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My Drobo Experience

I started to hear a lot about Drobo so I decided to look at it more closely.

From what I have seen and heard it sounds like a great storage solution. The question I had was how well would it be in a corporate environment?

I had a conversation with a Drobo representative and they told me that they do have customers using it in a corporate environment. Not sure if the representative told me this just to get me to purchase one. I like to think the representative was being honest with me.

At work we definitely had an ideal use for the Drobo. One department copies large graphic files from a server and they work on them locally and then send the image back to the server when done. The server started to run low on space and we needed to find a good solution that was affordable.

The Drobo device seemed like the perfect fit for this!

So I ordered the Drobo with 4 1 TB drives given us 2.7 TB of usable space. Plenty of room for awhile! I also ordered the Drobo Share so that we could easily put the device on the network. Setup was a breeze, we had the device up and running in no time and even copied around 60 GB of data to it and soon after 600 GB of data.

Now the fun begins…..

After a few days the Drobo went into this “reboot loop”. We looked on the Drobo web site for a fix and we found the steps we needed to do in order to stop the device from it’s continuos reboot. The steps worked and our Drobo was up and running again. Article ID 0234 on the Drobo support site if anyone else needs the instructions.

With the time difference between us and Drobo we sent in a support request via email. I wanted to know what could cause this type of behavior. A day went by and we heard nothing.

Within 2 days the Drobo went into the “reboot loop” again. We followed the steps to get out of the loop. I decided to wait until the Drobo offices opened and called into support.

Support suggested we update the firmware and showed us how to download it from the Drobo web site and then apply it to the device. During the conversation with support I mentioned that I sent in a support request 2 days ago and have yet to hear a reply. The answer I was given was that my email address was not associated yet with our registered account and that was the reason why I wasn’t contacted. Umm ok I guess.

The Drobo device was running fine for about 4 days after applying the firmware and then once again it went into the “reboot loop”.

Once again I contacted Drobo support, via Email, and I did get a reply! Great! The support person asked us for some information about the Drobo, you know the usual serial number, firmware version..etc.

We happily supplied the information right away. We did receive a reply back asking some more questions and then asking us to send a copy of the Drobo diagnostics log (or something like that). We obliged and sent in the requested information. As of today that was 8 days ago!

I sent an email yesterday to Drobo asking for an update and no reply!

We did our own troubleshooting at work and thought perhaps it was a power issue that was causing the Drobo to go into this “reboot loop”. We moved the Drobo to a different power source and it has been 7 days now with no (knock on wood) Drobo “reboot loop”.

This experience with Drobo support has me concerned. If this intial use of Drobo was a success we had plans of purchasing additional devices and using them throughout our environment. But, if I can’t get a reply from Drobo support, how responsive will they or would they be if we had a critical support issue?

Received a reply from Drobo, a day after blogging this. They are sending us a beefier power supply.

UPDATE received a beefier power supply from Drobo and so far so good. Drobo support has been following up consistently with me on this. Hats off to them for that.