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Pros: I always wanted to try the Drobo, since they did a fantastic marketing job in many tech news outlets. Although I am cognizant of the fact that their BeyondRAID technology is proprietary, I was willing to give it a try given the Black Friday promotion.
A few nice features. The biggest one for me is the ability to create multiple shares. If I were to run a Linux SAMBA, I would only use no more than one share for each IP, unless I use multiple NIC cards. This is a winner.
Cons: Where do I start?
Initial installation showed signs of trouble. It refused to recognize a few of my 2TB drives, even though they work fine elsewhere. It also requires you to install Drobo Dashboard, a client app (Windows and Mac only) to set up the Drobo. Before anything else, I was asked to upgrade both the Drobo Dashboard and the Drobo firmware. (Strange that if you just download the client software, you are still required to upgrade.)
After that, the Drobo Dashboard is not able to allow me to set the admin password. I had a support case open, but the support experience was subpar, if not non-existent, and that was me being generous. The solution, which I had to find out for myself, is to reboot the Drobo.
After running a few weeks, while moving close to 5TB of personal data onto the device, it warned me that one drive failed. I thought to myself, great, let's test how the self-build capability of Drobo, and see first hand how it handles hot drive replacement. Little did I know that I should've been more careful and made a backup of my data.
It took more than half day's rebuilding the new RAID with the new drive, I saw it succeeded and started rebooting. No error whatsoever at this point.
After that, it was all the way down the hill. It initially started a reboot loop. Still no errors, except rebooting one after another.
I had to open a support ticket. Not much response. A few days later, I read from their online documentation on last resort to shut down the Drobo safely, and I left it at that.
After more waiting, I was finally given instruction on how to place the Drobo in read-only mode (RO). But the instruction is incomplete and inaccurate. The online documentation is clearly out of date. It went on for weeks without any solution.
Until I figured out how to make the Drobo in RO mode reliably with the drives inserted. Now, it would either indicate that the same drive failed (red LED) but the drive itself is healthy. The RAID status indicates the correct size (7TB) and usage (4TB), but the usable space is also 7B. The math won't add up, no wonder nothing mounts. When I start the RAID in RO mode without the affected "failed" drive, the RAID status indicates the size (64TB), which is clearly wrong.
No matter which combination, the RAID is never successfully assumbled, no shares are mounted. All the data are still locked inside.
Supposedly, I got to second-tier support, but he had to contact the developers.
At this point, I have decide to bit the bullet and call it quit without wasting more time and energy. Thanks for Newegg's holiday return policy, I am asking for a refund, while remembering a hard lesson of always backing up my data, regardless how many people have said Drobo worked or saved others. I simply will neither trust their products nor their technology in the future.
The product is not mature enough, when it comes to rebuilding and recovery. I don't know how I would even bother with the promised hot capacity grow capability that is much touted. I lost 4-5TB because my blind trust in their commercials and third-party testimonials.
Other Thoughts: - Heavy reliance on Drobo Dashboard, a proprietary client software that won't work on OS other than Windows and Mac. You always need to use it to set up drive shares and ACL-ed users.
- Drobo Communications to the hardware are flaky. When the Drobo is in a incomplete state, you can see that that the hardware is idle (no blinking LED), the detected Drobe from Drobo Dashboard appears and disappear, the RO detection is not always accurate.
- Getting diagnostics requires a fully functional Drobo. If the Drobo fails to build, the Drobo Dashboard would initiate the process with a zero-byte ZIP file created, but it would just hang. Well, if it cannot perform low-level diagnostics when the Drobo is not up and running normally, what is the point?
- Poor support follow-up. Very poor documentation. Their online discussion forum clearly indicates that it was managed by a third-party. During the holiday sales, the forum was actually down for a few days, as if no one cared.
- All support responses are automatically classified in my Gmail spam folder. Maybe that should tell me something about the qualify of their support responses.
This review is from: Steelseries Qck Gaming Mouse Pad (Black)
Pros: This is a decent mouse pad, with ample space for maneuvering around, since I have two 24" monitors, each with the resolution of 1920x1200. This mouse pad allow me to move around the entire span without a hiccup.
Cons: The item that I received was defective from manufacturing, because there was a deep crease that could only be attributed to an impression applied when the mouse pad was accidentally folded. It is visible and the hand would feel it, although it does not really affect the mouse itself, but I would not stand that permanent crease, since I paid well over $10 for this.
Other Thoughts: The real problem is probably with the seller, not about the item itself. Turned out that they ordered a gift order of the same item from another major online retailer. So return and exchange is a big hassle, especially because of price discrepancy between the amount that I paid and the gift credit that I received upon returning it. It is further complicated by the price fluctuation of the item to make it even for the replacement order.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: The spec looks decent and quite interesting.
Cons: Dead on arrival. Never saw the blue LED came to life.
Cheaply made parts. The power cord itself does not fit into the back of the PSU. There was a loose plastic piece within the package. Not sure what that was and where it came from. The existence of a foreign object is a sign of poor quality control.
Other Thoughts: No manual.
It is not full modular. Motherboard 20+4 and CPU 4+4 are not detachable. Most module cables are plugged into the female plugs on the PSU. This PSU is peculiar in that there are individual adapters with short cables from the PSU to which you connect the modular cables. I wish I had seen the one product picture that showed this. That is the only image you need to understand its form factor.