Post Reply 
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
looking for input from current owners...
10-22-2013, 10:03 AM
Post: #1
Question looking for input from current owners...
We are looking at starting a centralized storage system for our print shop, and I'm thinking about getting another Drobo.

I currently have an FS with 3x 2TB and 2x 4TB drives. I just upgraded the 4 TB drives, so I have the "old" 2TB as extras ATM.

My biggest concern is the read/write speed. my FS is SLOOoooOOOoow.... while my assorted graphics people have the patience to deal with it, my Sales Reps and bosses definitely do NOT.

I would be hooking this up to a Win2008 server for central access. I do not believe the the server has any USB 3.0 ports.

So, here are the questions:
1. Is the optional SSD add-on a necessity for decent read/write speeds?
2. Is the speed difference between the USB 2.0 and 3.0 dramatic enough to make it worth while to get a new PCIe card with USB 3.0 ports?
3. With the upgrades listed above, will it have decent enough speeds for an extremely ADD owner who has no patience...at all..?

Thank you!!

The Green Bird wins!!
I have a Drobo FS with 3x2TB WD Caviar Green & 2x4TB WD Red NAS
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-22-2013, 10:05 AM
Post: #2
RE: looking for input from current owners...
1) As far as i know, the SSD wont affect write speeds, but my 5N was plenty fast enough without one
2) Yes - USB 2 wont get above 35MB/second - but arent you talking about a network connected drobo?
3) it'll be fine, i sold my FS because i was frustrated by it, but i liked my 5N

My Avatar is my Panther Chameleon named 'Leon.

I have a owned a Drobo v1, v2, DroboPro, Drobo 5D, DroboFS, Drobo 5N and DroboPro FS

I currently have a Windows 2016 Server with 8 x 8TB Seagate Archive Drives, 14 x 8TB WD Red and 3 x 8TB WD Gold
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-22-2013, 10:14 AM
Post: #3
RE: looking for input from current owners...
Docchris~
looking at the 5D not the 5N. it's direct connect instead of NAS, but supposedly designed for "shared access". the supposedly is why I'm researching before I sink that much money.

P.S. WD has 4TB Red now... Wink

The Green Bird wins!!
I have a Drobo FS with 3x2TB WD Caviar Green & 2x4TB WD Red NAS
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-22-2013, 10:36 AM
Post: #4
RE: looking for input from current owners...
1. The mSATA SSD does actually increase write speed. When writing to the 5D, it will write quickly to the SSD and then behind the scenes commit that to the hard drives. I would recommend using the mSATA SSD accelerator
2. USB 2 is going to be too slow. You definitely want to use USB3
3. I've noticed with my 5D that as long as i keep it under 60% full, the speeds are decent. It quickly degrades after that. My 5D is 64% full and i am getting 172MB/s read and write. Mine is hooked up over thunderbolt but USB3 should be similar.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-22-2013, 11:00 AM
Post: #5
RE: looking for input from current owners...
thanks rcork!

any recommendations on brand/size of the SSD?

Also, different question. I've never really looked into it, how do you clock R/W speeds?

The Green Bird wins!!
I have a Drobo FS with 3x2TB WD Caviar Green & 2x4TB WD Red NAS
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-22-2013, 12:55 PM
Post: #6
RE: looking for input from current owners...
(10-22-2013 11:00 AM)Alith7 Wrote:  how do you clock R/W speeds?
About the same way I measure fuel efficiency in my car. Wink
Performance is very sensitive to details about how the device is used. You might get a better answer if you say how you intend to use the device. Long sequential reads, with occasional random writes? Single operations, or concurrent ones? Frequent small operations (like a program that saves data every minute) or less frequent large ones (like a person who copies a data file to the Drobo)?

From what I read in these forums, the SSD gives the most improvement for random accesses, which are otherwise a weak area for Drobos.

I realize how hard it is to measure this stuff. To me, translating "what we want" into Input/Output Operations per Second is half science and half art. You can plan for the typical case, and get totally hosed by that one app you didn't know about that streams data and thus changes your expected single sequential reads into a mess of random reads.

You could identify the pain points with your current setup, and solve for those. Are your sales reps screaming about how long it takes to load their email off the Drobo? Are your bosses frustrated because their morning reports take 30 minutes to process instead of 10? Is everything fine until an artist copies 200GB of work to the Drobo, and then the Type-A people start busting furniture?

One other trick I've learned about "solving performance problems:" Look beyond the screaming and ask about things that affect the bottom line. Your boss might be happy to make the morning reports run in 1/2 the time, but even more happy to hear from the artists that they now save 2 hours each day. Maybe you'll learn that the salespeople cancel backups just before a trip because they don't have time to wait. Sometimes the biggest improvements can be made in the unseen areas, if you can just measure that for the boss.
That's how I come in to consult, and look like a hero.

You earn respect by how you live, not by what you demand.
-unknown
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-22-2013, 01:12 PM (This post was last modified: 10-22-2013 01:16 PM by Alith7.)
Post: #7
RE: looking for input from current owners...
wow....much more answer than I expected...
--edit--
on the speeds of my current drobo, I have a 1st gen FS, from what I have gathered (and probably why they have replace it with the 5N) is that it was an inherent flaw of the system that it only would r/w just so fast... something with the way it salted away the data for safety. I'm guessing this is also the reason why they now have the "under the hood" SSD slot now also.


this would be used solely for storing files.
-->Salesman gets new order with accompanying art files --> enters job into MIS system --> creates folder on Drobo with job # for name --> links MIS job file to appropriate folder --> places files that he got from customer into said folder --> art dept access job & said folder --> works on job, places final files back into said folder for future reference

....wash, and repeat...
Wink

although, (and I should have been clearer) more what I was asking, is if there is a handy dandy little program for testing r/w speeds? I've always kind of wondered, jut not enough to actually go looking for one.

The Green Bird wins!!
I have a Drobo FS with 3x2TB WD Caviar Green & 2x4TB WD Red NAS
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-22-2013, 02:08 PM
Post: #8
RE: looking for input from current owners...
I mostly work on Linux/UNIX systems, where I use tools like iozone and bonnie++ for benchmarks. Also, I run those on the direct-attached server and then on the client systems, because filesharing introduces a whole layer of complication. For one customer, I literally ran the most stressful application from a lab of 20 computers simultaneously, because the server handled separate requests differently than single consecutive ones.
I'm sure there are good tools for Windows, but I don't happen to know them.

From what you described. I strongly suspect you're getting murdered by simultaneous accesses. In these forums, people report that the 5D/5N really solved the slowness that previous generations of Drobo had with simultaneous file operations. A 5D might be just what you need. The SSD won't hurt performance, and certainly might improve response times. Much of "performance" is perception, so if a file copy starts immediately and finishes in 20 seconds, that's much better than one that delays 5 seconds and then finishes 20 seconds later.

You earn respect by how you live, not by what you demand.
-unknown
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-22-2013, 02:13 PM (This post was last modified: 10-22-2013 02:15 PM by bhiga.)
Post: #9
RE: looking for input from current owners...
Your proposed setup sounds a lot like my current setup, though more business-oriented and faster.
I currently have Drobo S and 4-bay Drobo v2 units connected to Windows Home Server 2011.

While it shared the same (I think) BeyondRAID "storage" brain as the Drobo S, the Drobo FS was hampered by its slow "server brain" - it never reached the full speed that its storage brain.

The Drobo 5D has a much better "storage brain" than the Drobo S so it has even faster core storage throughput.
The Drobo 5N also has a much better "server brain" than the Drobo FS, so it is far less bottlenecked. I'm pretty sure one of the regulars here (diamondsw?) tested the combination of the faster storage and server brains on the 5N and it got near GigE wire speed.

Back to your situation, as long as your Win 2008 server isn't bottlenecked with a crappy network or lack of RAM, the Drobo 5D + Win 2008 server combination will be much faster than your Drobo FS ever was, even on a USB 2.0 connection, unless your USB 2.0 bus is completely clogged.

For read/write tests, people tend to use either the video-based benchmarks (AJA and Blackmagic Design have test programs) or general ones like Crystal DiskMark. However, as rdo pointed out, it really depends on your particular use case.

Video benchmarks tend to deal with a few large streams of data, which is typical for video use.
However, transactional operations like databases are a very different type of load - lots of small simultaneous transactions.

Since you're working with (I assume) fairly large art files, your case is probably more like the video use - you'll have a few large-file transfers, either writes from the salespeople or reads from the art department.

Because they're large files and repeat-access sounds like it would be infrequent, I'm not sure how adding an SSD will help, as the SSD acts as a large cache. It won't necessarily hurt (except for the pocketbook), but I'm not convinced you'll see a huge gain there unless you're using something that creates an index database or similar that gets frequent access.

EDIT: Actually, SSD might help on the initial file writes, if Drobo is using it as a write cache as well as a read cache.

--Brandon | WHS2011+Drive Bender/2x Drobo v2/Drobo S G1/ Drobo S G2/Transporter
Drobo provides fault-tolerance, it's NOT a substitute for regular backups.
Drobo Best Practices - Official and Community-sourced.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-22-2013, 02:17 PM (This post was last modified: 10-22-2013 02:23 PM by Alith7.)
Post: #10
RE: looking for input from current owners...
mac and PC based here. all Makes sense.

Mostly, as the FS is only used by the art department currently, the new users that would be frustrated by "slow" won't have a comparison, so that helps. the biggest lag that I have that I can see frustrating them is just waiting for the folders to open. If the boss decides to try this, I think the 5D sounds like the way to go.

He's still not sure if he wants to try this new way to submit/process files through production. right now we just email and direct transfer files around the shop.
thanks to everyone! There is always a lot of helpful people here!
It's much appreciated.

The Green Bird wins!!
I have a Drobo FS with 3x2TB WD Caviar Green & 2x4TB WD Red NAS
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 


Forum Jump: