opinions on Drobo for DAS or NAS?

x509

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We don't hear much about Drobo these days? Does anyone still use their products?
 

Ranulfo

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I don't use one but I've not heard great things about them over the years. Last I heard, you get locked into their ecosystem and can't just pull your drives out and hook them up to a linux or windows system to access your files if the drobo hardware dies.
 

Kardonxt

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I know two people who use them. They loved them at first and now they hate them. Frequent corruption and crashes. Support has gone above and beyond in the past to help recover data when this happens but it's really not something they should have to deal with ever let alone a couple times a year.

I always heard great things about them previously. Two people isn't a huge sample size, but that's two more people than I have ever heard of having trouble with Synology systems.
 

x509

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I know two people who use them. They loved them at first and now they hate them. Frequent corruption and crashes. Support has gone above and beyond in the past to help recover data when this happens but it's really not something they should have to deal with ever let alone a couple times a year.

I always heard great things about them previously. Two people isn't a huge sample size, but that's two more people than I have ever heard of having trouble with Synology systems.
Kardonxt Thanks for the reply. Did these people say that the reliability of the Drobo systems got worse or better after a while?
 

sinisterDei

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Having used Drobo, Synology and QNAP devices, I personally rank Drobo at the bottom of the list. I haven't touched one in at least 5 years though, so my perspective might be skewed by how they used to be versus how they are now.
 

Kardonxt

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Kardonxt Thanks for the reply. Did these people say that the reliability of the Drobo systems got worse or better after a while?

Worse over time. I don't think they had any issues for the first year or so.

Newer units may be more reliable. These are both fairly old systems purchased when Drobo was really popular or at least heavily marketing (I would estimate 5+ years ago). Now when you say Drobo I just think "o yeah, I forgot about those guys. They were big for a while." lol
 

x509

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Worse over time. I don't think they had any issues for the first year or so.

Newer units may be more reliable. These are both fairly old systems purchased when Drobo was really popular or at least heavily marketing (I would estimate 5+ years ago). Now when you say Drobo I just think "o yeah, I forgot about those guys. They were big for a while." lol
Kardonxt I was actually thinking about picking up a used Drobo off eBay cheap. Maybe there is a reason why these units are so cheap on eBay.
 

tool_462

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I liken Drobo to Apple. Everything proprietary and they don't play nice for easy upgrades/fixes/modifications.

I have a 5D as a backup to my backup and the GUI is very easy to use and set up but little room for "power user" type activity. I now have a Synology 1815+ as my primary and I highly recommend it.
 

daglesj

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Yeah I was looking at buying one of their (iirc) 5 disk DAS boxes as I had around 14TB of HDDs sitting doing nothing. However, after more research I decided not to. I'll stick with QNAP or a cheap USB 3.1 TerraMaster DAS.
 

mwroobel

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Drobo's hardware and software quality, over the years, has left a lot to be desired. Buy a Synology if you want good performance/longevity at reasonable pricing.
 

likeman

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until QNAP had 2 firmware level hacks over last year (which they are still unaware how they are doing it, but just guessing its just "user opened telnet/ssh port with default username/password)

can't really trust Qnap any more until they get there firmware fixed (its disturbing that they have an actual malware remover app that they made to remove malware) boot level stuff should not be accessible from user space (as its gets replicated to the fash and each disk making it difficult to remove)

Drobo does not like SMR disks
2 youtubers who give drobo bad videos on this did not know they had SMR disk nor did the drobo tech person at the time {was a long time ago when SMR been dropped into consumer hdds without SMR been written on the disk} so the drobo unit was booting them because it thought they had timed out , so as long as you don't use SMR disks you should be fine as it treats slow HDDs as predicted failing
 

Col_Temp

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You always have to hate when its fully propitiatory.
They talk about backup but how good is it really. Sure you have hardware on the cheap off eBay, but what does the monthly service run you?
Have you calculated out the cost of regular service and just how covered you really are. A NAS or DAS is great until they fail. Then how much work does it take to recover. Support may be great but that's true of many others. How long are you down? Is it a solution that is robust enough to have data accessible almost immediately? If not then it may not be the solution for you.

MY customers work with me on a solution that not only proivides the file share and integration with AD and others but also has built in Backup orffsite and geo diverse on top of it. Also, recovering and access data is a snap and very easy to get to. Just because its cool doesn't mean it will meet the real need. Thanks to the rest hwo chimed in. Great data.
 

VoloxitySF

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I think I can safely second anyone that recommended a Synology over Drobo. I tried to work with a Drobo once and it was a very.... unsatisfying.. experience compared to Synology's DSM. I've heard of people saying the Synology power supplies fail and are proprietary, but out of the 50+ I manage I haven't had that happen yet in 4 years.
 

x509

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You always have to hate when its fully propitiatory.
They talk about backup but how good is it really. Sure you have hardware on the cheap off eBay, but what does the monthly service run you?
Have you calculated out the cost of regular service and just how covered you really are. A NAS or DAS is great until they fail. Then how much work does it take to recover. Support may be great but that's true of many others. How long are you down? Is it a solution that is robust enough to have data accessible almost immediately? If not then it may not be the solution for you.

MY customers work with me on a solution that not only proivides the file share and integration with AD and others but also has built in Backup orffsite and geo diverse on top of it. Also, recovering and access data is a snap and very easy to get to. Just because its cool doesn't mean it will meet the real need. Thanks to the rest hwo chimed in. Great data.
Well, I guess I ought to explain that I'm interested in a Drobo for a home setup, not a business. And sure as heck, I'm not about to pay for monthly maintenance. The only reason I'm interested in Drobo is that it will work with disks of different sizes, unlike a regular RAID box. And my needs are pretty basic. (1) Set it up once. (2) use it. (3) back it up.

I get that for a consultant or a business user, Drobo may not be a good as say Synology. But my needs are simple here, and I'm on a bit of a budget. I have get signoff from my "chief financial officer." Now if Drobo is truly a disaster, then I'm going to forget the whole thing.

If I build my own box, is there software that would fully utilize disks of different sizes? I just upgraded my desktop rig, and I have this perfectly good but old motherboard/CPU/RAM just sitting in my garage.
 
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likeman

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Well, I guess I ought to explain that I'm interested in a Drobo for a home setup, not a business. And sure as heck, I'm not about to pay for monthly maintenance. The only reason I'm interested in Drobo is that it will work with disks of different sizes, unlike a regular RAID box. And my needs are pretty basic. (1) Set it up once. (2) use it. (3) back it up.

I get that for a consultant or a business user, Drobo may not be a good as say Synology. But my needs are simple here, and I'm on a bit of a budget. I have get signoff from my "chief financial officer." Now if Drobo is truly a disaster, then I'm going to forget the whole thing.

If I build my own box, is there software that would fully utilize disks of different sizes? I just upgraded my desktop rig, and I have this perfectly good but old motherboard/CPU/RAM just sitting in my garage.
just make sure you don't get SMR drives as Drobo will throw fits at you if you try (double check to make sure the ones you are buying are not SMR if consumer drives)
 

x509

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just make sure you don't get SMR drives as Drobo will throw fits at you if you try (double check to make sure the ones you are buying are not SMR if consumer drives)
likeman Are there any general rules here? For example, any 3.5" drive more than X TB will probably be SMR? Or some WD "colors" are or are not SMR?
 

likeman

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likeman Are there any general rules here? For example, any 3.5" drive more than X TB will probably be SMR? Or some WD "colors" are or are not SMR?
unfortunately if its consumer drives they don't disclose it, but having 256mb of cache is often telling its an smr drive as normal drives will have 64/128mb depending how big it is (but high end gaming drives or other consumer drives might not be SMR as well, one note i have not seen a SMR drive been used in 7200RPM should you could mostly assume your getting a normal HDD if its 7200RPM but you still should check the model number of the drive to make sure)

seagate ironwolf NAS drives and toshiba NAS do N300 and are non SMR (and both don't seem to have plans on sneaking SMR into NAS drives)

WD red little bit more complicated, as they now call non SMR drives red plus (5400 ish PMR) and red pro (7200 PMR) (but some sites/ebay selling the drive might still have the non plus , WD RED ones that are mixed with SMR and PMR drives)

WD red "NAS ready" with SMR is a joke and worse not telling anyone they did it (i believe its 2-6TB that use SMR but that can change)
 
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x509

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unfortunately if its consumer drives they don't disclose it, but having 256mb of cache is often telling its an smr drive as normal drives will have 64/128mb depending how big it is (but high end gaming drives or other consumer drives might not be SMR as well, one note i have not seen a SMR drive been used in 7200RPM should you could mostly assume your getting a normal HDD if its 7200RPM but you still should check the model number of the drive to make sure)

seagate ironwolf NAS drives and toshiba NAS do N300 and are non SMR (and both don't seem to have plans on sneaking SMR into NAS drives)

WD red little bit more complicated, as they now call non SMR drives red plus (5400 ish PMR) and red pro (7200 PMR) (but some sites/ebay selling the drive might still have the non plus , WD RED ones that are mixed with SMR and PMR drives)

WD red "NAS ready" with SMR is a joke and worse not telling anyone they did it (i believe its 2-6TB that use SMR but that can change)
This almost makes me reconsider buying Seagate again. :confused: I can't believe I just wrote that. :censored: (smacks his forehead, very hard).
 

daglesj

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I have two October 2015 vintage 2TB WD REDS still factory sealed for freshness...offers???? ;)
 
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