pancakes

MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: Drobo Robotic Storage - your workflow  (Read 5407 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« on: February 24, 2009, 05:51 »
0
For those who don't know what this is, here is an over enthusiastic Cali Lewis telling you all about it :)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05yqvb5n36M[/youtube]

So anyhow, do you use it and how? 

I have been thinking seriously lately about getting one and think it could be a good back up solution in addition to an off site backup.  If you have one, do you use it for every day files and have it like an extra drive, or is it just for archive stuff that you don't use very often.  Do you put just extra back up files on there, or the files you are currently working on?

If I got one i think I would put back up files of my images on there, and perhaps some music and video that is taking up room elsewhere.  I currently keep all the images I am working on in a 'my documents' drive in my computer, then transfer files I am done with onto a backup drive in my computer.  It would be nice, perhaps to have that backup drive as the drobo since it is a RAID system. 

Another question for those who use it.  If I want to put it on my home network and plug it into the router, do I really need the DroboShare unit?  Or is that just if i want to share it over the internet?


BHphoto Link


« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2009, 06:20 »
0
I use one and I love it. I use it for my main storage device for all my photos.  I have one folder for Raw files, one for worked on PSD files and a final one for finished JPEGS.   I have the older USB version so it's a little slower than the new one, but it works fine for me.  I also have movies and other items on it.....but the reason I bought it was for my photos.  I still backup the RAW files every once in a while to an old hard drive....just in case 8).  The system is VERY Very easy to use....anybody could hook one up and use it...and is is sooooo easy to change drive....pull it out....pop the new one in....done. 
 They are kinda expensive....that's the one drawback :(

I think you do need the Droboshare unit to use over a network...but I don't use mine like that.

lisafx

« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2009, 11:21 »
0
Great thread.  I just bought one.  It arrived late yesterday and is awaiting my husband to set it up (hey, I never claimed to be a techy ;) ). 

I'll be happy to report my impressions once it is up and running.  On paper anyway it seems like the ideal storage solution.

However being paranoid I will still have my stock port backed up on a separate 1TB drive...

« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2009, 11:30 »
0
Great thread.  I just bought one.  It arrived late yesterday and is awaiting my husband to set it up (hey, I never claimed to be a techy ;) ). 

I'll be happy to report my impressions once it is up and running.  On paper anyway it seems like the ideal storage solution.
The very happy girl in the video said it was Plug and Play. Does she's wrong  :)

« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2009, 11:57 »
0
While many people like RAID, it has its problems as well (and in my opinion is much over-rated for home usage).  For example, if your RAID controller goes bad and you can't find a replacement then you have probably just lost all of your data.  You would be surprised how often this happens.  Trying to find a replacement RAID controller for hardware that is only a few years old can be very difficult.

So, in 5 years, when your Drobo unit dies, you might just lose all of your data.


« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2009, 13:15 »
0
Im currently thinking of getting a 1 tb western digital drive and then utilizing a storage system online perhaps from one of these solutions


http://www.symantec.com/business/online-backup

http://www.idrive.com/online-backup-features.htm

http://www.jungledisk.com/


lisafx

« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2009, 13:25 »
0

So, in 5 years, when your Drobo unit dies, you might just lose all of your data.



Exactly why I am backing up all data to additional storage :)

« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2009, 13:25 »
0
I have a 500GB Lacie hard drive but things are changing. Hard drive could be an old story in a couple of years, replaced by Flash memory. The flash memory is thinner and you can drop your flash drive on the ground without loosing your data. Exactly like our memory cards, there's no mechanical parts.

« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2009, 13:31 »
0
yeah, i upload to a remote server too.  I use Mozy but that jungledisk looks quite nice too.  I pay $5.00/month for unlimited space.  It isn't viable to start uploading a terabyte of data.. but files that are constantly changing it is a good way to keep things backed up, as it is only 1or2 GB

« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2009, 13:33 »
0
And did you hear about that new nano-tech material they developed, where on the size of a dollar bill and about as thick, you could store someting like the equivalent of 1000 dvds... years yet from production but they were able to store data in the lab

I have a 500GB Lacie hard drive but things are changing. Hard drive could be an old story in a couple of years, replaced by Flash memory. The flash memory is thinner and you can drop your flash drive on the ground without loosing your data. Exactly like our memory cards, there's no mechanical parts.

« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2009, 13:41 »
0
And did you hear about that new nano-tech material they developed, where on the size of a dollar bill and about as thick, you could store someting like the equivalent of 1000 dvds... years yet from production but they were able to store data in the lab

I have a 500GB Lacie hard drive but things are changing. Hard drive could be an old story in a couple of years, replaced by Flash memory. The flash memory is thinner and you can drop your flash drive on the ground without loosing your data. Exactly like our memory cards, there's no mechanical parts.
No but I can't wait LOL. I feel everyday like I live in the past each time I hear about a new tech. Not all seem to be good ideas. But we see every years that they can put more memory in the same memory cards. 3 years ago a 4gb CF card was the top, now we are at 16gb I think, maybe more.

« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2009, 13:59 »
0

« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2009, 14:23 »
0
32gb actually :)

Wow LOL... I just brought a 4gb extreme IV for the price my 1gb III cost me 3 years ago. Now I know why

« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2009, 20:07 »
0
Just think about this. A RAID is overkill for home use. It covers against online failures if you have to have a lot of data at your fingertips. Not really suited for nearline backup.

The price is a normal disk x 4.
It's still the same enclosure on one place.
Fire, dropping it, voltage disasters, flooding, will all destroy it.

For half the price you can buy 2 normal USB external disks and store one at a different location, offline, unpowered, high and dry.

There is a 1TB disk for 109 euro from Iomega... buy 2.

« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2009, 03:08 »
0
Just think about this. A RAID is overkill for home use. It covers against online failures if you have to have a lot of data at your fingertips. Not really suited for nearline backup.

The price is a normal disk x 4.
It's still the same enclosure on one place.
Fire, dropping it, voltage disasters, flooding, will all destroy it.

For half the price you can buy 2 normal USB external disks and store one at a different location, offline, unpowered, high and dry.

There is a 1TB disk for 109 euro from Iomega... buy 2.

where do you get the x4 figure from?  RAID does't have to be any more expensive than the single drives, and at most 2x more expensive, depending on which type of RAID system.  I agree it shouldn't be your only option but the fact is, that hard drives fail, all by themselves, without a natural disaster - this is the ONLY thing that RAID is trying to protect and it does it well.

Off site backups are good too and very necessary but I only get around to those once a month a most.  If that was all I had, when my drive failed (and it will) I would loose a month's worth of work.  RAID is good because it is automatic.

« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2009, 08:06 »
0
I agree it shouldn't be your only option but the fact is, that hard drives fail, all by themselves, without a natural disaster...

Even though hard drives are very reliable, they do fail over time.  But RAID controllers also fail over time.  And the problem is that there is no standard for RAID controllers. So if a RAID controller fails, you usually have to find that exact make/model/driver version in order to recover your data.  That can be a problem a few years down the road when the manufacturer no longer makes that exact piece of hardware (or the company has gone out of business).  So I agree that a disaster recovery strategy is needed to protect data, but I don't feel that RAID is the answer (at least not at home).  I would recommend buying an additional drive and then "replicating" the data onto the second drive on a schedule with software.  You can replicate the data once a day (in the middle of the night), every hour, or any schedule that you feel meets your needs.  I use a piece of software called SyncBack SE for the "replication", but there are other software solutions out there as well.

If you are dead set on using RAID, then I would recommend running at RAID level 1 (mirroring).  This way, if the RAID controller fails, you should still be able to recover your data if you can't find a replacement RAID controller.  Any other level of RAID can cause total data loss if a RAID controller fails.

hard drives fail...this is the ONLY thing that RAID is trying to protect and it does it well.

While RAID is used to protect data, it is also used for performance (e.g., striping data).


lisafx

« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2009, 08:41 »
0
Maybe I am missing something, but from what I read before purchasing, the Drobo is not technically a RAID system.  Supposedly it functions similarly but does not use a RAID configuration or controller. 

Not saying it is any more reliable than RAID, just not the same thing. 

When your data is important it is crazy to have it all on any one drive or even system.  Backup is essential no matter what system you go with. 

« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2009, 10:16 »
0
When your data is important it is crazy to have it all on any one drive or even system.  Backup is essential no matter what system you go with.

Yes, I think I was not clear enough for Leaf.
RAID is great for a reliable online presence of a large amount of data, like in a store or on a server when you need the data online or available all the time and let's say an hour for restoring a backup would be disastrous for business. Imagine the cash registers would go down for an hour during a saturday afternoon for a multi-outlet seller.

This is different from backup. You don't need your data available immediately, but security and integrity is the main goal. One of the ways to achieve that is having them on independent sites and media. For instance, if a RAID fails by some external causes, like fire, dropping it, voltage calamities, software failures, you lost all. The premium price of RAID is not caused by more security in long-time backup, but in fast and reliable access online.

For the same price, you can have two independent mirrored non-raid disks, one of which you can store unpowered in a safe place. If you want RAID, fine, but don't think it's backup. You will still need backup media.

« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2009, 10:51 »
0
Maybe I am missing something, but from what I read before purchasing, the Drobo is not technically a RAID system.  Supposedly it functions similarly but does not use a RAID configuration or controller. 

Not saying it is any more reliable than RAID, just not the same thing. 

Lisa:

Whether Drobo is technically "RAID" or not isn't important.  The fact is that if the Drobo device died, you could not read the data off of the drives that were in the Drobo without purchasing another Drobo unit.  The Drobo unit IS the "controller".  This is essentially the same problem with a RAID system.

Drobo is proprietary (as are most other RAID systems).  As such, you need their proprietary technology to read the data off of your drives.  That is why I recommend going with a non-proprietary system (such as another hard disk with software that can copy/synchronize/backup your data to the second drive).  In a non-proprietary system, if a hard drive fails, then you just get another one and restore.  In a proprietary system, you are stuck with trying to find a specific piece of equipment that might no longer be available.

lisafx

« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2009, 18:20 »
0
Well, the DROBO arrived DOA.  Well, maybe not technically Dead on arrival, but certainly Disfunctional on arrival. 

We inserted the drives and attached it to the computer.  The computer recognized it, and we installed the software and formatted the drives.  all appeared to be working fine until I actually tried to copy files to the DROBO.  It took only two files and then began acting wonky, with lights flashing telling me two of the drives were full and needed replacing?!?

Called DROBO support and after a good 45 minutes on the phone with them, during which time we reset the drobo, uninstalled and reinstalled it, wiped and reformatted the drives on it, etc. and nothing worked . The tech support guy finally pronounced it defective. 

Honestly, I had read some similar reports about DROBO on amazon and resellerratings, but the positive reports way outnumbered the ones with problems.  Either I was one of the unlucky ones or these things are a POS. 

Looks like Geopappas was right.  Not worth risking your data on.  I am glad this happened right out of the box instead of waiting a week or two until I had transferred a lot of data to it and then dying.  I definitely won't be getting another one!

« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2009, 20:22 »
0
Looks like Geopappas was right.  Not worth risking your data on.  I am glad this happened right out of the box instead of waiting a week or two until I had transferred a lot of data to it and then dying.  I definitely won't be getting another one!

Lisa:

I am very sorry to hear of your problem and frustration.

In my previous posts, I wasn't trying to put down the Drobo specifically, but the pitfalls of RAID generically.  I am sure that Drobos work fine (for the most part).  I was just trying to warn about the potential issues that might arise down the road from using RAID.  You should feel blessed that this didn't happen down the road once you had loaded it with all of your data.  The worst thing is to feel as if you are completely protecting yourself, but in reality you are leaving yourself open to failure.  It is sort of like replacing your front door with a top of the line model, but leaving the back door wide open.

Most people are trying to protect against a single point of failure (their hard drive), but then their "solution" is to purchase another single point (a RAID controller)!  That doesn't make much sense to me.

As I stated before, I would recommend staying away from proprietary technologies (RAID controllers, Drobo, etc).  Once you add a proprietary technology to the mix, you are stuck with it (at least for a while) and you endanger yourself to the possibility that it isn't available when you need it the most.

I myself have two (2) 1 TB drives that are synchronized (via SyncBack SE) on a schedule.  One drive is my data drive and the other is the backup drive.  If one drive fails, I just purchase another and synchronize the new drive from the old one.  If SyncBack goes out of business, then I can purchase one of the other software products that does the same thing (e.g., Acronis True Image).  Pretty simple.

(FYI: I also have a third drive that runs the O/S and all of my applications.  I don't backup my O/S or apps (it's not worth the time and effort to me)).

If you are determined to use RAID, then I would suggest trying mirroring alone (RAID level 1).  I believe that if a RAID controller fails with RAID level 1, then you should still be able to retrieve your data (without the controller) by attaching the drives directly to the computer, but I would still suggest due diligence.

Good luck.

----

Edit:

If you (or anyone else) is looking for a good hard drive, then I would recommend checking out the Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB drive (WD1001FALS).  The Caviar Black series is Western Digital's high-end series (aka business class).  They have a 5 year warranty and you can get one for about $120.

« Last Edit: March 02, 2009, 20:42 by GeoPappas »

lisafx

« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2009, 12:35 »
0


If you are determined to use RAID, then I would suggest trying mirroring alone (RAID level 1).  I believe that if a RAID controller fails with RAID level 1, then you should still be able to retrieve your data (without the controller) by attaching the drives directly to the computer, but I would still suggest due diligence.

Good luck.

----

Edit:

If you (or anyone else) is looking for a good hard drive, then I would recommend checking out the Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB drive (WD1001FALS).  The Caviar Black series is Western Digital's high-end series (aka business class).  They have a 5 year warranty and you can get one for about $120.



Thanks for the recommend on the WD Caviar.  I have an external enclosure I might consider that for. 

For the time being, I am thinking I will go with the MyBook 2TB Mirror Raid setup.  Not being a techy it looks like it will be simple for me.  But I will also be backing everything up to a separate Lacie 1TB.

I love this job, but trying to find storage for the RAWs, especially from the 5D II is a real challenge. 

Guess I should start editing more carefully, but I would rather spend $ to store all the RAW's than spend many hours trying to decide which ones to toss and which to keep. 

PhotoDuneMicrostock Insider

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
10 Replies
3994 Views
Last post August 08, 2006, 14:04
by leaf
13 Replies
3916 Views
Last post December 10, 2007, 07:59
by annfoto
21 Replies
5113 Views
Last post May 13, 2009, 14:56
by Adeptris
35 Replies
6735 Views
Last post September 22, 2009, 13:36
by zymmetricaldotcom
1 Replies
1658 Views
Last post March 07, 2010, 03:35
by Talanis

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors