When we last left off, our hero (that’s me) was waiting to see if hs data survived after moving four hard drives from an old Drobo in to a new one. Spoiler: It did.
With that out of the way, let’s look at some of the differences between old versus new Drobos:
- The removable front plate has a logo that is now embossed/raises from the black plastic.
- The LEDs are much brighter.
- There is a power switch on the back.
- Drobo Dashboard gives you several new options!
Paradise By the Dashboard Light
Drobo Dashboard has a few notable improvements when browsing a 3rd generation Drobo:
And for comparison, the more limited Status display from the 2nd generation Drobo:
Under Volumes, there is now an option to create a special Time Machine volume. My understanding is that this volume will be treated as a size-limited volume, rather than the “grow until it breaks” virtual volumes.
The Tools display seems to be the same, except wording is different. “Turn Blink Lights On” versus “Blink Lights”, and “Shutdown” versus “Standby”.
The 3rd gen model adds a new Drobo Settings display. From here, you can set the name of the Drobo (that was possible with the 2nd gen, but was done somewhere else), Disk Drive Spindown, and Dim Lights timeout. There is also a greyed out “Dual Disk Redundancy” selection. According to a feature chart at the Drobo site, this model does support dual disk redundancy where you can have two drives fail and still preserve data. I am unable to test that with my current unit since it was already formatted to use all the disks for storage in the previous 2nd gen model I had.
Dual Disk Redundancy is a feature I would really like to try out. You have less space available for data, but if you migrate from 2TB drives to 3TB drives, you can do this and end up with about the same amount of storage as before. This will be a topic for another time.
Next time, we’ll compare some data transfer benchmarks. How does a “faster” Drobo 3rd gen via a USB 2.0 port compare to a slower Drobo 2nd gen hooked up via FireWire? I could tell you now, but then you wouldn’t need to wait for the next part.