Drobo has beefed up its five-slot Drobo FS network-attached stage (NAS) box by adding three more drive bays and a replication feature. The DroboPro FS, like the desktop storage DroboPro and the multi-host SAN (storage area network) Drobo Elite, has eight drive bays plus a Drobo Sync facility for replicating data to a second …
Not a chance...
Good luck with trying that, we looked into these as an entry priced 'self managing' NAS. Two boxes later and we sent it back, these are for hobbyists at best.
8 Drives with new 3TB Drives makes this new Drobo end-of-life
We looked very carefully at Drobo unit when we were looking for a small NAS to upgrade & replace multiple mirrored pairs on a desktop system, but decided against it. There was a 16 TB file system limit and we needed our storage to survive more than a few years.
Once you plug 8x3TB drive into this new unit, there is 24 TB of capacity, and unfortunately the Drobo used an old Linux technology which limited file systems to 16 TB. I am curious whether Drobo resolved this, 16 TB still seems to be the top-end file system size and 2TB drives seem to be the largest capacity drive recommended (8 slots x 2TB =16TB.)
The Drobo did not support external drives or ZFS, which made it a very short-term platform. We do not need enterprise storage (like EMC), but we needed something more forward looking than what the Drobo offered.
To satisfy the storage needs that we had (billboards, hours of 1080p high-defnition video editing, etc.) - we went with a dedicated Solaris ZFS system, which has been working flawlessly, even after multiple OS upgrades.
We are getting close to needing an upgrade again - adding new 3TB drives will be very nice, since they were just announced.
The process of adding flash to the existing platform to increase storage performance is enticing. The system performs adequately now, but once new storage capacity is added, terabytes of new capacity will probably drive the need to add more cache. Fash makes the performance of the existing ZFS platforms sing by merely plugging it in.
This does not make ZFS perfect. Drobo has the ability to swap out a smaller drive with a larger drive, with automatic rebuilding to leverage the larger drive. This is a VERY NICE FEATURE with Drobo. With ZFS, if a smaller drive dies and we want to swap it out, we swap out the pair of the smaller drives (one failed, one mirror), and then we can expand the storage to consume the capacity of the swapped larger pair. (Yes, we can run RAIDZ, in a single stripe, but chose concatenated mirrored pairs with ZFS.)
Drobo offers a neat sweet spot (bigger than a mirrored pair, smaller than enterprise storage, with cost-effective single-drive swap), but to really be significant in the workgroup storage arena, they need to be more forward looking.
To be competitive, Drobo needs: ZFS, external storage connectors, read flash, and write flash options.
Sounds interesting, but the world wonders...
...why they haven't qualified 3TB disks (available from Seagate and WD) for this box yet.
When I shell out a cool two grand for the diskless RAID server, it seems kind of logical that I want to put the highest capacity disks in it - and that would be, as of right now, 3TB disks and not 2TB disks.
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