I must admit right from the start that I am now a Drobo (@drobo, http://drobo.com) fanboy. Their unparalleled support during a trying weekend has left me a cheerleader for the company.
It all began a few Wednesdays ago when I got home work and my Drobo had disconnected from my iMac. I was surprised because this had never happened before, so I reconnected it an after doing so the Drobo started doing it's "Data Protection" thing (also known as data relayout). The Drobo Dashboard software said it would take approximately 12 hours to complete, so I decided to let it do it's thing over night and I had hoped all would be well in the morning. Alas, it was not so and I headed off to work Thursday afternoon, leaving the Drobo still working on protecting my data.
When I returned home that night the Drobo had vanished from Mac OS X's Finder. It was in power standby mode. This is where I strted to get worried, but as it was night and Data Robotics offices were closed there was nothing to be done. I reconnected it again and went to bed.
On Friday I called Drobo's tech support and was helped out by Nicholas. He was very friendly and understanding of my anxiety. I informed him of the Drobo's funky behavior and he thought it'd be best to just let the Drobo work itself out over the weekend and he would call me Monday morning to see how it was doing. Unfortunately, things didn't go so smoothly.
Late Friday evening my Drobo vanished again! I have to step backwards just a little to explain a detail I forgot to mention. When the Drobo disappeared before I had rebooted it to occassionally see the third drive bay display a solid red light. This means the drive needs to be replaced immediately. I thought it a glitch though because after a moment, the Drobo would shift back into data protection mode. So, back to Friday evening. After I got it back online once more, the Drobo didn't attempt to relayout the data any longer. It lit up solid red lights across all four drives! This was definitely not reassuring for me. It was at this point I started barraging Drobo's Twitter account freaking out. I resigned myself to complete data loss and awaited dreadful news on Monday morning when Nicholas was going to call me.
To my surprise however, Frederick Van Johnson - blogger, photographer and podcaster - (@frederickvan), a person who seems to be high-up at Drobo, called me on Saturday afternoon while I was at a Jiffy Lube and after hearing my explanation he was very confident they would be able to restore all my data.
Later that day, on a Saturday evening, a 3rd level technical support agent from Drobo contacted me. He called me from his home to help me with my problem on a Saturday night! I can't stress enough how outstanding this personal support made me feel. I knew Drobo was right there beside me through my ordeal. I forget the name of the man who called me (maybe Steve?), but it was a very pleasant experience. Easily, the best tech support call I've ever had. He smoothed out the rough edges of my problem, which ended up being the fault of a terribly corrupted Seagate drive (never buying one of those again). After replacing the drive and running some diagnostics, we were able to completely restore access to all my data. He was worried there may have been a problem with the Drobo itself, though I wasn't too worried about that at this point and he overnighted me a brand new Drobo at no cost. After receiving it and setting up my drives in the new Drobo it did its data protection stuff and all was well again in the world of Dane Deasy. Data secure and data safe.
As you can tell by this little story, Data Robotics have a great thing going. Their professionalism and genuine concern for the customer shone through brightly. Though I nearly had a panic attack when the problems started, they quickly calmed and sedated me and guided me through the recovery of my data with a gentle and friendly hand. I can't sing their praises loud enough. I hope this post will convince many of you out there who need to have a secure device to store your ever-increasing digital libraries in a way that will leave you feeling at ease and at peace to go the Drobo way. I will never regret this purchase and will continue to support Drobo in the future by buying more of their magical technology.