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MacBook Pro + Drobo via USB 2.0 to Airport Extreme

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Chris and any other Drobo users out there,


A quick question about the use of a Drobo 2 connected via the USB 2.0 connection to an Apple Airport Extreme. When connected this way my understanding from discussions with the Drobo technical support staff is that it is not possible to put the Drobo into standby mode because you don't have the Drobo Dashboard control over the Drobo unit via this kind of connection. Therefore, the Drobo (and the hard drives) is on 24/7 even after you've powered down the computer (a Macbook Pro in this case).


Given the set-up described above, if any of you are using this same kind of set-up, have any of you encountered any reliability problems over the long haul? Everything for me is working just fine but I've only really had my set-up running this way for a few weeks now. Other than the Drobo cooling fan coming on for brief periods of time after the computer has been shut down nothing untoward seems to be happening so far.




Mr. Wednesday


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I have been running my drobo 24/7 for more than a year connected to a "Time Capsule" via USB without any issues. Mine is rev. 1. I do however from time to time connect it directly to the computer via USB to check for updates. It has been

running smoothly all the time. I am not shure but I think you could add the Drobo-share(additional cost) and then use it as a NAS on your network and thus be able to communicate with it but I repeat I have not tried this. I'm a happy owner though and is planning to buy another one.


As a side note, thank you Chris for the tip about the "Automaountmaker" program. Works!!!!!!




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Chris you are absolutely right. As my Drobo is connected to the apple "Time Capsule" it behaves like an ordinary diskdrive.


From the Drobo knowledgebase:

Article ID 0193: Time Machine / AirPort Extreme / Time Capsule


What do I need to be aware of when using Drobo and Time Machine with an AirPort Extreme and/or Time Capsule?


Using Drobo and Time Machine with an AirPort Extreme and/or Time Capsule:

1) Drobo on an AirPort Extreme works, but it must be formatted as HFS+. With firmware 7.3.1 the Airport Extreme works with journaled file systems. When it first shipped, in 2/2007, non-journaled file systems were required for disks greater than 1 TB in size.

2) Time Machine with Drobo direct attached (DAS) works fine, but it might be best to create a separate partition for Time Machine with Disk Utility.

3) Time Machine with Drobo connected to an AirPort Extreme or network attached (NAS) works. Just make sure you have updated Time Capsule or Airport Extreme to firmware 7.3.1 or later.

4) Time Machine with Drobo on Time Capsule works, no special formatting is required.


NOTE: All of this may change as Apple releases new OS and/or firmware updates, so stay tuned.



With the Droboshare you are getting a Nas unit since the Droboshare contains a operating system(some form of Unix I would guess). I do not have the Droboshare but since there are now free "Droboapps" to download there must be some sort of operating system in there,right? . However it seems(have to be confirmed) to me that the Drobo itself does its system maintenance within the Drobo without any action from the user, hence storage robot.


Article ID 0298: Dashboard does not see Drobo connected to Time Capsule


I have connected my Drobo to the USB port on my TimeCapsule. However I notice that Dashboard does not seem to know of its existence and I can't find a way to point it at the TimeCapsule location.

Does Dashboard work in this configuration?


No, dashboard will only work over the network when using a DroboShare.


Article ID 0014: Do I need to defragment my drobo?


Do I need to defragment my drobo? Defrag does not seem to function.Answer:

You don’t have to perform normal disk maintenance on Drobo because it takes care of those functions itself. It’s not necessary because Drobo’s data management algorithms prevent fragmentation. Drobo’s patented Data Robotics file system technology organizes data while preventing fragmentation. The defrag utilities you’d normally use won’t recognize how data is stored on Drobo.



One thing I do know though and to keep in mind is that should the Drobo itself break your data is toast unless you have another Drobo. This is because the Raid system is Drobo only(non standard). You can not recover the data from those disks in any other way(well maybe NSA could?!)


As a side note I am happily streaming my AIFF files from my gen.1 Drobo connected to TimeCapsule wireless at "n" speed to my rig with an Airportexpress. Some say that the Airportexpress is very jittery but I'm happy so far..........until I hear the difference with a good DAC attached I presume. I have only ripped CD music so it is not extreme "HighEnd".


Anyways love the site,

Keep it up Chris!


ps: if this post is too long please let me know since I am new to this ds.






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If it working then I think you're good to go. If it starts to misbehave Droboshare will likely be the solution. As I recall I could sleep my Funky Chicken (Drobo) without Droboshare. The problem was waking it back up. I could always instigate sleep by yanking the plug. I got a Droboshare and things calmed down.


ps - Dobo is still on 24/7 - it lives to glow blue unless I was to turn it off. Why turn it off?




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casp, Chris and Innertuber,


Thanks a lot for the real world user feedback on the Drobo. Much appreciated as always.


The general experience consensus seems to be tht the are no ill effects from running the Drobo set up this way so I think I'll just leave it as is. And casp, thanks for your tip about direct connecting the Drobo to see if there are any updates - I'll remember to do that from time to time.


I've been watching and listening to the Drobo more closely after i've powered off my computer and it appears that the Seagate hard drives put themselves into some kind of standby or sleep mode after receiving no commands for a while. At least it appears to be the situation as i can't hear any drive-related sounds at all coming from the unit after computer power down. And when i do power up my computer and select the Drobo as the iTunes library site you can then hear the drives "waking up" and spinning up to speed one after the other so maybe the combination of the Drobo software and Seagate software is doing what i want anyways on its own.


Thanks again for al your input.


Chris - great site and info! Keep up the great work you're doing!




Mr. Wednesday


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