Drobo FS shows promise but fails to deliver

DroboFS performance had increased to roughly USB2.0 levels on my Windows 7 PC for both reading and writing so I’d forgiven it’s slow start and accepted that, whilst it wasn’t the fastest kid on the block, it would do for archival purposes and even some media playback.

When Macs came into my life over the last few days, the Drobo appeared immediately in the Finder. I didn’t need to download the drobo dashboard or map drives, it was just there. I started to imagine the Drobo FS as the perfect storage hub for all devices, a silent arbiter between Mac and PC worlds.

Reality kicked in quickly.

The DroboFS access speeds from the Mac are diabolical. Snow Leopard estimates copying a 40Gb virtual machine image from the Drobo to the hard drive would take 20 hours. The lag was so bad I ran to the internet out of desperation and lucked out on this handy little article that explains how to connect to Windows shares from your Mac.

On my gigabit ethernet network, the 40Gb transfer took 12 min direct from PC to Mac.

Out of all the technology I’ve bought over the last month, the Drobo is by far the most disappointing. In fact, it could be the only disappointment. I should probably send it back but I’m going to persevere.

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