Archive for June, 2010

Drobo FS info

I’m sure everyone is waiting impatiently for part 2 of the Drobo FS review.  Unfortunately, I’ve been holding out for new firmware.  I had several odd issues while moving data to the Drobo FS.  That, and Time Machine wasn’t supported in the original firmware.

I’ve since upgraded to the latest release.  Time Machine does work now with Drobo FS, but there is a bug whereby your Mac always thinks that the full size of your Time Machine partition is available… Not sure what effect this will have when you actually do run out of space on that partition, but I’ve made the Drobo people aware, so hopefully they are hard at work fixing this issue.  So, I’m still waiting on firmware for that final fix.

There is a bit of magic that I have witnessed with the Drobo FS that I’d like to share, though.  I initially installed three 1 TB drives in the Drobo FS.  After a few weeks, a 500 GB Seagate drive in my SageTV server started acting up.  I shipped it off to Seagate and got a refurbished replacement.  SageTV has transcoding working very well in the last few versions, typically squeezing a show in about 1/8th to 1/10th of the original size, so I haven’t really needed this 500 GB drive (in addition to my 1 TB main drive).

Anyhow, once the replacement 500 GB drive arrived, I placed it in my Drobo FS.  Within just a minute or so, Drobo Dashboard showed my expansion complete (this is with me using probably 500 GB of the Drobo FS).  In looking at the Dashboard, it showed pretty much the entire capacity of the 500 GB drive added.  This means that it reorganized the RAID array so that I had four 500 GB slices in one array, and three 500 GB slices in the other array.  I lost 500 GB from each of the two arrays, equaling the waste of 1 TB from the original three TB drives.

From the typical users standpoint, adding a new 500 GB drive and having that much extra storage show up is exactly what you’d expect.  I’ve used various RAID systems over about the last 15 years, so I see how difficult this would be to actually do with any other system.  It’s really a pretty amazing technical achievement. Almost magical, even…  Or maybe I’ve just been reading too much about the iPad.  🙂

June 8, 2010 at 10:24 pm 8 comments


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