Black Friday deals bring about RAID expansions, hand me down drives lead to more expansions. The 4TBs i pulled out of service had almost 6 years on them. Still passed SMART!
My Drobo has been acting up since last week. I couldn’t get speeds over 40MB/sec for a while i wasn’t seeing anything faster than 25MB/sec. I read all the forums and i was on deadline to return some customer data. I put hours into this only to get to 35MB/sec. The final answer was actually a stupid one i read in a forum but didn’t put much stock in. My favorite part of USB-C is that it doesn’t matter which way you plug it in. At least that is what i thought. Turns out that with some Drobo 5c it does matter. After flipping the port, i’m back to useful speeds. It’s even mentioned in the Drobo 5c FAQ.
Now the waiting truly begins. fingers crossed against additional failures. On the next upgrade i’ll be able to test to see if the Drobo Pro (the original Drobo 8 bay) supports disks greater than 4TB. Apparently, no one has tested that. I honestly wonder how many of these are still in use? I have now replaced every drive in my Pro.
Update: I have been informed by @mistacabage that the Drobo Pro will not accept drives larger then 4TB. The official documentation just said it was untested.
I have been experiencing an excess of failures with my own equipment this week. Mostly aged drives who’s working lifespan is winding down. Often the preverbal cobbler with no shoes, I rarely have time to maintain my own equipment. My usual quick fix is to throw more drives at the problem. Although that would certainly get me running again, it was more of a stop gap then a real solution. I have a number of aged drives and i wanted a solution not just for today, but something to make a difference moving forward. Enter the Drobo 5c. I have been a fan of Drobo for years. I have an 8 bay that holds my media library in it’s warm RAID-6 embrace. I had been eyeing the Drobo 5d for years waiting for the price to sink or my need to raise. Turns out the 5c is incredibly priced with only minor disadvantages over the 5d. One reason i love Drobo and the reason it was perfect for this project is the Drobo’s ability to expand in the future while operating at diminished capacity. I bought this enclosure with only 2 drives. Started up with mearly one 4TB drive and another 3TB. This got me started with about 2.7TB of usable space. Then i got to the task of offloading data from my healthy external drives. As each drive emptied into the Drobo’s volume, it was then fed into the Drobo enclosure to continue to expand the capacity. Now i have over 8TB of usable storage with both failover protection (a single drive can fail and I loose nothing) and expandability. It’s one big volume makes organizing and tidying a snap. That last bay will get a 4TB eventually and it’s doubtful the most recent 3TB i installed will be working this time next year.
Times like these, you just have to wait. (and hope nothing else breaks)
Pro Tip for users of Drobo Pro who are having slowdown and connection issues. Use USB instead of FireWire. These vintage units are still in use all over, but many are starting to have serious connectivity issues.