Drobo Dashboard: cannot add Drobo IP address manually

I’m using two DroboPro FS units, and the only way to manage them is to use Drobo Dashboard for Windows or OSX. There is no web interface like other NAS have, and there is no way to configure it from Linux natively.

The DroboPro FS itself is quite impressive, good performance and easy to set up. However I find the dashboard is lacking some essential features. Drobo Dashboard uses a broadcast mechanism to detect Drobo units in the local subnet. If the Drobo is in a different subnet, it simply won’t find it. There is no way to add it manually to the dashboard by entering an IP address or hostname manually. This is really annoying, especially considering the $3K DroboPro FS is marketed for business users. Many companies split their network into subnets, and if you happen to be in a different subnet from the Drobo, you can’t manage it. You can mount its shares, and you can even configure it as a DroboSync target by manually entering its IP address in the DroboSync settings. Yes, there it is possible! Why not in the administration part?

I’ve contacted the Drobo support, and they suggested to either put myself into the Drobo subnet or putting the Drobo into my subnet. Yeah, I know this would solve the problem, but what if I have no choice or control over my local and/or remote subnet? Why do I have to change my network configuration to work around a shortcoming in their software?