Drobo and BeyondRAID data recovery

Drobo is often used as backup, which means that if this fails, there is no further backup to restore. Drobo is a multi-disk device using Direct Attached Storage (DAS) and Network Attached Storage (NAS). The disks are combined into a RAID, but that is where the similarity ends. Drobo uses proprietary algorithms for fault tolerance.

Recovering data from Drobo
Should you device fail, the first step is to reseat all the disks. Often a loose connection is to blame. If there is no sign of activity at all and the LEDs are not blinking, move the disks to a compatible Drobo. If this is still under warranty, you can ask for a replacement whilst retaining the disks. Thereafter the course of recovery will depend on what model you are using. Data recovery for Direct Attached Storage is very different to Network Attached Storage.

Drobo DASes
Where there’s filesystem damage in Drobo DASes, data recovery is identical to a regular hard drive(s). Shut down, remove the disks and make clones. After the drives are cloned, file recovery software on the directly-connected Drobo is necessary.

Drobo NASes
Where file recovery doesn’t work because there’s no direct access to the NAS disks, or where the Drobo rejects the disk pack, professional data recovery is the only option.

Enable ‘dual disk redundancy’
Drobo’s BeyondRAIDTM supports dual disk redundancy for additional protection against drive failures. This requires a minimum of three drives in the unit. Dual disk failure is actually quite common because often disks are all of the same age. When more than one drive fails, Drobo’s technology will rebuild the data automatically. To enable ‘dual disk redundancy’ go to the Drobo dashboard > Settings > Dual Disk Redundancy. Once enable the LEDs will flash amber and green.


Further reading

IBM Elastic Server single disk failure

Synology NAS not responding?

The best RAID level to use at home