Faster archiving to a server-connected Drobo | Dafacto

The personal website of Matt Henderson.

Faster archiving to a server-connected Drobo

17 March 2011

This article discusses my use of Hazel on my home MacOS X server to make network transfers to my Drobo archive much faster, taking full use of my gigabit network.

At home, I have a pair of 8TB Drobos connected to a Mac mini. That mini acts as the home iTunes server, the shared printer server, and, in connection with the Drobos, the home backup and archiving server.

My primary computer, a 13” MacBook, has an SSD, and I like to keep as much free space on those as possible. So I frequently archive accumulating data (like recorded Skype calls, photos or downloaded movies) off to the Drobo.

I used to mount the Drobo over the network (via AppleShare) but always felt a little annoyed watching the transfers happen at far, far below the maximum speed of my gigabit home ethernet network. The problem is the Drobo; while a wonderful device, that I can’t recommend enough, they are, unfortunately, quite slow.

The solution I discovered is to mount a folder called “Dropbox” which lives on the Desktop of the mini, and transfer my data there, over the full speed of the gigabit network. Then, I run the excellent Hazel utility on the mini, to watch that folder, and move anything it finds to a folder on the Drobo called, @inbox. (I don’t care how slow that transfer takes place.)

From time to time, I connect to the Drobo, and organize the data that’s accumulated in @inbox.

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