Drobo FS review

After a couple of month drooling, and feeble attempts to be good, I have taken the plunge and purchased a Drobo FS (in the uk, Amazon is the cheapest after you have taken into consideration Amazon prime membership and lack of hassle ), as a long time user of both 1st and 2nd gen drobos and drobo shares, I was hoping for great things from this all in one model, and I was not disappointed.

After the normal pleasant unboxing that comes with a drobo, and a glance at the quick start instructions, I’m all plugged in a ready to go (lets be fair its only 2 plugs)

As I already had the drobo dashboard installed and upto date (via the normal alert notifications) for my other drobos I was surprised that the drobo FS was not detected, it was not till I installed the version that came on the disk that i discovered that upto date is a relative thing, but to be fair the instructions were very firm that software was to be installed first.

I would have like to have been able to move my drives across all at once, but as i wanted to get rid of the 2 TB shares imposed upon me by the droboshare, i have had to copy all my files across manually, doing this showed Initial speeds that were not impressive but this turned out to be my naff old 100mb hub, after i moved to a gigabit switch, then world was a better place. (about 20 MB/Sec at file transfer while streaming a cartoon from it to another computer). it does seem that the new limit is 12TB on the drive size as that’s the size it is displaying when you map to it, which would signify that is supports individual drives up to 3TB in size ( 4 x 3TB = 12 TB, with the minimum of one drive lost to redundancy), which would in turn seem to imply that as it is using EXT3 that a 4kb block size is being used, and therefore a individual file size limit of 2TB

As always with drobos the Western Digital greens proved to be the best drives by a long way, being quiet and cool with out as far as i have ever experienced costing anything in speed.

I should really use the Drobo Apps more and they have a good cata log of them now, but I have computers for that kind of thing, i use the drobos as a secure way of keeping a S**t load of data on the network securely and hassle free, and this they do (even if they do cost a bit).


  • Proper steel case
  • On/off button (at long bloody last)
  • 2 Tb share limitation lifted!
  • Much faster – in both transfer and raid build/repair
  • Multi user behaviour far improved as is security
  • Lots of useful little improvements that show they have thought about it – such as the ability to dim the led lightsCon’s
  • Power supply is now a brick, and based on the heat it gives off, a vampire brick at that
  • Bit nosier that the 1st and 2nd Gen
  • Slow to start with large shares 4TB+ (unproven, but a feeling)
  • Still no true web interface, you still need a none VMware windows or Mac to set the darn thing up. (no linux grrrr)Not quite perfect, but defantly a liner improvement from the drobo share, recommended.

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