I’m declaring my storage problems to be resolved. Though I’m sure this will come up again. I have to believe at this point I will not encounter the issue for several more years. I now have about 5 TB of free storage across several systems, with another 1.5 TB drive ready to act as either a backup or additional space. About three years ago I had about 1 TB of free space and no idea how I’d ever fill it. Now I know.
The Drobo is really great. My hope is that they drop the price on the Drobo Pro before I need another upgrade. I’m glad I got the Drobo. The install process was so easy I hate to even mention it. Drobo is a slick looking little box with a great design. It looks nice but it also implements a great idea. I threw in three 1.5 TB drives, and left the fourth as a backup. I don’t need all the space right now and if one of the drives fails I want to be able to replace it immediately with a completely fresh drive.
In use the Drobo is fast enough, about what I would expect from an external RAID 5 array. The sound coming from the drives is about what I expected. I wouldn’t call it loud as I have another drive that is loud, but it isn’t quite either. It sounds like three spinning 7200 RPM drives with a fan. There does not seem to be much heat building up in the Drobo. The drives are warm to the touch but not so hot I can’t touch them. More testing is needed to determine dependability. I would like to note that if you are concerned about noise and considering a Drobo you might try slower drives.
Again, I’m happy I got the Drobo instead of the OpenSolaris ZFS system. The upgrade path is going to be easier with these drives in the Drobo because I can just swap them for larger drives at the appropriate time. Also the behavior is what I have become accustomed to as a Mac user. I turn on (or wake up) the attached Mac system and the Drobo wakes up too. I shutdown or sleep and so does the Drobo. I’m not sure it is actually sleeping as the power light is still on, but it is in a state where I can disconnect the power without data loss, the drives are not spinning, and the fan is off.