My New USB 3.0 Drobo S

A special “Thank You” goes out to Data Robotics for sponsoring the Daddy On Board Podcast (put on by Clayton Morris and Mike Quackenbush), which I watch and listen to regularly.  It’s a fun podcast put on by a couple of new fathers that discuss a wide range of baby and toddler-related topics.  Good stuff and worth a listen, check it out.

Anyway, several weeks ago I tossed my name into a drawing they were putting on for a new Drobo, and won!

For those unfamiliar, a Drobo is a small box that holds several hard drives and makes them function as one, larger drive.   More importantly, there is data protection built-in so that your data is safe even if a drive (or two, depending on configuration) dies.

It arrived today, the brand-new edition of the Drobo S.  This new one has USB 3.0, Firewire, and eSATA and can hold up to 5 drives.   I don’t have any USB 3 ports here yet, so it’s currently connected to my desktop via the slower USB 2.  A USB 3 card should be arriving early next week 🙂

Here’s the Drobo with 3 new 1TB drives (yes, I label my drives so I know how old they are):

Setup was a piece of cake, and it fits perfectly in a small table next to my desk.  Here it is ready to start storing lots of data:

I have it configured to be able to survive 2 drives failing, so that 3TB of raw storage really only gets me 1 TB of usable space.  But that’s fine, I’m paranoid about hard drives eating my data.

Now that it’s here, I am moving 223 GB of home videos to it that were too large to fit in with my standard backup procedures.   Then I need to figure out where exactly this will fit in with all of my other data storage –  I’m pretty sure it will just hold backups, but which backups (I already have 2 RAID arrays here with further copying to external drives for off-site rotation) is the question.






5 responses to “My New USB 3.0 Drobo S”

  1. Alex Chekholko Avatar

    It would be great if you could post your transfer speeds.


  2. EJ Avatar

    Well I just received the USB 3 card last night (a PCI Express, Rosewill brand), and it looks like I’m only getting around 40MB/sec.

    With USB 2 I was getting a meager 20MB/sec.

    Something isn’t right – I transferred faster than that to an external Western Digital USB 2 drive.


    1. EJ Avatar

      I’ll also add that I had to return one of my drives to Newegg, so there’s only 2 drives in there now.


  3. Jim Sherhart Avatar

    EJ – Congrats on winning your new Drobo S. Regarding performance, you will want 3-4 drives for best performance. You should see ~30MB/s on USB 2 and at least 60-80MB/s on USB 3 with the additional spindles. Keep in mind you have it set up for dual-drive protection. Comparing that to single drive or RAID O performance is comparing apples and oranges. Jim from Drobo


    1. EJ Avatar

      Thanks for the info about the performance I should expect. I’m currently waiting for my RMAd drives to get delivered so I can really start using it. 3 out of 4 drives DOA or dead in a week (from Newegg, not you guys) has left the drobo just sitting with red lights 🙂


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