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Thread: Drobo updates?

  1. #1
    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Drobo updates?

    After following Guy s "hot rodding" the MacBook Pro (always a risky proposition)....I now must attack the issue of STORAGE. This will kill me with the next release of 20-40MP cameras verses my M8 and D3 . For now I use LR exclusively and don t see PS as an issue (for me) . My raw storage requirements have been about 500GB year ..but will be closer to 750GB in 2009. This is somewhat scary as the next generation will be 2-3times that or over 2TB year . The price isn t the issue as much as "upward compatibility".
    (Thats my context so you can see what I am addressing).

    So ....how is that Drobo working out ?

    Would you do it again?

    Think its better than a eSata drive enclosure (like Diglloyd recommends)?

    Issues with the ongoing service agreement?

    Comments on off site backup ?

  2. #2
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Drobo updates?

    My Drobo setup has been working pretty darn good . In fact i had a drive fail and did not lose one byte of data. So it works. I keep all my raws there, actually right off the desktop as soon as I download I put the Raws in. Than after processing from the desktop to my finals than I put them in. Now on the e-sata Roger I have a express card connected to a external 3.5 size 640gb drive that I partitioned in 3 but mainly I have about 2 or 3 months of data in there just so I don't have to retrieve from the Drobo which is slower because it is Firewire 800. But I really like the Drobo and I see the 2tb drives are pretty cheap now but I would at least start with 4 1TB drives. You can always replace a drive with a bigger drive later or buy 2 2 TB drives and 2 1TB drives. Nice thing is you can mix and match drives up
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Drobo updates?

    BTW Jack really knows this setup well so maybe he will chime in also.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Drobo updates?

    Hi Roger,

    My DROBO is and has been working flawlessly once I decided to use only WD or Seagate 1TB drives. When the prices drop a bit further, I will probably migrate to all 2TB WD Green drives or possibly the new 2TB Seagate as it seems to be getting good reviews too.

    Advantage over other options is it allows you to add or mix drives as your storage needs change and manages your RAID-5 automatically. Downside is it is slow to write to or read large blocks of data from and slow to repair itself. The reality of my situation is I virtually never need to pull an image from DROBO, so the I/O speed is essentially moot -- however it may be for others so something to consider if that is your case.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Drobo updates?

    Thanks Guy. I know Jack and others favor the Drobo . My issues are closer to your requirements. I like to travel and move between Atlanta and Jupiter FL. I would like to have access to my entire LR library where ever I am . There are some LR specific processes that I have to consider like multiple libraries etc.

    If I never moved and maintained a digital darkroom ...I would have a Mac Pro and Drobo or a dedicated storage cabinet .

    But I don t think this changes the Drobo solution strengths and weaknesses. Unless I am reading something wrong it looks like the 1TB hitachi drives are down to two for $150 at OWC so for maybe a year I can stay within 3TB total and make it go.

    On the travel drive ....I would like the speed monster sonnet fusion F2 and the eSata. When you want to find something and show it you have only seconds to do so or most people glaze over . And if I ever get to a MF solution...then this might be what I need just to replace the small UBS portables I use.

    Thanks

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Drobo updates?

    Roger:

    Given the portability requirement you mentioned, you might want to consider running a pair (or 4) of these boxes: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/IcyDock/MB662UEAB2S/

    Two of these are the same cost as a 4-bay DROBO and you can easily set one up as the main in either BIG format or RAID-0 for speed, and then mirror to the other (I'd use BIG for this box for some added safety). You could then easily use BIG #2 as your portable library, leaving a full copy back at your home base.

    Second alternative is leave a DROBO at home, then mirror to one or two of these units as your portables. Kind of depends on your total storage requirements and budget, but this strategy would be virtually bomb proof assuming you keep the secondary boxes stored offsite except for scheduled mirroring. (And your total budget for a 4-drive DROBO, two 2-drive IcyDocks and 8 2TB drives is still less than the cost of a single M lens ) Anyway, FWIW this is the way I will be going soon. Currently I mirror my DROBO files to individual drives stored them offsite using this device: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer...gy/FWU2ES2HDK/, but a few 2-drive IcyDocks is clearly a more elegant solution AND adds a more reasonable portability option.

    Just some thoughts,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

  7. #7
    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Drobo updates?

    Good points .

    Then Drobo is ideal for backup and archiving ..but weak I/O performance may not make it ideal for a global LR solution...more research required.

    This comes from adopting LR as a DAM solution ..which is technically perfect(no redundancy of files) but resource intensive. These requirements are different from a software independent folder and archiving strategy...

    I think my requirements are closer to a stock photographer and maybe less event specific.
    e.g pulling together a portfolio of spring training pictures made over 5 seasons (I can do this but the files need to be online at the same time).

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Drobo updates?

    Also a cool solution but it ain't cheap http://eshop.macsales.com/item/CalDigit/VR2B2000/

    This you can actually take to different locations
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Drobo updates?

    Yes, and precisely why I am moving toward the second solution I mentioned above as it offers the best of both worlds and in reality quite cost-effective for 6TB of double-redundant image storage... You can do all of the above, DROBO and 2x IcyDock 2-bay boxes with 8x 2TB WD Green drives for around $2400. So about $400/TB or 40 cents per Gig of double-redundant, RAID-5-1 image storage.
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

  10. #10
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Drobo updates?

    One thing I want to get is a 64gb or bigger flash drive so i don't have to carry that portable LaCie around anymore when I go on a location shoot
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Drobo updates?

    OH !! I have serious work to do now. Guy I was thinking the same thing about the flash drives .

    One solution that I saw in Seth Resnick s book on LR is that he keeps all his previews at 100%. This allows him to use the previews for say a slide show without needing the raw files. Like having a large jpeg library on your laptop. Then I would have more modest requirements for travel.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Drobo updates?

    Jack Good heads up on the Icy drives..exactly what I was looking for . I use the Voyager now ....cheap but messy with bare *** drives.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Drobo updates?

    Ok reread everything on Diglloyd s website about RAID options and I am starting to get it. Looks to me that there might be 4 distinct requirements(which may differ by individual).

    1. Reliability- the objective is to eliminate or minimize lost data or TIME in the event of a disk failure. Drobo seems to excel here as in the event of a disk failure ..you plug in a new drive and the software recreates the storage. But it seems to take hours to do this ? overnight ? maybe fool proof but slow . Still an important requirement.

    2. Speed- this is where DL favors a RAID stripe like Guy uses in his MacBook Pro . When using a Drobo I am assuming you don t have a RAID stripe in operation elsewhere? The more you can separate your working files from your archive ..the easier this is.

    3. Backup- No real alternatives other than periodically backing up to drives that should be stored offsite. However my experience(with business applications) was that the real risk is that the backup itself is corrupt . Two levels of backup may mean you just have two sets of bad files. The Voyager works well its eSata and fast enough . I like the enclosed solutions better so more research.

    4. Portability-This is a high priority for me (and maybe to some extent Guy). I want more than storage for an event( the flash alternative is getting closer) and I need to be able to carry the external storage along with my MacBook Pro. The best I have found so far is the Sonnet Fusion F2 which is a 1TB ..2drive Raid stripe. This is eSATA so thats the best I can do with a portable drive . But 1TB isn t enough for the LR library ..so I would have to limit it to active folders (probably the best solution).

    HOW ARE YOU USING THE DROBO?

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Drobo updates?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post

    HOW ARE YOU USING THE DROBO?
    Roger:

    Here is my entire strategy:

    1) Working image files on a 4-drive RAID-0 array on my main machine. This gives me a large (over 2TB) hyper-fast read and write on all of my current images (last two or three years worth).

    2) I process off this array and write back to it, or directly to my 2-drive OS RAID-0 desktop, also fast and over 1TB of free space. Reading from one array and writing to the other allows for uber-fast batch processing of a large number of large files.

    3) ALL of my historical images are stored on my DROBO, including the current working image drive files. My current working images from the desktop array get backed up via scheduled back-up routines to the DROBO using Carbon Copy Cloner. NOTE that here I use the "do not erase" option when writing to the DROBO, so any redos of existing files where I don't change the name get added and the old file is archived. This overcomes the concern of overwriting a good file with a bad version.

    4) Periodically -- monthly and after any significant shoot -- I back DROBO up to individual bare drives using the Voyager device, and these bare drives are labelled and stored in plastic Weibietech drive boxes off-site.

    5) So with this arrangement I have speed and redundancy. Triple-redundancy on all my current images via single RAID-0 array to redundant RAID-5 DROBO to single offsite drive copies, then double-redundancy with historical images via redundant RAID-5 DROBO to single offsite drives.

    6) My upgrade to the Icy-Dock will be for the offsite copies which would gain me convenience and add improved image library portability.

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Drobo updates?

    Jack

    Thanks so much ....I think I can get the job done now. The big difference in my situation is that my main machine is a macBook Pro like Guy has. This means that my first level of storage for working files .....will be external to the laptop.

    To solve that problem I need a superfast Raid configuration on an eSata array. Since this really needs to be portable..its something like the Sonnet Fusion F2(expensive).

    The Drobo looks like a built proof backup solution (I can leave on my desk).

    Managing an archive of older raw images might be possible as well on the Drobo. Slower but high reliability.

    The final level is would be the offsite ..the voyager works well enough for now.

    I like the ICY solution as well ...looks like a great product. Time to get to work.

    Thanks

    You and guy saved me days .

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Drobo updates?

    For your main array box, OWC has some nice 4-drive eSATA raid enclosures you might want to consider. You'll need multi-lane box and an eSATA multilane express card for your MBP (expensive for a good one -- I recommend the Sonnet).

    Here's a 4-bay multi-lane eSATA with RAID: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other...g/MEQX2KIT0GB/

    Here's the express card: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Sonne.../SATAIIPROE34/
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Drobo updates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    For your main array box, OWC has some nice 4-drive eSATA raid enclosures you might want to consider. You'll need multi-lane box and an eSATA multilane express card for your MBP (expensive for a good one -- I recommend the Sonnet).

    Here's a 4-bay multi-lane eSATA with RAID: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other...g/MEQX2KIT0GB/

    Here's the express card: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Sonne.../SATAIIPROE34/
    Good ideas. I ordered the eSata card and the sonnet fusion f2 (for a mobile 1TB raid O ) solution for the road. Before I decide on the Drobo or maybe an eSata 4bay solution...I need to do the "white board planning" for my DAM and probable workflow. I look at the fusion F2 as a virtual extension of the MBP storage ..so it doesn t affect the Drobo decision or the offsite backup.

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    Re: Drobo updates?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    One solution that I saw in Seth Resnick s book on LR is that he keeps all his previews at 100%. This allows him to use the previews for say a slide show without needing the raw files. Like having a large jpeg library on your laptop. Then I would have more modest requirements for travel.
    We became a Drobo Dealer for the reasons outlined in this thread.

    The Drobo allows forward expansion of your storage without a major reinvestment in time/money/technology each time. One Drobo or Drobo Pro now can be expected to last many years as compared to constantly buying new single drives, or having to migrate/repopulate standard RAID arrays. Simply add a new drive and/or swap out an existing drive for a larger one.

    The fact that it is internally redundant (a drive failure does not cause any data loss) is a nice bonus.

    The one drawback is it is not ultra-fast (especially compared to multiple RAID 0 internal drives).

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Drobo updates?

    You know i really need a product list of what you guys sell. ROTFLMAO
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  20. #20
    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Drobo updates?

    To understand the Drobo it appears that you must decide if this to be used for active storage..e.g the original catalog,library etc ...if so you get the benefit of reliability but you are limited on speed. jack s main storage is on his MacPro where its fast data transfers..the Drobo is a backup and archiving respository..suitable for "batch " updates.

    My only processor is my "hot rodded" 2.93Ghz ,8GB,160GB SSD MacBook. My goal is to have a lot of my working files always available .. This means a small streamlined storage device. I settled on the sonnet Fusion F2 ..set up as a RAID 0 ...1TB ..(eSata). Its not going to be big enough or upward expandable ....but its portable . A 4 bay eSata isn t portable enough for my requirements.

    The 1st level of backup could be either a Drobo or a 4bay eSata ....its a speed or reliability issue and of course the Drobo has an ease of use that might save my butt.

    Depending on how I revise my DAM can have a huge impact on the requirements. If I accept a small amount of redundancy , I can reduce the active repository dramatically .

    Again thanks for the insights on the Drobo benefits...this seems like the right answer for the archive and backups.

    The 2bay eSata is super cool but just a little big for my trips .

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    Re: Drobo updates?

    I'm using the Netgear Readynas Pro Pioneer which I like. Better support in Japan, or I probably would of gone for the Drobo Pro. Performance is better then the Drobo with firewire 800, but the Pro should be faster with iSCSI.

    I'm going to to still caution people against raid-5 with these large drive 1-2 TB or more. Restores can take a lot of time and I recently had two drives fail, the second the day after I finished rebuilding from the first failure. If that had happened about 10 hours early my data would of been gone, but using RAID-6 (double redundancy) you are protected from an additional drive or read failure during rebuilds and drive upgrades. (Also a problem buying your drives all from the same batch)

    If it's work related you should always have another set of backups, but that's especially true with these large drives and using 'only' raid-5. It's not as safe as you think.

    My teacher recently lost a month's worth of photos, but fortunately no client photos, so he's learning not to trust new drives... the hard way. :-/
    Charles - flickr

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