Drobo FS and Lion: update

I just had a phone call from a Drobo senior engineer. He was very frank and direct. It was the sort of conversation two developers have when nobody from management is in the room.

Without going into detail, I have to say that I was impressed. They have of course been testing this setup thoroughly, since the very first Lion developer previews. The Drobo engineer outlined for me the testing procedures they’re using right now, to try to replicate the failures some of us are seeing. They haven’t been able to replicate it. If you can’t make something bleed, it’s hard to kill it.

If you’ve ever shipped software, you’ve faced this situation. A customer experiences some bug, maybe even an intermittent one, that you can’t reproduce yourself. It is maddeningly frustrating for both the developer and the customer.

We were on the phone for 45 minutes. He had very specific logfiles that he wanted from my system. He laid out for me the plan they have for killing this problem, and the multiple approaches seem very sound to me.

They do indeed need the performance tests that first-level support has been asking us to run.

Based on what I learned today I’m going to hang in there for a while longer.

I have created a new Time Machine share on the FS, and I’m running a backup to it now from one of my Lion machines. It’s working fine. I’m going to give it a couple more hours, then kill it, and apply the procedure that Sébastien used. The only change I’ll make is to mount the shares manually using SMB, instead of having to play Beat The Clock.

One other update is that my Snow Leopard machine, which was (immediately after the new firmware) seeing absurdly low throughput, is now functioning fine. I didn’t touch anything. I just let it work.

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11 thoughts on “Drobo FS and Lion: update

  1. I’m having Drobo issues as well. Drobo won’t mount on reboot on my Mac Mini. 10.6 gave me solid performance and 10.7 is causing issues. MBP ran all night for over the air time machine via Mac Mini and only backed up 5gb of 20gb. Hope you succeed in get somewhere with the Drobo folks.

  2. My DroboFS has slowed to a painfully crawling speed since I updated to Lion and as I use it to run Plex home theatre software I cant stream any video files for more than about 30 seconds without buffering issues. So the NAS is a waste of time for me at the moment…..
    I am not sure how the speed issue was solved for you as it seems to have magically returned to normal, I am planning on winding back to Snow Leopard tonight as I cannot wait for Drobo to issue another non working firmware update. The last one completely shagged the dashboard as it has made my problems worse….tickets are in with Drobo but i dont hold put much luck about a reply or solution….I have 10TB of media files so moving to another solution is not only time consuming but expensive!!

    Not a happy bunny!!

  3. From Drobo support today : “… we are aware of this performance issue and it should be fixed with one of our next update.”

  4. Are we still to expect an update for those on OS Lion? My Drobo-FS is still sluggish (128 days for backup and the message “The file server “Drobo-FS” has closed down” pops up everyday).

    This is killing me.

  5. It’s at least 27 days later and still nothing from Drobo… I’ve been trying to do my first Time Machine backup for weeks (500GB) and all I can do is a few GB per day. 😦

  6. I have been using DroboFS for backups of large data sets (300gb).

    The last firmware update together with Lion, has made the combination very unstable, and it has been impossible to perform these backups.

    Until the Finder situation is resolved, I have switched to doing the backups with GoodSync via FTP to DroboFS, and that has proven to be extremely reliable.

  7. Hi, did you get anywhere with this?

    I am experiencing the same issues. I am using a MAc to Drobo direct ethernet link (as per support’s suggestion). Not much improvement – has taken most of the weekend to run time machine for a 190GB backup.

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