Drive Lights Green:
Drive Lights Green: No action is required. All drives are healthy.
Solid Yellow: Add a drive or replace the current drive
with a larger drive soon. DroboElite is running out of
Blinking Yellow and Green: Do not remove these
drives or power down. DroboElite is working to
protect your data.
Solid Red: Add a drive or replace the current drive
with a larger drive immediately. DroboElite is
critically low on space.
Blinking Red: Replace this drive immediately. This
drive has failed and needs to be replaced.
Power Light Green: The power is on and DroboElite is ready.
is in standby mode.
has overheated. Disconnect the data
cable and then the power cable. Let it cool down and
Activity Light Blinking Green: Data is actively being transferred
between your computer and DroboElite.
Capacity Gauge Blue: Displays the percentage of your DroboElite that
is full, in
Can I connect DroboPro directly to an Ethernet
You can connect one or more DroboPros to a network
and have them accessible from a single host, provided the host is on the same
subnet. First, directly attach DroboPro using USB 2.0, FireWire or Ethernet
cable to your host, and choose an appropriate IP address, then connect each
DroboPro to your switch. This host will be the only computer on the network able
to directly access DroboPro. To share DroboPro to the entire network, simply
turn on file sharing using the file sharing controls in your host’s operating
system (i.e. SMB or AFP). Please note you must set a unique static IP address
for each DroboPro using Drobo Dashboard and only one instance of Drobo Dashboard
assigning static IP addresses should be running on that subnet.
Since DroboPro is such a high-performance device, it
can fully consume all bandwidth on a Gigabit Ethernet connection, resulting in
performance compared to directly attaching DroboPro.
In the unlikely event my DroboPro malfunctions, can I
put the hard drives in another unit?
Yes, in the event your DroboPro breaks you can easily
transfer your disk pack to another DroboPro. Disk packs are fully swappable
between units. However, Data Robotics recommends having the same, or later
firmware on the destination DroboPro as the original.
How much usable space will I get when I place my hard
drives into DroboPro?
DroboPro is able to utilize different capacity hard
drives in a very efficient way, however, some disk space must be reserved for
keeping your data safe. As a rule of thumb, your available, protected capacity
on DroboPro is equivalent to the sum of your hard drive capacity minus the size
of the largest drive. However, when Dual Disk Redundancy is enabled, DroboPro
requires roughly the space equivalent to two of the largest drives to safely
protect your data.
A relatively small amount of capacity is used by the
file system you’ve chosen and DroboPro. Please see our online Capacity
Calculator to experiment “virtually” with various drive
Can I really use any hard drive I want?
DroboPro is compatible with 3.5″ SATA I and SATA II
hard disks, regardless of their capacity, speed, or manufacturer.
What happens when I enable the Dual Disk Redundancy
mode in Drobo Dashboard?
Dual Disk Redundancy is a feature that protects your
data even if up to two hard disks fail. When you check the “Dual Disk
Redundancy” option in Drobo Dashboard, the lights on the unit flash and you are
still protected against a single hard disk failure
until the background work is completed and
the lights stop flashing, at which you point you are
protected against two disk failures.
If you deactivate the Dual Disk Redundancy feature,
DroboPro immediately goes into single disk redundancy mode.
What is the maximum volume size?
You can format your DroboPro volume size as 1TB, 2TB,
4TB, 8TB or 16TB (even without this much physical hard disk space available).
This ability to format your volume larger than available disk space is called
“thin provisioning.” It allows you to grow into a single, large volume over time
rather than needing multiple smaller volumes.
Can I remove drive packs for archiving purposes?
You can remove drives from DroboPro and safely store
or archive them to be re-inserted into DroboPro at a later time. You must remove
the disks out as a set – this means if you have six drives in DroboPro, you
should remove and archive all six. The good thing is, if one (or two, depending
on the redundancy you set) of those disks were to fail while in storage, your
data would still be safe.
How should I configure my DroboPro if I want to move
it between being directly attached to Windows (XP/Vista) and Mac OS X
If you’d like to your direct-attached DroboPro
between Windows and OS X operating systems, you can format DroboPro as FAT32,
however there are significant limitations in terms of data throughput and
maximum volume capacity when utilizing this option. Also, FAT32 is a
non-journaled file system which provides less data protection than more advanced
file systems such as NTFS or HFS+. Please research this file system and its
limitations before choosing this option.
How should I configure my DroboPro if I want to move
it between being directly attached to Windows XP and Windows Vista
If you would like to move your DroboPro between being
directly attached to Windows XP and Windows Vista computers, please format your
DroboPro on Windows XP using Drobo Dashboard. Choose NTFS for the filesystem and
create volumes 2TB or smaller. If you format on Windows Vista using Drobo
Dashboard, choose “XP Compatible NTFS” for the filesystem and create volumes 2TB
or smaller. Windows XP has an inherent 2TB volume limitation so any volumes
larger than 2TB will not be recognized.
Can I connect DroboPro to a DroboShare for sharing
over a network?
No. DroboPro is not compatible with DroboShare. If
you would like to share a DroboPro over a network, simply connect it to a server
or workstation that has file sharing enabled.
Can I use DroboPro in a rack-mount environment?
Yes. Utilizing the optional DroboPro Rack Mount kit,
you can easily install the unit in any standard 19-inch rack. The vertical
height of DroboPro is 3U. The DroboPro Rack Mount kit includes the mount and
screws needed to rack-mount your DroboPro alongside your other
How can I get optimal FireWire performance on Windows
XP or Vista?
To obtain optimum performance in Windows, use a
third-party FireWire 800 driver, as neither Windows XP nor Vista comes with one
pre-installed. If you do not use a third-party driver, Windows XP SP2 will
automatically treat any FireWire 800 device as if it were either a FireWire 100
or 400 device depending on whether you’ve applied the appropriate Microsoft Hotfix. Windows Vista will treat a FireWire 800 device as
if it were connected via FireWire 400. To get true FireWire 800 performance
you’ll need to use a third-party driver such as the one from Unibrain (make sure it’s the latest version).
You should also consider using the iSCSI interface
which offers superior performance and does not require a third party card or
Can I boot my Mac from DroboPro?
Apple’s OS X supports booting from external drives
connected via FireWire or USB.
Can I encrypt the data I store on DroboPro?
Yes. One easy way to do this is to create an
encrypted disk image using Disk Utility on Mac OS X or using the Windows
Explorer file attribute option (not available on Windows XP Home Edition). A
variety of third party software for creating encrypted files and folders will
also work. A great free, cross-platform (Windows XP & Vista, OS X, Linux)
option is TrueCrypt.
Encryption tools that try to encrypt every block on
DroboPro will not work unless you create a dedicated partition for storing
encrypted data and have sufficient physical storage capacity equal to or greater
than the partition size. Also note that at 95% capacity, DroboPro will get
increasingly slower. If you do not create a dedicated partition, these type of
tools will try to encrypt every block on Drobo, but never finish since DroboPro
creates a virtual disk partition larger than available disk space.
DroboPro is currently not compatible with
hardware-based Full Disk Encryption (FDE).
Could a disaster recovery company such as DriveSavers
recover my data in the event of a catastrophe?
For a company like DriveSavers, recovering data from
a DroboPro is not much different than recovering data from a traditional RAID
array. Just like traditional RAID, DroboPro uses standard file systems to store
DroboPro uses its own method to layout data, as all
RAID devices do. For instance, you cannot take disks from one vendor’s RAID
array and move them to a different vendor’s RAID 5 array.
What happens if I initially format my DroboPro as a
2TB volume, and then add more than 2TB of capacity?
If you format DroboPro for a certain volume size
(i.e. a 2TB volume during the initial format) and then add more protected
capacity than can be contained in that volume, Drobo Dashboard will prompt you
to create a second volume for the added space.
Can I take a single drive out of DroboPro and use it
with an external drive enclosure?
Unfortunately this is not possible with DroboPro or
any block-level storage technology that writes data safely across multiple
disks. In order for a storage array to efficiently utilize hard drive capacities
and ensure data safety, data must be written using algorithms that place data on
your disk differently than when you are using just a single drive or just a
bunch of drives (JBOD).
What is Drobo Dashboard and do I need it?
A: Drobo Dashboard is
software that comes with DroboPro. Though no additional software is required to
utilize the FireWire 800, and USB 2.0 interfaces on DroboPro, Drobo Dashboard is
required to enable (and boost/optomize) iSCSI access, as well as to manage the
Smart Volumes feature.
Drobo Dashboard also provides access to advanced
functionality such as email alerts, automatic back-up using the DroboCopy
feature, and is generally a useful utility that will help you understand details
about your DroboPro including precisely how much free capacity you remains, and
what DroboPro is doing.
Will DroboPro work with Apple Time Machine, EMC
Retrospect, SuperDuper! or other backup software? What about utilities like Disk
Utility or Disk Warrior?
Absolutely. DroboPro will work with all your favorite
backup software, utilities and tools. This is because to your operating system,
DroboPro appears as any other external disk.
Which is faster – iSCSI, FireWire 800 or USB
Assuming a system is properly configured, iSCSI
should provide the best read/write performance.
Can I attach DroboPro to my Apple Airport base
station to share it using the iSCSI interface?
No. However, you can connect DroboPro to a wi-fi base
station such as Apple’s Airport using the USB 2.0 interface. Currently the
Airport base station product line does now allow any other interface for file
Does DroboPro use RAID 1, 5, or 6?
The BeyondRAID™ technology used by DroboPro leverages
the same basic methodologies as RAID 1, 5, and 6, namely striping and mirroring
to achieve data protection. However, unlike RAID, it does not require complex
administration, matched drive sizes, specific drive ordering, lengthy upgrade
times or any of the other problems typically associated with RAID. For a more
detailed explanation please see BeyondRAID.
Can I use disks already containing data in my
All data on individual disks inserted into DroboPro
will be erased. Only put drives into DroboPro that are either blank or are safe
to erase (i.e. you have backed them up already). For instance, if you have three
drives in a DroboPro that is up and running and then you add a fourth drive, any
preexisting data on the fourth drive will be erased when inserted.
You can safely remove all of your disks from a
DroboPro and store them. Just be sure that you’ve put your DroboPro into standby
before you remove all the disks. Unlike traditional RAID 1, 5 or 6, the order of
the disks does not matter when you place them back in.
Can I connect my DroboPro using a FireWire 400
Yes, you can. Simply use a “FireWire 800 to FireWire
What types of hard drives does DroboPro support?
DroboPro supports 3.5” (commonly called “desktop”
size) SATA I and SATA II drives (i.e. not IDE or PATA).
Who can benefit from the capacity and performance of
DroboPro was designed to be used in both Windows and
Mac OS X server workstation environments. It is ideal for tasks ranging from
storing user’s home folders, storing virtual server images, backing up Exchange
or SQL Severs. DroboPro is suitable for most tasks requiring business-class
performance, stability, and capacity including large capacity back up, file
serving, video editing, media server, photography archives, and more.
Can I connect to DroboPro via a USB or FireWire
We do not recommend using a USB or FireWire hub for
any storage device with DroboPro. Storage typically requires the most throughput
of any connected device. For instance, when possible plug your keyboard and
mouse etc. into the hub and your DroboPro directly into your computer.
Please be aware that running many peripherals on the
same computer can often slow down performance for all devices.
What is iSCSI, and why should I care?
iSCSI is a set of protocols for interfacing to
storage systems using Ethernet as a high performance connection. On the host
computer a piece of software called an “initiator” is used to interact with the
storage system. The storage device is called a “target”. iSCSI gives you the
flexibility of utilizing standard Ethernet cables and infrastructure, while
providing gigabit speeds.
I have a 4-bay Drobo today. How do I upgrade to
You can move the drive pack from any Drobo formatted
with v1.10 firmware or later into your DroboPro. Simply ensure DroboPro is
safely shutdown, then remove the drives from the 4-bay Drobo and insert them
into DroboPro – then connect it to your computer. Your drive will mount exactly
as it did before, but now you will have the added benefit of at least four more
drive bays with which to grow your available storage capacity.
Please note that if you own a first generation
USB-only Drobo, you may not be able to directly move your disk pack into
DroboPro. Please see www.drobo.com/migration for more information.
What connection should be used for video
The highest performance connection on DroboPro is
iSCSI. Just plug one end of a Ethernet cable into your computer and the other
end into DroboPro. Use the included Drobo Dashboard software to automatically
configure the connection.
Can I plug DroboPro to HBA or iSCSI TOE card?
At this time DroboPro has not been tested for use
with iSCSI HBA or iSCSI TOE cards.
Does DroboPro support Jumbo Frames?
Yes though the DroboPro hardware is built to support
Jumbo Frames, currently this feature is not accessible through Drobo
Is DroboPro compatible with Active Directory?
DroboPro mounts on your server like any other drive.
Active Directory is supported by the Windows OS and will work with
Can I use the Microsoft Exchange or SQL Server
software with DroboPro?
Yes. The iSCSI interface is ideal for connection to a
Can I run Drobo Dashboard as a service?
This functionality is not supported at this
How many concurrent users does DroboPro support?
DroboPro is a direct attached solution so this will
vary. For instance, for high definition video editing you we recommend one user
per DroboPro. When attached to a server, depending on usage and environment and
other factors DroboPro can support up to approximately 100 users per
What are “Smart Volumes™”?
With DroboPro you can create new volumes in seconds,
and manage up to 16 x 16TB volumes over time with ease. The innovative and
timesaving Smart Volume management technology integrated into DroboPro allows
volumes to pull storage from the common pool of disks rather than a specific
physical disk allocation. The labor of resizing and migrating volumes is
replaced with the simplicity of intelligent engineering. The creation of
multiple Smart Volumes will be supported through Drobo Dashboard v1.5.0.
Does DroboPro support iSCSI boot from SAN
DroboPro does not support iSCSI boot from SAN at this
Can more than one computer connect simultaneously to
Yes, if you are sharing DroboPro via the host
computer using file sharing, but DroboPro does not support mutiple simultanous
iSCSI hosts. To share DroboPro with multple computers use the host operating,
use a protoclal such as SMB or AFP.
Can I connect DroboPro(s) using each interface
simultaneously (USB 2.0, FireWire 800, and iSCSI)?
No, you can only connect to DroboPro using a single
interface at a time.
How do I connect multiple DroboPro’s to a single
Yes, there are two ways to do this.
You can connect multiple DroboPros to a single
computer through 1) a standalone switch or 2) through a network. You’ll need to
give each DroboPro a static IP address through Drobo Dashboard and all DroboPros
and the host will need to be within the same subnet.
Since DroboPro is such a high-performance device, it
can fully consume all bandwidth on a Gigabit Ethernet connection, resulting
inferior performance compared to directly attaching DroboPro. Please see iSCSI for more