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Additionally, because Drobos give you quite a bit more than half the storage space, it plays some tricks with your data to keep it safe.
The long and the short of it is that once you get to about 95%1 of your actual maximum capacity (again, 1.35 TB in my case), the Drobo slows file copies to a crawl in order to run its proprietary routines that are designed to protect your data.
The second disk I could use for temporary file storage or something, again taking care to stay below the 95% threshold.
This isn't the most practical of methods, and it's fairly limiting.
For examaple, if I chose the 1.0 TB option with ~1.35 TB of actual storage space, I'd get two volumes or "disks." Both would report that they were 1.0 TB in size.
🙂 Because of the "protection" methods used by the Drobo, it's still recommended that you stay below the "95% actual disk space" threshold at which the Drobo will slow file copies to a crawl.
The Drobo Dashboard application will tell you how much actual disk space you have.
However, if I ever swap out any of the 500 GB drives I have installed now2 with a larger one, I will either be able to increase the maximum size of my sparseimage file () or I'll have a little room to play with. One, your sparseimage file can be upsized as you add more storage. You can back this file up, copy it to another Drobo, or do anything else with it that you can normally do to a single file.
There's just one word of caution, and that is that regardless of the situation for which you use the Drobo - Time Machine, general storage, or a combination of both - you should take care to remain below the 95% threshold.
I'll consider removing some with the author's permission, though I currently hope to leave them all in place.