Drobo Dashboard introduction

The Drobo Dashboard is the management console for managing your Drobo(s). It is pretty straightforward and comprehensive. Below are a couple short videos I shot while first encountering the Dashboard. 

To date, I continue to be happy with my Drobo 5N. Not only the device and the software, but also the support at Drobo. I've had a couple instances where the Drobo didn't behave as anticipated and the folks at Drobo Support were responsive, thorough and helpful. Their online ticket submission site is excellent and all communications appeared in my email with updates and links to more help and the help ticket at their site. The real test of any vendor isn't when things go perfectly, but how they respond when things go awry and eventually all hardware and software goes awry!

My first incident occurred one evening while working on some large file transfers to / from the Drobo when the Dashboard popped up a warning message that a drive had been ejected. That seemed strange as I was the only person around and I certainly hadn't ejected any drives! I submitted a ticket and Drobo Support responded with pertinent questions and a request for a diagnostic file which was easily created via the Dashboard. Correspondence continued over the course of about a day and it turned out that there doesn't appear to be anything wrong with the Drobo, but with one of the WD Green drives that didn't just spool down to conserve power, but completely shut off to the point the Drobo reported the drive as ejected. The only mystifying and slightly troubling issue is that upon actually ejecting the offending drive and inserting a new drive the Drobo still wouldn't recognize the new drive as inserted. Per Drobo Support's suggestion I restarted the drive and all came up clean.

Besides the solid support, the best thing is that the Drobo did just as it should and immediately recognized a drive had been ejected, albeit for a strange reason and kept all data on the Drobo by rewriting the RAID configuration across the remaining drives and no data was lost. Failing drives is why RAID (redundant drive arrays) is so important. 

The other odd moment with the Drobo turned out to be a problem with my router which is failing on multiple fronts, but I first noticed as the port I have the Drobo plugged into went into a strange state such that the Drobo was visible to the Dashboard, but the PCs on the network couldn't see their mapped drives to the Drobo. Router reset and all was well. Look for a post later on what I decide to do in replacing my router which is long overdue for an upgrade anyway!