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To Drobo or not to Drobo?

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Chris Brooke
To Drobo or not to Drobo?
on Mar 17, 2016 at 5:18:59 pm

Hello Cows,

I've been looking in to backup and network solution for awhile now and I'm over-saturated with information so I'm hoping someone with more experience will be able to advise me on a way forward.

I have two issues I would like to address in my small office. I have been used to working alone with outside contractors but due to increasing business I have taken on a full time assistant and we both need access to the same assets when editing.

Therefore I am looking for two things:

1. Some form of continuous (or once a day) backup for media and projects (Premiere, Avid, After Effects etc) currently stored on multiple drives across two main workstations.
2. A way to share media assets and projects (Editshare would be overkill!).

Having just completed a feature doc our workflow was as follows:

2 x WD Passport Raid drives with thunderbolt, one attached to each workstation and containing an identical set of rushes/media assets. We were editing in Premiere and working on different sequences, sharing projects via a thumb drive and importing new sequences in to a master project via dynamic link.

We are just about to begin work on another feature length doc (1080p) this time in Avid. Ideally I would like a solution that would allow all assets to be stored in one location connected to both iMac workstations. For this I have been looking at the Seagate NAS Pro 4 Bay http://www.seagate.com/files/www-content/product-content/seagate-business-f... and the G-Speed http://www.eastwoodsoundandvision.com/g-technology-gspeed-es-4tb?gclid=Cj0K...

When projects are completed I generally archive on to 4TB SATA drives - two copies one kept in the office and the other in another location. What I don't have is some form of continuous backup. For that I have been looking at the Drobo 5N 20TB http://drobo-emea.myshopify.com/collections/all/network-attached-storage-na...

I don't have a huge amount of experience in this area so I would be supremely grateful if someone could tell me if I'm going in the right direction.

I think my main question is if we had a the workstations connected to a NAS could we then connect the NAS to a Drobo for backup. We also regularly have smaller projects running simultaneously which need constant backing up until they have been delivered to the client and can then be archived.

Just to be clear we are looking at the Drobo as a solution for day to day backup - not file sharing or permanent archiving.

Can anyone offer any advice here?

Thanks!

Chris.


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Bob Zelin
Re: To Drobo or not to Drobo?
on Mar 17, 2016 at 8:58:11 pm

Drobo, Drobo, Drobo -
why is it that everyone always mentions Drobo. What about QNAP or Synology ?
Is price your only concern. Is your only question going to be "why should I buy a QNAP or Synology, when I can get a Drobo for so much less money ? "

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Chris Brooke
Re: To Drobo or not to Drobo?
on Mar 17, 2016 at 10:29:46 pm

Hi Bob,

If you read my post you would see that I don't list price as a concern. I cite Drobo as being a possible solution to two issues based upon my own research. As I stated I do not know a huge amount about this area. If you can advise I would be grateful of that.

Best, C.


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Bob Zelin
Re: To Drobo or not to Drobo?
on Mar 18, 2016 at 12:14:27 pm

I have been used to working alone with outside contractors but due to increasing business I have taken on a full time assistant and we both need access to the same assets when editing.

REPLY - since you are doing AVID editing with AVID Media Composer, you cannot use any of these solutions for shared storage. If you want something inexpensive, AVID makes the ISIS 1000, and Facilis makes the 8D and the new SSD8. These allow for doing actual editing between two AVID systems.

For just media backup (and editing with AVID media, but keeping your project and render data on a local drive), the QNAP TVS-871T is a wonderful choice. And if you are NOT using Media Composer (but using Premiere, FCP X, FCP 7, Resolve, After Effects), the QNAP 871T will serve all of your needs without excuses. It is very inexpensive, and expandable with a thunderbolt 8 bay expansion chassis (up to 6 of them). Synology makes a similar system, but Synology is no longer focusing on the video business. I am sure that the Netgear ReadyNas will do the same as well, but it is a LOT more expensive - at that point, you might as well buy the AVID or Facilis, and get exactly what you need.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Anabella Hoang
Re: To Drobo or not to Drobo?
on Mar 18, 2016 at 7:59:20 pm

Hello Chris,

Instead of the 5N, I definitely think that the B810N is a better option for you. If you buy two B810Ns, you can actually sync them together, and set up a scheduled backup. What's really nice is that after the two Drobos are synced, you can move them anywhere in the world, and as long as both Drobos are connected to a network, they will still automatically sync together and back up data as scheduled.

Since the Drobo B810N is a network attached product as opposed to a direct attached unit, you also gain the ease of sharing files between yourself and your assistant, simply by dragging and dropping files into the Drobo.

Drobo is also the easiest option to use, since the Drobo will configure RAID settings for you. You don't have to have an IT background or hire an IT expert to set up your Drobo. You will only have to insert the drives into your device, power up the Drobo, and select whether you want to protect yourself from a single drive failure, or dual drive failure.

But as a recap to answer your question, yes, you can have two NAS devices sync together for backup. If you decide to go with the 5N, you can use Drobo-approved 3rd party software to back up your data to another 5N. If you go with the option of having two B810Ns, you can sync the two Drobos directly through the Drobo's management software, and set up scheduled backups through there, too. Both devices are great and easy to use.

- Anabella
ahoang@drobo.com

- feel free to email me with any follow up questions!


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Bob Zelin
Re: To Drobo or not to Drobo?
on Mar 19, 2016 at 11:13:45 pm

hello Anabella -
with all due respect, I believe that you are completely wrong. It is my opinion that Drobo currently does not offer one single product that is capable of sharing media in real time between multiple editing systems. The 810n will not work for him, or any video application.

At one time, QNAP, Synology, Thecus and Netgear all offered products similar to Drobo, and I constantly "insulted" their products on these user forums, saying that they were inferior to the products that you see advertised here on Creative Cow, from manufacturers like Studio Network Solutions, Accusys, EditShare, Facilis, Maxx Digital, Small Tree, LumaForge, etc.

However, QNAP, Synology, Thecus and Netgear ALL paid attention, and all of them now offer a 10GbE solution for their product line. I often now write about the QNAP TVS-EC1680 and TVS-871T, but certainly Synology, Thecus and Netgear all offer similar professional solutions.

HOWEVER - Drobo is the ONLY network attached storage vendor in this group to NOT offer a 10GbE solution. The Drobo 810n offers at best a bonded 1G connection between only two 1GbE ports, offering the best possibility of MAYBE close to 200 MB/sec, but in fact will probably result in 150 MB/sec. All Drobo has to do is to follow their competitors, and offer a 10GbE option, or solution, and the problem will probably be solved.

In the mean time, I will continue to say that DROBO is a completely unsatisfactory solution for a shared storage enviorment.

I realize that Drobo makes an easy to use NAS backup solution, and for video appliations, as well as office applications, it's just fine. But for professional hi speed, hi data access from multiple client computers, the Drobo is an inferior solution.

This could be solved if Drobo would stop worrying about MASS marketing of their product, and build a specialty product - as your competitors have - and build a 10GbE solution.

Many companies, including Apple, consider our hi end market to be a "pain in the ass" - but these are the stringent demands that we need to work with HD and 4K video. And currently Drobo does not offer that solution.

Sorry for being insulting. But it's true.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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