybe in 5 or 10 years I can look at solid state. No much interest in this topic anymore guess. Thanks for the reply!

  6. #106
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    cjlacz: I am very happy with my Drobo, it has 4 1TB drives in it and I use LaCie's "Silverkeeper" software to keep it up to date. I bought Carbon Copy Cloner but don't like it.

  7. #107
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    The Drobo is a fine but slow, easy to administer device, which I recommend for backups or archival only due to their speed especially their write-rate.
    The FW800 version tests my patience.
    Several utilities work just fine with it invlufing CCC, Silverkeeper, Superduper! and time machine. I do NOT recommend time machine in for use with the Drobo, only because the device is so slow and TM activates so often. I schedule my Drobo/CCC backups nightly (at my scheduled down times) but sweep important archives to external HD. I suggest using at least a pair of striped drives for TM. A six internal drive configuration is really sweet for flexibility and performance.
    -bob

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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    Hmm, that slow huh? Well it sounds like it would work well to keep my Aperture vault and downloads, but not my library. I'll use my freed up drives for time machine and to store my Aperture library. I currently have a Macbook pro and live in a 200 sq foot apartment, so a big desktop isn't an option as much as I'd like a Mac Pro. (nor can I afford it at this current job with the other stuff I want) Thanks for the feedback!

    (after a short time searching the web)

    Ouch, I wasn't wrong. The price has gone up. Over $1000US for the drobo and wireless thingy. That's a little too much for that box.

    I found something cool, Netgear's ReadyNAS system got upgraded to X-Raid2, so it grows with mixed sized disks like the Drobo (X-Raid 1 won't). They've got a 6-bay system for only a couple hundred more (I hope!) then the Drobo would cost, and it would be hell of a lot faster. More then I want to spend, so I'd have to put the camera purchase off a bit longer, but this would last me longer and be a lot more flexible. I'll have to start searching Akihabara in January.

  9. #109
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    Folks, when Bob says "slow" it is relative to the rest of his system where he runs a bank of SAS drives in a RAID-0 stripe...

    My FW800 DROBO does large file reads and writes at 50MB/s sustained -- that's MB with a *big* "B" . No, that is not anywhere near as fast my striped array for working image files reads and writes, but it is plenty fast for back-up and archive. The big benefit is it is bone simple easy to maintain and manage -- in fact it does that all by itself. It is also virtually silent, which I like.
    Jack
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  10. #110
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    Just ordered my second Drobo ... this one is FW 800 with four 1.5 TB 7200 RPM drives for a whopping 6 TB of storage. A Bit over $1K total.

    I'll transfer some data from my older USB-2 Drobo and use it for Time Machine back-up.

  11. #111
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    My Drobo is pretty slow on writes, about 15/MBs. It's much faster on reads. For me this is not much of a problem; TM runs every hour but never backs up much and is done in a few seconds. It doesn't touch my Photos or Video, those I 'save' by manually copying them to the Drobo. So it's really only the system and generic user files, including iTunes, but this stuff doesn't have large changes very frequently. Mostly when I rip a new CD or install some application, which isn't every day. I also clone my boot disk, which is probably overkill given TM, but I like the idea of being able to reboot immediately without any restoration process.

  12. #112
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    Jan, you set yours up via the LAN adapter didn't you? Wonder if that's why it's slower?
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  13. #113
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    Right now it's on attached directly to the Mac Pro. The DroboShare doesn't really affect it much, other than it caps at about 30MB/s on reads unless jumbograms are enabled - which they aren't by default. There's a little DroboApp to turn on jumbograms for gbe.

  14. #114
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    Hi all,
    I'm in the middle of setting up a Drobo. What was the final consensus on sizing the volume? I've currently got three 1tb drives in it?

    Thanks,
    Terry

  15. #115
    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    Terry,
    I sized mine to 16TB.
    I am not sure that it is optimal, but it will allow growth to there.
    -bob

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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    From something I read they said the size affected the boot time of the Drobo, but after they tried timing it at 4TB and 16TB that difference was small, 15 seconds or something? I'd just set it at the max from what they found.

  17. #117
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    I never ended up seeing the final boot time for the 16tb so I set it to 8tb. By the time I'm up to using 4 2tb drives and fill it up I figure I will have reconfigured my tech. I'm just a lowly 12 megapixel shooter so I'm not making 16 bit medium format files.

  18. #118
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    There is a new firmware available for DROBO, ver 1.3.

    Apparently, it is *NOT* available through the "Check for Updates" button on the Drobo Dashboard -- I know, inexcusably poor service from the Drobo folks...

    I was having an issue with variable readability of one of my Spinpoints and they suggested this update -- which is the only way I found out about it!


    First, a big *NOTE* from Drobo: Do not upgrade to v1.3.0 without already being at firmware v1.1.2 or higher!!!

    Instructions for install:
    http://www.drobo.com/Docs/Software/D...boFirmware.pdf

    Official release notes:
    http://www.drobo.com/Docs/Software/D..._1%203%200.pdf

    Finally, the Firmware file:
    http://www.drobo.com/Docs/Software/D...3.0/v1.3.0.tdz


    It all installed just fine, and yes you do use the CTRL key on the Mac too, not the CMD key

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  19. #119
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    There is a new firmware available for DROBO, ver 1.3.

    Apparently, it is *NOT* available through the "Check for Updates" button on the Drobo Dashboard -- I know, inexcusably poor service from the Drobo folks...

    I was having an issue with variable readability of one of my Spinpoints and they suggested this update -- which is the only way I found out about it!


    First, a big *NOTE* from Drobo: Do not upgrade to v1.3.0 without already being at firmware v1.1.2 or higher!!!

    Instructions for install:
    http://www.drobo.com/Docs/Software/D...boFirmware.pdf

    Official release notes:
    http://www.drobo.com/Docs/Software/D..._1%203%200.pdf

    Finally, the Firmware file:
    http://www.drobo.com/Docs/Software/D...3.0/v1.3.0.tdz


    It all installed just fine, and yes you do use the CTRL key on the Mac too, not the CMD key

    Cheers,
    Here's a heads up .... DO NOT BUY THE 1.5 TB DRIVES FROM DROBO.

    REPEAT, DO NOT BUY THE 1.5 TB DRIVES !!!!!!

    Biggest circle jerk I've every encountered. The Sales person at the Drobostore said that Drobo had finally certified 1.5 TB 7200 RPM Seagate drives, so I order 4 of them and
    a new Drobo FW800. Didn't work, screwed around with it for a day. Thought it might be the firmware and downloaded that for both Drobos. Didn't work. The Drobo would just shut down after awhile because the drives just froze up.

    Tried a number of times to reach tech support ... finally reached them and was told only certain Seagate part numbers and firmware would work ... none of which were the ones THEY SOLD ME! Was given the support number for Seagate as was told they would swap them out for the right part number/firmware ... Seagate Tech Support never heard of Drobo and they had to look them up on Google.

    Called Drobo back again and was told that they have no idea what part number is being shipped because they're sealed in the package. Was promised a RMA to return the drives for a refund ... never heard from Drobo ... no phone call, no e-mail, nothing.

    BUYER BEWARE !

  20. #120
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Here's a heads up .... DO NOT BUY THE 1.5 TB DRIVES FROM DROBO.

    REPEAT, DO NOT BUY THE 1.5 TB DRIVES !!!!!!

    Biggest circle jerk I've every encountered. The Sales person at the Drobostore said that Drobo had finally certified 1.5 TB 7200 RPM Seagate drives, so I order 4 of them and
    a new Drobo FW800. Didn't work, screwed around with it for a day. Thought it might be the firmware and downloaded that for both Drobos. Didn't work. The Drobo would just shut down after awhile because the drives just froze up.

    Tried a number of times to reach tech support ... finally reached them and was told only certain Seagate part numbers and firmware would work ... none of which were the ones THEY SOLD ME! Was given the support number for Seagate as was told they would swap them out for the right part number/firmware ... Seagate Tech Support never heard of Drobo and they had to look them up on Google.

    Called Drobo back again and was told that they have no idea what part number is being shipped because they're sealed in the package. Was promised a RMA to return the drives for a refund ... never heard from Drobo ... no phone call, no e-mail, nothing.

    BUYER BEWARE !
    I'm not a fan of this company either, I got rid of mine when I realized that they charge for firmware updates. I had a DroboShare bought months after the Drobo which I couldn't upgrade it firmware without paying of Drobo's license, its absurd and unheard of for this type of product! I returned to using LaCie Raids and Network Raid systems which I've used for many years, much, much faster, great tech support and no rip-off charges for firmware upgrades.

  21. #121
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    FWIW, I have had the new firmware installed for a few days now and it seems very stable and does appear to have alleviated my drive reading problem. Also noteworthy is it does appear to have sped things up significantly(!) I'll run a test later this week to confirm, but definitely seems to be transferring files about 30% faster than before.
    Jack
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  22. #122
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    A little update. I've decided to forgo a Drobo or Raid box, partially because of the prices here. I'm going to build a storage box using ZFS. It's quite nice from what I can tell and should be considerably cheaper. I'm looking at a 9TB server for less then $1500. It can offer protection against either a single or double drive failure and supports hot spares. It's more reliable then a cheap RAID solution and actually looks really easy to set up. It's also really easy to recover if your OS dies for some reason.

    Hopefully I'll build it within a couple weeks. If anyone is interested I can either post more about ZFS or how the system build goes.
    Charles - flickr

  23. #123
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    Hi Charles,

    Your project sounds very interesting, so please do start a thread outlining your experiences setting up the ZFS box!
    Jack
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  24. #124
    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    FWIW, I have had the new firmware installed for a few days now and it seems very stable and does appear to have alleviated my drive reading problem. Also noteworthy is it does appear to have sped things up significantly(!) I'll run a test later this week to confirm, but definitely seems to be transferring files about 30% faster than before.
    this only works if your support 'contract' is in effect. if not, then it will not allow you to update firmware (or anything else for that matter).

  25. #125
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    People planning their storage needs might want to read this white paper (PDF format) from Wiebetech. It discusses the various ways that disk mechanisms can be configured in an enclosure (irrespective of how they're accessed) and gives a statistical treatment of the various configurations' risks of unrecoverable data loss purely as a result of hardware failure.

    One key finding is that some multi-disk configurations are more reliable than a single disk, while others are drastically less reliable. And since hard drive manufacturers often don't advertise what drive-mechanism configuration is inside the enclosure, you may not find out you've got the drastically-less-reliable variant until you suffer complete, unrecoverable data loss. (Ask me how I know this...)

    Naturally the examples in the white paper mostly reference Wiebetech drive enclosures, but since the statistics deal solely with mechanical failure, they should apply to any type of enclosure. A few factoids are out of date since the paper was written in 2006 (for example, at that time 500GB was the size limit for drive mechanisms, while 1TB mechanisms are widely available now) but the basic principles are still worth understanding.

  26. #126
    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    Anybody getting rid of his/her Drobo v2? I am in the market.
    -Brad

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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    I'm about ready to add storage. I thought the Drobo might be a good choice, but after reading the entire thread I'm not sure. I really don't like it that you are charged for updates, it's a friggin' hard drive!

    Now that you guys have had yours for a while, what are your feelings? Still happy with it?

  28. #128
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    My 1.5 TB issues were sorted out and Drobo gave me a free 1TB drive for my trouble.

    The fee is not only for updates, it extends the original warranty. Don't know if it's worth it or not, but I just did it ... at least for this first time.

  29. #129
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    I have had an original one for quite a while now, and didn't have to pay for firmware updates so far, although I have updated. Is that a U.S. thing only?
    Carsten - Website

  30. #130
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    My Drobo just updated it's firmware this morning, for free and it was easy.

    I have 4 1TB's in a 2nd gen Drobo and it works flawlessly, without my having to know how to setup RAID, etc. and it seems to be very stable and secure. So it's not just hard drives, it's a system that works and I gladly pay for anything that flat works! (Like the Mac for instance, I pity anyone stuck in Windoze)

  31. #131
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    Quote Originally Posted by jklotz View Post
    I'm about ready to add storage. I thought the Drobo might be a good choice, but after reading the entire thread I'm not sure. I really don't like it that you are charged for updates, it's a friggin' hard drive!

    Now that you guys have had yours for a while, what are your feelings? Still happy with it?
    I think that I've had mine longer than most people here, which means that my Drobo is over a year old and I have to pay for firmware updates which I wasn't told about at the time of purchase; and refuse to do so. Specially when its really for bug fixes under the guise of feature enhancements. Like you said its only a hard drive what new tricks is it going to do?

    Recently I posted another thread complaining about the time it takes to rebuild 600 gigs of data when I was informed by Drobo's software that I was running out of space and had to replace a drive with a larger one. At the same time I needed to upgrade my in warranty DroboShare but couldn't since the Drobo unit was out of the free service period. Anyway they resolved the issue by allowing a one time Drobo firmware upgrade along with the DS upgrade. After the upgrades I see that the Drobo software is showing only 300 gigs of data instead of the 600+ gigs when it asked for a new drive.

    Now you can think of the drive correctly reading the amount of data on it a feature enhancement but its old fashioned BS in my books. It cost me a new drive for nothing along with the inconvenience and risk of losing all my data during the rebuild because of a bug in their software and they expect us to pay them again after selling us an unfinished product. I wish I had customers like that!

  32. #132
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    Quote Originally Posted by curtd View Post
    My Drobo just updated it's firmware this morning, for free and it was easy.

    I have 4 1TB's in a 2nd gen Drobo and it works flawlessly, without my having to know how to setup RAID, etc. and it seems to be very stable and secure. So it's not just hard drives, it's a system that works and I gladly pay for anything that flat works! (Like the Mac for instance, I pity anyone stuck in Windoze)
    Ditto on the Firmware upgrade.

  33. #133
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    Quote Originally Posted by cjlacz View Post
    A little update. I've decided to forgo a Drobo or Raid box, partially because of the prices here. I'm going to build a storage box using ZFS. It's quite nice from what I can tell and should be considerably cheaper. I'm looking at a 9TB server for less then $1500. It can offer protection against either a single or double drive failure and supports hot spares. It's more reliable then a cheap RAID solution and actually looks really easy to set up. It's also really easy to recover if your OS dies for some reason.

    Hopefully I'll build it within a couple weeks. If anyone is interested I can either post more about ZFS or how the system build goes.
    I have built such a system, and for the most part it works quite well. It does stress the rest of the components, such as your switch, network cabling, etc. I'll try to pull some details together and start another thread.

    Charles, PM me if you need any assistance. This is my first solaris box, so I'm pretty green, but will help if I can!

    -Scott

  34. #134
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    Made some update edits on the first post regarding my system.

    Bottom line is it's been well over 6 months and this unit is performing its duties admirably. In that time I have had one drive fail. DROBO alerted me, I yanked the bad drive and replaced it, no worries. Unit is very quiet (it's sitting on the floor right under my Mac Pro stand) and so quiet I only know it's there because of the icon on my desktop.

    Almost didn't share this -- but at one point I had a small emergency where I needed a drive for another purpose, so figured WTF and yanked one of the drives from DROBO to use temporarily. Not that I'd recommend that as regular practice, but it worked just fine and handled the abrupt yank and subsequent re-insertion a day later with grace
    Jack
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  35. #135
    Subscriber Member mwalker's Avatar
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    I bought one it arrived Friday. It took me 15 min to set it up and 3 hours for time machine to run a back up. So far I'm impressed, I would recommend it to my mother

    I like things to be easy.
    Mike

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  36. #136
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    Since I just got a new laptop a big decision was what to do with 2 tb of shooting data. I had it in my MacPro so this was a big decision what to do. I got one yesterday actually and I had to buy 2 free drives to start than add my other 2 as i loaded them up . Have to say this was about the easiest thing I ever had to do and to make it like my MacPro so I see the icons for three separate drives I just put there alias on the desktop of the three folders on the Drobo. This way my mental thoughts have not changed I just drop folders into the right alias and forget about it. Now this is computing the way it should be done EASY. I still have about 1.5 TB left until I need to bump a drive up to 2gb. I set mine up according to what Jack did and made it 16TB setup . By that time the 2TB drives will be 120 each . Really a nice setup and really helped me on the switch over to laptop only. I have this thing going pretty dang fast for a laptop.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  37. #137
    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: DROBO Storage device

    I went with Netgear, got an NV+ four-disk NAS. It's an outgoing model and it was priced about half of the Drobo with network adapter. The newer Netgear model NVX works more like Drobo in that you can use disks of different sizes.

    Netgear is betatesting firmware that supports TimeMachine, but it's not released yet.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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