My new DroboPro arrived this week and so far I’m less than impressed. As you know, I already have had a generation 1 Drobo for some time. It has been a great device, doing exactly what I wanted. After winning a second standard Drobo at Tech Field Day, I paid for the upgrade to the DroboPro in anticipation of a bigger and better machine. Here’s what I’ve managed to achieve and determine so far.
- USB and iSCSI Configuration – it isn’t clear whether the Drobo Dashboard can configure the DroboPro over either the USB connection or the iSCSI connection or whether USB connectivity needs to be retained for future configuration tasks. Be aware – unplugging the USB cable seems to cause the Drobo to immediately reboot.
- Reduced Management – if the DroboPro is to be connected to an ESX server, then the documentation indicates the USB cable should be removed. What’s then not clear is how the ongoing status of the device can be managed. For example, at this point, where should the Drobo Dashboard be run from? The lack of a permanent management console means downtime to check the status of the device, to see the current occupancy levels and the effect of adding in additional capacity.
- Lack of detailed Information – As yet, I haven’t managed to work out where or whether there are details provided on the utilisation of each configured LUN. The DroboPro allows for up to 16x 16TB LUNs, which is a huge volume of data (although ESX only allows iSCSI LUNs up to 2TB). I’d like to be able to work out which of those 16 volumes consumes the most physical compared to logical space, especially with ESX where the Drobo’s intelligent file system aware technology currently doesn’t apply.
- Multi-Drobo Management. I have more than one Drobo device now (DroboPro, DroboShare & Drobo). The dashboard doesn’t appear to cater for multiple devices managed from the same machine.