Attn: Drobo owners

I know this will be of interest to many on this site.

“Drobo, having stopped sales and support, reportedly files Chapter 7 bankruptcy”.

Eeek, that sounds bad. I know a few folks here who have them. I haven’t gone the NAS route so still use single external drives.

I had one for years and it always had major issues starting up, and tech support was a bad joke. I ditched it for a Thunderbay (RAID 4, from OWC), then found it has issues with Mac OS. Data seems safe enough but the OS can’t keep it fingers off the thing, even when I’m using newly downloaded files on the MAC HD in LR that have never been on the RAID drives. Like have a boat anchor tied around my ankle and driving me nuts. Tech support? Well, it exists, but as of a few months ago they had no solution.

I’m about ready to reset the RAID controller to JBOD.

I’ve had Drobos for years, and still have a Drobo 5N as network attached storage. It is still working fine now, but compatibility with macOS beyond Ventura will obviously be doubtful.

So I guess it is time to change.

I saw @Diane_Miller post about OWC, which is not a great option Down Under anyway. So what else do people recommend for NAS - Synology?

I too am looking for a replacement for my Drobo 5C. I want to be able to use the internal drives from my Drobo in the next unit. It looks like OWC is not a good option for Mac. Any suggestions?

How many drives, and RAID or JBOD. If RAID which RAID method (mirrored, striped, mirrored/striped)???

PC user here so not sure how Macs organize things.

I have five 4 TB drives. I think Drobo is a RAID system, but don’t know which method it is. This is detail way beyond my understanding. Thanks, Guy.

Sorry for the slow reply, I only get internet a couple times a week.

While looking into it I realized that:

  1. I was using Sans brand and, their systems worked flawlessly. I had 5 installed around town that were still running after 5 years when I retired in 2017. They were mid range in price. BUT, they used a proprietary software that probably won’t interface flawlessly (accept a straight disk copy and work without a pre-configuration of the drives) with the Drobo drives. In other words, you can’t just swap them. This may be an issue with any enclosure you buy. Raid needs to be configured on empty disks, then data copied to them.
  2. That is still likely to be an issue regardless of the mfg.
  3. Probably the cheapest (sort of) solution would to be to make sure you have a backup of the Drobo data elsewhere on a disk, online, or whatever. Then transfer the drives from Drobo to new unit and setup the RAID. Once the RAID is setup you can copy back the data.
  4. If you are not computer savvy I wouldn’t recommend doing it without knowledgeable help.

Depending on the size of the drives you may not need RAID, but could get away with a mirrored set. This might save on the total number of drives needed depending on which RAID was used, probably RAID 5. Mirrored is where both drives will get the same data, if one fails the other has the copy. There is a small access speed difference between the two technologies that is likely negated by pushing the data over the network as apposed to an E-SATA, USB 3.x or Apples equivalent ( USB 3.x), which would be faster than over a network. An issue with this is, does a single mirrored drive have sufficient space for the entire contents of the existing RAID?

If you have an older machine you may be looking at having to upgrade to get USB 3.x.

I see Synology is still a player in the enclosure space. They are likely a good product also.

Good Luck.

Guy, Thanks for your detailed response. I think I’ve decided to go with the Synology 1552+. I will contact Synology before ordering to clarify a number of compatiblity concerns. Larry

In which case your throughput should be quite fast as long as you have a GB speed network card in the computer. If it is MB speed you will likely end up with a bottleneck at around 250MB.

Good Luck.