Drobo Elite Performance Testing

I’ve had a Drobo Elite in my possession for way too long, and I would like to post this brief explanation of why I haven’t posted any test results yet.

A few reasons actually… here we go.

1. Our test environment uses an HP ProCurve switch that claims can do etherchannel or port trunking. Unfortunately our network admin and myself (both with more Cisco smarts than ProCurve experience) haven’t been able to get the damn thing to trunk anything to anything. We’ve even gone down the road of actually hooking up HP servers with HP NICs with HP networking software- and it still fails to trunk the two links. This will have a detrimental effect on our performance testing for the Elite so I’ve held off until we can get our hands on a 12, 24, or 48 port Cisco switch to replace this P.O.S. I seriously cannot convey the disappointment and lack of trust I have in this hardware – one of our campuses has a larger unit instead of a Cat6509 that we would have chosen, and it is just a nightmare in our environment.

2. The college that I work for is smack dab in the middle of an automotive manufacturer induced jobless zone and enrollment is up over 80% (yes, eighty percent). So as you can imagine resources have been stretched thin and students are (and always have been) our primary customer. This has reduced the amount of development and testing to an hour or so a week… and on projects that are more critical. The summer semester used to be great for large implementations, remodeling, and better parking spots. Not anymore.

3. On a team of three server and network engineers – two have had children in the last three months. My wife and I had a healthy baby boy in March and our other server engineer and his wife just had a healthy (albeit a few weeks early) baby boy. All are doing well and we’re all grateful and very humble by the experience. Seriously, ladies – how do you do it? I’m in awe… But the few hours after 5pm we used to have to test and play with new gear is all but gone for a while.

I watch the hits on this site, the search queries, and all the other data as I have time – and it looks like interest in this testing has not waned. So with Drobo’s continued support – we’re looking to obtain a Cisco switch and configure it to provide us the environment we need to properly test this little beasty very soon.

As always, comments are always welcome – as are emails directly to me.

-Jason ([@]) binaryspiral ([.])com

4 thoughts on “Drobo Elite Performance Testing

  1. Hi Jason,

    Congratulations on your new baby. Glad to hear that all is well at home, and I sympathize on the sudden work overload. 80% enrollment increase — wow! It’s amazing you find time to breathe.

    I’m considering purchasing a Drobo Elite for my VMware environment, but want to see more test results from the field before committing that amount of money. The DroboPro doesn’t make the cut with its performance numbers, but I have hopes for the DroboElite and look forward to your review.

  2. Jason

    I think one of the issues you are encountering is due to an issue in the way ProCurve handles the terminology. It has been my experience in the ProCurve world that what you want is an LACP group and not a trunk. HP doesn’t like to use the term trunk unless its glass. Also we have had great luck with nic teaming (active,active) by setting nothing at all on the ProCurve. I would give that a try and see how it goes.


  3. Hi there!

    I would be very interested in seeing some test results from your demo unit as i am also very interested in demo’ing a droboElite! 🙂

    I will say that programming an etherchannel (Cisco term) or a LACP Static Trunk (HP Term)…is like stealing candy from a baby?… i actually programmed up 2x 2510G-48P’s in a couple of hours with mulitple trunking/LACP, VLANs, QoS etc… Go on the HP site and get the tech doc and trust me you’ll be surprised how quick they are to configure! 🙂

    All the best and good luck in testing the unit!

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