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Installing the mSATA SSD in my Drobo 5D
01-05-2013, 12:38 AM (This post was last modified: 01-05-2013 12:46 AM by m021478.)
Post: #1
Installing the mSATA SSD in my Drobo 5D
The Drobo 5D User Guide states the following: "It is best to install the mSATA SSD before inserting drives into the Drobo 5D's drive bays."

Here's my problem... I just received my Drobo 5D and five 3TB drives via UPS today, and the Crucial 64GB mSATA SSD I ordered won't arrive for at least another week... and, well... I'm impatient and I want to use my new badass Drobo. Can you blame me?

Why is it better to install the mSATA SSD before installing the drives into the Drobo? What will be the consequences of neglecting this advice?

For what it's worth, I'd have no problem simply buying a Crucial 128GB mSATA SSD instead of the 64GB drive (because it's in stock and I can get it on Monday), but a Drobo tech advised me (via Live Chat) that 60-64GB drives are the optimal mSATA SSD for use with the 5D (can't remember the reasoning). Would I be shooting myself in the foot to get the 128GB drive instead? Would it negatively affect performance/stability in any way, or is it simply a matter of buying more than can actually be used at the moment?

Please advise. Thanks!
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01-05-2013, 04:53 AM
Post: #2
RE: Installing the mSATA SSD in my Drobo 5D
I think they advise installing it first mostly because Drobo is much lighter then and you won't strain the drive slots' and backplane structure by manipulating the enclosure in order to get to the slot at the bottom. If I were you, I wouldn't wait and just install the drives and set everything up. Then, after the SSD arrives, I'd shut the Drobo down, disconnect the power, remove all the drives, install the SSD and finally reinstall the drives (turn the power back on only after all the drives are in place). This way you'd have an added opportunity to compare the SSD-accelerated vs. non-accelerated performance.
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01-05-2013, 10:15 AM
Post: #3
RE: Installing the mSATA SSD in my Drobo 5D
Can someone else please confirm that they recommend installing the mSATA SSD before the drives just because of the weight, as Zbig suggested?

How will it affect any data stored on the drives if I install the mSATA SSD a week or so after starting to use the Drobo 5D?
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01-05-2013, 10:32 AM
Post: #4
RE: Installing the mSATA SSD in my Drobo 5D
I have Drobo 5D with 5 x 3TB drives and a 64GB mSATA from Crucial. Additionally, I spent a month comparing the performance of it against a second Drobo 5D without the mSATA. Can't say as I noticed much of a difference to be honest. Having said that, and having a mindframe quite similar to yours, I see no reason why you shouldn't install the Drobo and use it for a few days until the mSATA comes in, shut it down, remove the drives, install the mSATA, reinstall the drives in the same order (no reason not to), and go on about your day. As Zbig mentioned, I agree that this will give you an added opportunity to see for yourself the difference in performance. While I'm not a Drobo tech, I can't conceptually find there to be a reason why this would cause an issue and subsequently hinder or negatively affect your drives, the drobo, or the data on it.

Zathrak

Drobo 5D | 64GB Crucial m4 SSD | 5 x 3TB Hitachi | Late 2012 iMac Intel Core i7 3.4Ghz, OS X Mountain Lion via Thunderbolt
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01-06-2013, 09:02 AM
Post: #5
RE: Installing the mSATA SSD in my Drobo 5D
just a thought... why is the slot for msata on the bottom of the unit?

is it that its very sensitive to heat, and heat rises?
is it there was no space left to put it
or
was is so that it makes the unit look a bit sleeker (in which case - no comment) 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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01-06-2013, 09:10 AM
Post: #6
RE: Installing the mSATA SSD in my Drobo 5D
(01-06-2013 09:02 AM)Paul Wrote:  just a thought... why is the slot for msata on the bottom of the unit?

is it that its very sensitive to heat, and heat rises?
is it there was no space left to put it
or
was is so that it makes the unit look a bit sleeker (in which case - no comment) Smile

The main Drobo PCB is on the bottom, parallel to the surface. The mSATA connector is on the bottom side of this board. As the SSD is not meant for frequent swapping, this solution just seems to make sense from the engineering point of view.
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