Tag Archives: issues

Drobo: Thin Provisioning

If you know me, you know that I’m a huge proponent of Drobo.  As of late, the frustration level with Drobo is increasing and it may have edged away at this enthusiasm.

My most recent frustration came when I upgraded a drive in my Drobo to increase the usable space to more then 2TB.  After the Drobo finished updating all of its partitions, I was left with a partition that was labeled ‘unallocated’ in the Drobo dashboard.  After searching the interwebs (which yielded absolutely nothing on Drobo’s site for ‘unallocated’) and posting on a couple of forums, I was led to this:


This is telling me that I’m stuck with adding partitions to my Drobo of maximum size 2TB because of a decision I made when I originally set it up, at which time I was not told how this setting would affect me as I add disk space.  Further, I think that Drobo’s claims of being both “simple” and “scalable” are misleading as this limitation is not spelled out up-front and if you don’t understand this, the affects of scaling can be considerably different then what is expected.

Now that I have have realized this, the only way to have 1 single partition again is to (in Drobo’s own words) “migrate the data onto another Drobo or storage device, reformat the original Drobo device to the volume size of your choice, and then move the data back.”  With 2TBs of data, not only is this a huge pain in the ass, I need to buy another drive in order to fit the entirety of my Drobo on a disk before reformatting.

I think this a huge failure on Drobo’s part that could be fixed one of 2 ways:

  1. Be explicit about how setting this soft limit is actually a hard limit on the amount of space that can be allocated to a volume.
  2. Drobo creates a tool to resize partitions to change storage space on a partition.

A tool in this situation would prove extremely handy and would prevent any confusion or problems when going over this thinly provisioned partition cap.

Any help here, Drobo?

O2 Data Frequently Drops

I know that much has been made of data and connectivity problems on AT&T in the States, but I’ve found O2 to be just as bad, if not worse.  About once per day, even though I have full bars and am connected to 3G, my iPhone is unable to receive any data.  Loading webpages doesn’t work, refreshing mail doesn’t work, connecting to the App Store doesn’t work, etc.  This occurs for about 5 to 10 minutes at a time and can sometimes occur multiple times per day.

During the latest outage (today at around 1 PM GMT), I asked 2 co-workers, 1 with a 3G Blackberry and 1 with an iPhone, to try to access a webpage.  They were also unable to do so, even though both had 3G access and full bars.  I understand that this could be a problem with the cell tower, but this happens almost every single day, and not always at work.

Why are cell providers so incredibly awful?

Apple Hardware Problems

Apple products have not been kind to me over the past couple of months…

For starters, about 2 months ago, the plastic on my iPhone’s back cracked right at the mute switch.  This is a common problem that has been documented all over the internet (link1, link2).  Here’s a picture of mine:


Soon after this happened, I purchased a second battery from the Apple store.  Good thing I did, because the very next day, my original battery wouldn’t charge.  I tried swapping it back and forth with the new one, reseating it, resetting the PRAM (to Apple’s instructions), all to no avail.  Later that day, I looked at the bad battery and noticed that it had swelled considerably.  I went to the internet and found that this was not uncommon either (link1, link2).  Here’s a picture of my battery:


The last problem happened in the last couple of weeks, this time with my MagSafe power adapter for my Macbook Pro.  First, the end, right near the connector, started to fray.  Then, it turned brown and started not working consistently.  Last night, when I was sitting on the couch and browsing the web, it actually started to smoke.  I immediately unplugged it and have stopped using it.  Again, this is a common complaint on the internet (link1, link2), this one to the point of a lawsuit.  Here’s the connector on mine:


Now that I’ve let problems pile up, I finally setup an appointment at the Apple store genius bar.  We’ll see how it goes…

UPDATE  Sep 10, 2009 – I went to the Apple Store with all of these problems and they were happy to replace all of these components, even though the battery and power adapter were no longer under warranty.  The only questions that were asked were around the iPhone cracking.  This was in the form of a survey and only intended to gather information to improve this in the future.