My New Drobo with DroboShare
Post date: Apr 7, 2010 1:29:25 AM
I have a home built Linux based MythTV DVR (built many years ago >4) and with that comes tonnes of files and data... all my TV recordings, videos, digital pictures and all my Ogg Vorbis audio files. I needed a safer storage model for its data. My DVR has become a central shared network repository for all our household media.
All the data used to live inside my DVR and I would throw in a new drive when needed. This made me nervous. I would backup my music and digital pictures, however, the video files were way to much to do.
Here is how I set mine up.
I did it in 2 stages because the Linux version of the Drobo Dashboard does NOT work through the DroboShare.
- 1st directly connected via USB,
- then through the DroboShare
Initial Setup and Formatting
- Install the SATA Drives
- WITHOUT the DroboShare I connect directly to my Linux box via USB
- Use the Linux dashboard and commandline tools (http://drobo-utils.sourceforge.net) to format the Volume and get it setup.
- I called the share that got created "media" and formatted it as a 2GB ext3 volume.
- mounted it
- Test it out
Network Sharing (NAS via DroboShare)
I went out and bought a Cisco/Linksys gigabit Ethernet switch and Cat6 cables to maximize the throughput to the Drobo; mainly between the DVR, Drobo and my Workstation.
Before I connected it using the DroboShare I set up a static IP for the DroboShare MAC address so It will always have a specific IP address (10.0.0.201). That way I can add this IP address to all my computers fstabs.
- Connect Cat6 Cabling between DVR, Workstation, Drobo and gigabit switch.
- Put the Drobo (currently USB connected) into standby so I can Unplug it
- Unplug it
- Connect it to the DroboShare via its USB.
- Connect the DroboShare to the network via the gigabit switch.
- Connect the power cables to the Drobo and DroboShare.
- Wait for it to start up.
- Mount it using CIFS. Here is the line in my fstab
- //10.0.0.201/media /mnt/droboShare/media cifs rw,user,username=tgutwin,password=mySecretPassword 0 0
- start copying files!
Important Speed Note...
Make one small change to your Ethernet packet size to make the maximum packet size bigger.
ifconfig eth0 mtu 9000
Its a Jumbo Frame, and really helps with transfering large amount of data.
This little droboShare is actually a Linux based appliance that you can ssh into and get a commandline!
Take a look at the DARFS docs at http://drobo-utils.sourceforge.net if you want to extend the usefulness of the Embedded BusyBox OS.
You can also install web server, ftpd, iTunes server or other DroboApps.
I did some speed tests to see if It will provide a good platform to stream video around my network computers.
The bottelneck seems to be the USB connection, but it is still good enough to stream HD video! Its a trade-off for simplicity.
They have now eliminated this bottleneck with their Drobo FS without the usb.
- I get around 12MBps writing a 8GB file to the drive.
- Transfering the same file between my DVR and my workstation (to check my network speed) I get over 50MBps.