View Full Version : Possible live archival solution
06-14-2007, 04:52 AM
Is anyone familiar with this product?
It sounds great except for the USB connection. But as a far more flexible alternative to RAID 1, I am very intrigued.
Applied Visual what do you think?
06-14-2007, 08:10 AM
I saw a demo video of this a while ago. Looks like it has potential, but - beware of proprietry RAID setups, especially with a Gen1 product like this. Seems like a lot to go wrong, more complicated obviously than a straight RAID. Back in the days of Partition magic, which partitioned your disks on the fly without moving the data off first, it was convient, but when it went bad, boy did it go bad :)
06-14-2007, 08:58 AM
DL.TV pulled a drive out on air, then pulled the same drive during the automated rebuild. 18 hours later (according to them) the array was up and all green-lights again. At no point was the data unavailable, it was just "unsafe" according to the drobo. Just about good enough for me; all I need to know now are how transfer rates are affected.
06-14-2007, 10:35 AM
I think thats based on the latest Silicon Image SIL chipsets, as they allow virtualisation of connected eSATA drives. Looks pretty much to be it.
I personally don't recommend this kind of approach. I'd stay with either a RAID controller subsystem and you replace all drives at once, like a storage set (don't mix them up) or you have a rack with multiple drives but each individually configured and maybe pairs of two mirrored to have instant safety. Thats proven technology and easy to handle.
The video on the Drobo site is apparently misleading. If you swap the drives as fast as the guy did and your drives had been 100 GBytes full, don't believe this is gonna work... With USB 2.0 you hardly get something beyond 40 MByte/s. With eSATA it could theoretically go up to 250 to 300 MByte/s, but you'll hardly see more than 200 MByte peak from 4 RAID0 drives. With parity it'll be approx 100 to 150 MByte on new straight free diskspace. Beware of fragmentation...
I really don't get the point for a 500 US$ box for this!
Have you ever looked into a WD Book Pro 1 TByte?
You can easily exchange the drives. If you run it "opened" (not recommended, though) you can quickly exchange the drives with new ones. As the config is stored on the 2 drives, you can have as many drive sets as you like. This way you can have a cheap RAID0 or RAID1 backup approach, being USB 2.0, FireWire and FireWire800 (and its up to 75 MByte/s sustained!). You pay around 400 Euros for 1 TByte and add new 1 TByte pair of drives for less than 200 Euros in comparison. That makes sense. Maybe we should rip apart its electronics for a new housing and use the clever C-Enter drive carriers.