I finally.. after 4? years.. pulled the trigger and bought the 4 bay for $239.0 and (5) 1.5 TB 5400 rpm WD Caviar Green drives (oem new Pulls) for $250. So I am in for 5 bills and have a smart raid that will start with 6 TBs ( with a 1.5 drive back up ready to pop in..) and a whole lotta work this week to get a crap load of info backed up. Finally! I will post some reviews once I get into it.
Plug in 4 1.5 TB drives and attach to Mac via USB cable since I am using the one FW 800 port for my camera. Plug in power and use Drobo to format drives. II set the ceiling for this volume at the max... 16 TB.....once I have reached that I will have to make a new volume. The Drobo dashboard has a nice enough GUI.. and gives me the very basics. Although, as usual, the Mac consumer gets left in the cold. I saw a website where you can set several options including spin down time and such.. I don't see those options for the Mac version. Also, you get a free app called PC Back up that works only with PCs. It allows you to designate folders and schedules. I don't have that as an option. Although i have read about users who just use DashBoard to monitor the state/health of the drives/system and use a 3rd party app for backing up/syncing, etc.
The unit itself is relatively nice with a respectable finished look. I can barely hear the 4 drives and they must be pretty busy right accepting my first load of 260 GBs. It's a wee bit slow, partly due to the drives, and partly because it's just that way. Reviews have stated it to be much slower than your typical back up solution.. but then other solutions are typical RAIDs with their inherent limitations. Also a bit slow partly due to the first time is going to take the longest since it has to write data all over the place.
This review is for the FS.. but the essentials are the same.
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