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looking for input from current owners...
10-23-2013, 07:01 AM
Post: #11
RE: looking for input from current owners...
All of the advice above is good stuff. I learned a bit from reading the responses.

The only thing I would add is regarding the mSATA accelerator.

Drobo says the 'sweet spot' is a 64GB mSATA drive. The Crucial M4 was a popular option (now discontinued and replaced with the M500).

I would agree that you don't see much (if any) performance increase with drives larger than 64GB, but you will substantially increase the life of the mSATA SSD by going with a larger drive. Drobo is chewing up small capacity SSD's because they are hit with every read/write operation. Most consumer level flash has a low number of P/E cycles. Being able to spread those read/write operations across more cells increases longevity.

I read/write around 600GB/week to my 5D. My 120GB Intel 525 mSATA is still going strong. I've had it in for about 9 months now. At the published 20GB/day endurance, I figure it'll last about 18 months.

Good luck!

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10-23-2013, 07:36 AM
Post: #12
RE: looking for input from current owners...
mgriffin~
thank you, that was the last thing I was wondering about.
The boss man still is "thinking" about it, but now at least when he says "get it done", I have all the info I need.

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I have a Drobo FS with 3x2TB WD Caviar Green & 2x4TB WD Red NAS
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10-23-2013, 09:01 AM
Post: #13
RE: looking for input from current owners...
Good luck.

You will be astonished how much faster the 5D is that your FS. I was grinning from ear to ear when I moved from my Gen2 to the 5D.

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10-24-2013, 05:58 AM (This post was last modified: 10-24-2013 05:58 AM by Paul.)
Post: #14
RE: looking for input from current owners...
hi alith,
another thing which can help (quite a lot i belive), is training users for a process.

eg, if you already have a folder structure and naming convention, that is good, but you can save on storage space if you refer people to a folder instead of emailing the same files back and fourth, at least on the larger files (which might cause more storage space to be used, on the email servers + any email backups etc).

also, maybe you can help guide users to copy what they need from their "source" folder, into a local folder, and to work with whatever they need to do 'locally', and then to save any changed files back to the source folder, or put their output files into a subfolder on the source folder etc.

that way, they only wait for source files to transfer locally, once, and then when they finish with it and create a new graphics template or something, they just copy it back.

if you have multiple teams working with the same actual source files, then yes, it would need a bit more structure and communication within the team, but in my view, it's always "cleaner" to work with something locally, then through the network.

as for the other info posted from other guys here, it seems like a 5d or 5n will be quicker than your fs too Smile

(btw i have XP home SP2, a Drobo v1 with 2x 1TB/2x 1.5TB WD greens, & a bkp Drobo v2 with the same + a DroboShare: unused)
& a DroboS v2 with 3xWD15EADS &2x1TB in DDR mode on win7, & a drobo5D (all usb)
  • btw i did a sustained (write) operation for about 6 hours, and got 13.2MB / sec ...objection? "sustained" :)
    (16.7MB/s on a v2 & 47-96MB/s drobo-s)
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10-24-2013, 06:41 AM
Post: #15
RE: looking for input from current owners...
@rcork

where did you read that the msata accelerates writes?

i am pretty sure it doesn't - if it was used as a write cache, then that would be the only copy of the data, and that's too risky.

drobo's own webpage about the msata slot says:

"plus an mSATA SSD installed - enables you to maximize capacity and accelerate read performance"

notice it ONLY says READ

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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
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10-24-2013, 09:53 AM
Post: #16
RE: looking for input from current owners...
(10-24-2013 06:41 AM)Docchris Wrote:  i am pretty sure it doesn't - if it was used as a write cache, then that would be the only copy of the data, and that's too risky.
An excellent point. That means using SSD for writes would only apply to the larger Drobos that can do tiered SSD/disk storage like the B1200i, not the 5-bay units.

--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.
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10-24-2013, 10:42 AM
Post: #17
RE: looking for input from current owners...
There are ways to use it to accelerate writes. For example, mirror writes to flash and to disk instead of calculating RAID. Even better, internally benchmark the disks and identify "fast" and "slow" disks and then tier data that way too. Writes go to flash and that RAID Edition drive, to be flushed across those Reds later. For another example, write metadata to the flash to keep operations atomic (like the ZFS Intent Log or some other filesystem journal.) After the operation is complete, the metadata is no longer needed.
I still remember years ago when I evaluated a NetApp Filer and was surprised that they used RAID4. The pre-sales engineer explained they used a hotter and faster disk for the parity. They chose a design with a specific bottleneck and then upgraded the bottleneck.

I'm pretty sure Drobo doesn't do those things, but it's not technically impossible.

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10-24-2013, 11:26 AM
Post: #18
RE: looking for input from current owners...
NetApp is like Drobo with Mr. Fusion... Awesome technology. Definitely at a price though. Smile

--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.
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11-12-2013, 09:12 AM
Post: #19
RE: looking for input from current owners...
(10-22-2013 10:03 AM)Alith7 Wrote:  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!!

Hi Alith. The previous responses come from people with much more experience in the Drobo world than I. That said, over the past few months I've been going through some of the same questions (minus the network piece) and here is what my anecdotal evidence has found:

Performance on the Drobo 5D is fickle.

I started this journey with a 5D loaded up with five unique drives (all different sizes and speeds) connected to a workstation over USB2. Speeds were "okay" but not nearly as fast or consistent as would be expected from a professional product. Transfers were often much slower than a typical USB2 external hard drive.

Since then I've upgraded the drives to make them more uniform (three 3TB WD Red drives and 2 640GB drives), added a 64GB mSATA SSD in the accelerator bay, and moved to a Thunderbolt workstation. At this point Drobo's data capacity is roughly half full.

In the end I'm still not experiencing consistent real world performance. Transferring big folders (5+ GB) of relatively large images I get an average of ~60MB/s, dipping as low as 25MB/s and as high as 190MB/s during any given transfer. Absolute best case scenario I get an average of 100MB/s while writing individual large Zip files to the Drobo. These transfers are all to and from a 600+MB/s SSD over Thunderbolt, so the weakest link here is certainly the Drobo.

It's possible I may have a lemon, but I've gone through Drobo support several times and they've found nothing wrong with my device thus far.

In any case, all I'm trying to say is don't expect consistent top end performance as you might find in a simple RAID device. It sounds like your network is likely to be the slowest link, so the boss may never know the difference, but if all you want is quickness and consistency then take a good look at some other options first. If ease of use is the priority then Drobo is the way to go.

Just my 2ยข.
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11-12-2013, 12:06 PM (This post was last modified: 11-12-2013 12:07 PM by bhiga.)
Post: #20
RE: looking for input from current owners...
mestanczak hits on a good point. Drobo's primary purposes are fault-tolerance and ease-of-use over speed.

Just like RAID striping with parity (RAID 5) is slower than parity-less RAID striping (RAID 0), so there are some penalties for the Drobo niceties like being able to mix drive makes/models/capacities and positions.

It's more of a general-purpose "do stuff" car rather than a performance-tuned, single-seat racer. That's not to say it's slow per-se, but it's important to realize that not all boxes that accept more than one drive are created equal - or made for the same purposes. Smile

--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.
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