Updating the Drobo

It is finally time to upgrade from a second generation Drobo to a Drobo 5N.

I bought my first Drobo in January of 2009 and it has been in constant use for the intervening 5 and a half years. I have only had 2 issues with it, the fan died about a year ago, and it now feels really slow.

When the fan died I went to my local Microcenter computer store and bought a whisper quiet 120mm fan. With a bit of Googling and some wire snipping followed by a bit of solder the Drobo has been much quieter and cooler ever since. In fact I can’t hear it over my home office noise at all.

About the speed of it… I am not sure, I think it is slower than it was a couple of years ago, but in that time I have upgraded all of my machines to using SSDs so my idea of how fast files should copy has changed a lot. I plan on running XBench on the 2nd Gen, the 5N, and a couple of external USB drives to get an idea of the "real" speed differences.

Here are the numbers

The 2nd Gen currently has 2×3.0TB and 2×2.0TB drives in it for a total size of 6.35TB of usable space.

The 5N will have those drives plus a 4.0TB fifth drive for 9.07TB of space.

The 5N maxes out with 4×4.0TB drives at 14.52TB of usable space with single disc redundancy and 10.89TB with dual disk redundancy. I hope that will last me a couple of years.

I am currently backing everything up on the 2nd for the move to the 5N, copying files from the old Drobo to external discs using a MacBook Pro has gone amazingly well. In the past I have had issues with the computer going to sleep and breaking the download, or one of the drives experiencing a hiccup, or just gremlins getting in the way.

Wish me luck.

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