Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Goodbye Drobo, Hello QNAP - My new data storage solution!

As you can imagine, the process of transferring all of my data from one hard drive system to another is a daunting task, and not one I looked forward to. But...about 6 months ago I got a letter in the mail stating that Drobo was going bankrupt, just as my trusted Drobo 8D was crashing every 6 hours or so. This drive has EVERY digital photo I have taken since 1990. I was also using two of the Drobo 810n NAS drives to remotely backup my data more than a hundred miles from my house. These stopped working correctly as well.

It was panic time!

I tried reaching out to my contacts at Drobo, and they did whatever they could to try and fix the issues, but the writing was on the wall. I needed to investigate new NAS solutions and do it quickly!

I was doing a workflow presentation for B&H, and as part of that I mentioned my dilemma. I said that if anyone out there knew of a good replacement solution to let me know. I received numerous emails from listeners and one of them mentioned QNAP. I really did not know know much about QNAP, but looked at their website and saw the solutions they offered. 

I reached out to their support people and peppered them with questions. 

I wanted to know about:

* The speed of their devices

* Remote synchronization abilities

* Remote access from anywhere in the world

* Over the air synch of data from my phone

* Management utilities and options

The answers I got were really encouraging. They had really great hardware, remote synchronization options and a lot more. I then reached out to their corporate marketing people to learn more. 

As it turned out, they are located in Southern California, and I was scheduled to be down near their offices last December. A meeting was set up and I met them to get even more information, and to see their products in more detail. This time I was totally blown away. I brought a long list of features that I required and another list of features I had long wanted from Drobo. QNAP was able to deliver on all of them!

Fast forward a couple of months and I am now moving ALL of my data to the QNAP TVS-h874 NAS drive, which is populated with 8 of the Seagate IronWolf 20TB hard drives. Yep, this will give me more than 100TB of storage, even set up in Raid 6 (which means all my data is safe even if two drives fail at the same time). 

I have been moving the data (literally millions of images) from my old Drobo 8D to the QNAP drive over the last 5 days, and I am almost done. I hope to have everything on the QNAP by the end of tomorrow. Then my plan is to replicate everything from the TVS-h874 NAS drive to the TS-832PX NAS drive (which has 8 of the 16TB Seagate IronWolf drives in it). This second box is the one that will be placed offsite. I want to get all the data on the second drive here locally so that I am not trying to remotely synchronize all this data over the Internet. Once I get everything copied to the second drive, then I will set it up for nightly synchronization from my location to the location in far from here. 

I have yet to set up everything, but I wanted to let all of your Drobo users out there, that there is a great alternate solution. Not only does it do what Drobo did, it also happens to be way more powerful, have a ton more features, and a substantially better user interface.

This is what the web-based user interface looks like. I have yet to dive into all of these options yet, but I will report back once I am fully up and running.

I have tried accessing files on the TVS-hx74 NAS drive while traveling and it is amazing how much faster and easier it is than using the Drobo. What used to take 10 minutes can now be done in 1 minute. I love that!

Stay tuned for more information on my data transition. I am sure there is a lot more information to come.


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Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. I gave been searching for another NAS as well. All of my pro and personal photos since late 1990’s are on it. Is there less expensive option for a 4-bay 8 TB Drobo? Aldo love idea to duplicate it and store off site.

Anonymous said...

But I need to purchased a whole new set of hard drives back it up?

OnlyInCA said...

OMG!! I've been sitting here with my Drobo, in panic, trying to decide what to do! I haven't been able to install any updates to my M1 Mac because none work with Drobo which is holding all my photo archive--yikes! So I know the feeling--I've still got it. Looked at Promise/Pegasus and Synology, but they just weren't right. Will check out QNAP and follow your transition. Thanks for the tip.
Catherine d

QNAP said...

I just read your article about the transition to your new QNAP I love my QNAP but be careful. There have been several ransomeware attacks on the QNAP NAS machines I have suffered such a fate. Lost 5 years of stuff I did not have backed up. Even though you have 2 QNAPS running for back up if they are accessible via the internet they could both get hacked and you can have all your files DEADBOLT and have to pay a fee to get your files back. It happened to me I now leave one QNAP offline and use that as a backup. Just an FYI be careful if your NAS is accessible to the internet it is hackable.....that is a fact