Me and My Drobo

Since a few have been asking about my recent Drobo purchase, here’s some info.  I bought the “basic” Drobo unit without the DroboShare hardware.  And no, the Drobo, even with the DroboShare, does not support the wicked fast iSCSI transfers.  Only the DroboPro unit can handle iSCSI.

Doing some quick price checks, I placed my order through  At the time, Newegg’s Drobo cost was cheaper than most other online stores, Drobo was offering $50 back, and Newegg’s shipping to Hawaii was the lowest at ~$30.

My needs for a Drobo are pretty straightforward.  My internal drive was filling up and I already have an external drive for Mac OS X Time Machine backups.  The biggest problem is drive space for audio and video files.  I also have an AppleTV which syncs with the iTunes library.  If you want movies and television shows sync-ed with your AppleTV, then you need to leave them in the iTunes library.  This is where the problem comes.

With too many videos, especial HD ones, and high resolution pictures the internal drive fills up quick.  And I don’t want to manually add and delete movies to iTunes.  I didn’t want to get yet another basic external drive for my movies since there would be no backup of that.  So that’s where the Drobo fits in.

I have 3 drives in my Drobo which automatically configures a data redundant scheme.  Setup of a Drobo is easy, too easy in fact.  Nothing exciting.  The hardest part was clearing a space on my crowded desk for the hardware (which is bigger than I expected).  I’m using the FireWire 800 interface, and USB 2.0 is available.

For now, I migrated my iTunes music to the Drobo.  I haven’t moved my entire multimedia library including videos and pictures since I’m not exactly sure how that’s done.  Migrating iTunes music is documented and moving my entire Mac OS X Home directory is documented, but I haven’t found how to move the pictures and movies folders to another drive.  But moving my music alone freed up over 100 GB of space on my internal drive so that’s good enough.

I also use the Drobo for working on iMovie projects.  The speed of the Drobo was a concern of mine, but it’s been fast enough.  One minor thing is that the Drobo does go to sleep once in awhile so the drives take a few seconds to spin up when that happens.  It’s noticeable but not overly so.

I guess I could also use the Drobo for Time Machine backups since it is compatible.  But because I already have an external drive dedicated to Time Machine, I’ll keep this arrangement.

To round out my backup and archive scheme, at the suggestion of @mirthlab, I might have to reconsider something like SuperDuper.  Maybe I should move my Time Machine backups to the Drobo then repurpose my external drive as a SuperDuper clone??

So there you go about my Drobo.  If got any questions, leave me a comment.


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