Replacement for Drobo B800i



  • So I am looking at replacements for my Drobo. I don't NEED to replace it right now but it is getting close to replacement. I am wondering what other people are using. Right now it is plugged directly into the back of my backup server (via ethernet cable) and serves as a DAS target for my backups. Nothing else.
    Right now I am using 11.31TB/17.76TB. I am looking for something similarly sized that will perform the exact same function. I like the idea of a DAS/NAS because then if the server crashes I can just plug the device into another server, inventory and catalog and all my backups data is back. I am not opposed to sticking with Drobo. I have not had perfect experiences with it but it does the job.
    I am using this device with Backup Exec to retain out files long term. (I hate BE so much, but for ONLY file backups, it really does a great job!) I am leveraging a Unitrends device and Forever cloud/DRaaS setup for my server images, so this solution is only for our
    less than 1TB fileshare. But we do keep EVERY copy going back 2 years, this is the reason for the capacity. Dedup just adds another layer of complexity. I would rather just pay for the space. (unless there is a device with dedup, I will not consider software based deduplication (like Backup Exec offers)

    Any input is appreciated!

    Thanks!



  • The Drobo B800i is still Drobo's current offering in this range. So updating to another Drobo would just mean getting the same thing again. Might as well keep the one that you have in that case.



  • The B800i is an eight bay SAN. You can get eight bay SAN options that are very good from Synology and ReadyNAS as well. Those would be the other good packaged choices. None are pure SAN like the Drobo, not that that is bad, just the Drobo is a one trick pony which actually makes it pretty easy to use.



  • I am more looking at EOL replacement. I am having minor issues with mine right now but I suspect that a support call will get that taken care of. I just know this device wont last forever. I am trying to get an idea for a good replacement so if/when the time comes, I don't have to screw around with trying to figure out the best option.


  • Banned

    Why would you not consider software based dedup? Weather on Windows, backup software or the NAS/SAN it is always software based at some layer.


  • Banned

    @scottalanmiller said:

    The B800i is an eight bay SAN. You can get eight bay SAN options that are very good from Synology and ReadyNAS as well. Those would be the other good packaged choices. None are pure SAN like the Drobo, not that that is bad, just the Drobo is a one trick pony which actually makes it pretty easy to use.

    Synology drives are easier to recover if the device fails as well. Drobo you won't have much like with. Synology is just standard Linux technologies for the most part. They can Even replicate to another device or to the cloud (which you should really do for backups)



  • @Jason said:

    Synology is just standard Linux technologies for the most part. They can Even replicate to another device or to the cloud (which you should really do for backups)

    No replication if you are using it as a SAN instead of as a NAS, though.



  • @Jason Yes I know its all software at some layer but I would rather that layer be "hidden" from me as a built in function. I don't need dedup anyway its just more expensive. I did try BE's dedup to EPIC failure. I would just rather put the money into capacity than dedup software.


  • Banned

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @Jason said:

    Synology is just standard Linux technologies for the most part. They can Even replicate to another device or to the cloud (which you should really do for backups)

    No replication if you are using it as a SAN instead of as a NAS, though.

    I'm pretty sure they support iscsi replication to, at least on some of them.



  • I am sure you can replicate but I don't need to. I have that covered with my Unitrends. If the building burns to the ground and this goes with it, it wont be that big of a deal. The will lose the history of the changes but they will still have all their files. Which is a way better place then they were 6 months ago.



  • @bbiAngie said:

    @Jason Yes I know its all software at some layer but I would rather that layer be "hidden" from me as a built in function. I don't need dedup anyway its just more expensive. I did try BE's dedup to EPIC failure. I would just rather put the money into capacity than dedup software.

    That's the general rule. Dedupe is a nice idea but it is complicated and risky and capacity is cheap and easy in most cases.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    The Drobo B800i is still Drobo's current offering in this range. So updating to another Drobo would just mean getting the same thing again. Might as well keep the one that you have in that case.

    Since the B800i is still Drobo's current offering, what makes you worried/concerned about it's EOL, unless it's right around the corner? But that would be odd since typically most companies don't EOL a product until a few years after a replacement device comes out, and Scott's mentioned that the B800i is the current device, not the previous generation device.



  • @Dashrender said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    The Drobo B800i is still Drobo's current offering in this range. So updating to another Drobo would just mean getting the same thing again. Might as well keep the one that you have in that case.

    Since the B800i is still Drobo's current offering, what makes you worried/concerned about it's EOL, unless it's right around the corner? But that would be odd since typically most companies don't EOL a product until a few years after a replacement device comes out, and Scott's mentioned that the B800i is the current device, not the previous generation device.

    I think that she is worried because the current device is old, not because the model itself is too old.

    She's more just getting ready with a replacement strategy. Although honestly, if the unit dies you can just get another today, pop the drives in it and keep going with basically no changes. The B800i is a very viable unit. We have one, it's quite nice for what it does. It's limited, but that's not a bad thing.



  • Scott hit it on the head. I am not really looking for a replacement right this moment, just putting together a strategy. We have had the device for going on 4 years now I know there is still a lot of good life left in it. However, IF I am going to change to a different vendor, it would be in my best interest to do so before anything bad happens with the Drobo. Just trying to see what other people are using and if going with a different setup would be worth considering.



  • I have an even older device, the Drobo Pro 8 Bay. It does USB or iSCSI only. I use it exactly like you do, as a backup storage target. I don't like the fact that it's iSCSI. This makes it harder to move from machine to machine.

    My next device will be used as a NAS, SMB or NFS.



  • @Dashrender said:

    I have an even older device, the Drobo Pro 8 Bay. It does USB or iSCSI only. I use it exactly like you do, as a backup storage target. I don't like the fact that it's iSCSI. This makes it harder to move from machine to machine.

    That's the machine that the B800i replaced. The thing about SANs is that they do almost nothing, so as long as you are updating the firmware getting new hardware is rarely a concern. The B800i is such a simple device that even with its incredible anaemic processor and virtual zero memory it will work just fine for years to come.



  • @bbiAngie Like you, I have an aging Drobo B800i. In February they launched a replacement the B810i. I bought one in March plus new 6TB drives and copied my data over. The B810i replaced the B800 - we use it for media storage as well as Time Machine backups for 4 Macs. I'm using the B800i as backup of the new B810. The B810i is faster, they've optimized it for multiple users - it doesn't destroy watching movies if a TM backup starts. I use it in a Mac environment -- home media. I've purchased, used, and sold a ReadyNas unit 60drive unit. I've purchased and returned a Synology unit (way too complex to set up, horrible support from the company -- they don't even take phone calls). For me, Drobo is best.



  • Oh nice, I knew that the B810n was out but when I looked, which was recently, they had not announced an update for their SAN offering.

    http://www.drobo.com/storage-products/b810i/

    The B810i adds tiering like the B1200i has so that you can mix in SSDs if you want.



  • The new unit supports MPIO and has three Ethernet ports now, with one dedicated for management so that you can have management on the LAN with the iSCSI purely on the SAN. Very nice, that was much needed from the B800i.



  • Sounds like the Drobo B810i might be ideal. If the B800i has worked well for so long and the only issue is that it is getting long in the tooth, going to the replacement model would be the logical step. Maybe the drives can even be moved from the old chassis to the new?



  • @Reid-Cooper said:

    Sounds like the Drobo B810i might be ideal. If the B800i has worked well for so long and the only issue is that it is getting long in the tooth, going to the replacement model would be the logical step. Maybe the drives can even be moved from the old chassis to the new?

    What are the chances that the drives are as old as the chasis?



  • @dafyre said:

    @Reid-Cooper said:

    Sounds like the Drobo B810i might be ideal. If the B800i has worked well for so long and the only issue is that it is getting long in the tooth, going to the replacement model would be the logical step. Maybe the drives can even be moved from the old chassis to the new?

    What are the chances that the drives are as old as the chasis?

    They die one by one, though. You can replace them when they die if you want. The Drobo units are RAID 6. Slow, but not terribly risky.



  • @Reid-Cooper said:

    @dafyre said:

    @Reid-Cooper said:

    Sounds like the Drobo B810i might be ideal. If the B800i has worked well for so long and the only issue is that it is getting long in the tooth, going to the replacement model would be the logical step. Maybe the drives can even be moved from the old chassis to the new?

    What are the chances that the drives are as old as the chasis?

    They die one by one, though. You can replace them when they die if you want. The Drobo units are RAID 6. Slow, but not terribly risky.

    It depends on whether the person decided to configure single or dual disk redundancy in the Drobo dashboard if memory serves. It takes a while to rebuild when you replace a drive when you have all spinners, but we use a B800i for a backup target, which has been solid for a number of years.



  • Just out of curiosity, since you have so much data on the B800i, how many volumes do you have configured on it? Is it just one or a few? I remember back in the day a tech at Drobo telling me one volume with too much data on it was not a good idea. It's possible some of their firmware upgrades have resolved whatever issue he was pointing out at the time. I didn't want to derail the thread but had a general curiosity.



  • @NetworkNerd I have 9 volumes, 5 of which are active. I re-create volumes every so often and let the backups on the other volumes sit until they expire. I am actually in the process of a rebuild. I came in yesterday morning to a failed drive. I put the new drive in at like 11:30 and it still says it has like 40 hours left for rebuild.


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