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New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: Silencio
Date: July 08, 2008 04:03PM
This should hopefully alleviate some of the performance bottlenecks in the thing which kept me from considering the original model.

[drobo.com]
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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: July 08, 2008 04:07PM
Another Drobo drawback is when an upgrade is released, you have to buy a whole new box.

Their comparisons against a standard RAID are BS.




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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: July 08, 2008 04:08PM
I read that the old one (USB only version) is on clearance for $350.

Incidentally, can you set the Drobo up such that any/each drive you stick in it shows up as an independant volume?
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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: July 08, 2008 04:17PM
Quote
Carnos Jax
Incidentally, can you set the Drobo up such that any/each drive you stick in it shows up as an independant volume?

No. That defeats the purpose of the enclosure to begin with.




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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: MacArtist
Date: July 08, 2008 05:01PM
Can a person set up a Drobo to back up files to both a PC and a Mac. I would like to be able to share 1 Drobo between 2 computers via USB2.



I sit on a man’s back, choking him and making
him carry me, and yet assure myself and others
that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his
lot by all possible means — except by getting off
his back. - Leo Tolstoy, novelist and Philosopher
(1828-1910)

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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: July 08, 2008 05:25PM
No, but there is a NAS attachment.




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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: Blankity Blank
Date: July 08, 2008 05:29PM
A 2TB Drobo goes for $899 if I"m reading the pricing correctly. Two 1TB drives from newegg run $480 and OWC has a hardware RAID enclosure, RAID 1 mirroring, for $150. Does the Drobo bring another $250 worth of value to the table?
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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: onthedownlow
Date: July 08, 2008 05:39PM
Yes, it does. I have two Drobos running with 4TB ('pre-cooked' weight. lol) in each.

You can find 1TB drives for around $160-$180 a piece...I know, I just purchased 20 of them a couple weeks ago without any volume pricing.



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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: July 08, 2008 06:04PM
No eSATA? That's a big oversight, in my opinion.

If you aren't going to connect to something optical and or eSATA, it seems a waste
to spend all that $$$. If it is a portable unit - it should have at least a rear end like
this one...




- AND if you ONLY are seeking something like an external with its own hardware
mirror, then the above and its "clones" are OK. But Drobo seems to be claiming more.

BUT --- while the Drobo has a nice combo of striping and mirror, I don't see
any capability of ultra speeds via the ports they are providing (Drobo) unless I missed
something on a much more expensive unit.

In other words.....

-unless data is running via controllers better than FW 800 (such as FW3200 that has
been tested in '05, but only over short runs), or USB3 (at 5GBit/sec, which
might mean actually getting 200MB/sec, with the new fiber ports/cables) ----- just buy
something real - like an Infiniband or other solution, and stick to FirmTek, etc.

Doing this with real expectations via FW800, USB2 and/or NAS is simply not an answer
to provide real speed to either someone in need for video/music or huge user base,
let alone trying to stack mirror/stripe, mirror/stripe, and again, crank it over FW800....

Maybe if ALL the ports can feed the computer at once (including NAS!).... is even more ridiculous.

There is one member who has a real expertise at this with PRO video and RAID,
and works with one of the RAID makers - but he got a bit tired of arguing "reality"
of these systems in the real pro world of film, etc., with weekend video pirates
with a "mini-Stack" and a handy-cam, and almost never comes here anymore.

That was a loss for everyone.


.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/2008 06:07PM by Jimmypoo.
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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: July 08, 2008 06:10PM
No eSATA?
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I see the Drobo as a MacBook Air-like device.
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: July 08, 2008 06:22PM
And it suffers the same fate as the MBA.

People want to blast it for what it isn't, rather than allow for it's suitability for what it is. Because it doesn't appeal to the editorial "they", it's a POC.

I don't do video, though Drobo apparently has support from some people who do (Alex Lindsey is one [en.wikipedia.org] ), so I think with FW the Drobo will do very nicely for mass storage.

I bought a car a few years ago that lacked a few nice touches that I could only find in far more expensive cars. The next model year had those. Oh well.

eSata would be cool, but I don't own any eSata gear. It will be a while before I get another Mac that has eSata, or that accepts an eSata card. So the Drobo looks bery bery good to me.

It's too bad that decisions like this turn into arguments about who is "right/which is better" rather than what is more suitable for who.

I don't know who you're referring to, jimmy, but because it's you I can accept it on it's face:

That was a loss for everyone.






I am that Masked Man.

All you can do, is all you can do.

There’s trouble — it's time to play the sound of my people.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: Silencio
Date: July 08, 2008 06:28PM
Quote
Blankity Blank
A 2TB Drobo goes for $899 if I"m reading the pricing correctly. Two 1TB drives from newegg run $480 and OWC has a hardware RAID enclosure, RAID 1 mirroring, for $150. Does the Drobo bring another $250 worth of value to the table?

How about the fact that the Drobo has four drive bays and that NewerTech case only has two? And that 1TB drives are a lot cheaper than that now?

Seems like a no-brainer for them to pick Firewire 800 over eSATA, even though eSATA would no doubt have been cheaper for them to implement: there are a lot more machines (especially Macs) that ship with FW800 ports than there are machines with eSATA ports. What good would eSATA do for someone who owns an iMac? They should have offered both, but oh well.

Their web site claims up to 52MB/s reads & 34MB/s writes, but it would be good to see some independent benchmarks. I don't think Drobo is really competing with anything that connects via Infiniband or Ultra320 SCSI, are they?
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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: July 08, 2008 06:33PM
Then why bother with 4 drives that are striping and mirroring?

That's my point. This is sort of an "imitation RAID" for speed solutions, and 52MB transfer rates using four SATA-2 drives bites!
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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: July 08, 2008 06:37PM
You can always get the Drobo bare, and buy the drives as they go on sale.

It will give you 3.xT of protected storage with 4 4T HDs. When 2T drives come out, buy one, replace one of the 1T drives, and get some more room. Swap out drives as money and time permit.

The current Drobo controller(s) support 4T HDs, so you could have about 12T protected storage with 4 4T HDs.

The disadvantages do not outweigh the convenience, for me.

It's all a situation.






I am that Masked Man.

All you can do, is all you can do.

There’s trouble — it's time to play the sound of my people.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: onthedownlow
Date: July 08, 2008 07:01PM
Convenience is key, yes. No having to worry about RAID...rebuilding...degraded units, etc...it takes care of it all nice and neat. The user has virtually no worries.



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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: July 08, 2008 08:03PM
Quote
RAMd®d
You can always get the Drobo bare, and buy the drives as they go on sale.

It will give you 3.xT of protected storage with 4 4T HDs. When 2T drives come out, buy one, replace one of the 1T drives, and get some more room. Swap out drives as money and time permit.

The current Drobo controller(s) support 4T HDs, so you could have about 12T protected storage with 4 4T HDs.

The disadvantages do not outweigh the convenience, for me.

It's all a situation.

AFAICT, the only advantages are that it's all in one box and you just plug it in. Oh wait, the ReadyNAS offers that too.

With no real advantages, the disadvantages weigh it down easily.

Quote
onthedownlow
Convenience is key, yes. No having to worry about RAID...rebuilding...degraded units, etc...it takes care of it all nice and neat. The user has virtually no worries.

You've been drinking the Drobo Kool Aid ;) Yes, it does still have to rebuild depending on the changes made. It will either run in degraded mode or shutoff, just like a regular RAID.

All the Drobo has going for it is marketing.




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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: mattkime
Date: July 08, 2008 08:32PM
they solicited feedback on their forums and the discussion was a lot like it was here. people fighting over whether FW800 or eSATA was more important, but at that point the box was only doing a couple of meg/sec.

the drobo is much easier to set up than a normal raid and EXPANDABLE. you can move from 1 drive to four without copying the data off. then you can put in bigger drives. very convenient.

i know people who i'd recommend these to. great for people who can't afford a more expensive RAID system.



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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: onthedownlow
Date: July 08, 2008 08:56PM
Quote
M A V I C
Quote
onthedownlow
Convenience is key, yes. No having to worry about RAID...rebuilding...degraded units, etc...it takes care of it all nice and neat. The user has virtually no worries.

You've been drinking the Drobo Kool Aid ;) Yes, it does still have to rebuild depending on the changes made. It will either run in degraded mode or shutoff, just like a regular RAID.

All the Drobo has going for it is marketing.


First, I do realize you know some stuff about this...

Of course Drobo rebuilds drives, etc...of course...but it does so in such a friendly way that the end-user does not see it and rarely notices a performance decrease, if any. There are no manual intrustions needed from the end-user to instigate something like that (whether it needs to be done or the novice person 'thinks' it needs to be done). In fact, you do not even need a manual to use a Drobo. A person can take it out of the box, plug it in...throw a drive or three in and it 'just works'...no instruction manuals needed. Everything you need to know is simplified in just a few phrases on the inside cover of the machine.

Drobo is pure and simple, period. That is the market, but it just so happens to have decent performance too. Let's forget that I was personally asked to beta test their products...including the DroboShare several months before its debut. I am not biased towards them...in fact, I had not offered my time on occasion, but was still in the loop.

With that said...let me tell you this much...I do have Drobos in use...I have higher-end ReadyNASes...Promise gear...3ware hardware...LSI Logic equipment (heck I almost worked for their headquarters several years ago)...and several other flavors of storage consuming the place. Because of the good-natured person that I am, I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a 'RAID expert' to bash down others about 'this or that' or how him/her drinks somebody elses Kool-Aid...but I, with almost absolute certainty, can probably say that I have built, am solely responsible for, and have handled much more critical storage solutions than most and Drobos do have a place in such an environment and I have happily welcomed the Drobo line into my workflow of storage solutions and their performance, while definitely not always the fastest, can be very fast at times and is just a solid workhorse of a machine that I do have managing some critical data...and because of my personal and professional experience with these machines I am never worried about losing any sleep with worries about it failing.



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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: July 08, 2008 09:30PM
With no real advantages, the disadvantages weigh it down easily.

BS.

MAVIC is one of those people I referred to who needs to make unilateral pronouncements. If the Drobo isn't right for him, it can't be right for anybody.

He chooses to attempt to denigrate those who find the Drobo perfectly serviceable and prefer the convenience over a true RAID.

MAVIC, when it comes down to it, you are a shallow, petty little man. You're not alone in your narrow views, but you are a standout.

otdl, you're a better man than I.






I am that Masked Man.

All you can do, is all you can do.

There’s trouble — it's time to play the sound of my people.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: July 08, 2008 10:19PM
Quote
mattkime
the drobo is much easier to set up than a normal raid and EXPANDABLE. you can move from 1 drive to four without copying the data off. then you can put in bigger drives. very convenient.

You can do that with many RAID systems as well. I know the Drobo people would like to advertise otherwise, and there are some systems that can't... but they seem to have found occasional flaws in some RAID systems and lumped them together as if all RAIDs suffer from the problems they describe.

Quote

i know people who i'd recommend these to. great for people who can't afford a more expensive RAID system.

There are ways to create a faster, more reliable, more expandable, easier to repair RAID systems for about the same price as the Drobo.

Quote
onthedownlow
Of course Drobo rebuilds drives, etc...of course...but it does so in such a friendly way that the end-user does not see it and rarely notices a performance decrease, if any.

Some RAIDs are similar. Not only that, but the Drobo is so slow to begin with that even when a normal RAID is running slow, it's probably still running faster than a Drobo at its peak.

Quote

There are no manual intrustions needed from the end-user to instigate something like that (whether it needs to be done or the novice person 'thinks' it needs to be done). In fact, you do not even need a manual to use a Drobo. A person can take it out of the box, plug it in...throw a drive or three in and it 'just works'...no instruction manuals needed. Everything you need to know is simplified in just a few phrases on the inside cover of the machine.

Same with other solutions. Some might require a paragraph of reading, some a little less or a little more.

Quote

Drobo is pure and simple, period. That is the market, but it just so happens to have decent performance too.

I haven't seen reports on the latest one, so it may have gotten a lot better. At last check, it was dramatically slower than other solutions.

Quote

With that said...let me tell you this much...I do have Drobos in use...I have higher-end ReadyNASes...Promise gear...3ware hardware...LSI Logic equipment (heck I almost worked for their headquarters several years ago)...and several other flavors of storage consuming the place. Because of the good-natured person that I am, I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a 'RAID expert' to bash down others about 'this or that' or how him/her drinks somebody elses Kool-Aid...but I, with almost absolute certainty, can probably say that I have built, am solely responsible for, and have handled much more critical storage solutions than most and Drobos do have a place in such an environment and I have happily welcomed the Drobo line into my workflow of storage solutions and their performance, while definitely not always the fastest, can be very fast at times and is just a solid workhorse of a machine that I do have managing some critical data...and because of my personal and professional experience with these machines I am never worried about losing any sleep with worries about it failing.

Well said. I've worked with a variety of RAID systems from three figures to six figures. I've seen products such as the low end ReadyNAS serve a couple hundred users simultaneously at fair performance. I've seen a system with dozens of drives not be able to adequately serve one user.

Other than saving users from having to read a paragraph or even a page of text, I've seen no real advantage to the Drobo. Its previous incarnation was considerably slower, offer no multi-user connectivity (and the new one still doesn't [without an add-on of course]) and no easy path to recover from a hardware (not drive) failure other than buying a whole new box. Compared to other products on the market, it costs about the same and delivers far less.

Again, well said. I do respect your opinion and apologize for the "Kool Aid" comment. I should have put a wink next to that as it was intended in jest and I realize now that it was not written in the way I intended it.

Quote
RAMd®d
With no real advantages, the disadvantages weigh it down easily.

BS.

MAVIC is one of those people I referred to who needs to make unilateral pronouncements. If the Drobo isn't right for him, it can't be right for anybody.

Not so. I think knowing the extra little bit to handle a better system is worth it - for everybody. It's like someone who's never traveled outside a five mile radius, going a bit farther and meeting different people. Sure it may be just a tad uncomfortable, but it's worth it.

I also think that people should at least learn what it means to be "healthy." Healthy does not mean simply not expressing conditions. I know some disagree with that, but I still think everyone should know the difference.

Quote

He chooses to attempt to denigrate those who find the Drobo perfectly serviceable and prefer the convenience over a true RAID.

MAVIC, when it comes down to it, you are a shallow, petty little man. You're not alone in your narrow views, but you are a standout.

otdl, you're a better man than I.

When I first read your response I was like "what the...?" But if you're referring to the "Kool Aid" comment... although I disagree with replying to an insult with an insult... I can certainly see why you chose to respond that way.




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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: mattkime
Date: July 08, 2008 10:29PM
>>You can do that with many RAID systems as well.

...but not many in the price range.

anyway, i've been waiting for the right moment to post this link -

[www.youtube.com]



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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: onthedownlow
Date: July 08, 2008 10:47PM
So who has actually used/owned a Drobo model here? smiling smiley I know there are a couple.



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RE Drobo Alternatives: FirmTek LLC 5/4-Bay RAID Enclosures, Bus Masters (Bootable!)
Posted by: rexrzer
Date: July 09, 2008 07:36AM
Hi everyone, happy to see all your smiling facades here still, constructively arguing over the suitability of the Drobo, as an "everyman" solution that does so many things, and so well, and so easily apparently. I really have no business here in this discussion, don't have an intimacy with this device and its progenitors, and users, and benefits, and detractors, and behavior in real world, real-life everyday uses, that you, or I, or perhaps anyone with the need for high performance RAID capability might share with this group of friends.

I can only tell you all that I am a very satisfied, make that very satisfied customer using this device here, which has been online since February, 2007, 24/7, operating my G5 Dual Core 2.3Ghz PowerMac's many-faceted capabilities and intricacies, and it's just been a super performer, never needing anything more than a 1-time a month Disk Warrior bath and shave, a RP's after Leopard updates, and a CockTail v4.1.3 (now) house cleaning each 2 weeks:

[www.xlr8yourmac.com]

Yes, it's me, David C., rexrzer, who wrote that review, and I'm the friend of jimmypoo who never comes here much anymore, not for lack of intentions, but for lack of time as my life is like a supercharger in full song, the past 1.5 years, with my photography and software businesses just booming, like Scott Kalitta's dragsters/Funny Cars used to do while he was with us on this earth.

I have run the RAID "0", booting the G5 via the FirmTek 2SE2/E bus masters, non-stop since I made it all happen with Leopard, and prior to that Tiger, surprising even myself with its seamless uptake of the "Archive & Install" acceptance of the OS update last year.
I truly expected the RAID to choke on a boot-start and install via my drop-in-bundle's Leopard Update DVD ROM that came with an Intel Mac Mini Refurb that I bought last November, but take it the dang thing did, even allowing me to use the Leopard DVD ROM as a network device via my Airport Card during the installation/upgrade.

I back up the drives with a 1TB Western Digital GP SATA HD in a Venus DS3 Case, the one with the horizontal 80mm fan across the whole interior surface of the HD mechanism, the coolest-running single HD SATA HD cases on the planet, and I'm sorry to say that Larry @ OWC doesn't carry them, in fact, I have a "stash of them" (I bought 3 on sale last year) bought elsewhere, it really doesn't matter where, but a well-known vendor to all of you. I never have more than about 250GB of data on the system after writes and reads are all done for a job, any project I'm involved with, so there's no point in a big, complex backup HD system with my RAID "0" system, the 2e/EN4 FirmTek RAID running off 4 individual eSATA cables, from 2 separate PCI-Express bus masters in the G5's guts, a real work of art if you've ever seen such a thing! smoking smiley

Certain, difficult if I may say so, updating of the bus masters' firmware, all 3 of them running in the machine (yup, I have a 3rd 2SE2/E bus master running one of these, for my iTunes Library with 2 x 1TB Western Digital GP HD's inside of it, holding more than 1200 AppleTV Movies custom made by me, not purchased like an idiot savant-@#$%&-Apple disciple might do, anyway it's in one of these FirmTek products:
[www.firmtek.com] )

was necessary to run and be bootable, successfully with Leopard installed, but as usual the FirmTek genius ex-Apple Engineer who is a major player at FirmTek, along with Dr. Kim Stanford, my Guru and confidante, and owner of the company, a most amazing woman I assure all of you reading this now...anyway, they came through with another dose of their industry-leading, and industry ONLY bootable eSATA PCI-Express bus masters/port multiplier bus masters, scripting a perfect albeit somewhat lengthy process of updating each piece ALONE in the G5, which meant gutting it temporarily for every update to the bus masters, and installing just one of them and updating its firmware....I'm sure you get the point because it was laborious to say the least!spinning smiley sticking its tongue out

But that's been the only caveat to my system since inception, and I wanted to take this moment to thank Dr. Stanford, The Engineer (who shall remain unnamed forever, as far as I am concerned!) @ FirmTek who writes the Apple bootable firmwares for all their products, and all the dedicated FirmTek employes who contribute to their great efforts, at leading an industry in bootable PCI, PCI-X, and PCI-Express Macintosh solutions for the eSATA RAID market, a market of an incredible depth and complexity and success stories, from record companies, and recording artists, doctors, lab techs and chemists, mathematicians, Stanford.edu complexes which shall also go unnamed right now, film and video producers, and production houses, and portable and semi-portable (yes, these things are used as portable RAID devices all over the world, it turns out...wherever there's a Mac RAID eSATA 3Gb/sec sub-system, chances are if it's bootable it's 100% FirmTek, from top to bottom) high-end storage folks of all varieties and colors, and shapes and sizes of people and companies...

I would like to thank them all for just being there, and doing their things, the FirmTek way!

FYI here's the new 5-bay PM enclosure that FirmTek is selling at the rate of about 100+ per month or more, as fast as they can make them literally, as fast as Michael Bean over at AMUG can certify them as ready, done, and go-for-it units (each device is thoroughly tested for conformity, performance, and QC in general before it's packaged, and shipped out to the customers, of course, like all FirmTek products from Day No. 1 of that companysmiling smiley

[www.amug.org]

Nice people, this is what I depend on, and the company that I believe in for my products and why (?) is really simple: they deliver performance 2nd to none, are as reliable as 100% says they can be and are in daily practice in my studio, and in the thousands of other offices, homes, and businesses they are used in across the world!

I don't know about Drobo, I can only tell you about my experiences with video, and audio, and film, and photography with my small 2TB systems, even though I've experimented with a 4TB system earlier in the year, I find I just don't need that kind of renewable, contiguous RAID "0" storage and write space...I seem to need anywhere from 500GB to 1.7TB or so with the projects that I am involved with, ie it's just total overkill to use the 4 x 1TB Hitachi Enterprise 7200RPM A7K1000 HD's in my office, because it's probably never going to get filled up and used like it should be, if I had such a thing permanently going.

I hope this hasn't been too boring, or too much of an endorsement for FirmTek for you, but then again, this is an open Forum, and I've been a member for some 3 years and counting, and I bought each and every piece and part of my systems from OWC, just some fyi's!smileys with beer

Larry gave me some great deals, on literally everything that I own from OWC, they were all "open box" units, but for the HD's themselves, silly! You knew that, yes?grinning smiley

These are NOT expensive systems to own, build, or maintain, and come with a very comprehensive warranty system, and what in the world is going to go wrong with a 100% backplane-mounting system HD setup anyway? It the Drobo featured like that? Or is it full of wires and fittings and fuses, like all the others are too? Including, unfortunately, all the OWC offereings... eye rolling smiley

They're all made in the USA to boot, all these products, so how about supporting your local FirmTek Vendor, like OWC, nice people?

Have a great Wednesday, get over the hump with some fun, and finesse, and call up Dr. Kim Stanford @ 510--675-9800 if you have any questions about her products or services, and see what she can build for you, tuit suite! You can tell her you read about her, and her great company, and products right here, from me if you want. She'll get a kick out of it, I'm pretty certain, knowing her!

Kindest regards,
rexrzer/David C. B)

_________________________________________



What's the difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make some sense.
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Re: RE Drobo Alternatives: FirmTek LLC 5/4-Bay RAID Enclosures, Bus Masters (Bootable!)
Posted by: mattkime
Date: July 09, 2008 08:00AM
rexrzer - what is the interface like for creating RAIDs with that setup? If i understand correctly, the enclosure itself doesn't perform any RAID functions. Thats up to the host card or software on the host machine.



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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: rexrzer
Date: July 09, 2008 09:28AM
mattkime;

Hi, and how are you doing?;)

It's all done with the "smoke and mirrors" of Disk Utility!

Piece of cake, you just line up your RAID drives in a row, drag one over to the "RAID" side of the Utility Window for being a "member" of the group, after Initializing Them All, of course...

You decide on the size of the individual blocks, of course, during the RAID process-making, like I use 64k blocks because I'm doing a ton of photography, and some video, not too much, but enough to not make me go 128k or 32k, which is too small...so for me 64k works...

Then the "smoke and mirrors" of Apple RAID happens, when you hit "Create RAID "0", and about 30 seconds later....VOILA! All 4 volumes have mounted as your RAID "0", or you could have a "Mirrored" RAID, or JBOD RAID with different sized HD's....whatever, it's lots of "smoke and mirrors" and it works just fantastic, in just a couple minutes you're all done, and ready to install an OS (if you prefer to have a Bootable RAID like I want for my photoshop work...just a minimal Leopard System on it, all my Pro Apps on it, and VOILA!!

Instant WorkaHolic SuperMacinTosh! 1.8TB RAID "0" smoking smiley

The beauty of the whole deal is that Time Machine backs up the RAID Volume as a whole entity every 1 hour, right? So, I just leave TM on, with that FireWire 400 HD connected to it, the WD GP 1TB HD that I use for backup, and if I were ever have a "Failed RAID" "0", I could replace the failed HD instantly and be up and running in probably 25 mintues or less! :-)

(I have a couple extras handy just for such an occasion) but lucky for me the HItachi E7K500 500GB HD's with the 5-year Enterprise Warranties are Rock Solid heavy-duty HD's that are destined to work the full 5-years, and probably beyond!) thumbs up

All I know is this is the solution I was looking for 3 years ago, and it took FirmTek to make it happen, and they did. End of story! This is the best HD system on the planet that's based on controllers and eSATA. Period!!grinning smiley

___________________________________________



What's the difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make some sense.
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Re: RE Drobo Alternatives: FirmTek LLC 5/4-Bay RAID Enclosures, Bus Masters (Bootable!)
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: July 09, 2008 11:26AM
rexrzer, thanks for the details. I think you're somewhat comparing apples to oranges. The Drobo is essentially a proprietary RAID5 system. You're talking a lot about a RAID0 which is a much different beast. It looks like the enclosure can only do 1, 0 and JBOD, right? If someone is going to get a host adapter, that will put them over the price range the Drobo is in. They're better off getting the adapter and putting it in an old G4 (or one off ebay). Then they'll still be in the Drobo price range plus they'll have a system that can offer several fold more functionality with the familiar OS X interface.




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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: estnyc
Date: July 09, 2008 12:16PM
Hmm. I know I should've kept that G4/400 I found in the street.

I like the idea of a Drobo. Pop out smaller drives, pop in bigger drives. No Disk Utility, no nuthin. I like the simplicity of it.

And I just have an iMac, so I don't kneed eSata, at least not yet.



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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: July 09, 2008 12:26PM
Quote
estnyc
Hmm. I know I should've kept that G4/400 I found in the street.

I like the idea of a Drobo. Pop out smaller drives, pop in bigger drives. No Disk Utility, no nuthin. I like the simplicity of it.

Yeah, well, some RAID devices in that price range are like that too. Drobo does a fairly poor job of pointing out the downsides of mix matching the size of drives.




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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: estnyc
Date: July 09, 2008 10:11PM
I would say the companies which make other RAID devices in the Drobo's price range which offer similar features have done a fairly poor job of pointing out they exist.



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Re: New Drobo: adds Firewire 800, faster CPU
Posted by: ADent
Date: July 09, 2008 10:14PM
Since Drobo is so bad, what is a set and forget RAID 5 setup for under $500?

Or even a good NAS that does NFS that works with Leopard or even better HFS for a couple hundred bucks?
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Re: RE Drobo Alternatives: FirmTek LLC 5/4-Bay RAID Enclosures, Bus Masters (Bootable!)
Posted by: rexrzer
Date: July 10, 2008 12:57AM
Quote
M A V I C
rexrzer, thanks for the details. I think you're somewhat comparing apples to oranges. The Drobo is essentially a proprietary RAID5 system. You're talking a lot about a RAID0 which is a much different beast. It looks like the enclosure can only do 1, 0 and JBOD, right? If someone is going to get a host adapter, that will put them over the price range the Drobo is in. They're better off getting the adapter and putting it in an old G4 (or one off ebay). Then they'll still be in the Drobo price range plus they'll have a system that can offer several fold more functionality with the familiar OS X interface.

No way, Jose, just a different set of values, that's all. Like I wrote, I have no business here in this discussion in regard to being a qualified expert on the Drobo proprietary RAID5 system. How the hell are you anyways, and the weather in Seattle is still what it is, as usual I suppose? Sorry to digress, but that's what I remember about you off the cuff, if I'm wrong and you've moved on and things have changed, my apologies, of course.thumbs up

Guys and gals here, it's been a long, long time since I posted up anything, so I am apologizing profusely right now for even getting into this, but jimmypoo sent me the link, and between jobs this AM, I did have an extra 15 minutes or so, and put together that little exercise in Pro-FirmTek equipment extravaganzoria!!thumbs up smiley

I really need to look at what *other people* are doing for storage these days, and one of these fine times I'll do just that, but this system is what works for me, along with massive archiving of RAW Data Files via an unlimited quantity of DVD-RAM discs, which my DVR-110's will pop out, a full 4.4GB worth, in about 14 minutes or so...allowing me lots of flexibility and usefulness and the feelings of productivity in an unlimited sense...;)

I work with a LOT of data, all the time, but it's transitory, as in loads of RAW Photoshop files in process, and being batched and finished and sent away, very quickly really, not hard to explain this at all, so I'm not in need of archiving 4-6TB of data like some folks who work in film, video, audio, commercials, voice-overs, that sort of thing...

However, I need FAST processing, and the RAID allows me that freedom, as it writes at this absurdly consistent, and quick speed of about 225MB/sec average across the volume, from 0% full to 90% full, which is where I stop working and batch out the bunch, then go onto the next one. The size of the RAID is bloody purrfect for my time span per job, not too large, not too small, just right as rain for what I'm doing every single day that I choose to open my studio and start CPU's working and files flying, and working them through...now this is evening work mostly, as I have a regular day job gig which JP knows about, and I don't need or want to go into that now.

The issue is WHAT I'm using the RAID "0" for vs what I could be doing to get the same results, and quite frankly there aren't any options that are appealing, or effecitve, and certainly not cost$-wise a good thing to even deal with.

Look, the nice people at Apple Computer Customer Relations gave me this G5, Dual Core 2.3Ghz PCI Express PowerMac, free and clear, with 3 years of AppleCare so I already had the machine...ie I didn't need to go out and search for the right G4 Digital Audio PowerMac, and install the FirmTek RAID system into it, which would have cut my costs! That was never an issue, so the box was available and ready to work, and all I had to do was load it up with the 8GB of RAM it needed to be effective for this sort of thing, score the FirmTek getup, and I was off to the races.

I would argue that a PCI Express G5 is a very adequate machine in its own right, especially the 2.3Ghz model, the one that doesn't have a liquid cooling system which is going to fail at some point like the poor people who got stuck with the Quad Core PCI Express G5's, the 2.5Ghz models, which just self-destruct without the Panasonic cooling system core and mechanicals...the Delphi equipped machines are just junk waiting for a new type of home, the bone-yard?

So I don't have that to worry about with this one, in fact, it's been the most reliable High Performance PowerMac that I've ever owned, including all of the Intel Macs I'm looking at as I type this now, twin 1.83Ghz Mac Mini's, a 2007 (plastic) 2.0Ghz Intel iMac C2D 20" glossy screen (wife's), and a brand spankin' new 3.06Ghz 24" Intel C2DX/8800 512MB Cache Graphics/500GB SATA II 7200RPM HD/4GB RAM/AE/BT EGR 2.1+/Glossy Display, iMac....whew!...and all the other tricks and treats of the latest model.

That 24" 3Ghz iMac is a hell of a computer, but the versatility, expandability, and incredible PCI-Express performance index of the DC G5 2.3Ghz still rank it No.1! smiling bouncing smiley I don't know of any iMac that can boast of 240MB/Sec+ peak read and write eSATA 2TB 3.0Ghz HD RAID "0" performance, it doesn't have a 1.15Ghz Frontside System Bus, I can't pack a DVR-110 v1.41 Dangerous Bros RPC1 firmware optical drive inside of it either, not to mention the 9-"internal cooling zones" of the advanced G5 chassis and fan design, that keep things calm, and serene at all times, no matter what I'm pushing down its big throat! WhooHoo! grinning smiley grinning smiley grinning smiley Damn, strong, bulletproof G5, that's what it is...I likes it!:-)

But the Firmtek RAID "0" setup I have? I am telling everybody in this Forum, that with the *best* possible HD combination available like an Enterprise-based Hitachi GPS 7200RPM SATA II 3.0GB/Sec system, your ass just can't go wrong. I just frankly don't know what people would want anymore than what it offers as I have it set up, apples to oranges Mavic, whathehell, whatever! eye rolling smiley Absolutely no disrepect meant, nor cast here, I'm just speaking my mind, and after some 19 months of service, on 24/7, literally never being turned off for any reason other than firmware updates, service, or general maintenance, it has never, ever failed me once, not EVER! thumbs up spinning smiley sticking its tongue out Redundancy? Mission Critical backup? WTF does all that really mean, anyway?

Afraid of losing one's Data? It's backed up to disk every hour, on the hour via Time Machine to that external WD 1TB GP HD in the AMS Venus case. Have I ever lost anything, anything at all? Can't say I have...been lucky, fortunate, taking unnecessary risks? Naah, don't think so. I've been doing this gig for a long, long time, and there are systems, Mac systems, that I've had before where I DID lose something important, and definitely I've lost a HD or two in the past, haven't all of you? Thought so...well think again, you can have it ALL, just like I do right now with a setup exactly like I have, or with the new PM system with 5HD's albeit it's a bit slower overall, believe it or not, than my system, ie read the AMUG reports for those little tidbits... I've taken up enough of your valuable time, and space tonight and rather than just continue gesticulating about how great my system vs every other thing out there is, I'm gonna stop it short, right freakin HERE!

Apples, smapples, oranges, smoranges, a FirmTek system is where it's at. Read all the reviews, it's the Ferrari and M-Benz of all HD systems combined into one, smooth, cohesive, hard-working, self-serving damned fine hardware array with features you just can't buy anywhere else, at any price, no matter what you write after I pen these words.

There's FirmTek, and then....there's everything else for those less deserving, or able to recognize the best thing when they see it. Have a great evening, and realize that there ARE lots of great choices out there in MacLand when it comes to data making, retention, storage of all types, shapes, and kinds, but if you really, really want the best, the very best there is in performance, reliability, speed, data integrity, and have the one product or two that has just nothing but stellar, after stellar, review on down the line, bar none...

Well, then, if that's you, you just bought yourself a FirmTek eSATA 2e/EN4 or PM RAID sub-system, the one with the pure and simple backplane direct HD mounting system with NO WIRES, No Cables, no fuses, and certainly no double-snap-fit bar-none crunchy melt-down, dragged-out, faded away design pieces (!!), and go ahead with your Drobo, Guardian Maximus, your "whatever else you need to store that 10TB of data in" you're keeping for posterity, for your job security, for family, love of life, or limb, just go ahead with that too, and cover all the bases.

Did I just throw out the premise of this post, the original post, where you're being "cost effective" and conservative, in fact, downright miserly in your whole outlook on data storage, performance, data integrity, and the almighty $$$$$? I apologize about that, I truly, really do. I am so sorry for wasting your precious time, if that's the case.

But please do yourself a favor, and remember who really runs the show, sets the bar, and sure as hell, stake-my-reputation on it 110%, has the best damn stuff there is to do the job for you, whatever it is if it's high-performance storage, and high-speed data read, write ability.

FirmTek, LLC, Fremont, CA 1-510-675-9800-give them a telephone call, just do it.

Ask for Michael Bean of AMUG fame, or talk to Dr. Kim Stanford, the owner, head engineer, and brains behind the whole deal...yeah, that's her. Let her rock your storage world, you'll never be the same. I am lucky enough to be able to call her a good friend, someone who's been "through it" with me...she's really a gem, that one. ;) smoking smiley

Kindest regards and respect,
rexrzer B)

_______________________________



What's the difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make some sense.
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