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B800i, Yosemite, and GlobalSAN -WORKING-
05-25-2017, 01:04 PM
Post: #1
B800i, Yosemite, and GlobalSAN -WORKING-
So I just wanted to post this info, in case it can help anyone else.

We have an old B800i sitting around gathering dust. I decided I wanted to use it as a large cold storage area in case our other backup layers failed in any way. We have a dedicated Mac-Mini for backup operations, and this is what I was going to connect it to.

First thing I discovered, is that OS X no longer natively support iSCSI connections. I remember this use to work at some point, but I think they stopped iscsi support after OS X 10.5.
Second thing I discovered, was that I could not pickup the B800i in the Drobo utility over the network. The only way I could see the B800i was to use the USB connection. I tried all the latest Drobo utilities, but no go...

What will you need to make this work?
1. A dedicated Mac that will connect via iscsi to the B800i.
2. Purchase a license of GlobalSan iSCSI Initiator. Price is around $100. I have been using this product for well over and year and it just works. There may be free iscsi initiators out there, but how much is your time worth? Are several hours of screwing around trying to get a free product to work worth a mere $100?

How do you get this stuff to work?
1. Connect the B800i via USB to the dedicated Mac. I would probably go ahead and reset the B800i to factory defaults, but that's up to you.
2. Use the latest Drobo utility to configure all the appropriate settings. I would assign a static IP address to the B800i. You can either do this from your router, or manually assign it in the Drobo network settings. (Router method preferred) You can get the Mac address of the B800i from the Network portion of the utility app.
3. Once all the settings and IP are set, shutdown the Drobo from the DB utility. Then disconnect the USB cable from the Drobo and plug in the Ethernet cable. Last, power the B800i up and give it 10min to settle down.
4. Next you need to install the GlobalSan iSCSI initiator on the dedicated Mac. Once installed, go to System Preferences -> Global San, enter the IP address of the B800i into GlobalSan. Choose to CONNECT to the B800i through GlobalSan. If everything is successful the B800i volume will be mounted on the desktop. Make sure to enable the "Persistent" check box, in the GlobalSan settings so that every time you restart the server it auto connect to the B800i.
5. Now, you need to use System Preferences -> Sharing in OSX to share the B800i volume with other machines on the network. iSCSI on the B800i is a one to one connection, so multiple machines cannot connect to it concurrently. But, you can get around this by sharing the volume using OS X.

What can you do with an old B800i?
-If you install the OS X Server components (additional purchase), you can server up the B800i to store TimeMachine backups. You simply set it as your TM backup store in the Server -> TimeMachine options.
-You can use it as a general storage area for all networked computers since the volume is being shared via OS X.
-You can write shell scripts to download backup files from other machines and save it directly to the B800i volume.
-You could possibly edit video right from the volume. But, I have not tried it so I can't speak to how fast it is.

What NOT TO DO!!!
I have been using various Drobo devices for 5+ years, so I have gained some experience here. Drobo is proprietary, so out of the 5 logs you can pull, 3 of them are encrypted. The encrypted logs can only be read by Drobo support. If you don't have a Drobo support agreeent, they wont help you. Also, I have had Drobo devices completely corrupt a volume even through there was no obvious hardware failure.
1. DO NOT, use a Drobo device as primary storage unless you have a complete backup of the data on another device or location.
2. DO NOT, use a Drobo device as your one and only storage array. You should always have another copy of all the data somewhere else. I cannot stress this enough...
3. DO NOT, use a Drobo device as the only layer of backup for production or very important files. You should have another backup layer, on a completely different make/model device or location.
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