Drobo, Disk Utility and partitions

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Bread, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. Bread

    Bread Guest

    So I recently got a Drobo (4-bay, 2nd gen). Very exciting.

    The thing with a Drobo is that unless you tell it otherwise, the soup
    of drives in there becomes on huge virtual drive which expands if you
    replace drives with bigger ones. This leads to a couple of issues I'm
    trying to figure out best how to handle.

    1. The Drobo software allows you do set up partitions and it will put
    as many on there as it can (ie. if you have, after RAID,etc, say 3.6TB
    of usable space and you specify 2TB partitions, you'll get 1x2TB and
    1x1.6. What happens if you add enough drives that you now have, say,
    4.6TB of usable space - do you end up with your original 2TB + a 2.6TB
    or does it recognize that the additional space gets over the max
    partition size you specified and you end up with a 2x2TB (and what -
    unused space or an additional 0.6TB partition?)

    2. If you want partitions of different sizes, I read somewhere that the
    way to do that is Disk Utility rather than the Drobo partitioning
    software. I actually was wanting 1x1TB + 1x2TB + whatever's left over.
    So I told the Drobo software to make only one partition and used Disk
    Utility to set up the 1x1TB partition and the rest became "Drobo 2"
    because at the time, I didn't have enough drives in there to set up
    three partitions. Now I've added disks and the 2nd partition, which is
    now way bigger than 2TB should get split, but Disk Utility fails to
    repartition that 2nd partition. Is this, in fact, the right way to do
    this? Should I do this at all?

    (For folks wondering, the reason I want fixed-size partitions is
    because there are certain utilities which will just use all available
    space on a given drive or partition - such as Time Machine and possibly
    CrashPlan - and I don't want them eating the entire drive.)

    3. One of the partitions has to be "rest of the drive" partition where
    new free space goes if I add bigger drives. Is there any way to get
    the Finder to show me the actual amount of space free there? As far as
    I can tell, no, there isn't. This is rather disconcerting.

    I am certainly going keep CrashPlan backups on there (from the machine
    it's attached to, plus a couple of others which send them over via
    network). I may not keep Time Machine on it, though I was looking
    forward to having Time Machine on a local drive rather than connected
    to the Airport Extreme - doing it over the network does noticeably slow
    down the machine. If I could do Time Machine to the Drobo from the
    machine it's attached to and also have Time Machine on the other
    machines in the house use the desktop as a target, that'd be great.
    Not sure how to do that. It's pretty important for the notebook
    machines to do Time Machine over the network one way or another, so
    it'll either be to the desktop, or to another HD that I'll go and hang
    off the Airport Extreme -- in which case I won't bother putting the
    T.M. volume on the Drobo at all.

    Anyway, thanks for any input.
    Bread, Feb 28, 2012
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