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Unsure of best storage practices...
12-04-2016, 01:48 PM
Post: #1
Unsure of best storage practices...
I have a 5 bay drobo 5D with 4 TB in each bay. I replaced the 5th bay when the light turned yellow with a new 4TB drive. Now it's yellow again. What is the best storage plan moving forward?

Can I replace it with the old 4TB drive to create more space? If I do that, will I lose data?

Do I need to create a new volume? Not totally sure how volumes work.

I also used to have dual redundancy but now that box is unchecked and gray (unable to adjust).

I know I need to expand my storage but keep all the info I have available right now. Can someone offer advice on best practices with storage and drives moving forward?
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12-05-2016, 04:48 PM (This post was last modified: 12-05-2016 04:49 PM by Paul.)
Post: #2
RE: Unsure of best storage practices...
hi garrett,
if your drobo is still in a stable state and working fine otherwise, then what probably happened is this:

- the drobo had a 4TB drive in each bay with green lights
- and the yellow light usually comes on to suggest upgrading the drive to a larger size
- but since you replaced it with another drive of the same, 4TB in size, nothing actually changed in terms of space increase, so the light still shows you a yellow light Smile


The checkbox for DDR, will usually only be clickable, if there is enough free space to enable it, but you might need to go through several upgrades of drives, 1 at a time first though.

(did any other lights start flashing btw? and is the drobo in a stable state again now... what is it doing currently?)

(btw i have XP home SP2, a Drobo v1 with 2x 1TB/2x 1.5TB WD greens, & a bkp Drobo v2 with the same + a DroboShare: unused)
& a DroboS v2 with 3xWD15EADS &2x1TB in DDR mode on win7, & a drobo5D (all usb)
  • btw i did a sustained (write) operation for about 6 hours, and got 13.2MB / sec ...objection? "sustained" :)
    (16.7MB/s on a v2 & 47-96MB/s drobo-s)
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12-12-2016, 06:37 PM
Post: #3
RE: Unsure of best storage practices...
Hi Paul,

Thanks for your help. I replaced the 4TB drive a while back (july 2016) when it was getting full. Now that it is full again, I know I need to upgrade my options but I'm not sure what is best. If I wanted to transfer data that I don't use anymore to an offline hard drive, would you recommend just transferring it to a standard external HD?

How exactly do volumes work? Does that allow for more space in the drobo?
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12-14-2016, 07:07 PM (This post was last modified: 12-14-2016 07:09 PM by Paul.)
Post: #4
RE: Unsure of best storage practices...
ah thanks for the info, i guess if you have upgraded drives before, you are already familiar with a rebuild process taking about 1 day per 1TB of data that you have on it Smile

if you were to upgrade in a similar way, i believe you would end up going through at least 2 rebuild cycles...
for example, a 1st time, (to replace a 4TB for something else compatible and larger, lets say 5TB for example), and then a 2nd time, to replace another 4TB for 5TB (making 2x 5TB) which would actually give you some extra usable space.

the volumes themselves will not give you any more actual real space to work with (but they might just appear to the operating system as having lots of free space - but you must always remember to keep an eye on dashboard for the true amount of remaining free space, so as not to overfill your drobo by mistake)

if you do end up upgrading 2 more drives (with ideally equal size) 1 at a time as above, then its possible that dashboard will ask you to set up an extra volume, or drive letter, that it will then present to the operating system for use (though this depends on the setting of your max volume size, so if that is quite large already then you might not get another volume)

For the other option you mention, sure, you can always hook up a different standalone usb drive or something, and transfer less used, or less important data from the drobo, onto it, though if you do, a couple of things worth bearing in mind would be these:
firstly) always try to copy, paste, and verify the copied data, before deleting (rather than just moving) if you can.
and secondly) any data that you essentially move off, will not have even any SDR protection, if the standalone drive was to fail (though you probably are already aware of that, i just mention it for completeness) Smile

speaking of which, am making a nice sandwich soon which will complete me (as am famished) Big Grin

(btw i have XP home SP2, a Drobo v1 with 2x 1TB/2x 1.5TB WD greens, & a bkp Drobo v2 with the same + a DroboShare: unused)
& a DroboS v2 with 3xWD15EADS &2x1TB in DDR mode on win7, & a drobo5D (all usb)
  • btw i did a sustained (write) operation for about 6 hours, and got 13.2MB / sec ...objection? "sustained" :)
    (16.7MB/s on a v2 & 47-96MB/s drobo-s)
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01-19-2017, 01:29 PM
Post: #5
RE: Unsure of best storage practices...
Hi Paul,

Thank you so much for this helpful update. I really appreciate you taking the time to walk me through a few of the options. Have a great day!

(12-14-2016 07:07 PM)Paul Wrote:  ah thanks for the info, i guess if you have upgraded drives before, you are already familiar with a rebuild process taking about 1 day per 1TB of data that you have on it Smile

if you were to upgrade in a similar way, i believe you would end up going through at least 2 rebuild cycles...
for example, a 1st time, (to replace a 4TB for something else compatible and larger, lets say 5TB for example), and then a 2nd time, to replace another 4TB for 5TB (making 2x 5TB) which would actually give you some extra usable space.

the volumes themselves will not give you any more actual real space to work with (but they might just appear to the operating system as having lots of free space - but you must always remember to keep an eye on dashboard for the true amount of remaining free space, so as not to overfill your drobo by mistake)

if you do end up upgrading 2 more drives (with ideally equal size) 1 at a time as above, then its possible that dashboard will ask you to set up an extra volume, or drive letter, that it will then present to the operating system for use (though this depends on the setting of your max volume size, so if that is quite large already then you might not get another volume)

For the other option you mention, sure, you can always hook up a different standalone usb drive or something, and transfer less used, or less important data from the drobo, onto it, though if you do, a couple of things worth bearing in mind would be these:
firstly) always try to copy, paste, and verify the copied data, before deleting (rather than just moving) if you can.
and secondly) any data that you essentially move off, will not have even any SDR protection, if the standalone drive was to fail (though you probably are already aware of that, i just mention it for completeness) Smile

speaking of which, am making a nice sandwich soon which will complete me (as am famished) Big Grin
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01-20-2017, 08:45 PM
Post: #6
RE: Unsure of best storage practices...
thanks very much garrett, if you ever have any future questions or doubt, please feel free to give us a shout Smile

(btw i have XP home SP2, a Drobo v1 with 2x 1TB/2x 1.5TB WD greens, & a bkp Drobo v2 with the same + a DroboShare: unused)
& a DroboS v2 with 3xWD15EADS &2x1TB in DDR mode on win7, & a drobo5D (all usb)
  • btw i did a sustained (write) operation for about 6 hours, and got 13.2MB / sec ...objection? "sustained" :)
    (16.7MB/s on a v2 & 47-96MB/s drobo-s)
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01-20-2017, 09:55 PM
Post: #7
RE: Unsure of best storage practices...
Actually, as you know, my current process with all of my data on a 20TB Drobo 5 bay used to be with a dual redundancy. I went to single redundancy to create more space on my system as I was getting low and am now at the limit. What would you recommend from here to get more space? Transfer data to an external HD and continue to buy new hard drives that I swap out with current drives in my drobo?
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01-23-2017, 09:54 AM (This post was last modified: 01-23-2017 09:57 AM by Paul.)
Post: #8
RE: Unsure of best storage practices...
ah it probably also can depend on what sort of data you have on your drobo too garrett,
you can do what you mentioned like copying less critical data onto somewhere else like a standalone usb drive, as well as doing a drive upgrade when are able, but if you have certain data there are a few extras you can do too.

for example, if you are using windows with ntfs, and you have a folder full of .mht web pages saved, or pdf documents, (or other compressible data) you could right-click on a folder (or 1 or more files) and select Properties. (and then you could enable ntfs compression on those files)

that's what i do with some files, and also there are some larger videe training files (that i like to keep as a local library, but once i see them, i might only need to refer back to them less frequently) which are about half a GB each, yet i can compress them with ntfs compression on my drobo and still get about 5-10MB saved from each video. (bearing in mind hundreds and hundreds of training videos, and the savings do add up)

i dont usually do this on jpg or mp3 files (or something else like a video clip that is used frequently, just to help avoid any potential decompression lag).

one thing to bear in mind though, is that it may (at some point in time) actually become more cost effective, to continue buying some of the smaller-sized drives (instead of the latest the largest/greatest drives), along with a 2nd drobo model, possibly a gen3 if they are cheap for you, since you have been using single SDR mode anyway, and to put the cheaper drives into the 2nd drobo (which can also be expanded some more later on too)

while not as good as DDR, especially for larger drives and longer rebuilds that are associated with larger amounts of data, this might be an option for you.
btw i think for you the optimal usage of your drobo may be to try keeping it at just under 95% used.
(while i have been somewhere between 96-98% in the past on one of my drobos), it is much better to stay just under 95%, in terms of less risk of overfilling and problems, as well as being able to use most of the space, but also not triggering another slowdown phase..

(as far as i know though, the actual slowdown is the same for other filesystems and computers too, as others will also slow down after the 95% used mark)

(btw i have XP home SP2, a Drobo v1 with 2x 1TB/2x 1.5TB WD greens, & a bkp Drobo v2 with the same + a DroboShare: unused)
& a DroboS v2 with 3xWD15EADS &2x1TB in DDR mode on win7, & a drobo5D (all usb)
  • btw i did a sustained (write) operation for about 6 hours, and got 13.2MB / sec ...objection? "sustained" :)
    (16.7MB/s on a v2 & 47-96MB/s drobo-s)
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01-23-2017, 01:02 PM
Post: #9
RE: Unsure of best storage practices...
Hi Paul,

Thanks for all of that. Really great to get your thoughts.

Most of my data is raw and jpeg photos as I am a full-time photographer. I'll most likely transfer less critical data to a USB drive as you mentioned. That way, I can keep everything organized and offload as needed. Do you know much about these machines?

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1...https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1062264-REG/aluratek_ahddub300f_usb_3_0_super

https://www.amazon.com/Aluminum-External...https://www.amazon.com/Aluminum-External-Docking-Station-Function/dp/B0151BDW9S/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1484871426&sr=1-1&keywords=external+hard+dri

I'd most likely copy a year's worth of work to each of these drives and store one at my home and one offsite. Do you recommend that plan?
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01-25-2017, 08:34 PM (This post was last modified: 01-25-2017 08:37 PM by Paul.)
Post: #10
RE: Unsure of best storage practices...
thanks garrett, just to clarify when i meant a usb drive i was thinking in terms of 2 things:

- a ready to use device, like a portable hard drive from iomega that plugs into the usb slot (with psu)
or
- basically a blank hard drive, and a stand-alone device such as an ICYDOCK.
i got an Icy Dock MB881U3-1SA SATA and IDE USB 3.0 Hard Drive Adapter with Docking Stand.
this worked very well for me, and ive used it with upto a 2TB drive so far. (it might support larger ones but 2TB is the largest drive i have here)
B005FN7DJI is the amazon .com code (but i got mine for about 70 so am not sure why the price there is so high but might be worth shopping around for cheaper prices)

while the 2 devices you listed, look like they could work and also have some useful features, i would be very wary of using them based on their design. (one wrong connection and button push, and it could very likely wipe the wrong drive) Smile

If you have a lot of photos that are stored into folders, there is also a very good tool that is useful, especially since sometimes photos like compressed jpgs can become corrupt. it is called Quickpar (and i think also available for mac) and i use it on windows, to basically help protect important files.

it usually works best on files within a folder, and on files that are (about) the same size, (for more efficiency) but basically if you have say 100MB of photos, you can use it to create about 10MB of parity data, that just sits in the same folder, but the good thing about it, is that depending on the file sizes of the photos, it could let you reconstruct any file in the folder, using the rest of the good files. (maybe even more depending on the sizes).

it does eat up a bit more space, but not that much, and could be a good thing to look into as well, even for any files really:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QuickPar
(while a file could be missing, and quickpar is used to reconstruct it, it can also see a "modified" file, as a corrupt file though, so usually good to practice with it first in a folder with some copies of files to become familiar with it, and usually for final/archive data that is not going to change)

(btw i have XP home SP2, a Drobo v1 with 2x 1TB/2x 1.5TB WD greens, & a bkp Drobo v2 with the same + a DroboShare: unused)
& a DroboS v2 with 3xWD15EADS &2x1TB in DDR mode on win7, & a drobo5D (all usb)
  • btw i did a sustained (write) operation for about 6 hours, and got 13.2MB / sec ...objection? "sustained" :)
    (16.7MB/s on a v2 & 47-96MB/s drobo-s)
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