I have been working on reinstalling Windows Home Server 2011 back on my HP Microserver N40L after some issues with the first #160; Part of the process was to install the WHS Drobo Status Beta 2 Add-in from Ross Dargan that can be found over at the Home Server Show Forums. The Add-in was part of a contest that we ran over at #160; Ross answered the call and produced not only an initial beta, but now a second one as of January 15 #160; Here is what it looks like on my #160; I actually have two #160; The first Drobo S (5 Bay) is attached to the WHS 2011 box via USB and the second is networked attached via Gigabit Ethernet on the #160; With his add-in, I can view the status of both Drobos from my WHS #160; I am now off to load up the Drobos with all kinds of fresh data! I will post some updated pics when I have them completed loaded!
With as much as I have been talking about Drobo lately, I figured it was time to let you in on a #160; Whether it’s a Christmas gift or just some rockin’ good storage, you can get it cheaper with these #160; Act quickly, offers expire December 31st! Use code 100DROBO for an instant $100 discount at Up to $150 rebate when you purchase a Drobo from any authorized reseller FREE Professional Drobo product with every Drobo Business product purchased
I am looking for a small form factor PC or case to pair with a Drobo S. The Drobo dimensions are ; x ; x ; and of course you can find pictures over at I want the PC to either be a stand for the Drobo or sit on top of it and look like they should be paired together. It needs to have USB or eSATA, powerful enough to run WHS 2011, have room for an internal drive of at least 120GB and be fairly power efficient. It also cannot be a million dollars. The discussion is on over at the Home Server Show #160; You can join in there or leave a comment #160; Got a favorite? Good recommendation? Will add to this list as we move along. Picture Link Features Drobo $679 Drobo S (2nd Gen) USB / IEEE 1394b / eSATA Black 5-bay Storage Array DRDR4A21 Drobo S (2nd Gen) USB ; x ; x ; USB / IEEE 1394b / eSATA The Front Runner $429 IdeaCentre Q Series Q180 Intel Atom Processor D2700 ( 1MB ) 4 GB PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz 500GB 5400 USB 10/100/1000 Small Form Factor – Case Only Submitted by jmwills Newegg 5 star rating $119 SILVERSTONE Sugo Series SG05BB-450 ALL Black Plastic / SECC Mini-ITX Desktop Computer Case with SFX 450W 80+ Bronze Certified / Single +12V rail Power Supply SILVERSTONE Sugo Series SG05BB-450 ; x ; x ; Mini-ITX Desktop Plastic front panel, SECC body SFX 450W with 80 PLUS certification (SilverStone tuned) 450W 20+4Pin Mini-DTX, Mini-ITX Submitted by tojoski and Petro_Mann Newegg 4 star rating $ Antec ISK 300-150 Black cold rolled steel Mini-ITX Desktop Computer Case 150W Power Supply Antec ISK 300-150 Black ; x ; x ; Mini-ITX Desktop cold rolled steel 150W Submitted by Joe_Miner $ APEVIA X-FIT-100 Black Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case 250W Power Supply APEVIA X-FIT-100 Black Steel Mini-ITX Tower ; x ; x ; Mini-ITX Tower 250W Submitted by many $ LIAN LI PC-Q08B Black Aluminum Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case LIAN LI PC-Q08B Black Aluminum Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case ; x ; x ; Mini-ITX / Mini-DTX No Power Supply Tojoski $ Mini-ITX HTPC Media Center Computer Case Habey EMC-600B Black New Mini-ITX HTPC Media Center Computer Case Habey EMC-600B Black New Motherboards/CPUs Submitted by tojoski $ GIGABYTE GA-H61N-USB3 LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI USB Mini ITX Intel Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-H61N-USB3 LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI USB Mini ITX Intel Motherboard DDR3 1333 / 1066 / 800 (16GB) 10/100/1000Mbps 2 x SATA Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Pentium / Celeron (LGA1155) Submitted by tojoski Newegg 5 star rating $ Intel Core i3-2120T Sandy Bridge 2 x 256KB L2 Cache 3MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 35W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I32120T Intel Core i3-2120T Sandy Bridge 2 x 256KB L2 Cache 3MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 35W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I32120T Submitted by Jim Newegg 4 star rating $ ASRock E350M1/USB3 AMD E-350 APU (, Dual-Core) AMD A50M Hudson M1 Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo ASRock E350M1/USB3 AMD E-350 APU (, Dual-Core) AMD A50M Hudson M1 Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo DDR3 1066/800 (16GB) 10/100/1000Mbps 4 x SATA AMD E-350 APU (on Board) Submitted by pluggedinpc $ ASUS F1A75-I Deluxe FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB Mini ITX AMD Motherboard ASUS F1A75-I Deluxe FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB Mini ITX AMD Motherboard DDR3 1866 / 1600 / 1333 / 1066 10/100/1000Mbps 4 x SATA 6Gb/s 2 x USB Submitted by pluggedinpc $ AMD A8-3850 Llano 4MB L2 Cache Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU AD3850WNGXBOX AMD A8-3850 Llano 4MB L2 Cache Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU AD3850WNGXBOX Submitted by pluggedinpc $ AMD A4-3400 Llano 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket FM1 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor AD3400OJGXBOX AMD A4-3400 Llano 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket FM1 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor AD3400OJGXBOX Barebone Units Submitted by jcollison $219 Zotac ZBOXNANO-AD10-U AMD Hudson M1 1 x 204Pin AMD Radeon HD 6310 Mini / Booksize Barebone System Zotac ZBOXNANO-AD10-U AMD E-350 APU (, Dual-Core)Chipset DDR3 1066 Up to 4GB 1 x SATA 10/100/1000Mbps 2 x USB Submitted by Yodafett $ Zotac ZBOX AD02 Desktop Computer – AMD Fusion E-350 GHz – Mini PC – Black Zotac ZBOX AD02 Desktop Computer AMD Fusion E-350 GHz DDR3-1066/PC3-8500 Serial ATA/600 Gigabit Ethernet 2 x USB Submitted by Jim $ Foxconn NTA350-0H0W-B-A-NA AMD Hudson D1 1 x 204Pin AMD Radeon HD 6310 Black Mini / Booksize Barebone System Foxconn NTA350-0H0W-B-A-NA AMD E-350 APU (, Dual-Core) DDR3 800 1 x SATA 10/100/1000Mbps 2 x USB Small Form Factor PC Only Submitted by ikon $ ASRock CoreHT 231D Intel Core i3 2310M Mobile Sandy Bridge Processor Intel HM65 Intel HD Graphics 3000 1 x HDMI Remote Control Barebone ASRock CoreHT 231D ; x ; x ; 4GB DDR3-1333MHz (2x2GB) 500GB / 7200RPM ; SATA HDD DVD Super Multi Intel Mobile Sandy Bridge Processor Mobile Intel HM65 Express chipset Playback of Blu-ray disc S3D content via HDMI HDMI audio pass through (Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD Master Audio) THX TruStudio PRO 4 x 1 x eSATA3 Hard Drive Submitted by Jim $ ICY DOCK MB982SPR-2S Full Metal Dual ; to ; SATA HDD & SSD Converter with RAID for PC & Mac Pro ICY DOCK MB982SPR-2S Full Metal Dual ; to ; SATA HDD & SSD Converter with RAID for PC & Mac Pro Submitted by Jim $ SAMSUNG Spinpoint M7E HM251HI 250GB 5400 RPM 8MB Cache ; SATA Internal Notebook Hard Drive -Bare Drive SAMSUNG Spinpoint M7E HM251HI 250GB 5400 RPM 8MB Cache ; SATA Internal Notebook Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Listen to the Podcast: Listen Mobile: Jim is with Mario Blandini from Drobo and a visit to their international headquarters in San Jose for the first ever Home Tech Podcast from Drobo. Mario and Jim talk about Drobo product direction, hardware vs software development, RAID usage and even some new product announcements! Drobo is now shipping a new 12 bay Drobo for enterprise business that need more storage. Mario also breaks down some of the new naming convention for the latest line and talks about the future of expanding Drobo’s BeyondRAID technology. He also covers some of the future when it comes to using smaller form factor drives and responds to the hacking community. Jim gives Mario some ideas of what he would like to see in the future including some tips for the Home Server Community. Mario also announces the first ever Drobo on Windows Home Server 2011 Add-in challenge. If you are a Windows Home Server Add-in developer and write a successful add-in for the WHS 2011 platform that manages a Drobo unit, Drobo will reward you with one! For details, watch for the “official announcement” over at the after Wednesday night’s live show (10/12/2011) Love it or $$$$ it, this is a show you will not want to miss. Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison Andrew’s Twitter: #!/unrealshots Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: If you have a product or a topic you would like us to discuss, please tag your articles in Delicious using the tag “TheAverageGuy”. Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at
I have been reviewing a Drobo in some form or fashion since December #160; Some reviews over at the Home Server Show and some here at the Average #160; The first part of this review can be found at Drobo Has a New Dashboard! Welcome Version with a Drobo S and 5 Drives In recent months, Drobo has released a new version of their dashboard ( updated for this review) for both their consumer and enterprise #160; For a company that is taking steps in the right direction when it comes to back up hardware, this software upgrade replaces a fairly vanilla offering from the last several #160; It’s a definite upgrade and one that users of a Drobo should test out #160; I found no reasons not to #160; If you are a Drobo owner, the upgrade is free. With the new Dashboard, you can: (from ) View all your Drobos in one window Get capacity and status for each Drobo DroboCopy tasks run in the background Get email alerts about your Drobo Here is a good overview of the Drobo Dashboard v2 from Mario Blandini. Tools From the Capacity and Tools option in the Dashboard select #160; This gives the user the ability to do several functional and maintenance #160; Blink the lights, rename the device, check for software updates, register your Drobo, perform some system diagnostics, shutdown your Drobo, format it and reset the unit. Let’s look at them one at a time! #160; Blink Lights – I’m sure there is a good reason to blink the lights on a Drobo, but this might be the least used function in the tools #160; I did it several time to impress my friends when on a Skype call, but that was #160; When selected, it will blink the light between red and green. #160; Rename Device – If I had two of the same unit or if I just wanted to rename my Drobo to “Bob” this would be the place. #160; Check for Updates – Between this post and the first one, Drobo upgraded the software to version ! The software does automatically check for updates, but in case you skipped it the last time, you can update it from #160; I was already up to date! #160; Register – Takes you to the Drobo site for registration of the #160; #160; Diags – Runs some very quick diagnostics and puts a log file to your desktop for #160; Support will most likely ask for this if you are experiencing #160; The file itself is unreadable by the end user. #160; Shutdown – Performs a clean shutdown of the unit. #160; Format – Use this to change the way the Drobo has been #160; For the purposes of this review, the Drobo was formatted into 4 – 2TB #160; Selecting the format option starts with a prompt warning you that all your data will be deleted. The rest of the process is similar to the format this is done when first installing the #160; See my first post here. #160; Reset – Made a horrible mistake and just need to start over? This is your tool. Drobo Copy Drobo Copy is a feature that enables you to easily backup files to your Drobo device. From this screen, you can add, edit, delete or run a Drobo Copy task. You can also view a report of the last run of a particular Drobo Copy task. Selecting the + option allows me to create a new copy object. I will rename the copy to ‘First Drobo Backup’ Select the source folder at my Documents Folder from my PC Select the destination folder as one of the Drobo volumes Leave the default time and days of the week to AM and All Days Basic View Advanced View In Advanced view, the options to include system files. Delete files in the ‘To’ folder that are not present in the ‘From’ folder, set the Reporting Level and add exclusions are #160; For the purposes of this review, they will remain default. This would be a very handy way to back up the files on your computer if you had no other form of back #160; Set up is very easy to use and understand as well as manage. To run the backup manually, use the ‘Run Now’ button at the bottom of the #160; Select ‘Edit’ to make changes to the scheduled jobs. One a job is run, the ‘Last Report” option is #160; When completed, it looks something like this. From the Drobo Website: For Drobo Dashboard version or later: See Using Drobo Copy to Back Up Data in the Drobo Online User Guide. To create a new Drobo Copy, see Creating a New Drobo Copy in the Drobo Online User Guide. (Also see "Information for Advanced Settings" below in this article.) To run a Drobo Copy now (manually), see Running a Drobo Copy Now in the Drobo Online User Guide. To review a report of Drobo Copy activities, see Reviewing the Last Report for a Drobo Copy in the Drobo Online User Guide. Dashboard Preferences There two options under the Dashboard Preferences – Dashboard Settings and Email Settings Under Dashboard Settings, a General Settings window #160; The options to Auto Update, Enable System Tray functionality (which means it is running even if the software is closed) and Alert #160; If I wanted to configure Email Alerts, I could do that in the Email Setting #160; This option is for more advanced users. More information on setting up Email Alerts can be found here. Conclusion The upgrade to the Software was a huge improvement over the #160; A better interface, easier to use features and a more intuitive layout is a big plus for the average #160; There is no reason not to move to this version of the Drobo Dashboard and if you are just purchasing a Drobo, the dashboard should be a tremendous #160; Nice work Drobo! So what is next? In the next review, I will atake a look at how it can be used with different applications including Windows Home Server 2011 and Oracle’s Virtual Box. Jim Collison is a blogger and podcaster for and Full Disclosure – Drobo provided an evaluation unit with drives for this review.
I have been reviewing a Drobo in some form or fashion since December #160; Some reviews over at the Home Server Show and some here at the Average #160; In recent months, Drobo has released a new version of their dashboard ( for this review) for both their consumer and enterprise #160; For a company that is taking steps in the right direction when it comes to back up hardware, this software upgrade replaces a fairly vanilla offering from the last several #160; It’s a definite upgrade and one that users of a Drobo should test out #160; I found no reasons not to #160; If you are a Drobo owner, the upgrade is free. With the new Dashboard, you can: (from ) View all your Drobos in one window Get capacity and status for each Drobo DroboCopy tasks run in the background Get email alerts about your Drobo Here is a good overview of the Drobo Dashboard v2 from Mario Blandini. This review was done on Windows 7 PC using a 5 bay Drobo S connected via USB The Review The v2 software can be found at the Drobo support #160; #160; The install is fairly standard and I selected all the defaults. The Dashboard: (Click on any of the images to enlarge to viewable size) Icons View List View Both views give the ability to sort by Health, Name or #160; There is a graphical representation of the device in the lower left corner of the #160; Very handy to use if your Drobo is in another location and cannot be seen. Since the Drobo is empty of drives, we are going to add 5 of #160; 2 – 3TB, 2 - and 1 – 1TB #160; I am going to load all of them at once. While the drives are being loaded by the Drobo, I get this warning message: The Drobo itself is flashing the yellow and green #160; This process is no different in previous versions of the dashboard, just a new way of alerting the user. Because the drives are not completely acquired by the unit, this alert occurs as well: It took the unit about 3 minutes to completely add all the #160; Now they need to be formatted. Icons View List View Selecting the first option, Capacity and Tools, I am prompted to format the #160; Selecting #160; A final warning before the format. Like in the previous version of the dashboard, there three different Format Types #160; For the purposes of this review, I am choosing the 2nd or NTFS option. In further reviews, I am going use the Drobo to test the new Windows Home Server 2011 with Oracle’s Virtual Box #160; For that purpose, I need 2TB #160; So for this review, I am choosing to create multiple 2TB #160; It would be just as easy to create a 4, 8 or 16TB volume right here with the slider. One of the handy features about the Drobo is that I can very easily set up the volumes once I chose their #160; I am going to change both the drive letters of the volumes as well as their #160; This will help in future reviews know which drive is which. Its important to remember that while I might have 4 – 2TB volumes, I really only have of capacity #160; If I loaded more than of data to these drives, the Drobo would require that I add larger drives to the #160; Before After And a #160; Selected Format The formatted look from the #160; Usage Option Capacity Option In order to complete the set up, the Drobo needed to be #160; This was accomplished in about 2 minutes time without rebooting the PC. Volumes Tab Status Tab Out of the box, the Drobo uses Beyond RAID to protect any data stored on the #160; By default on the Drobo S, one drive can fail without the loss of #160; In the Setting – General Tab, there is an option increase the number of drives that can fail at once to two #160; While it adds a greater amount of protection, it takes additional #160; Each user needs to evaluate their risk #160; Here is what it looks like if it’s turned on with this configuration. There are also two other options for power #160; The first one determines how quickly the disk spin down when they are not in #160; The default is 15 #160; The second is brightness of the #160; 1 is nearly off and 10 is #160; 10 is default. By selecting the Dual Disk Redundancy, the drive capacity is almost cut in half with this configuration. With this configuration, it took the Drobo about 12 minutes to convert the disks. Before After Since I can risk having only one drive fail at a time, I am going to set the protection mode back to the default setting. This process took about 5 seconds to complete. So what is next? In the next set of reviews, we will look at The Tools available from within the Dashboard, Drobo Copy, the Dashboard Preferences and the Help available from the Drobo #160; I will also take a look at how it can be used with different applications including Windows Home Server 2011 and Oracle’s Virtual #160; Jim Collison is a blogger and podcaster for and Full Disclosure – Drobo provided an evaluation unit with drives for this review.
If you have been following me over the last several months, you know by now that I have been testing and reviewing products from #160; If not, you can get more info on my reviews of at The Home Server Show. I was recently interviewed on the Drobo Podcast Network by Mario Blandini back on January 4, #160; We did the original podcast live, but I have included a link to it just in case you missed #160; It’s just 30 minutes in #160; I would love your feedback on the show with your comments right here. Download the podcast at: If you have never seen a Drobo before, I have included a link below to with a $10 #160; Enjoy the podcast. Data Robotics Drobo ; 4-bay Storage Array (Hard Drives NOT included)