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Andrew Nelles, Photographer
Chicago | Ill. | usa | Posted: 10:05 PM on 11.29.09
->> After some advice in a previous post, I am about ready to pull the trigger and buy a Drobo (4-bay) and some drives to replace my current (full) RAID-1 enclosure that I use as my in office archive. Before I invest in the system, I was wondering if some of the Drobo users on here could let me know if they have been satisfied with it? Has anyone experienced a failure or other problem? I've got off-site backups of everything, but I'd prefer to never have to use them.

Thanks in advance.
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Bob Donnan, Photographer
Winston-Salem | NC | USA | Posted: 10:14 PM on 11.29.09
->> I have been happy with my drobo for back-up storage. It does not work quickly with photo mechanic but outside of that it is a good system for me.
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 11:11 PM on 11.29.09
->> Check out he reccomends araid from owc over the drobo. David
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Russell Rinn, Photographer
Georgetown | Tx | USA | Posted: 12:17 AM on 11.30.09
->> The URL should be diglloyd, and the link to the entry is (toward the bottom.)

Thanks for the info David.
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Matt Cashore, Photographer
South Bend | IN | USA | Posted: 12:29 AM on 11.30.09
->> I purchased a Drobo a couple of weeks ago and immediately regretted it. When it goes to sleep (or 'standby mode') it will not wake up when your computer wakes up. You have to unplug the firewire cord and plug it back in to bring it out of standby mode. Absolutely, positively inexcusable design flaw in my opinion. That said, the new Drobo-S unit has an on/off switch and I am attempting to do an exchange and try that unit. Also, if you never put your computer to sleep I guess this wouldn't be an issue for you.
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Andrew Nelles, Photographer
Chicago | Ill. | usa | Posted: 12:38 AM on 11.30.09
->> I should explain how I plan to use it; I power up my current RAID archive very rarely, only when I need to locate an old photo or when I'm updating it. I'd say it sees maybe 1-hr tops of powered on time a week. I keep the past two months of work on my laptop, and work off of that. So the sleep issue is probably not a big deal. I just update the RAID and off-site drives once a week or so.
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Kirby Yau, Photographer, Assistant
San Diego | CA | USA | Posted: 1:08 AM on 11.30.09
->> I've had a Drobo for the past six months and no problems here with a Mac and aperture.
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer, Assistant
Galveston & Houston | TX | US | Posted: 1:51 AM on 11.30.09
->> I've never owned a Drobo but have always been turned off by the proprietary file system.

Personally I've been running a couple ReadyNAS products since before they were bought out by Netgear. Since my wife is also a photographer we want storage that connects to the network so we can both access it instead of a direct connection to a single computer like the Drobo.

I use mine in a similar manner as Andrew and don't work off of it, so while it is slower then being directly connected over eSATA or Firewire it is still fast enough for our needs.

Their newer models (NVX and Pro) have Intel processors and are much faster then our older models. Some users are getting over 100 MB/s through the network (a 5 GB file copies in less than a minute) with a Mac Pro and ReadyNAS Pro model. *Be warned there is an issue with OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard right now that is supposedly fixed in an upcoming firmware update.

The main thing I like is that the ReadyNAS uses standard RAID5 so if the box itself broke (but the hard drives were still fine) I could access our data without needing another ReadyNAS. I'm not sure you have this option with a Drobo.
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Max Simbron, Photographer, Assistant
Phoenix | AZ | USA | Posted: 2:57 AM on 11.30.09
->> I have two Drobos, and while some of the negatives (slow, proprietary, weird standby) are true, I can honestly say that setup took as long as popping drives in, powering up, and formatting.

And since then? Upgrading was as simple as pulling a drive, popping in another drive, and letting it lay out its redundancy, which takes a while. 1 day per drive for 1TB of data, but you can access the files while this happens.

It's not cheap, but the time saved more than makes up for the cost difference.
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Ron Hawkes, Photographer, Photo Editor
Rockland | ME | USA | Posted: 6:27 AM on 11.30.09
->> Very happy with my Dobro. Have 4 1TB drives, have two for photos and two for music. Great back up.When disk gets close to full, pull it and insert two new ones, put old ones in storage and use disk reader to access files if needed.

Matt, when I put my iMAC to sleep at the office at the end of everyday, the Drobo goes into standby, and when I wake up mu computer the Drobo comes back on as well. I don't remember for sure, but thought it was something in the settings when I set it up. I'll take a look when I get to the office and see if I can figure that out. Just out of curiosity do you use a MAC or a PC, maybe that is the difference.
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Shaun Sartin, Photographer, Photo Editor
Glenview | IL | | Posted: 8:25 AM on 11.30.09
->> Andrew,

fyi. B&H has a deal on them right now. $300

Might check SS sponsors too. I believe Roberts also sells them.

A good place to get the drives and local is, they have a brick and mortar site in Naperville.

good luck, Shaun
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Andrew Nelles, Photographer
Chicago | Ill. | usa | Posted: 12:58 PM on 11.30.09
->> Thanks for all the advice! I appreciate it.
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Fj Hughes, Photographer, Assistant
Baltimore | MD | USA | Posted: 8:26 AM on 12.01.09
->> Matt - I frequently work on a Drobo and I have not encountered your problem when waking from stand by mode. It must be something in your set up.

The one issue with the older Drobo is it's slow FW800 connection. I frequently get the spinning beach ball of death and generally slow file rendering when working in Lightrooom. I would recommend using an internal drive as your working drive and transfer to the Drobo to archive when processing is complete. The Drobo S with a eSata connection is much more promising.
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Joshua Brown, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 11:57 AM on 12.01.09
->> Here is my basic setup/workflow with the Drobo.

I use an SSD as my boot/application drive. I use an internal RAID 0 in my Mac Pro for my working files (Final Cut Media, Aperture Library), then I move it onto my partitioned Drobo when I am done with the project. I actually export the project and import it into an "archive" aperture library. I have one archive library per year.

For anything I really care about, I either back up to my Photoshelter or Dropbox account (photos) or to a couple drives (video) I have in a safe deposit box.
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Keith Lucas, Photographer
Verona | VA | USA | Posted: 12:55 PM on 12.01.09
->> I have had my Drobo for several years now. It was probably one of the orginals, as it does not have Firewire connection. I have the older USB 2.0 connection.

I use my as the back up for my master images in Aperture. I load the images for the job, relocate the masters to the Drobo and work that way. I started with 4 500GB drives and have replaced all of them with 1 TB drives along the way. It is important to follow the standby routines , etc....but I can honestly say I cant think of an easier backup's the old Ronco saying... "Set it, then forget it...."

I have ordered drives from NewEgg, and actually bought them from Staples....depending on how fast I needed the extra storage... As another post mentioned, it does take about 24 hours for it to setup/format a new drive.

Good Luck ..I hear the FIREWIRE version is much faster!

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N. Scott Trimble, Photographer
Lake Oswego | OR | USA | Posted: 1:14 PM on 12.01.09
->> Love mine, when virtually all my other drives have failed, it has been a lifesaver. Drobo just came out with some new incarnations, and another super duper is on the way. Can't talk about it tho.

I would contact them directly. They have their own store and can give you a smokin deal over their distributors. And...if you suggest I sent ya there...maybe they might throw me a christmas bone...; )
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Thread Title: Drobo
Thread Started By: Andrew Nelles
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