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Review: DroboPro – Part II

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This is the second in a series of posts looking at the DroboPro from Data Robotics Inc.  Previous post(s):

Review: DroboPro – Part I

Previously I discussed a few frustrations with connecting my new DroboPro to ESXi, the target environment for my new device.  I’ve now managed to get the ‘Pro connected and visible within ESXi.  See the attached screenshot image taken from my production ESXi server.

So far, I’ve configured eight 2TB LUNs (although the DroboPro itself only has a capacity of 5TB, 2x 2TB and a single 1TB drive) which are numbered 0-7; the LUN column on the screenshot.  Compare this to the LUNs presented from my ix4-200d, which has three LUNs all numbered ’0′.  The difference is in the way the DroboPro is choosing to present iSCSI devices and the Runtime Name column gives a clue.  In standard Controller/Target/LUN or CxTyLz/CxTyDz methodology, the ix4 disks are using separate targets to map out each iSCSI LUN, with the LUN number always ’0′.  The Target setting is analagous to a storage port, typically a physical port on large fibre channel arrays.  The LUNs are then numbered on that port.  The DroboPro presents all its iSCSI LUNs on the same target (in this instance number 3) and so the LUNs are numbered from 0.

This method of presentation doesn’t necessarily cause a problem, but is just a different way of presenting the LUNs.  Presumably with the Drobo Elite the multi-user functionality is achieved by enabling multiple targets per Drobo, each mapped to a separate user.  In any case, I now have visibility of my DroboPro within ESXi.  Time, to write some data.

About Chris M Evans

Chris M Evans has worked in the technology industry since 1987, starting as a systems programmer on the IBM mainframe platform, while retaining an interest in storage. After working abroad, he co-founded an Internet-based music distribution company during the .com era, returning to consultancy in the new millennium. In 2009 Chris co-founded Langton Blue Ltd (www.langtonblue.com), a boutique consultancy firm focused on delivering business benefit through efficient technology deployments. Chris writes a popular blog at http://blog.architecting.it, attends many conferences and invitation-only events and can be found providing regular industry contributions through Twitter (@chrismevans) and other social media outlets.
  • Dion

    Hi Chris,

    We’ve been having similar issues with our DroboPro out of the box. I put 2x 2TB in it. At Firmware 1.0.3 (out of the box) i had a steady 30MB/s transfer via USB, but after awhile the second HD showed a red light which shows drive failure. After checking the drive it was fine. We reinserted the drive and after it was added by the dashboard it showed drive failure again. After that we updated the dashboard plus the firmware to 1.1.5. The supposed red light now became green after reboot. All was great til we tested the USB transfer. We couldn’t get more than 5MB/s via USB. We also tested a Tera Station via USB and that went fine. Constant 30MB/s. We tested it in every way possible. We called Drobo’s support center and all we got is that after an update the Drobo had to rebuild its filestructure and that after that was done it would be back to normal. They told us just to leave the PC on. It’s been over a week and still no change. Copying 50GB’s took over 23 Hours to copy. Anyone else have this issue? I’m not getting much help from their support center.

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