This regular series features highlights from the week. Read my thoughts concerning HDS following their “blogger day” in London. Also, my good friend W. Curtis Preston announced more Backup Central Live! dates; you really ought to go see him!
Posts about the line of Drobo storage devices
It’s never been a better time to be in the market for enterprise storage products, with many excellent options available at affordable prices. But the market can be confusing for the uninitiated, with a variety of network options and capabilities. Even those of us “in the know” about enterprise storage are sometimes surprised by the offerings and companies in this space! So when Jerome Wendt from DCIG approached me to collect data for a market overview and buyer’s guide, I was excited. It was my big chance to really get to know these products!
It was a busy week, with Tech Field Day 5 posts coming fast and furious. Now we are on to planning Wireless Field Day, coming in mid-March!
I’ve spent this week in San Jose, CA at Tech Field Day 5, and that’s the bulk of my news. We heard from great companies: Symantec, Drobo, Druva, Xangati, NetEx, InfoBlox, and HP. Whew!
I began by introducing the core problem: Storage isn’t getting any cheaper due to storage utilization and provisioning problems. Thin provisioning isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, since the telephone game makes de-allocation a challenge. So now let’s talk about how to make thin provisioning actually work.
One reason I decided to work with the folks at DCIG to collect data for their Small Business Storage Array Buyers’ Guide was to learn more about the various products in the space. One difference I noted in these small arrays, which usually hold 4 to 8 drives, is their use of hard disk drive carriers or sleds. There are pros and cons to both approaches, but I was pleased to see that all arrays so far include everything needed to install a drive.
Data Robotics today launched their sixth product, the business-oriented DroboPro FS file server. Combining the 8-drive chassis from the direct-attached DroboPro with the Linux-based file server engine fro the Drobo FS, the DroboPro FS (or “Pro FS” for short) gives small businesses and remote offices a simple networked location for their shared files. Although it is a bit more expensive than some of the competition, the Pro FS promises to be as easy to set up, use, and grow as previous devices from Data Robotics.
My late-2009 27″ Intel iMac now has an eSATA port. I’m documenting how I did it here mainly for posterity. Although it works fine, I cannot recommend that others attempt to perform the same surgery on their own crazy-expensive Apple computers. eSATA mods like this won’t be satisfying to most users, and the operation is risky and destructive enough that non-crazy people shouldn’t attempt it!
Do you use an “iTunes compatible” device like an Iomega ix4 or Drobo FS or Roku SoundBridge? Have you noticed that it no longer works since you updated to iTunes 10? That’s because Apple made a simple change to their Digital Audio Access Protocol (DAAP) that causes third-party devices to fail to connect correctly. Although software patches are already appearing, there is no guarantee that older devices like that Roku will ever be updated.
What hard disk drive should you use in a Drobo? Stick to 1.5 or 2 TB models from Seagate and Western Digital, and watch for great deals!