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Is the Drobo FS the best equipment for a server?

Hi, We were advised to buy this Drobo system to use as a server in our small graphic design studio. Cost is < $2000 for Drobo FS with 3X2 TB.

Do you think this will work well for us?

Currently there are 4-5 computers (Mac and PC) wirelessly connecting to an early Time Capsule (not dual-band). We plan to hardwire everything to the server, and we need more space as well.

And the Time Capsule has been working fine, but might it need to be upgraded when we install the server equipment?

Thank you!

Terre

PS: We're in SLO, but I just read some articles about iFixit in the LA Times. So impressive; so glad you're doing so well!!

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SLO - like slovenija ? (i like laibach - the band ;-) )

ok, back to topic

looks nice, i've searched ebay.de a little bit - the drobo fs for 5 users costs 754€ plus the price of the hdd's - a 2tb hdd costs 138€ - this would make 1444 for a 10tb fileserver and 1168€ for the 6tb version - sounds ok for me.

do you want the time capsule to work only as a router or do you still want it as a server ??

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Thank you for looking into this, Markus! I'm wondering if Drobo is good equipment? And I think we're still planning to use the TC as a router and backup.

(SLO is San Luis Obispo, California)

Thanks again!

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ok, i'm from europe - thats why i think about slovenija when i see SLO ;-). never heard of drobo, but it sounds ok for me. surely -there are other solutions too. the simplest one of all would be a 5 port usb hub, 5 external 2tb hard drives and then plug it to your time capsule - thats all - a cheap 10tb file sharing server

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Your suggestion is very interesting. Maybe we would need a firewire hub because speed is important. But could we see all 5 external drives by looking in the TC window? We want working files to be in one place that everyone can access.

Thank you again, Markus! May I ask, where in Europe are you?

Terre

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if the speed is very important - than i would stick with the drobo fs, i've seen the 10tb version for around 1300$ - if you hardwire it, you will have a way better performance then a wireless network. and to answer the last question - i'm from germany

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Vielen Dank, Markus! Ich schätze Ihre Beratung. Terre

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I realize that this is an older question but I feel compelled to add my experience for reference to anyone who may stumble upon this thread in the future.

The Drobo FS is an excellent way to add a file sharing device to a small network but potential buyers should be aware of it's pros and cons when compared to a file server.

In the interest of full disclosure I will also say that I am an authorized Drobo reseller however people should thoroughly understand what Drobo 'is' and 'is not'.

Pros

  • Drobo maintains it's self: endless Windows patches don't apply here
  • Drobo will let you know if something is wrong: easy to read LED lighting on the front panel
  • Drobo is redundant: you can have one hard drive crash and keep going (if a drive crashes it will display a blinking red light beside the dead drive - you simply pull the dead drive out and replace with a new one)
  • Drobo is scalable: start with two drives and buy more as required

Cons

  • Drobo can't take over the role of a Windows Small Business (or any other kind) Server: no mail, DHCP, DNS, VPN, or Active Directory abilities here so if you feel that your network will require any of the above in the future then please look towards a server. (NOTE: Drobo can act as storage if you do decide to scale to a server based solution in the future)
  • Drobo does not have any sort of remote access built in: if your people are going to want to remotely access files on your shares you will need to have a VPN solution built into your router or another device on the network (IE: GoToMyPC, VNC, RDP, etc) whereas a server solution would include these capabilities.
  • There are cheaper devices on the market than a Drobo (but Drobo FS is still cheaper than a server!)

All in all the Drobo has been a reasonably good device for my own company as well as several of my customers. Of the dozens that we've sold, we've only had one critical failure where a very early Drobo (standard) failed without warning and we lost data.

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