Anything comparable to a Drobo? - AVS Forum
Networking, Media Servers & Content Streaming > Anything comparable to a Drobo?
enzmin89's Avatar enzmin89 07:40 PM 09-13-2012
hey everyone another dilemma on the plate I need suggestions for. I currently have an old 1u server a buddy gave me a year ago. It currently has 2 1tb drives that are raid configured and whatever happens to one drive is mirrored on the other. I also have a 1 tb external hooked up to it with usb. I am starting to run low on space and was thinking of ditching this whole server thing and purchasing a drobo and adding hard drives to it. As I did the math it got pretty costly just to even have 4tb of storage which btw it supports up to 16tb with 4tb drives in each bay. I wanted to know if it would be better to build a pc with a bunch of hard drives in it or just get the drobo. My other option would be to get a 4 to 1 usb expansion and buy more externals and hook them up to the server any thoughts?

jakmal's Avatar jakmal 12:59 AM 09-14-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by enzmin89 View Post

hey everyone another dilemma on the plate I need suggestions for. I currently have an old 1u server a buddy gave me a year ago. It currently has 2 1tb drives that are raid configured and whatever happens to one drive is mirrored on the other. I also have a 1 tb external hooked up to it with usb. I am starting to run low on space and was thinking of ditching this whole server thing and purchasing a drobo and adding hard drives to it. As I did the math it got pretty costly just to even have 4tb of storage which btw it supports up to 16tb with 4tb drives in each bay. I wanted to know if it would be better to build a pc with a bunch of hard drives in it or just get the drobo. My other option would be to get a 4 to 1 usb expansion and buy more externals and hook them up to the server any thoughts?

If you just want a bunch of drives as direct attached storage (or, you can mirror manually, if you want), then something like the Mediaonic Probox is a good solution (you can attach up to 8 drives to your 1U server over USB 3.0). If you want RAID, then, something like the ProRAID. Drobo is just too costly for what it does (more like a Apple product) IMO.
enzmin89's Avatar enzmin89 05:02 AM 09-14-2012
The server is quite old and the motherboard on it doesn't have usb 3.0, Is it possible to hook it up with a sata cable coming out from the box?
mlknez's Avatar mlknez 06:50 AM 09-14-2012
What kind of slots does the server have?PCI-e? If so what version and how many lanes? Is the server in a rack? Do you have more rack space?
mnilan's Avatar mnilan 07:17 AM 09-14-2012
enzmin89:
Check out Synology. The DS 212 series is well thought of for NAS duty.
Good luck!
Mike
enzmin89's Avatar enzmin89 10:18 AM 09-14-2012
I am pretty sure there is no pci express I'll have to ask my buddy what type of motherboard it has since it he came from his work.
jakmal's Avatar jakmal 11:03 AM 09-14-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by enzmin89 View Post

The server is quite old and the motherboard on it doesn't have usb 3.0, Is it possible to hook it up with a sata cable coming out from the box?

It will work over USB 2.0 too, but you won't get the high transfer speeds. There is an eSATA port, but, then, the eSATA port needs to be port multiplier compliant. I won't go down that route.

I hope you have a PCIe slot free, and in that case, you can just use a PCIe - USB 3.0 card.

Another alternative is a NAS like the Synology unit mentioned above, but it is network attached, not direct attached. Different application, and cost is very high once you go above 4 bays.
enzmin89's Avatar enzmin89 03:11 PM 09-14-2012
The synology cost as much as the drobo does without drives. The Mediaonic Probox seems nice, but yea I dont got pci express only 2.0 usb, will it still support 8 drives with usb 2.0 and would hd streaming be efficient with this? Also what if two units are accessing the drive to watch footage do you think it will be fast enough?
jakmal's Avatar jakmal 03:46 AM 09-15-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by enzmin89 View Post

The synology cost as much as the drobo does without drives. The Mediaonic Probox seems nice, but yea I dont got pci express only 2.0 usb, will it still support 8 drives with usb 2.0 and would hd streaming be efficient with this? Also what if two units are accessing the drive to watch footage do you think it will be fast enough?

What Drobo model are you exactly looking at? Is it one of the new NAS ones or DAS? If it is the former, there are options like the Synology DS413j or the Netgear Duo v2 / NV+ v2 which are cheaper on a per-bay basis. For DAS, any USB 2.0 or eSATA limitation use get will be the same for both Drobo and Mediasonic. As for your question: over USB 2.0, you can expect to get around 25 MBps read speeds for a single stream. Should be just about sufficient for two units accessing simultaneously because efficiency drops down as you try to grab data from different parts of the same disk or different bays. Maybe around 8 - 10 MBps for each stream. So, maybe streaming two 3D Blu-ray ISOs might be cutting it close.. As for eight drives, yes, all 8 will be visible over USB 2.0
enzmin89's Avatar enzmin89 08:52 AM 09-15-2012
Sounds good and yea I was on there website its the NAS 4 bay drive for 299 at newegg. Also can I put one drive in for now and as I save up can I add more and it automatically configures like drobo would? Also where can I get cheap hard drives besides newegg or tiger direct, they have fair prices and pretty much the same with one another.
pmcd's Avatar pmcd 06:48 PM 09-15-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by enzmin89 View Post

Sounds good and yea I was on there website its the NAS 4 bay drive for 299 at newegg. Also can I put one drive in for now and as I save up can I add more and it automatically configures like drobo would? Also where can I get cheap hard drives besides newegg or tiger direct, they have fair prices and pretty much the same with one another.

Mediasonic is no Drobo nor Synology. You'd be better of with a Synology or even a DAS Drobo, though I would go with a Synology. They have a variety of NAS units at various price points and support is great.

Philip
enzmin89's Avatar enzmin89 09:10 PM 09-17-2012
So I been doing my DVD's with straight rips to mkv with make mkv. I started to do my bluray collection but the size varries 25-50gb. At the moment I don't have sufficient storage for my blurays, I started this to ask about nas or das storage devices for my server. I am beginning to think of building an unraid server like most people have been doing on here, my only question is where can I get hard drives for a cheaper price than newegg or something similar. Also for now besides handbrake is there another program I can use to convert my bluray rip or my bluray mkv files to smaller sizes? Handbrake takes so long to do.
jakmal's Avatar jakmal 11:51 PM 09-17-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by enzmin89 View Post

So I been doing my DVD's with straight rips to mkv with make mkv. I started to do my bluray collection but the size varries 25-50gb. At the moment I don't have sufficient storage for my blurays, I started this to ask about nas or das storage devices for my server. I am beginning to think of building an unraid server like most people have been doing on here, my only question is where can I get hard drives for a cheaper price than newegg or something similar. Also for now besides handbrake is there another program I can use to convert my bluray rip or my bluray mkv files to smaller sizes? Handbrake takes so long to do.

Now that it is clear that you aren't looking at DAS:

For your requirements, go with Netgear NV+ v2 or the newly introduced Synology DS413j. Recommend the latter, but it is a bit costly at USD 410 without drives. However, Synology firmware is pretty good and stable.
enzmin89's Avatar enzmin89 04:42 AM 09-18-2012
I do like the Synology, but I think I am leaning toward the drobo. Another question I have is currently on my server or even on the drobo or synology the drives get partitioned and you lose a few gb of data probably enough where you could put one or two more blurays on. Is there a way to not lose as much space? Also I know I keep asking, but does anyone know where to get cheap hard drives?
kluken's Avatar kluken 06:23 AM 09-18-2012
I find all those NAS devices to be slow, Black Armour, Drobo, etc. I find it much more cost effective to build my own NAS using low end AMD mobo that has Raid 5 and then I have 6 Seagate 2TB 5900 drives. The AMD Raid software has an alerting function that can email you when a drive has a problem. You can also schedule drive scrubs and syncs to keep the RAID set healthy. With a 1gb NIC on the mobo I can peg the NIC, something I could never do with any off the shelf NAS. And the cost was competitive to a NAS unit.
enzmin89's Avatar enzmin89 10:03 PM 09-19-2012
Ok well with some searching on ebay I am able to find very cheap servers without OS on them. Has anyone had luck purchasing refurbished servers on their. Some also come with hard drives and crazy amounts of memory and cpu power. Any thoughts?
NewOrlnsDukie's Avatar NewOrlnsDukie 02:45 PM 09-20-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by enzmin89 View Post

Ok well with some searching on ebay I am able to find very cheap servers without OS on them. Has anyone had luck purchasing refurbished servers on their. Some also come with hard drives and crazy amounts of memory and cpu power. Any thoughts?

This is the route I went with.

If you wanna check over on the HTPC forum and don't mind getting your hands dirty with some mods and PSU/fan swaps, you could try something like this deal. Now, they are currently out of stock (a number of us AVS folks have depleted them of their supply biggrin.gif), but they get new shipments in fairly frequently, I was able to make myself a 50 TB 24-bay server with WHS and flexraid for $600 total (including WHS and flexraid costs). Obviously, drives aren't included in that price, but the beauty of flexraid is that you can frankenstein it together with as many drives as you have (all different capacities), and you can expand your server as you add to your HDD collection.

I have 4 Drobo's that I've been using for yrs, and, now that I've have transferred all of their contents over to my server (with MUCH better use of drive space using flexraid), I don't have much use for them anymore...
enzmin89's Avatar enzmin89 08:43 PM 09-20-2012
I saw that thread and was thinking about it, I barely have had time to digitize my collection let alone configure a server for it lol. I am still searching on ebay for something reasonable.
the crane's Avatar the crane 03:18 PM 10-08-2012
I ordered an Synology DS212J with two 3tb seagate drives. Have had drobos's in the past and no problems.
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