Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 26

Thread: Drobo issues

  1. #1
    bob carnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario,
    Posts
    4,753

    Drobo issues

    I have a Drobo about 5 years old with a second time one of the drives going, It is costing me a new drive and 1 1/2 hour to put back in shape,

    I was told the other drives are same vintage and can fail in no predictable order.

    Storage for me is important, but not as critical as lets say a working commercial photographer or art photographer capturing info 100 mb at a time.

    In a perfect world I need to keep about 20 - 40 terabits of stored info for my personal and customer projects. 40 being really the top end.

    Can some of you with good digital experience suggest alternatives to Drobo or suggest some methods of long term storage that is not susceptible to a 4-6 year replacement.
    I think I paid about 1200- 1500 hundred dollars , and each time I replace a drive it seems to be about $250

    So every 4 years about $1000 bucks, is this a normal expectation to continue with safe storage?

  2. #2
    jp's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    5,507

    Re: Drobo issues

    That's very reasonable ongoing expense for that amount of storage. It's probably time for a new drobo too. I only store a few terabytes of data and upgrade to a newer bigger drive about every three years for $250 and another $250 to upgrade the backup on a similar schedule.

    I use a WD Mycloud for backup which is quite affordable for backup but not high performance enough for working storage.

  3. #3
    bob carnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario,
    Posts
    4,753

    Re: Drobo issues

    Quote Originally Posted by jp View Post
    That's very reasonable ongoing expense for that amount of storage. It's probably time for a new drobo too. I only store a few terabytes of data and upgrade to a newer bigger drive about every three years for $250 and another $250 to upgrade the backup on a similar schedule.

    I use a WD Mycloud for backup which is quite affordable for backup but not high performance enough for working storage.
    Yes I guess you are right , I look at my enlarger and only have to replace the lightbulb, but storage of data is quite key to me right now so I should bite the bullet.

  4. #4
    Preston Birdwell
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Columbia, CA
    Posts
    1,577

    Re: Drobo issues

    Bob, I suggest you purchase 'enterprise grade' HD's such as the Western Digital Red or Western Digital RE. You can get either 5400 or 7200 RPM drives in capacities up to 2 TB for the RE and up to 6 TB for the Red. The 5400rpm drives will tend to run a bit cooler, but are not quite as efficient (Peak read/write MB/s) as the 7200 rpm drives.

    The Drobo are pretty good. If you are looking at a new platform, take a look at the offerings from Synology, QNap, Western Digital, and Netgear. You can see reviews of most of these at Anandtech

    Drives that last five years under heavy use is actually pretty decent, so I would say you got a good return on your investment.
    --P
    Preston-Columbia CA

    "If you want nice fresh oats, you have to pay a fair price. If you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse; that comes a little cheaper."

  5. #5
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico
    Posts
    9,814

    Re: Drobo issues

    This is the best source I know of for drive testing. testing 61k+ drives-yes that is sixty one thousand plus drives.
    They buy them in 10k lots.
    https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hard-...stats-q1-2016/
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 71:
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    708

    Re: Drobo issues

    Bob, Preston's advice regarding enterprise hard drives is right on target especially for a server or NAS device.

    They will outlast and outperform standard drives. Further, the enterprise drives are generally guaranteed for 5 years which helps protect your investment. Manufacturers have the ability to design and build life expectancy right into the drive. I can't tell you how many drives I've seen go south a few months after the warranty ends - especially drives with 2 or 3 year warranties.

    I've had excellent results with enterprise drives, in particular Seagate. However, I'm sure there are other people who swear by WD, etc.

    I recently replaced my business NAS with an 8 drive QNAP product for about $1300 plus drive cost. Depending on the drive size you select, such a machine should meet the capacity you mentioned. This type server can grow in capacity as needed because you don't need to fill all the drive slots initially. You can add drives and expand capacity as needed.

    Capacity will NOT equal drive size X # of bays. Depending on your RAID configuration and whether you have any"hot" spares you may lose capacity of 2or 3 drives. The unit we selected will accomodate drive sizes up to 8TB. All drives should be same capacity. We installed 6 drives, 6TB each at a cost of $250 per drive. We have about 25TB useable storage. Recently added one more drive to provide a little more capacity for comfort. The transition to the new drive was seamless and easy. We can still add one more drive. As a point of interest, 8tb drives will run about $380.

    While the total investment is not insignificant, there are not many alternatives. You can always go to the 'cloud', but that introduces a whole new set of considerations, esp. with transfer times/performance.

    One final thought. If you are using the NAS device as your primary means of storage, you should consider how you will back up the device. Some people have a second NAS to back up the first, so double the cost !

    Good luck,
    Dennis

    Note: I have no relationship or financial interest in any of the companies mentioned above.
    I know just enough to be dangerous !

  7. #7
    Light Guru's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    625

    Re: Drobo issues

    Quote Originally Posted by bob carnie View Post
    suggest some methods of long term storage that is not susceptible to a 4-6 year replacement.
    No such thing. There are 2 kind of hard drives those that have failed and those that will fail.
    Zak Baker
    zakbaker.photo

    "Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter."
    Ansel Adams

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    425

    Re: Drobo issues

    I run an 8 bay QNAP at home for my wife's music and artwork. That's at 16TB at the moment, using RAID 6. At work I have a similar unit as a second tier backup for a 9TB enterprise file server (that's a whole story in itself). I budget about one drive per year replacement (maybe $0.60 USD a day), and at the moment I am several drive's worth ahead on the deal 8-) I would expect the chassis unit to run maybe 8 years if it survives the first year - this is a rule of thumb based on running servers and file stores as part of my job.

    Once you start operating multiple terabytes, the transfer time becomes an issue. At home I would not consider 10 gigabit fibre channel connections - gigabit ethernet and eSATA is about the cost/performance limit.

    You have other options - LTO tape is still available, but not suited to normal home use. Cloud services are fine if you pay the rent, but awful if you want to pull a lot of stuff back in a hurry. And then you may have local service data caps.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Licking County, Ohio
    Posts
    338

    Re: Drobo issues

    Keep in mind that RAID IS NOT A BACKUP. Many, many people and companies have lost critical data because they falsely believed RAID helped protect their data. RAID protects availability. RAID is really designed to keep things like a critical database available for constant access while any single HDD fails and gets replaced. As drive sizes have gotten ever larger, the situation has gotten even worse as the probability of a second drive failing and taking out the whole array while trying to rebulid the first drive grows more and more likely due to the increasing length of time it takes to rebulid the array when the new drive is added.

    If you want read-write access to your archival data, no, there's no viable alternative to HDDs at this point. For read-only storage, the HTL-type Blu-Ray Discs are pretty damned stable, giving you 25 years without much worry and some vendors are claiming as much as 100. It seems likely that the hardware and software to read that BRD and present the image files on screen is likely to be lost before the disc becomes bad given that I can't read discs I created as a kid due to the computer not having a slot for me to stick an 8" floppy disc in anymore.

    For first-line read-write data storage, if you're done with the Drobo, the QNAP NASes offer a ton of functionality for not very much money. I have a TS-219P and whatever the model that replaced it is. The older one is getting close to 10 years and still hasn't given me a problem. Sure, the drives tend to die every 6 years or so, but HDDs just do that.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Tucson AZ
    Posts
    1,670

    Re: Drobo issues

    Yes, LTO tape is certainly available. The latest version (Generation 7) has a native capacity of 6TB per cartridge. Cartridges are still somewhat pricey though. Generation 6 drives are still being sold and have native cartridge capacity of 2.5TB - Gen 6 is probably the current price performer re capacity and speed. Gen 8 should be out around the end of next year at 12 TB per cartridge. Gen 9 and 10 have been announced as part of the LTO Roadmap, with capacity doubling each time. Compressed capacities are around 2.5X native, but this is of course somewhat dependent on the type of data.

    I don't think there is any better medium for backup. The drives are enterprise class and extremely durable. The cartridges are also very robust. They're designed from the start as long term "on the shelf" media and are much better than hard drives or optical for long term backup. I believe the official rating is 5000 load/read-write/unload cycles, but we've seen them last 20,000 to 30,000 cycles on the drive test lines in Japan and China. I believe the drives have been tested to around 1 million load/unload cycles. All currently sold versions of LTO support a mode of operation that implements a file system structure on the cartridge so files can be dragged and dropped to tape. They also support Write Once Read Many technology using WORM mode cartridges.

    The drives also have the ability to read and write previous generation media and to read two generation older media - ie Gen 7 can read and write gen 6 cartridges and read gen 5 cartridges.

    All these good things having been said, whether a tape based approach fits your work flow or not is something only you can decide. By the way. there is a closely related higher-end tape technology that's proprietary to IBM and between LTO and the IBM technology, all the major cloud vendors back up to tape. Except for a small market share in the high-end automation space by Oracle all Gen 7 and future enterprise tape products are designed and built by an IBM/NEC (Japan) partnership.

    I've been involved with the program since its inception.

Similar Threads

  1. Photo Shop and working with a Drobo storage.
    By bob carnie in forum Digital Processing
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 9-Aug-2014, 08:01
  2. Drobo as main HDDs?
    By Juergen Sattler in forum Digital Processing
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 21-Oct-2009, 22:40
  3. Drobo data storage
    By darr in forum Digital Hardware
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 22-Feb-2008, 10:00

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •