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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Drobo
Ray Anderson, Photographer
San Francisco | CA | USA | Posted: 8:45 AM on 08.02.10
->> I was wondering how many of you are using the drobo to back up your work and have you had any problems?
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Peter Quinn, Photographer
Pine Bush | NY | USA | Posted: 9:16 AM on 08.02.10
->> I have had mine for about a year and love it. I have had zero problems. Running off the FW800 port on my iMac it serves as my on-site storage solution for client data. They didn't have the Drobo S when I bought mine or I would have went with it, only because of the dual-drive redundancy that should withstand two drive failures at once versus the single drive failure that mine protects against. For the extra bucks I would go that route since it is available.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 9:27 AM on 08.02.10
->> I have the Pro setup with a 16TB volume. No real problems to date (unit has been on 24/7/365) for the last 15 months. Two drives have failed in that time with zero loss of data. In each case the unit took aprox. 56 hours to rebuild the volume once a fresh drive was installed. During that time I was still able to access my data and continue working.

Regardless of what you may read this is not a true enterprise class machine. The software front end is sophomoric at best. The is no redundancy in power supplies. There are no controls on the front of the unit to power it down. The one switch on the back will simply shut it off without giving the unit a chance to close files or write buffers. Support is not available 24/7/365.

I bring these points up only because the machine has in some cases been called 'enterprise' class. It's not anymore enterprise class than a Jetta is F1 ready. Other than the Jetta will eventually get you to the finish line.
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Matt Cashore, Photographer
South Bend | IN | USA | Posted: 10:54 AM on 08.02.10
->> x2 on what Eric said.
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Jonathan Castner, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 10:55 AM on 08.02.10
->> Drobo works well but remember: you need at least two of them. One for on site storage and one or more for off site storage. If all your files are on a single Drobo, or any other storage device, that is in your office and the place burns down you are hosed. Always have off site backup.
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 11:54 AM on 08.02.10
->> What Jonathan said too!! Always get offsite storage!!

I have the first Gen Drobo, I'll be getting two more (the FW Model)!! I'll put them on my place and I'll take my old USB only model offsite!!
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Joshua Brown, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 12:49 PM on 08.02.10
->> I had the 2nd gen Drobo but had some intermittent issues with it randomly unmounting. I decided to pick up the Promise SmartStor DS4600 with eSata and I have been very happy with it so far. For offsite I am using a combination of Photoshelter and a 100GB dropbox.com account
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Nathan Papes, Photographer
Springfield | MO | United States | Posted: 2:22 PM on 08.02.10
->> I have a 1st gen drobo and have had zero problems with it. It works great and works flawlessly.

A friend of mine did have a catastrophic drobo failure last year though. Every drive in it failed at the same time, hes not sure what happened but he thinks it was heat related
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William Guerro, Photographer
Galloway | NJ | USA | Posted: 2:30 PM on 08.02.10
->> I have heard about the good and the bad stories on the DROBO system and I am thinking about going with this system the 2TB unit http://www.g-technology.com/products/g-safe.cfm


Is anyone using the GSafe and if so how would you rate them.
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Andrew Nelles, Photographer
Chicago | IL | usa | Posted: 5:44 PM on 08.02.10
->> I love my Drobo so far. No problems.
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Derek Montgomery, Photographer
Duluth | MN | USA | Posted: 6:05 PM on 08.02.10
->> The drives from OWC are top-notch... I had a Drobo for awhile, sold it and then got a Newertech Guardian Maximus 2TB Raid drive, which has been well worth it and is super fast!

When it comes to OWC...
http://www.macsales.com

I think of this song...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIrCFrFpHvw&feature=related
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 1:25 PM on 08.03.10
->> Everyone's fav photoshop guru Scott kelby uses a dobro. Digilloyd.com hates them and uses a macsales solution. I have a dobro and not had a problem. FWIW
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Mike Hanson, Photographer
Mt. Sterling | KY | USA | Posted: 1:35 PM on 08.03.10
->> Mine works great no problems at all.
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Bob Donnan, Photographer
Winston-Salem | NC | USA | Posted: 2:01 PM on 08.03.10
->> I would think twice before I bought one. Read Eric's message. I bought the 4TB version and when I replaced one of the 1TB drives with a 2TB drive for more storage it took three days to work out the data. That is a long time to wait and not have any power interuptions. Then it added almost no additional storage space so I had to add a second 2TB drive to get the storage space I needed and worry for another 3 days while it sorted data. That dosen't sound like it makes any since but I had the dealer check with Drobo and they said that is the way they are configured and that you usually don't get much space out of the first drive that you upgrade.
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Ray Anderson, Photographer
San Francisco | CA | USA | Posted: 6:30 AM on 08.10.10
->> Thanks for all the input.
I have the Drobo with 4 bays with 3 segate 1.5TB drives and one WD 2 TB drive one of the segate drives failed Friday morning at 10AM I replaced the segate 1.5 TB drive with a 2TB western digital drive it is now 3am tuesday and the drobo has finally finished rebuilding.
The drobo unit took almost 90 hours to rebuild with only 70 percent of the storage space being used up that is way to long to suit me.
The whole time I was worried "what if another drive fails then I will loose all my data on the drobo" thankfully I have all the data backed up on other drives.
I think I may need to update to the Drobo S or find another way to store my files.
I am glad for the years I shot film and intend to do some more film work in the future at least with film if the film is stored properly in a fire safe location you need not worry about hard drive failures.
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 3:33 PM on 08.10.10
->> I just picked up a second Drobo, I picked it up here on SS.com, used with a Drobo Share!!

I Migrated my Pack from the Old 1st Gen Drobo to the Second Gen Drobo and then went with the the Drobo Share!! I LOVE IT!! Now I can see the Drobo from all my Machines at home on my wireless Network! If I need to transfer a large amount of data, I can always go FW directly to the Camputer. I'm taking my old 1st Gen DROBO offsite with Four 1TB Drives with my RAW Data.

I can put two Drobos on the Share, I'll get another 2nd Gen DROBO with Four 2TB Drives for my RAW Data at home.

I do have all this data on several Drives now.

Y
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Jim Pierce, Photographer
Waltham | MA | USA | Posted: 6:12 PM on 08.10.10
->> I was looking into a Drobo but after reading about all the failed HD's above and since my method has yet to fail me, I doubt I will get one, will use the money on other gear I need. I am just not seeing what the Drobo does that two USB/FW drives can't...and for FAR less money.

I must be missing what the advantages to the drobo are as my setup has none of the problems mentioned above. After each game I just drag and drop the directory to the two USB harddrives, 10 minutes later I have three copies, one on my PC's HD which is what I work with and two backups. At the end of the season I copy the working directory on my PC over the two on the two USB drives and delete the one on my PC.

What does the Drobo do that the above methode doesn't and is it worth multi hundreds?

Jim
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 8:07 PM on 08.10.10
->> The Drive Failures have nothing to do with the Drobo, only with Bad Drives!!

If you get two FW/USB Dives and one fails, like I had one fail on me, you are SOL!!

If that happens on a DROBO, you get warned, you hot swap the Drive and the DROBO immediately starts rebuilding the missing data onto the new drive.

I'm in the middle of a rebuild now, I upgraded my third Drive from 1TB to 2TB, it takes a little over 36 hours to do this. I'll do this again for the fourth time in a week or two.

I never store ANY Data on my computer, everything goes on Drives and on DROBO.

I'm now working on OFFSITE storage.

Y
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Jim Pierce, Photographer
Waltham | MA | USA | Posted: 8:43 PM on 08.10.10
->> Yamil,

If one of my drives fail I STILL have all the information on one other and some on two others so I am NOT SOL. All I do is I go spend $120.00 or so for another 1.5TB USB drive and copy from the non failed drive to the new one, maybe a few hours but NOT days to drag and drop all the files from the non failed drive to the new drive.

I am still unclear on the advantages of the Drobo and the multi hundreds that it costs. There has got to be a reason...

What risk is there that the DROBO fails during the 36 hours that it is doing its thing and you loose everything!!!

Jim
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Philippe Champoux, Photographer
Montreal | QC | Canada | Posted: 8:52 PM on 08.10.10
->> Here's Drew Gardner's experience with Drobo.

http://bit.ly/a6j9Au

And the update.

http://bit.ly/aNdKUJ

I am currently debating on whether or not to go with this storage solution for our company. We are two staff photogs and have back ups on servers but need to have a fail safe solution for our images with which we are working before we put them on the server.

Do any of you guys have alternative companies to look into?

Cheers !

PhiL
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Jim Pierce, Photographer
Waltham | MA | USA | Posted: 9:06 PM on 08.10.10
->> Philippe,

If you have a server for backup why are you thinking about the Drobo??? Drew actually says that is the way to go.

If you want to backup the recent past just spend a couple hundred dollars for two 1.5TB WD USB drives and that will give you two locations, assumeing you keep a copy on your PC's HD. for the cost of a 4 bay Drobo you could get 4 1.5TB drives. once you copy to the server clean out these drives and reuse.

Drew actually mentiones the Drobo failure as I did above, this is just another electronic connection that can and soon will fail and the loss could be everything on all drives.

I like to keep it simple but there has got to be something that I am missing...these are selling and many are using them so what is it?


Jim
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 9:06 PM on 08.10.10
->> Well for starters if your PC poops the bed the last week of the season, sounds like you don't have a backup of the season's edits. Maybe that means something or maybe not I don't know your workflow so I don't know what you would lose.

My Drobo is my working drive.... If mid-edit, or half way through laying out a 15 layer poster a drive bites the dust...... a little led changes from green to red and I don't lose anything that I was working on or had worked on since my last backup.

Don't mis-understand my post above. My BIG issues with the unit is that it was presented as an 'enterprise' class (yes I'm harping) machine. It isn't. That aside, working from a RAID will always be preferable to working on a single unprotected drive. Prior to buying the Drobo I was ready to build a TRUE enterprise RAID as some may remember my posts from back then. The difference would have been about $1000. Next RAID will be built from an updated version of the original plan that I had laid out.

I'm with Yamil in that there is very little data on the drives in my PC. Actually with the exception of the main OS drive (A 300gb 10k RPM Raptor) the other drives are a scratch disk and a 500gb 'temp' disk that I use for junk files that I'm goofing around with.

Firewire 800 doesn't really exist (or at least it didn't) in the Windows arena. There were some 3rd party drivers etc. but they never were able to sustain the speeds of FW800. That may have changed in the last year, I haven't tried to keep current. Moving large volumes of data on a USB pipe is crazy slow if you have ANYTHING else registered to that USB controller.

I'm also coming to the realization that shooting D3s tournament video will eat NASA-ish quantities of space.

@Jim... p.s. Jodi hopes you like the samples and says Hi

p.p.s It's kinda like view stations..... you'll see the value at some point.... ;)
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Philippe Champoux, Photographer
Montreal | QC | Canada | Posted: 9:22 PM on 08.10.10
->> @Jim

You're right, a server IS the way to go and must be the enterprise's solution. It is perfect for storing our completed images but I would not want to be working from images stored on a server all the time, I still need to speed of a FW external drive or the equivalent. I thought the Drobo would be a great solution for us two photogs to play with our working files before we send it on the server instead of having another server just for us to do that.

Am I making any sense?!

Thanks for the reply.

PhiL
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Jim Pierce, Photographer
Waltham | MA | USA | Posted: 9:33 PM on 08.10.10
->> Eric,

Is the benifit of a failure during an edit worth the $400 Drobo price PLUS the actuall drives?. Sounds like that is the benifit of a Drobo Vs. USB drives???

When it comes to posters and larger mulitlayer files they get backed up saved in multiple places once they are done so no worry about loss except if something failes during and edit then I loose that one. The chances of this happening is slim and if it does an hour of lost time if that.

FW800 does exist, I added a FW800 card to my new PC, well 6 months old now, with the lexar FW800 reader and it sure does speed up the download of an 8GB card MUCH faster and well worth the money!!

Jodi and her crew does do a good job and the orders came out as expected... need options for various sizes and other needs just adds another option for me

View stations have value... always knew that, just how many and to what extent and events are they needed at. When you know almost all of your customers for the small events I cover they are not needed abd just add cost and hassel.... online orders have been way up... but new towns and many many more teams that don't know me coming up.....

Jim
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 10:36 PM on 08.10.10
->> So, Jim.....

How many Drives do you have to backup your files??


I have two DROBO's and 7 other Drives, not counting the 5 Small 500GB Laptop Drives I take to the events.....

Having single Drives only is too risky for my taste.

So far I have never heard of a massive DROBO Failure where all four Drives have failed at the same time.

Y
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 10:37 PM on 08.10.10
->> Jim we're talking about 2 different Drobos.

My Pro came in around $3500 for the box and 8 2tb drives at last year's prices. Is it worth the peace of mind? You bet! As a matter of fact my criticism of the unit is not based on the price (the box I was going to build would have run just around the $5k mark depending on OS) but on the fact that I would have been willing to pay a few more dollars for a redundant ps and hot swappable fans.

The benefit for me is that everything is central on 'one' drive. I have a person who is now coming in to do the PP for our T&I gigs and will be learning other aspects of my workflow. Everything is on "drive L:" if one of the drives fail the Drobo sends me an email, and I deal with it later... Even if a second drive were to fail in the box I haven't paid anyone $XXX to crop and prep 300 or 3000 files only to have to do it all again. So from that aspect I guess that not losing 8 hours of someone's work (and pay) makes it worthwhile, for me anyway.

As for the time element, the rebuilds happen in the background and do not impact my ability to keep on working. For the record I've had 2 rebuilds in the last 15 or 16 months. Do I worry that a fan or the ps will fail during the rebuild YOU BET. But because the failures do not result in an immediate loss of data I am able to backup anything that hasn't been backed up while the Drobo does it's thing. Once THAT small backup is done, if the whole damn box explodes in a mushroom cloud of magic blue Drobo smoke I'm still fine. Again this is the benefit of working with RAIDS.

We're busy too... Football T&I starts Monday for me and I have a 12 city/town football jamboree/tourney coming next weekend. That's 12 towns x 5(or 6) teams per town..... No way I want to have to keep track of multiple sets of externals. No way at all..... One 'drive' and a copy of the originals sits on the on-site server until I can back the
Drobo's data and move it off site. My off-site solution is in dire need of attention but in-house I'm reasonably confident (sh1t that will come back to bite me, I just know it)

E
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer, Assistant
Galveston & Houston | TX | US | Posted: 11:43 PM on 08.10.10
->> As to what other companies to consider I have been happily using Netgear ReadyNAS units for several years. They are network attached instead of direct connect but since my wife is also a photographer this is optimal for us.

They have had some issues with older units and Snow Leopard but this didn't effect the newer models near as much (they're quicker to update the firmware on current models then the five year old models).

I personally only use them for archival storage. I keep all my working files on a set of internal drives in a RAID 1. This protects me from a single disk failure while also giving me the speed of internal drives.
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Joshua Brown, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 12:18 AM on 08.11.10
->> This is the link to the unit I chose over my 2nd gen Drobo.
http://www.promise.com/storage/raid_series.aspx?region=en-global&m=194&rsn1...

Promise is the company that Apple started using for a replacement for the Xserve RAID in 2008

http://www.apple.com/server/storage/

http://blogs.computerworld.com/apple_outsources_its_server_storage_to_promi...
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Matthew Sauk, Photographer
Sandy | UT | United States | Posted: 2:07 AM on 08.11.10
->> Is it me or are all of these type of devices just continue to go up in price? Damn.

700 dollars is a lot of money in todays economy.
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 11:27 AM on 08.11.10
->> Matthew, $700 is a lot of money in any economy.....

But...

IMHO, well worth he price for the peace of mind.

The Standard Drobo is $399
I can get the Seagate Barracuda 2TB Drives for $109 each

$399
$109
$109
$109
$109
$835 for a completely Populated Drobo

You buy four WD My Book 2 TB Drives and you pay $169 EA That is $676...

You can build a RAID with them if you want, but if one Drive Craps the Bed, how do you know?? And.... How long does it take to rebuild the Data of the broken Drive??

With the Drobo, I get an E-mail, pull the bad Drive out, put a good drive in and wait 36 hours. DROBO does it for me and I can still access the Data whole the rebuild takes place.

BTW, my Upgrade Rebuild is over and I'm ready to do my last upgrade to 2TB.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 1:24 PM on 08.11.10
->> Mathew one other thing to keep in mind is that more and more home entertainment systems are going totally digital. The 'value' of these devices therefore has increased as people look for a central repository for their music, video, photos etc.

I did a slideshow for someone a few months ago. We got to chatting and this guy has a rack in a closet that feeds music and video to 5 different rooms.... We're talking HUMUGO $$$$ He doesn't want to hear that he is out of space on the DVR or that his whole music collection is wiped. I honestly don't know who's RAID is in that rack but he pretty much described its functionality to a T. He gets an email and replaces the indicated drive with the spare that the installers left behind... then goes to Best Buy and buys a new spare.

In the whole scheme of things $700 really isn't that big a buy. And compared to what I paid a year ago the prices have come down. Heck I'm pretty sure that I paid $799 for a 40MB hd once upon a time.
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 2:15 PM on 08.11.10
->> Eric,

I paid $325 for a 128MB 12 Lexar Card back in 2001!!

So $800 for a 8TB Drobo System is nothing!!

Y
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer, Assistant
Galveston & Houston | TX | US | Posted: 4:49 PM on 08.11.10
->> Another thing to consider is the increased space you gain by using a RAID5 vs. just a pair of USB disks. Four 1 TB USB drives, if you're copying the same data to a pair for redundancy, will give you roughly 2 TB of usable space.

The same four drives in a RAID5 will give you roughly 3 TB of usable space. The additional space adds up the more drives you have in the RAID. If you're using individual USB drives you're only going to get 50% usable space no matter how many drives you have.

There is a point where the additional cost of the RAID box will be made up by having to purchase fewer hard drives.
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Jim Pierce, Photographer
Waltham | MA | USA | Posted: 5:42 PM on 08.11.10
->> Yamil,

I currently have two sets of two indentical USB drives that contain previous years events and are labled as such. No problem if I get an order from previous years, very easy to find. I also have two more drives that are identical as well that are not full and is what I am using currently to back up after each game/event. I DO NOT have a single source of failure and I agree it is not a good taste to have.

In your price comparison you do not need 4 2TB drives to equal the 8 TB of the drobo. The drobo with 4 2TB drives only has a data capacity of 5.5TB NOT 8TB. The 8 Bay versions if 8 2TB drives installed have a data capacity of 12.48TB not 16TB. This should be taken into account as well, and you can get 2TB drives from WD for much less than $169. Even though you would need the external drives to be paired up you would actually have 8TB or 30% more than when used with a drobo.

It is all about each ones sense of security and a good analogy is with a home security system. I looked into this and my home owners insurance discount VERY little and my Biz policy NOTHING yet it was worth it to me.

To each is own and we hall have different approaches, in this case as long as we are backed up is all that matters.

Jim
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 6:45 PM on 08.11.10
->> Jim, when you RAID, you don't get ALL 8 TB in storage!!

In my case, I don't trust Individual Drive storage anymore! I've had my share of damaged Drives and the amount of Images I create on one event, Single Drives are just not enough!!

I have filled about 2 TB in RAW files in the past couple of years, I shot about 100-125 GB of RAW Files in one major event

Everyone is different.

I don't know what you shoot and how much you shoot. I only know what I shoot. And with my current shooting habits I need a lot of storage.

When I got my first DROBO, I populated it with four 1TB Drives, two of them I got here on SS.com for about $70 each. I've been upgrading since I started to run out of room about a month ago and this was with just the JPG Files from the RAW Files I have shot in two years. My older RAW Files and finished files are stored on DVD and CD.

What I care about is keeping my RAW Files safe for future use. I never know if I'll need them again.

I'll start storing offsite soon. I have way too many files and storing in one place is not such a good idea.

Right now I have the Drobo 1 with four 4TB Drives, Drobo 2 with four 1TB Drives, Four 500GB WD My Book Drives for RAW Files (soon to be backed up to DROBO 2) One WD 320 GB Drive on an enclosure (The previous WD Enclosure (My Book) failed) and one more 500 GB WD My book as my Time Machine Backup. With all these Drives, I'll soon run out of room and I'll get a third Drobo. I have about 5 years of files on DC and DVD that I would like to have more accessible and stored offsite too, I have a lot of work and I need a whole lot more storage, it would be every expensive for me to go with Individual Drives and buying two of each for backup would be twice as expensive.
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Jim Pierce, Photographer
Waltham | MA | USA | Posted: 8:41 PM on 08.11.10
->> @Kevin,

You stated that

"Four 1 TB USB drives, if you're copying the same data to a pair for redundancy, will give you roughly 2 TB of usable space" Is this in a drobo, raid or hooked up to a PC using 2 different USB ports?

I don't understand this?? why are you loosing 50%? with totally seperate HD's? I want to know how this happens as I do not see this as my case at all! This might be what I am missing and why the Robo is worth it.

@Yamil

You stated "it would be every expensive for me to go with Individual Drives and buying two of each for backup would be twice as expensive"

I might be missing something, see question to Kevin above, but buying two drives of the same size at close to 100% utilization is "cheaper" than spending $400 on a drobo and then the cost of the HD's and loosing 30% of capacity....?

I have multi TB of files raw/jpg doesn't matter

one event, and mine are small, will easily be 100-200GB of keepers. 2TB in a couple of years is nothing for a couple 2 TB HD's at todays cost of at most $169.00, closer to $129 each or less, and less than the cost of a Drobo without HD's.

but as you said everyone is different.

Jim
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer, Assistant
Galveston & Houston | TX | US | Posted: 8:58 PM on 08.11.10
->> Jim, with your two USB drives, assuming each drive contains an identical copy of the other (if I'm reading it right this is how you are providing for redundancy in your situation, dragging a folder to each drive), you are losing 50% of your capacity right away. Since each 1 TB drive holds an exact copy of the other, you're really only getting 1 TB of usage out of the 2 TB total.

Basically you're spending the money to buy 2 TB worth of storage, but those 2 TB will only hold 1 TB worth of photos (although it will hold them twice which gives you redundancy against a single drive failure).

With a RAID 5, assuming identically sized drives, you only lose the space of a single drive. So the more drives you add, the less percentage of your space is lost. 4x1TB = 3 TB, 8x1TB = 7 TB. This is because the RAID doesn't use an exact duplicate of the file for it's redundancy, it uses parity spread across all disks. More info here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_RAID_levels#RAID_5

This is why I said that 8x1TB drives in your mirroring situation only gives you 4 TB of capacity. The other half of the capacity is used by the mirrored files.
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Jim Pierce, Photographer
Waltham | MA | USA | Posted: 9:25 PM on 08.11.10
->> Kevin,

I agree, I knew I misunderstood your statement! I buy 2 1TB drives and put the same data on each. I have 1 TB drive of data but in two places. Hence a BACKUP. I agree 100%

so why buy a Drobo for $400 and loose 30%? What is gained?

Jim
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 10:31 PM on 08.11.10
->> "so why buy a Drobo for $400 and loose 30%? What is gained?



You will find out if you loose both Drives.....

$hit happens...

I have seen drives fail before, I had a WD My Book just quit..

Like you said before, we all have choices, you made yours, I made mine and FWIW, I paid 4350 for One Drobo and a Share!!!

Y
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Jim Pierce, Photographer
Waltham | MA | USA | Posted: 11:11 PM on 08.11.10
->> Yamil,

You will find out if the Drobo Fails... a single point of failure!!!

I need to have TWO drives fail for me to loose anything, two points of failure....with a Drobo you have a single point of failure. What will you do if the drobo fails?


Is the Drobo fail safe, nope? is it causing the HD's to fail? I don't know? but I have had two HD fail in 25 years, both fully recovered, yet the above messages show many fail within a few years on a drobo... oh but they save the data and you just throw another in and all is saved......

It is the acutal SINGLE point of failure that bothers me and the Drobo IS a single point of failure, and isnot as cost effective as duplicate drives.

Jim
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 11:42 PM on 08.11.10
->> Jim Says:

You will find out if the Drobo Fails... a single point of failure!!!


Same thing!!

I've never heard of one doing so, but shit happens, Soon I'll have all my data in three different places!!


Jim Says:
I need to have TWO drives fail for me to loose anything, two points of failure....with a Drobo you have a single point of failure. What will you do if the drobo fails?

Again, if the Drobo fails, the Drives are OK!! how can a Drobo harware failure Erase Four Drives???

You would need FIVE Points of Failure!!

Drobo
Drive 1
Drive 2
Drive 3
Drive 4

What are the Odds??


Jim Says:
Is the Drobo fail safe, nope? is it causing the HD's to fail? I don't know? but I have had two HD fail in 25 years, both fully recovered, yet the above messages show many fail within a few years on a drobo... oh but they save the data and you just throw another in and all is saved......

You are lucky, I had two Fail and I lost everything!!!

Jim Says:
It is the acutal SINGLE point of failure that bothers me and the Drobo IS a single point of failure, and isnot as cost effective as duplicate drives.

Not really Single!! Read above!! Do you know for sure that if the Drobo Fails all FOUR Drives would be completely lost?? I don't think so, but I will ask Data Robotics Tech Service because I don't know
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 11:59 PM on 08.11.10
->> Jim at least once a month someone is on my doorstep wanting to help me find a better way to talk to God. I'm pretty sure my way works just dandy. Equally they are convinced that their way will get me better face time with Him. In the end we agree to disagree and wait for the inevitable to prove one or the other correct.

I think that this has reached that level. Your way is working for you and that's cool. You even piped up and were willing and open to receiving the enlightenment of RAID. Super cool! Once all is said and done you believe that your current system is better for you..... Awesome possum !!!!

For others the value of a RAID is so obvious that NOT running a RAID just doesn't make sense. Whether it's the security of multi-drive failure tolerance or the fact that for some people a single 2tb drive would hold at best 1/2 a project RAID have a place in many workflows for many different reasons. It just that in your case RAID may not be the way to go.

This was posted before.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-6EQo6it7Y&feature=player_embedded#! Not a Drobo to be seen anywhere but RAIDs all over the place. Note that the man says SIXTY-FOUR TERABYTES 64!!!! Different people need different paths to God..... Yours is working.... That's all that really matters... No?
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Jim Pierce, Photographer
Waltham | MA | USA | Posted: 12:12 AM on 08.12.10
->> Yamil,

Not "same thing" I need to two seprate pieces of hardware to fail.

as far as all your other points they are what you assume..as well as I with some experience...

When you call Data Robotics ask them for their FMEA diagram? They should know what it means...if they don't it is Failure Modes Effect Analysis diagram. If this shows a backup for all component failure other than additional hardware, I will buy it tomorrow!!!

let me know what they have to say!!

Jim
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer, Assistant
Galveston & Houston | TX | US | Posted: 12:31 AM on 08.12.10
->> Jim, it is more about buying a RAID inclosure and gaining 20%. Let's use an 8 disk comparison since RAID 5 gets better with more drives to compare your method that requires an even number of drives.

I'm gonna use 1 TB drives for the example here (larger drives scale the same) and Newegg/Amazon for my pricing. (We're ignoring the fact that you don't actually get the full size because of the fuzzy hard drive math manufacturers use.) External USB drives vary from $80 to $160 so we'll go with $100. So for USB drives it costs us $800 for eight 1 TB drives for 4 TB of usable storage.

For our RAID box if we take the enterprise Seagate ES drives that I personally use we're looking at $159 per drive, however if we use the consumer level 7200.12 drives it is only $75 per drive. Since that is closer to what we'd get with a USB external we'll use those. So the drives set us back $600. The DroboPro (which is way more expensive then I thought before starting this example) adds $1500, so $2100 for 7 TB of storage. Or we could split those drives across two original 4-bay Drobos that are going for $334 right now, so $934 for 6 TB of space.

USB, $800 = 4 TB or $0.20 per GB
DroboPro, $2100 = 7 TB or $0.30 per GB
Drobo x 2, $934 = 6 TB or $0.16 per GB

So while you're spending more you've gotten your cost per Gigabyte down in the third example and gotten 50% more usable space out of the same eight hard drives. You've also consolidated your drives and gotten the drive failure notifications, etc. that others have mentioned they like about these solutions.

To get the same 6 TB or 7 TB of space using USB drives you'll have to spend $1200 or $1400 respectively. So going with two of the original 4-bay Drobos for the eight drives actually saves you $266 dollars once you need 6 TB of space.

The high price of the DroboPro (if you wanted all eight drives in a single box) throws off this comparison though and USB drives are cheaper. However the difference is you'll need 14 individual USB drives vs. a single box holding your 8 drives. At this point you are right, it is an ease of use or convenience argument that is up to the individual.

Probably the biggest convenience for most people is having everything in a consolidated share. You don't have to figure out what drive an assignment is on and then go get the drive and plug it in. You simply browse to find what you need from the share that is already online. Another advantage is being able to expand in place with many of these products. You can take your RAID of 1 TB drives and swap them out for 4 TB drives years from now while retaining your files. You'll expand your available storage and still only have the single enclosure holding the drives instead of shelves full of externals.

You bring up a valid point about the unit itself failing. I personally do not use a Drobo because I don't want to be locked into their proprietary RAID scheme (and in my situation NAS is much preferable to DAS). As mentioned before I personally use ReadyNAS units which use standard RAID 5. This means if the box itself dies but the drives are OK, I should be able to plug them into another computer to recover the data with a little work.

I'm not trying to push you one way or the other, just laying out some of the reasons why some people prefer a device like this instead of individual drives. For me personally, since my wife is also a photographer it just made much more sense to have a large pool of network attached storage we can share vs. each having our own externals or direct attached enclosures.

Hopefully this was somewhat helpful.
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Jim Pierce, Photographer
Waltham | MA | USA | Posted: 12:40 AM on 08.12.10
->> Eric,

When were you assigned to be a judge on SS??

I am trying to give a different viewpoint in a professional way based on my expierience and help others, as well as I, I learned from this post an hope others do to, or at least take what they want from it good or bad. It is all my opinion and experience nobody elses.

I have no problem with agreeing to disagree but want to try and help Yamil and others based on more details info.

Let me know when SS has a God level...I am only a senior member..

Jim
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer, Assistant
Galveston & Houston | TX | US | Posted: 12:43 AM on 08.12.10
->> And then of course I realize I fudged my math on the third example: 8 drives spread across 2 original Drobos. Should be:

Drobo x 2, $1268 = 6 TB or $0.21 per GB

So we just lost the argument on price at that level, ignore those paragraphs. (For the first time ever, in 8 years of membership, I'm going to complain about the lack of an edit option.) However for just $68 extra you're getting 8 drives contained in two enclosures vs. 12 individual USB drives. Which of course is another convenience argument. But it isn't near the $400 extra you were thinking it might be.

So it looks like you're probably right with the Drobo as an example. It will be hard to beat the price of individual USB drives if cost is the only factor.
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 12:47 AM on 08.12.10
->> Jim says:

When you call Data Robotics ask them for their FMEA diagram? They should know what it means...if they don't it is Failure Modes Effect Analysis diagram. If this shows a backup for all component failure other than additional hardware, I will buy it tomorrow!!!

Jim,

In all honesty, I'm not here to sell you on anything.

I don't know what all that Tech stuff means, remember, my two Degrees are in Photography from Brooks, I learned my craft in Film on a 4x5 Sinar with Ektachrome!! The new Computer stuff is way over my head!!

I work with what is simple and easy to use!!

Like I said before, you are happy with your Individual Drives, that is cool with me!! Have fun with it!! I have to deal with over 2TB if Data a year, that I deal with on Drobos on different locations and offsite!!

I'm not a Computer guy or an engineer I'm a Commercial Photographer with need of reliable storage!! Back when I started, reliable storage was Archival Sleeves to store Kodachrome Slides!! That has changed.

You store on Individual Drives and I store on Drobo, how hard is that to understand?? I do this for a living, have done it for over 25 years, I feed my family with it... I use what I feel is right. I respect your decision, you should respect mine too.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 4:48 PM on 08.12.10
->> Help Yamil with what? The guys is doing backflips with pompoms (and we're talking those big azz '70s style pompoms) about his adoration for the Drobo and his owning multiple units.

Damn it Yamil this is all YOUR fault.... That's it you're buying dinner next time.

Oh and no the INAPP didn't come from me, and I really am at a loss as to where the personal barbs come from. Four times in in your original 4 posts you asked what it was that you were missing when it came to the Drobo. Yamil and I discussed the convenience and value that we get.... Kevin went a order of magnitude higher and pulled out the and chalk board and did the math.

No one has criticized you or your decision to rely on a JBOD array. To the contrary, everyone has said that if it is working for you and you are happy that's all that really matters. You and I actually AGREE that as a failure point the box is the weak point. I said that in my original post. The boxes themselves have zero failure tolerance. Huge shortcoming if you are pimping the thing as an enterprise rig. Take the enterprise aspect out of the picture it's actually a decent unit for being able to scale on the fly, tolerate a double HD crash, span (in my case) a 10.8tb volume etc.

If you took something that I posted as rude, judgmental, or 'godly' tell me what it was, either here or privately so that in the future I can be aware that you may find certain remarks offensive and try to avoid them. Not promising that I will, but I'll try.

E
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 5:53 PM on 08.12.10
->> Eric said:

"That's it you're buying dinner next time."

I will buddy!! You bet!!

I can't wait to hang with you again man!!

Y
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Jim Pierce, Photographer
Waltham | MA | USA | Posted: 6:54 PM on 08.12.10
->> Eric,

No hard feelings at all... I just took your post as...shut up Jim you don't know what you are talking about... Right or wrong, who knows. Sometimes things in writing get mis-interpreted and that seems to have been the case here.

Stay busy...

Jim
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 10:49 AM on 08.13.10
->> Glad to here it
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