Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 08, 2016, 12:09:42 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?  (Read 11161 times)

J-Mac

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 2,913
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« on: July 15, 2008, 03:15:58 PM »
I know there were a few threads in the past about the Drobo - an NAS-like device that allows quick and supposedly painless HD swapping along with continual backup of all the HD's data.  Kind of like a non-tech RAID setup but actually a bit more than that.

I started looking harder at the Drobo a few weeks ago at Amazon.com where it was priced at $474 at the time.  Then it dropped to $458 within a day, which kept me looking a little longer than I otherwise would, as the price is the main obstacle for me.

Then today I noticed that the price at Amazon was lowered yet again:  To $349!!  Now that is well over $100 less than the price just a few weeks ago, and it is now screaming at me, luring and enticing me every time I pass within a few meters/yards of my computer!!

I have read all the reviews and articles I could find about it and I am still wanting one for my setup.  I know it has some drawbacks - r/w speed primary among them, as it uses only USB 2.0 - but I am willing to tolerate all that I have read about.  However I have not spoken to nor corresponded with anyone that I know, either personally or via a forum like DC, who is actually using a Drobo.  I really like to hear from someone other than the online magazines and blogs before I commit to an expense like this.

Sooo....    Anyone here actually using a Drobo at home or work?

Thanks!

Jim

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2008, 10:47:49 AM »
Not exactly a response to your question, but if you have an old PC lying around you might want to take a look at a very nice storage server over at www.freenas.org prior to dropping $400.

From the website:
Quote
FreeNAS is a free NAS (Network-Attached Storage) server, supporting: CIFS (samba), FTP, NFS, AFP, RSYNC, iSCSI protocols, S.M.A.R.T., local user authentication, Software RAID (0,1,5) with a Full WEB configuration interface. FreeNAS takes less than 32MB once installed on Compact Flash, hard drive or USB key.
The minimal FreeBSD distribution, Web interface, PHP scripts and documentation are based on M0n0wall.

You can check out the interface screenshots at:

http://www.freenas.o...;id=15&Itemid=28

It's free for the download and comes with no use/user restrictions. I put together one of these as a temporary fix for a nonprofit client who was waiting for a backordered SnapServer. They wound up keeping it and canceled their order for the Snap. Sweet! :Thmbsup:
« Last Edit: July 16, 2008, 10:57:26 AM by 40hz »

J-Mac

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 2,913
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2008, 12:08:38 PM »
Thanks for the tip.

I do have a couple sitting around doing nothing, but both are about 8 yrs old - one maybe a little older.  Both ran Windows 98SE and I don't believe the hardware - at least what is left that might be working - will support anything newer, unfortunately.  Believe it or not, I already started a small project with the older of the two - turning it into a "hidden" safe!  (Pretty cool - I'll post more when it's complete, but basically I gutted all but a small power supply and a few lights so that it will look as if it'sconnected to my network and running as a server.   ;) 8)  )

But if anyone is using the Drobo and gives it good references, I'd like to get one running.

Thanks!

Jim

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2008, 01:26:19 PM »

Believe it or not, I already started a small project with the older of the two - turning it into a "hidden" safe!  (Pretty cool - I'll post more when it's complete, but basically I gutted all but a small power supply and a few lights so that it will look as if it'sconnected to my network and running as a server.   ;) 8)  )


Hide in plain sight? A man after my own heart. That is very cool.  8)

We once hid a server room.

Instead of all those AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY and keypad deals, we suggested our client put in a standard bolt lock, paint the door a dull gray, stencil the word JANITOR on it, and add a few scuff marks. They did. Nobody ever gave it a second glance after that.

 8)
« Last Edit: July 16, 2008, 01:32:10 PM by 40hz »

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2008, 01:45:14 PM »
FreeNAS looks worth watching but given that they describe is as Alpha/Beta software would you really want to commit your data to it.

Also it uses its own filing system so you have to have FreeNAS running to be able to get to the data - realistically what are the chances of troubleshooting problems if anything goes wrong?

tservo24

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2008
  • *
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2008, 04:22:34 PM »
The new Drobo with FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 just came out the other week and is significantly faster--addressing all those performance concerns. Check out their website for more info on the new product. There is also a review on www.thomashawk.com from a user.

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2008, 10:15:41 PM »
FreeNAS looks worth watching but given that they describe is as Alpha/Beta software would you really want to commit your data to it.

Don't know what to say to that other than I've done four of these. All of them have been running for 9-12 months and none of them have experienced any data losses or other reliability issues. Can't say the same about my experiences with Windows Home Server.

I also think the alpha/beta designation sounds a lot scarier than it actually is. I suspect the FreeNAS people are doing a little CYA here. FreeNAS is built out of established well-tested software components (FreeBSD Unix, Samba, PHP5, Lighttpd, NFS, etc.) so it's not quite the same as the beta of a product built from scratch. It's also open source, so should something go wrong, there's an active community of support available to get things fixed.


Also it uses its own filing system so you have to have FreeNAS running to be able to get to the data - realistically what are the chances of troubleshooting problems if anything goes wrong?

Very good actually!  :)

FreeNAS uses the Unix File System (UFS) which is not specific to FreeNAS. UFS is one of several file systems used in the Unix world. It may be a stranger to the Windows and Linux crowd, but it has been around for years. There's a nice intro article about it here:

http://en.wikipedia....iki/Unix_File_System

You can also mount and read UFS formatted drives under Linux. A quick Google will point you to several how-tos if you ever need to do that. One example: http://ubuntuforums....wthread.php?t=683493

You can also do it under Windows with ufs2tools available from SourceForge. See: http://ufs2tools.sourceforge.net/

One big caveat:

Most problems with FreeNAS come down to ignoring, misreading, or misunderstanding the documentation. RTFM is not an option if you have critical data. So unless you're willing to put the time into reading and following the manual you're probably better off going with a turnkey product like Drobo. ;)

« Last Edit: July 16, 2008, 10:23:40 PM by 40hz »

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2008, 04:09:51 AM »
Thanks 40hz for clarifying - glad you have had such a good experience with FreeNAS - certainly sounds like a very interesting project.

Sorry about my ignorance about UFS - live and learn ;)

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2008, 09:19:55 AM »

Sorry about my ignorance about UFS - live and learn ;)

That's not ignorance! It's merely a temporary gap in your expertise. :)

That's what I love about this field we're in. There are just so many interesting and useful things to discover and learn about. (Sometimes I wish I didn't have to sleep...)


Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2008, 11:26:58 AM »
That's not ignorance! It's merely a temporary gap in your expertise. :)

That's what I love about this field we're in. There are just so many interesting and useful things to discover and learn about. (Sometimes I wish I didn't have to sleep...)

Quite - I have just started to try and learn about AJAX (which I always thought was a pan scourer) ... where do these names come from?

tomos

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 10,328
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2008, 01:45:04 PM »
Quite - I have just started to try and learn about AJAX (which I always thought was a pan scourer) ... where do these names come from?

Named after Ajax Amsterdam Football Club maybe?
or is it
Asynchronous JavaScript and XML
?
(Wikipedia)
Tom

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2008, 04:39:36 PM »
I swear that sometimes, people think of a cool acronym (or "acronym pattern") and then work out what it's supposed to be an abbreviation of :)
- carpe noctem

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2008, 05:15:57 PM »
I like the idea that AJAX has another acronym to decifer.

Competition time - who can come up with the most convoluted (but genuine) acronym? Maybe this should be a new thread (if I can be bothered).

Deozaan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Points: 1
  • Posts: 7,716
    • View Profile
    • The Blog of Deozaan
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2008, 07:33:51 PM »
I like the idea that AJAX has another acronym to decifer.

Competition time - who can come up with the most convoluted (but genuine) acronym? Maybe this should be a new thread (if I can be bothered).

PHP is an infinitely looping (recursive) acronym. It stands for PHP Hypertext Preprocessor.


Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2008, 07:52:24 PM »
That's like a dictionary definition:

Dog: A dog that barks

Deozaan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Points: 1
  • Posts: 7,716
    • View Profile
    • The Blog of Deozaan
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2008, 08:09:09 PM »
That's like a dictionary definition:

Dog: A dog that barks

I've always heard it said that you should never define a word by using the word you're trying to define. Or something along those lines.


Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2008, 03:40:50 AM »
I found another definition for PHP - Personal Home Page. So maybe when PHP Hypertext Preprocessor is mentioned the HP don't stand for Hypertext Preprocessor but rather PHP is just a contraction of PHP Hypertext Preprocessor which actually means "Personal Home Page Hypertext Preprocessor" (or PHPHP)

Deozaan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Points: 1
  • Posts: 7,716
    • View Profile
    • The Blog of Deozaan
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2008, 03:57:16 AM »
I found another definition for PHP - Personal Home Page.

That's not accurate when referring to web documents that have the PHP extension. From the official PHP.net website:

What does PHP stand for?

PHP stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. This confuses many people because the first word of the acronym is the acronym. This type of acronym is called a recursive acronym. For more information, the curious can visit » Free On-Line Dictionary of Computing  or the » Wikipedia entry on recursive acronyms.

I took a quick glance at the Wikipedia entry cited and found this one: AMARA - Amara Means A Recursive Acronym. Most of them seem to be acronyms that people found the article and wanted to come up with something clever, so they took an acronym for a real product/service/company/whatever and found out other words that could be used to make it recursive.


jgpaiva

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2006
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,727
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2008, 04:19:33 AM »
Actually, you both are right. :)
From the wikipedia entry,
PHP (a recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor and the letters used to stand for 'Personal Home Page tools')
"Personal Home Page" was the previous definition, that was later changed to the recursive acronym.

PS: I wonder why all of my latest posts have been made on offtopic discussions.. lol

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2008, 12:55:54 PM »
I swear that sometimes, people think of a cool acronym (or "acronym pattern") and then work out what it's supposed to be an abbreviation of :)

You're correct. They do. So much so that there's a term for them. They're called bacronyms. ;)

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2008, 01:57:43 PM »
What does that stand for? Bloody ACRONYMS ?

mwb1100

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,522
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2008, 04:38:32 PM »
I wonder if the first recursive acronym is GNU (GNU's Not Unix) which Stallman came up with in the mid-eighties.  Anybody aware of an earlier one?

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,412
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2008, 04:44:20 PM »
the military seems to be the origin of many acronyms.. i would be surprised if there weren't such very old such acronyms found there.  but i'd love to know.

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2008, 05:22:30 PM »
SNAFU has been dated back as far as 1941 and FUBAR back to 1944 (both US Army slang now in general use)

jgpaiva

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2006
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,727
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone Here Using a Drobo?
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2008, 05:47:29 PM »
Carol: I think mouser was asking if the army already had recursive acronyms, before the mid-eighties, not just regular acronyms.

PS: SNAFU is cool, I didn't know that one :D