Tag Archives: Support

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:

http://support.datarobotics.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/23/session/L3NpZC9LZFU0M3JWag%3D%3D/sno/0

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?