I’ve been curious about the Drobo Fully Automated SATA Robotic Storage Array and how it might perform on my AirPort Extreme network. if this combination turned out to be practical, I could have 2 Terabytes of hard disk backup storage available to any computer on the 802.11n network. The big question would be speed. How would Drobo’s USB 2.0 connector fare when deluged with the onslaught of RAW photos that I accumulate on a weekly basis?
The good news is that Drobo and AirPort Extreme play nice together. I can easily mount the disk array from both my Tiger and Leopard machines. It is the height of convenience. The bad news is, yes, the read/write times are slow. For my various tests, it took 90 minutes to transfer a 14 GB Aperture archive from a FireWire drive (connected to a MacBook Pro) to the Drobo.
My bottom line? Despite the lethargic write speed, I’m really happy to have the Drobo on my network. I have a gigantic image library stored on it that I can browse via Microsoft Expression Media. And I’m currently looking at Port Map and basic Leopard tools for remote access to the drives. i must admit, it’s been a fun project.