I want a Drobo!

July 8, 2009 at 2:42 am Leave a comment

Perhaps it’s the fact that it is 3 AM now, and I’m really tired…  But I really think I want a Drobo.

Currently, I’m using the excellent ReadyNAS Pro Pioneer, which comes with a huge up-front price tag.  It is approved for use with mostly “Enterprise” level drives, which are also quite pricey.  Currently, I have three 500 GB Seagate drives of a model that, according to what I’ve read, have a horrid failure rate.  (A fact I only found out after one of mine started producing a significant number of errors.)

Anyhow, it is recommended to keep the drives all the same model.  I could simply add another of the same drive, but I’m not about to drop another dime on a bad model of drive.  Don’t get me wrong – I’ve had plenty of other Seagates that have worked fine, but a few of their recent models have had issues, and this happens to be one of them.

So, with that in mind, I really need to replace all three of these drives, one after the other.  What, you say?  Yes!  With X-RAID, only once the final drive has been replaced and integrated into the array will it upgrade the capacity of the array.  Now, it is impressive that it will do this, especially while still serving users, but this isn’t exactly the most home-user friendly way to do things.

Back to my issue, though.  I’d like to replace my drives with ones from the Western Digital Enterprise line that were about $159 each from Newegg.com the last time I checked.  Add shipping to that, and you’re talking close to $500.  In the end, I would have doubled my redundant capacity from the approximately 1 TB to 2 TB.

If I had a Drobo, on the other hand, I could just buy whichever model of drive is currently on sale, of whatever capacity I like, slap it in, and it will automatically maximize your redundant capacity.

Heck, if I simply took the three 500 GB drives I have now that the ReadyNAS gives me a total of 918 GB of usable space.  According to the Drobo Calculator tool, I’d have 929.3 GB of usable space on a Drobo with those same drives.  Somehow, it squeezes an extra 10 GB of drive space out of the same three drives… ??

What I’m really getting at is if I had a drobo with these three drives and ran low on capacity, I could just buy one of the recent $80 1 TB specials I’ve seen, and my redundant capacity would jump from 929.3 GB to 1.4 TB.  Then, I’d have added 50% more redundant storage for very little money.  If within a few months I ran low again, just grab whichever drive is the best value at the time, say another 1 TB drive, replace an existing 500 GB drive, and I’m at 1.8 TB.

Now, some smartie pants is almost sure to offer to trade me, as the Pro Pioneer is still worth over $1000 with these three crummy drives in it.. (Heck, it may be worth that even without these three drives!)

I know that the Drobo isn’t really a NAS, unless you buy the droboshare, which is basically an Ethernet to USB bridge, if I understand it right.  That’s another $200.

I know too that there are apps that run on the Pro, many of them ported by Netgear customers..  But, I did not know that the same thing exists for the Drobo/DroboShare.  There is a catalog of a about a dozen or so droboApps ranging from media servers, rsync, SSH, a torrent client, a web and FTP server, etc…    Not quite the selection of Netgear, but not too shabby either…

Anyhow, a Drobo would fit nicely with what I need right now…  I’ve actually often admired it, but never truely considered buying one because of the lack of power in the box (the 1st gen one, at least), and the lack of network connectivity (without buying an add-on)…

Who knows, perhaps I’ll buy one and sell my ReadyNAS Pro, using the left over money to buy a Droboshare and a larger capacity drive or two.

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Entry filed under: Networking.

ReadyNAS Pro Drive Replacement Upgrading a ReadyNAS Pro

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