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 Post subject: Drobo 5N
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:17 pm 
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Happened to see a link for the Drobo 5N this morning and it has revived my NAS thoughts. Up to now I just stuffed HDs in my main machine until its full, but I'm using a wasteful mirror system. I think Win 8 has more dynamic redundancy in it, but... well, it's Win 8!

The other option I have would be to use a dedicated PC to build my own NAS. Drawbacks are of course higher power consumption and the enclosure isn't going to be elegant. Not to mention picking the right software to NAS it up.

So, a one stop solution is tempting, like the Drobo 5N or 5D (network or desktop, GBE or thunderbolt/USB). They're not cheap, not getting much change under £500 for the 5N without any hard disks fitted. And the 5D is even more. But I'm thinking once I got it, I don't have to worry any more. Easy to change individual disks as they either fail or upgrade for capacity with minimal user intervention. And their dynamic raid should mean I get the redundancy I want, with better space utilisation than mirroring. Plus they also allow the option of a small SSD to providing even more performance. Is there anything it doesn't do?

For indication I currently have 2x2GB and 2x3GB in my main desktop, with a random scattering of 2GB and 1GB drives elsewhere. It would be very nice to consolidate all these...

Is there anything else in this space I should consider? The minimum enclosure I would look at would be 5x3.5" HDs as anything smaller is too small to bother with.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject: Re: Drobo 5N
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:38 am 
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I would avoid Drobo if you're into performance - they discourage any kind of performance or comparative testing.

I went with Synology for a NAS and they're great! (A DiskStation 1511+ as I recall)


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 Post subject: Re: Drobo 5N
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:26 am 
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I'm new to all of this. As I understood it, the older Drobo units were really slow, so it isn't surprising they didn't want to talk about it.The 5N/5D do seem ok performance wise based on what I've seen so far. I don't need extreme performance. If it can saturate a gigabit ethernet connection that would be adequate.

Since NAS are not an area I'm familiar with, I'm not sure how any of the players are. Certainly Synology and QNAP as used by Bob were two other names that cropped up frequently in my searches.

I suppose from my point I'm undecided what level of storage to go for... I feel an affordable 4 bay would be a bit tight on capacity. 5 bays would help, and anything above that is getting expensive - even before you fill it with disks! Plus I have to decide how to use it.

Arguably I'm currently living dangerously right now. While I have protected against individual disk failure, I don't have protection against accidental deletion for example, or catastrophic file system damage. So I'm wondering if for example two cheap NAS units manually backed up between them is better than one highly redundant unit. But I'm not going to get the HD savings there... and so it goes on!

Still thinking aloud, a 4x3TB array would give 9TB storage with redundancy at minimal cost. I currently have 4x1TB USB drives I could use to backup the backup, and can get more as that runs out. I think that would be the most cost effective solution for me right now...

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject: Re: Drobo 5N
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:40 pm 
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Hi popo,

The QNAP TS-412 arrived today and pretty much all the noise, and there's very little, is coming from the four Seagate ST31500541AS drives as the RAID 0 volume is being created!

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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 Post subject: Re: Drobo 5N
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:15 pm 
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I'm still considering the QNAP TS-412.

Bob, do you know it if can present multiple shares? For example, My current thinking is I'd set it up as up to 4 individual drives, separately shared. I'd have a matching set of up to 4 drives in my main PC, and can sync to the backup say once a day. That way I don't need to buy lots more disks since I'm mirrored in PC at moment, and performance isn't critical.

Then again, if I'm just going to do that, I could use another PC for that role... especially if I can set it up to wake/sleep at given times to reduce power usage. So many choices...

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject: Re: Drobo 5N
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:08 pm 
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Hi popo,

I set mine up as one humongous drive and then created several task specific folders for various backup sets. It would be possible to assign permissions to those folders so they could only be accessed using different credentials (name plus password) but I don't bother, preferring to use just one set of credentials for all folders.

I'm not sure if you are asking if you could have different physical disks in the NAS assigned to different users and/or tasks. I've never configured that way (using all disks as either a RAID 0 or a RAID 5 single virtual disk) but, looking at the manual, it is perfectly possible to set up each drive as a standalone disk. Whether you can assign permissions to a disk in that configuration or whether you need to create a folder on the disk and then assign permissions to the folder I'm not clear about but either way I think you can achieve your desired result.

You mentioned speed in another post. Looking at the TS412 features page they quote "exceeding 70MB/s". Good enough for most things but by comparison if you look at the TS-469 Pro features page they quote "221.8 MB/sec Reading, 220.8 MB/sec Writing". Three times the speed, albeit at slightly more than twice the cost. Horses for courses, I guess. Because my TS412 is being used to back up my TS639 Pro I can live with the slower speed as, after the initial backup, future backups will be incremental and, even better, the whole process can be accomplished with the main computer switched off. For a real world indication of speed, the TS412 accepted about 2TB of data from the TS639 Pro in about 42 hours.

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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 Post subject: Re: Drobo 5N
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:45 pm 
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My original intent was to have the NAS as the primary storage, not local to computer. In that scenario, speed is more important.

However my revised plan is to keep primary storage on computer (but not longer mirrored in computer), and only use the NAS as off-computer backup. In this scenario, I can have all the performance I want locally, and only access the NAS for backup uses. Therefore speed becomes unimportant.

My further thinking is that, for every storage disk I have in the computer, I'll have the same size disk in the NAS to do a 1:1 backup. That way, I know what I have will always fit. In this scenario, JBOD or RAID 0 doesn't add any value, only risk.

If there is backup software smart enough, I think I might even like file compression and old version backups e.g. old copies of files are kept even if deleted or changed, until such time space runs out in which case the oldest gets discarded to recover space. But that's only a "nice to have" extra and not a necessity.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject: Re: Drobo 5N
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:39 pm 
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Hi popo,

Sounds good. Slightly off-topic but Gordon put me onto Syncovery some years back (used to be called Super Flexible File Syncronizer or SSFS) and I've used it ever since. Lots of features I don't use (never tried it's compression routines) but I schedule it to run twice a day to effectively mirror all the files on my C: and D: drives to folders on the NAS.

As I have it set up it performs a souped up "file copy", removing files that have been deleted on the main PC from the NAS, so the files on the NAS can be explored via Windows Explorer without any special drivers needed. The scheduler can shadow copy locked files in the usual way. It's quick, as it works incrementally after the initial pass, and light enough on computer resources that I'm never even aware it's running. One of those delightful pieces of software which "just works". It backs up data but not the OS so, if the worst were to happen, I'd either have to reinstall the OS from scratch and then copy files across from the NAS or see whether the Windows Backup "System Image" actually does what it says on the tin.

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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 Post subject: Re: Drobo 5N
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 9:25 am 
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Another thing to consider with NAS are the apps available for each brand. I run the Synology DS411slim and there are lots of add on apps it can run which make it more than just a NAS. As the DROBO is more proprietary than the open source architecture that Synology adopt it might be harder to find software expansion options. From the website it looks like QNAP have as many software solutions (if not more than Synology).

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 Post subject: Re: Drobo 5N
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 11:21 am 
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I want to keep things simple here... less things to break, less chance of hard disks falling over.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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