Yesterday I posted about Scott Kelby’s blog post, I’m Done with drobo. Although I am one of the folks who hasn’t suffered the Drobo-bricking, its easy to see why he would want to migrate to a different backup system.

His post churned up a nice bit of valuable comments.

Unfortunately, the comments are awash in a sea of “stuff”, such as folks making snarky replies to each other. There was even an brief argument of film vs. digital. But once the comment count reached 320, I did some data-mining. And yes, I read them all.

There’s some funny stuff here …

Several people suggested using old or discarded PCs to create RAID controllers. Using old hardware for mission critical work seems a bit risky. The film vs. digital, cloud vs. local, and various media type comments were interesting too.

Not everyone hates Drobo

So far after 4 years of Drobo ownership, I don’t hate it. It has issues (mentioned in my last post), but it does the job expected (so far).

There were plenty of “Me Too” Drobo-disaster stories among the comments. And one commenter insisted he read 70% of the replies, and there were no positive comments about Drobo. Granted, people usually don’t join a gripe fest with a heavy-hitter like Scott Kelby just to be contrary, but I read a few:

Excerpts from “I don’t hate drobo” people:

Commenter Comment
Michael Gowin I’ve been using a drobo for a couple years without any issues …
donnpr Based on your recommendations, I have been running a Drobo 1, 24/7 for about 4 years, no problem.
Marcus I have an early 3 bay FW800 Drobo (circa 2007 I think) which is still going just fine.
Terry White Luckily my 4 Drobo units have been running trouble free 24/7. … the key is to NEVER have your data in just one place.

And there were those who didn’t buy the drama:

Commenter Comment
Alan Hess Alan explained how to pull the drives out of one of the other 2 Drobos to recover the files.
follomobshawn I’ve got to ask, why not just pay the $300 (or just $100 now) and repair the [out of warrentee] Drobo?
Ron Feiner After a period of time all drives, or their interfaces, can fail.
Michael Kummer … always sign-up for extended warranty.
David 1. Let Drobo ‘repair’ your system, regardless of the cost. 2. After they fix your system, then work with them to improve their system as it will help all of us.
Mike Gee, I don’t know this is a tough one! Particularly if you are a PRIMA DONA …
And my fav is from coldFuSion This is ultra hilarious! you have 3 of these, and they sound like they are backups of each other. how are the pix lost?

Exactly what I said yesterday.

Side note: Behyer pointed out, (and I didn’t know this), that some Green drives, such as the WD Caviar Green, that spin down to save energy are known to cause problems in Drobos. That’s a pretty nice tip right there.

Ok, enough fun, where’s the real gems?

The comments were full of great suggestions for alternatives to a Drobo system. Some of them were pretty expensive, some were specifically cloud, software or hardware based. And the ones that were well-constructed offered a multi-tactic solution (hardware / cloud / offsite / etc).

Below is a list of the products and services mentioned in the post, aggregated into groups, and ordered by the number of times the product was “mentioned” in the first 320 comments.

Lots of Cloud Options

Cloud is big, and cloud storage had a fairly strong showing among Kelby’s fans.

Service Mentions Link
CrashPlan 29 link
Amazon-S3 20
Backblaze 19 link
LiveDrive 6 link
Smugmug Vault 6 link
Dropbox 5 link
Carbonite 4 link
Google Drive 3
Synform 2 link
pogo plug 1 link

The Hardware Options

Since it was a hardware discussion, there were plenty of hardware suggestions. Synology by far received the most mentions.

Service Mentions Link
Synology NAS 84 link
QNAP 37 link
LaCie 24 link
Promise 23 link
G-Tech 22 link
WD 14 link
BuffaloTech 13 link
Netgear NAS 11 link
Other World Computing 9 link
Seagate 8 link
HP 6 link
Sans Digital Tower RAID enclosures 6 link
Drobo (With Extended Warrenty) 3 link
NETAPP 3 link
WeibeTech 3 link
BRU 2 link
LTO-5 Tape Drive 2
Newertech 2 link
Proavio’s solutions 2 link
Savvis cloud 2 link
Thecus NAS 2 link
Unraid 2 link
CineRAID CR-H458 1 link
DattoBackup 1 link
ioSafe 1 link
LSI MegaRAID SAS 1 link
MacGurus 1 link
NexStar Dock 1 link
Penguin Computing 1 link
Polywell Computers MiniStor 1 link
Voyager dock 1 link

Platform and Software Options

RAID was mentioned quite often, as well as the following OS Platform and Software options:

Service Mentions Link
ZFS 15 link
Freenas 8 link
HDFS (and a server cluster) 4 link
Iron Mountain 1 link
Acronis True Image 1 link
AllwaySync 1 link
ShadowProtect by StorageCraft 1 link
SpinRite 1 link
Superduper 1 link
Syncrhonize X Plus 1 link

Alternative Media Options

Who woulda thought anything other than HHD was an option?

Service Mentions Link
Floppy Disks 3
Gold DVD 1
Millenniata 1 link

Lots of Links

Hope you find this distilled list of backup options valuable. In the end, any backup system you use should include more than one copy, and more than one methodology.