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Re: Low power / quiet drive

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  • dystopianrebel
    I had the same concern as you do about wear-levelling on Flash memory used as an OS partition. I have had Slug OS running on two Slugs for years (literally -
    Message 1 of 25 , Jan 3, 2011
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      I had the same concern as you do about wear-levelling on Flash memory used as an OS partition.

      I have had Slug OS running on two Slugs for years (literally - five years and counting, including upgrades) on Hitachi microdrives. These products use the CompactFlash format and require a CompactFlash II type reader.

      I bought the microdrives on EBay. You can search the history of this group for other discussions about microdrives.



      --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, Doug <dsc3507@...> wrote:
      >
      > I wonder what the groups experience has been with low power drives under Linux
      > on the nslu2? I see there are a lot of complaints about the WD Cavier Green
      > drives but others seem to have no problems. I want a drive that runs cool, draws
      > less power, and does not require a cooling fan. 64G would be fine but I know
      > that 500G is probably a minimum now days.
      >
      >
      > I am also interested in experiences with flash drives. I would go that route but
      > the uncertainty of write cycle life leaves me a little concerned. I can remember
      > way back when 10K writes was the norm life, then 100K, 1M, 10M but just what
      > is the write life of these 8-64G USB sticks now and are some better than
      > others? I know you can do things to extend the life but what have real
      > experiences been? Has anyone "burned" one of these useless on an nslu2?
      >
      > Doug Crompton
      > WA3DSP
      > www.crompton.com
      >
    • Mike Westerhof (mwester)
      ... Note that partition size is a concern on devices like the NSLU2 -- 32MB of memory is simply not sufficient to fsck large partitions. There s no easy way
      Message 2 of 25 , Jan 3, 2011
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        On 1/1/2011 7:59 PM, Doug wrote:
        > I wonder what the groups experience has been with low power drives under Linux
        > on the nslu2? I see there are a lot of complaints about the WD Cavier Green
        > drives but others seem to have no problems. I want a drive that runs cool, draws
        > less power, and does not require a cooling fan. 64G would be fine but I know
        > that 500G is probably a minimum now days.

        Note that partition size is a concern on devices like the NSLU2 -- 32MB
        of memory is simply not sufficient to fsck large partitions. There's no
        easy way to figure out what size works vs fails, really -- it depends on
        what fsck has to do. In the case where all is well, I think the
        partition size needs be under 250GB or so. When something is wrong,
        well, there exist pathological cases where fsck can run practically any
        host out of memory. But you can just plug the drive into a desktop
        system to fix the filesystem; I think you primarily want to *detect* the
        issues on the NSLU2, not necessarily to repair them.

        > I am also interested in experiences with flash drives. I would go that route but
        > the uncertainty of write cycle life leaves me a little concerned. I can remember
        > way back when 10K writes was the norm life, then 100K, 1M, 10M but just what
        > is the write life of these 8-64G USB sticks now and are some better than
        > others? I know you can do things to extend the life but what have real
        > experiences been? Has anyone "burned" one of these useless on an nslu2?

        http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/SlugOS/TurnupToRAID exists for exactly
        this use-case. :) The 8GB flash devices are dirt-cheap anymore; I'd
        recommend getting two that are from different manufacturers to reduce
        risk even further.

        > Doug Crompton
        > WA3DSP
        > www.crompton.com

        -Mike (mwester)
      • Doug
        Well the microdrives are small and low power but I am not sure they are more reliable. It seems there is a bunch of opinions on that. The WD green drives seem
        Message 3 of 25 , Jan 3, 2011
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          Well the microdrives are small and low power but I am not sure they are more reliable. It seems there is a bunch of opinions on that.

          The WD green drives seem to be OK if you can solve the head parking issue. Supposedly WD has a utility to disable or change the head parking time but it does not always work. Another work around is to do something that writes to the drive every 5 seconds. Of course you would have to make sure you flush so it actually writes. The head park default time is said to be 8 seconds, so as long as you write more often then that it will not park. Of course this somewhat defeats the "green" power of the drive - when it parks it goes into a lower power state but for Linux this park time is unrealistic.

          I have always cron'ed an every minute sync on all my Linux boxes. That might be overkill  but I have never had a problem. In that case if I could set the head timeout to more than a minute it would prevent the heads from parking.

          This parking presents two problems.  There is a limited number of parking cycles (300K) that are spec'ed and once parked there is a considerable wait to unpark and come back online.

          The Seagate Momentous drives look interesting although probably not real low power they combine flash and mechanical drives on one package along with algorithms that move most often accessed stuff to flash while keeping a copy in the real drive in case of flash failure. 500GB is $120 right now. Not sure how this would play with Linux though as it has a completely different read/write pattern then a Windows machine would.

          Doug
           
          Doug Crompton
          WA3DSP
          www.crompton.com



          From: dystopianrebel <dystopianrebel@...>
          To: nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Mon, January 3, 2011 2:06:58 PM
          Subject: [nslu2-linux] Re: Low power / quiet drive

           

          I had the same concern as you do about wear-levelling on Flash memory used as an OS partition.

          I have had Slug OS running on two Slugs for years (literally - five years and counting, including upgrades) on Hitachi microdrives. These products use the CompactFlash format and require a CompactFlash II type reader.

          I bought the microdrives on EBay. You can search the history of this group for other discussions about microdrives.

          --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, Doug <dsc3507@...> wrote:
          >
          > I wonder what the groups experience has been with low power drives under Linux
          > on the nslu2? I see there are a lot of complaints about the WD Cavier Green
          > drives but others seem to have no problems. I want a drive that runs cool, draws
          > less power, and does not require a cooling fan. 64G would be fine but I know
          > that 500G is probably a minimum now days.
          >
          >
          > I am also interested in experiences with flash drives. I would go that route but
          > the uncertainty of write cycle life leaves me a little concerned. I can remember
          > way back when 10K writes was the norm life, then 100K, 1M, 10M but just what
          > is the write life of these 8-64G USB sticks now and are some better than
          > others? I know you can do things to extend the life but what have real
          > experiences been? Has anyone "burned" one of these useless on an nslu2?
          >
          > Doug Crompton
          > WA3DSP
          > www.crompton.com
          >

        • dystopianrebel
          ... I don t know about opinions (there s one for every monkey), but I know that mine have been highly reliable for about five years. I run Web servers on them.
          Message 4 of 25 , Jan 3, 2011
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            --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, Doug <dsc3507@...> wrote:
            >
            > Well the microdrives are small and low power but I am not sure they are more
            > reliable. It seems there is a bunch of opinions on that.

            I don't know about opinions (there's one for every monkey), but I know that mine have been highly reliable for about five years. I run Web servers on them.

            Microdrives are known to require careful handling -- they won't survive a drop that a Flash drive can survive. So any use that requires tumbling from a balcony would eliminate microdrives. Apart from that, I suggest not heeding unsubstantiated opinion. Microdrives work. (o:
          • Ralph & Maria Finch
            I just wonder why consider a Microdrive when they are such low capacity (2GB-6GB from a quick google search). USB Flash Drives are 10 times the size for
            Message 5 of 25 , Jan 3, 2011
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              I just wonder why consider a Microdrive when they are such low capacity (2GB-6GB from a quick google search). USB Flash Drives are 10 times the size for roughly the same price. As to reliability I just periodically make an image backup of everything, the procedure is documented on the NSLU2 wiki.  I’ve been running my Slug for a couple of years now, 24/7, with 2 USB flash drives, no problems.  I use it mainly as a proxy server and sometimes for torrent downloads.

               

              From: nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com [mailto:nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of dystopianrebel
              Sent: Monday, January 03, 2011 8:52 PM
              To: nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [nslu2-linux] Re: Low power / quiet drive

               

               

              --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, Doug <dsc3507@...> wrote:

              >
              > Well the microdrives are small and low power but I am not sure they are more
              > reliable. It seems there is a bunch of opinions on that.

              I don't know about opinions (there's one for every monkey), but I know that mine have been highly reliable for about five years. I run Web servers on them.

              Microdrives are known to require careful handling -- they won't survive a drop that a Flash drive can survive. So any use that requires tumbling from a balcony would eliminate microdrives. Apart from that, I suggest not heeding unsubstantiated opinion. Microdrives work. (o:

            • Harsh
              Whatever you do, dont buy the Seagate FreeAgent series if you need them to work with the slug. I had a FreeAgent Go and it refused to play nice with Linux
              Message 6 of 25 , Jan 3, 2011
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                Whatever you do, dont buy the Seagate FreeAgent series if you need them to work with the slug. I had a FreeAgent Go and it refused to play nice with Linux (NSLU2 or otherwise). There were several fixes suggested online using hdparm and changing /dev parameters - tried all of them and none worked. Not sure if the problem exists on other Seagate portable drives but I pretty much found no way out of that one. 

                There was a related article on Slashdot as well: http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/12/09/0651200

                Too bad I found out about all this only after I had bought it :)

                -H

                --- On Tue, 4/1/11, Doug <dsc3507@...> wrote:

                From: Doug <dsc3507@...>
                Subject: Re: [nslu2-linux] Re: Low power / quiet drive
                To: nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Tuesday, 4 January, 2011, 5:12 AM

                 

                Well the microdrives are small and low power but I am not sure they are more reliable. It seems there is a bunch of opinions on that.

                The WD green drives seem to be OK if you can solve the head parking issue. Supposedly WD has a utility to disable or change the head parking time but it does not always work. Another work around is to do something that writes to the drive every 5 seconds. Of course you would have to make sure you flush so it actually writes. The head park default time is said to be 8 seconds, so as long as you write more often then that it will not park. Of course this somewhat defeats the "green" power of the drive - when it parks it goes into a lower power state but for Linux this park time is unrealistic.

                I have always cron'ed an every minute sync on all my Linux boxes. That might be overkill  but I have never had a problem. In that case if I could set the head timeout to more than a minute it would prevent the heads from parking.

                This parking presents two problems.  There is a limited number of parking cycles (300K) that are spec'ed and once parked there is a considerable wait to unpark and come back online.

                The Seagate Momentous drives look interesting although probably not real low power they combine flash and mechanical drives on one package along with algorithms that move most often accessed stuff to flash while keeping a copy in the real drive in case of flash failure. 500GB is $120 right now. Not sure how this would play with Linux though as it has a completely different read/write pattern then a Windows machine would.

                Doug
                 
                Doug Crompton
                WA3DSP
                www.crompton.com



                From: dystopianrebel <dystopianrebel@...>
                To: nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Mon, January 3, 2011 2:06:58 PM
                Subject: [nslu2-linux] Re: Low power / quiet drive

                 

                I had the same concern as you do about wear-levelling on Flash memory used as an OS partition.

                I have had Slug OS running on two Slugs for years (literally - five years and counting, including upgrades) on Hitachi microdrives. These products use the CompactFlash format and require a CompactFlash II type reader.

                I bought the microdrives on EBay. You can search the history of this group for other discussions about microdrives.

                --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, Doug <dsc3507@...> wrote:
                >
                > I wonder what the groups experience has been with low power drives under Linux
                > on the nslu2? I see there are a lot of complaints about the WD Cavier Green
                > drives but others seem to have no problems. I want a drive that runs cool, draws
                > less power, and does not require a cooling fan. 64G would be fine but I know
                > that 500G is probably a minimum now days.
                >
                >
                > I am also interested in experiences with flash drives. I would go that route but
                > the uncertainty of write cycle life leaves me a little concerned. I can remember
                > way back when 10K writes was the norm life, then 100K, 1M, 10M but just what
                > is the write life of these 8-64G USB sticks now and are some better than
                > others? I know you can do things to extend the life but what have real
                > experiences been? Has anyone "burned" one of these useless on an nslu2?
                >
                > Doug Crompton
                > WA3DSP
                > www.crompton.com
                >


              • dystopianrebel
                Ralph & Maria Finch , I think these are the points in favour of using a Hitachi microdrive: - the size (4, 6, or 8 GB) is just right for a boot disk; a second
                Message 7 of 25 , Jan 5, 2011
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                  "Ralph & Maria Finch", I think these are the points in favour of using a Hitachi microdrive:

                  - the size (4, 6, or 8 GB) is just right for a boot disk; a second disk could be a Flash stick for storage of large (mostly static) files

                  - I don't have to fiddle with the OS to reduce writes to disk; the OS runs as intended

                  - I don't have to guess about a Flash drive's quality or ability to manage wear (lifetime warranties don't appear to be offered for Flash memory anymore, so I have no great confidence in them)

                  Flash memory is cheaper in 2011 than it was in 2006 when I set up my Slugs. Flash now has significantly higher capacity. That said, the microdrive solution has worked well for me, so I can recommend it in good faith.

                  And that, in the end, is the best I can do for a total stranger asking for help on the World Wide Turing Test.





                  --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, "Ralph & Maria Finch" <ralphmariafinch@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I just wonder why consider a Microdrive when they are such low capacity
                  > (2GB-6GB from a quick google search). USB Flash Drives are 10 times the size
                  > for roughly the same price. As to reliability I just periodically make an
                  > image backup of everything, the procedure is documented on the NSLU2 wiki.
                  > I've been running my Slug for a couple of years now, 24/7, with 2 USB flash
                  > drives, no problems. I use it mainly as a proxy server and sometimes for
                  > torrent downloads.
                • nslu@pocketnix.org
                  My own experince with microdrives is that they die quicker than flash drives, at every opertunity they try to park the heads and IIRC from reading the
                  Message 8 of 25 , Jan 5, 2011
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                    My own experince with microdrives is that they die quicker than flash
                    drives, at every opertunity they try to park the heads and IIRC from
                    reading the datasheet its rated to 300k head parks, when listening to
                    mp3's on the zaurus c3000 you hit that pretty quickly

                    i did end up replacing the microdrive with a cf card on a brand new
                    zarus and moving the micro drive to the slug (so i could ahve a swap
                    file) howeer had to ditch it after the drive died (tick of death)


                    if you do go down the microdrive, make sure you apply those flash
                    hacks to prevent writing to disk, they will make the drive last longer

                    as a side note, CF cards tend to last longer as a swap file than SD
                    cards do (or at least they did a couple of years back) we belive it
                    had to do with the quality of the flash chips and drive controllers
                    (which at the time were of much higher quality than SD cards, sandisk
                    SD cards came close but were still beaten by a mid range CF card)

                    another side note, IIRC a microdrive cost 3-5 times more than a CF
                    card and few cards were avalible in the same capacity

                    On Wed, Jan 05, 2011 at 06:55:19PM -0000, dystopianrebel wrote:
                    > "Ralph & Maria Finch", I think these are the points in favour of using a Hitachi microdrive:
                    >
                    > - the size (4, 6, or 8 GB) is just right for a boot disk; a second disk could be a Flash stick for storage of large (mostly static) files
                    >
                    > - I don't have to fiddle with the OS to reduce writes to disk; the OS runs as intended
                    >
                    > - I don't have to guess about a Flash drive's quality or ability to manage wear (lifetime warranties don't appear to be offered for Flash memory anymore, so I have no great confidence in them)
                    >
                    > Flash memory is cheaper in 2011 than it was in 2006 when I set up my Slugs. Flash now has significantly higher capacity. That said, the microdrive solution has worked well for me, so I can recommend it in good faith.
                    >
                    > And that, in the end, is the best I can do for a total stranger asking for help on the World Wide Turing Test.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, "Ralph & Maria Finch" <ralphmariafinch@...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > I just wonder why consider a Microdrive when they are such low capacity
                    > > (2GB-6GB from a quick google search). USB Flash Drives are 10 times the size
                    > > for roughly the same price. As to reliability I just periodically make an
                    > > image backup of everything, the procedure is documented on the NSLU2 wiki.
                    > > I've been running my Slug for a couple of years now, 24/7, with 2 USB flash
                    > > drives, no problems. I use it mainly as a proxy server and sometimes for
                    > > torrent downloads.
                    >
                  • dystopianrebel
                    I only use Hitachi microdrives, and I ve found them to be very reliable. Which brand were you using?
                    Message 9 of 25 , Jan 5, 2011
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                      I only use Hitachi microdrives, and I've found them to be very reliable. Which brand were you using?

                      --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, nslu@... wrote:
                      >
                      > My own experince with microdrives is that they die quicker than flash
                      > drives, at every opertunity they try to park the heads and IIRC from
                      > reading the datasheet its rated to 300k head parks, when listening to
                      > mp3's on the zaurus c3000 you hit that pretty quickly
                      >
                      > i did end up replacing the microdrive with a cf card on a brand new
                      > zarus and moving the micro drive to the slug (so i could ahve a swap
                      > file) howeer had to ditch it after the drive died (tick of death)
                      >
                      >
                      > if you do go down the microdrive, make sure you apply those flash
                      > hacks to prevent writing to disk, they will make the drive last longer
                      >
                      > as a side note, CF cards tend to last longer as a swap file than SD
                      > cards do (or at least they did a couple of years back) we belive it
                      > had to do with the quality of the flash chips and drive controllers
                      > (which at the time were of much higher quality than SD cards, sandisk
                      > SD cards came close but were still beaten by a mid range CF card)
                      >
                      > another side note, IIRC a microdrive cost 3-5 times more than a CF
                      > card and few cards were avalible in the same capacity
                    • nslu@pocketnix.org
                      Hitachi, i may have been hammering/using the dirves more than the usual user with a swap file, i had my slugs doing quite a bit
                      Message 10 of 25 , Jan 5, 2011
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                        Hitachi, i may have been hammering/using the dirves more than the
                        usual user with a swap file, i had my slugs doing quite a bit

                        On Thu, Jan 06, 2011 at 01:36:54AM -0000, dystopianrebel wrote:
                        > I only use Hitachi microdrives, and I've found them to be very reliable. Which brand were you using?
                        >
                        > --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, nslu@... wrote:
                        > >
                        > > My own experince with microdrives is that they die quicker than flash
                        > > drives, at every opertunity they try to park the heads and IIRC from
                        > > reading the datasheet its rated to 300k head parks, when listening to
                        > > mp3's on the zaurus c3000 you hit that pretty quickly
                        > >
                        > > i did end up replacing the microdrive with a cf card on a brand new
                        > > zarus and moving the micro drive to the slug (so i could ahve a swap
                        > > file) howeer had to ditch it after the drive died (tick of death)
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > if you do go down the microdrive, make sure you apply those flash
                        > > hacks to prevent writing to disk, they will make the drive last longer
                        > >
                        > > as a side note, CF cards tend to last longer as a swap file than SD
                        > > cards do (or at least they did a couple of years back) we belive it
                        > > had to do with the quality of the flash chips and drive controllers
                        > > (which at the time were of much higher quality than SD cards, sandisk
                        > > SD cards came close but were still beaten by a mid range CF card)
                        > >
                        > > another side note, IIRC a microdrive cost 3-5 times more than a CF
                        > > card and few cards were avalible in the same capacity
                        >
                        >
                      • M.J. Johnson
                        The amount of discussion this topic has generated is astounding. Many of the messages have debated the merits and shortcomings of solid state vs. microdrives.
                        Message 11 of 25 , Jan 6, 2011
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                             The amount of discussion this topic has generated is astounding.  Many of the messages have debated the merits and shortcomings of solid state vs. microdrives.  Bottom line:  all drives fail.  ALL.  ("On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.")  Which leaves you with a mitigation strategy (RAID or some kind of failover) or a backup strategy.

                             As was suggested previously, taking regular backups is a fine strategy, documented on the wiki, and useful regardless of the media you decide to run your NSLU2.  I take regular backups of my system, which is running on a 1Gb Transcend Jet Flash USB thumbdrive.  It has been more or less running 24x7 since 2007 without a problem.  Adequately impressed by the Transcend product, about a year ago I bought 3 more 2Gb drives for about $5 each.  You can get 4Gb Transcend drives on Amazon currently for the same price.  An Hitachi 6 Gb drive (the only one I saw available from an OEM reseller) runs about $180.

                          On Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 12:28 AM, Ralph & Maria Finch <ralphmariafinch@...> wrote:
                           

                          I just wonder why consider a Microdrive when they are such low capacity (2GB-6GB from a quick google search). USB Flash Drives are 10 times the size for roughly the same price. As to reliability I just periodically make an image backup of everything, the procedure is documented on the NSLU2 wiki.  I’ve been running my Slug for a couple of years now, 24/7, with 2 USB flash drives, no problems.  I use it mainly as a proxy server and sometimes for torrent downloads.

                           

                          From: nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com [mailto:nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of dystopianrebel
                          Sent: Monday, January 03, 2011 8:52 PM

                          Subject: [nslu2-linux] Re: Low power / quiet drive

                           

                           

                          --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, Doug <dsc3507@...> wrote:


                          >
                          > Well the microdrives are small and low power but I am not sure they are more
                          > reliable. It seems there is a bunch of opinions on that.

                          I don't know about opinions (there's one for every monkey), but I know that mine have been highly reliable for about five years. I run Web servers on them.

                          Microdrives are known to require careful handling -- they won't survive a drop that a Flash drive can survive. So any use that requires tumbling from a balcony would eliminate microdrives. Apart from that, I suggest not heeding unsubstantiated opinion. Microdrives work. (o:


                        • Mike Westerhof
                          ... Exactly right! But not a single comment on the solution that allows one to use RAID for the rootfs. So, is it worth continuing to support RAID in SlugOS?
                          Message 12 of 25 , Jan 6, 2011
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                            M.J. Johnson wrote:
                            > The amount of discussion this topic has generated is astounding.
                            > Many of the messages have debated the merits and shortcomings of solid
                            > state vs. microdrives. Bottom line: all drives fail. ALL. ("On a
                            > long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.")
                            > Which leaves you with a mitigation strategy (RAID or some kind of
                            > failover) or a backup strategy.

                            Exactly right!

                            But not a single comment on the solution that allows one to use RAID for
                            the rootfs.

                            So, is it worth continuing to support RAID in SlugOS? I ask because I'm
                            currently struggling to fit stuff into the next SlugOS release, and
                            something needs to be tossed...

                            -Mike (mwester)
                          • stanley_p_miller_qaz
                            ... For me RAID is not of interest, I m looking at low power 24x7 operation and it is easy for me to make backups of my slug to another higher power system and
                            Message 13 of 25 , Jan 6, 2011
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                              --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, Mike Westerhof <mwester@...> wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              > Exactly right!
                              >
                              > But not a single comment on the solution that allows one to use RAID for
                              > the rootfs.
                              >
                              > So, is it worth continuing to support RAID in SlugOS? I ask because I'm
                              > currently struggling to fit stuff into the next SlugOS release, and
                              > something needs to be tossed...
                              >
                              > -Mike (mwester)
                              >

                              For me RAID is not of interest, I'm looking at low power 24x7 operation and it is easy for me to make backups of my slug to another higher power system and keep the slug's power budget low.

                              What are the other options on what should stay/go for the next version?
                            • jon pounder
                              ... I have to agree on this one - if I am going to start doing raid etc., its not going to be on a device without a console, if my data is that important, I
                              Message 14 of 25 , Jan 6, 2011
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                                On 01/06/2011 12:49 PM, stanley_p_miller_qaz wrote:
                                > --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, Mike Westerhof<mwester@...> wrote:
                                >>
                                >> Exactly right!
                                >>
                                >> But not a single comment on the solution that allows one to use RAID for
                                >> the rootfs.
                                >>
                                >> So, is it worth continuing to support RAID in SlugOS? I ask because I'm
                                >> currently struggling to fit stuff into the next SlugOS release, and
                                >> something needs to be tossed...
                                >>
                                >> -Mike (mwester)
                                >>
                                > For me RAID is not of interest, I'm looking at low power 24x7 operation and it is easy for me to make backups of my slug to another higher power system and keep the slug's power budget low.

                                I have to agree on this one - if I am going to start doing raid etc.,
                                its not going to be on a device without a console, if my data is that
                                important, I want to be able to get in there when I have to to fix
                                things and bring it back from the dead. My preference is always where
                                possible a generic boot system that can be replaced completely, and the
                                data on raid drives that could be put in a completely new system and
                                brought back to life if necessary. I don't see the nslu2 as fitting the
                                bill for this at all - its niche is a low power solution thats pretty
                                much disposable when it breaks, and focus should be on backup of
                                whatever matters, and ease of just dumping it back into new hardware
                                when needed.




                                > What are the other options on what should stay/go for the next version?
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > ------------------------------------
                                >
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                              • Stephen Miller
                                I have been running one-wire for 5 years now on OpenSlug 2.7 using a 30G drive out of my old laptop. No special treatment at all. I have had owwnogui hang,
                                Message 15 of 25 , Jan 6, 2011
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                                  I have been running one-wire for 5 years now on OpenSlug 2.7 using a 30G
                                  drive out of my old laptop. No special treatment at all. I have had
                                  owwnogui hang, usually due to the barometric sensor, but it all works.
                                  Last year I finally put it on a UPS after giving up on solar power and
                                  have consistently gotten 3 month uptimes (119 days, this run). I have
                                  rebuilt the power supply of course (maybe twice). A storage drive is a
                                  Maxtor 3.5" 160G one that spins down and it works fine too.

                                  Also, I have never actually had a USB stick fail. I have a second slug
                                  with a USB stick soldered directly to one of the unused internal ports.
                                  It works fine too. I have also tried to kill a CF by writing blocks
                                  repeatedly for days; something like approximately 16 million writes if I
                                  remember. I got bored with it after about 4 days. I still use that same
                                  CF card for my work. It was a Sandisk unit and I have a lot of respect
                                  for their products.

                                  It seems to me that this discussion is creating the impression that the
                                  storage devices cannot be trusted but my experience is otherwise. I see
                                  no reason to put RAID into the firmware and if you are that concerned
                                  about your data, perhaps the slug is a poor choice. There are backup
                                  solutions that are a better choice IMO. Since almost all slug hardware
                                  problems are due to power issues, I think any concern should start there.

                                  Steve




                                  On 11-01-06 8:22 AM, Mike Westerhof wrote:
                                  > M.J. Johnson wrote:
                                  >> The amount of discussion this topic has generated is astounding.
                                  >> Many of the messages have debated the merits and shortcomings of solid
                                  >> state vs. microdrives. Bottom line: all drives fail. ALL. ("On a
                                  >> long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.")
                                  >> Which leaves you with a mitigation strategy (RAID or some kind of
                                  >> failover) or a backup strategy.
                                  > Exactly right!
                                  >
                                  > But not a single comment on the solution that allows one to use RAID for
                                  > the rootfs.
                                  >
                                  > So, is it worth continuing to support RAID in SlugOS? I ask because I'm
                                  > currently struggling to fit stuff into the next SlugOS release, and
                                  > something needs to be tossed...
                                  >
                                  > -Mike (mwester)
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > ------------------------------------
                                  >
                                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
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                                • dystopianrebel
                                  ... Terribly sorry, I thought this was a discussion group. I ll amend my behaviour... after the next two lines. (o: It is possible to find Hitachi microdrives
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Jan 6, 2011
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                                    --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, "M.J. Johnson" <threeeyedtoad@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > The amount of discussion this topic has generated is astounding.

                                    Terribly sorry, I thought this was a discussion group. I'll amend my behaviour... after the next two lines. (o:

                                    It is possible to find Hitachi microdrives for a fraction of the cost that you cite.

                                    In the end, the cheapness of Flash memory is both its advantage and its disadvantage.
                                  • Robert Vassar
                                    FWIW - I have been running a NSLU2 on flash thumb drives for years. I use mine as a a kind of network watchdog & utility server. It lives in a neglected
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Jan 7, 2011
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                                      FWIW - I have been running a NSLU2 on flash thumb drives for years.  I use mine as a a kind of network watchdog & utility server.  It lives in a neglected corner running simple scripts and cron jobs, BIND (I have a split-horizon zone), etc... The first drive, a brand name 1Gb stick, lasted ~1 year and then failed very suddenly.  It gave no warning at all, and just suddenly stopped working.   If any errors were logged they were lost, as the device became completely unreadable.  I've been running on a cheap no name 512mb stick that I found too small for desktop use for more than 2 years now.  I do use the "noatime" mount option and run without swap.  


                                      My guess is a new / modern 4 - 32Gb will likely outlast any remaining usefulness in the NSLU2.  


                                      Rob


                                      On Jan 1, 2011, at 7:59 PM, Doug wrote:

                                       

                                      I wonder what the groups experience has been with low power drives under Linux
                                      on the nslu2? I see there are a lot of complaints about the WD Cavier Green
                                      drives but others seem to have no problems. I want a drive that runs cool, draws
                                      less power, and does not require a cooling fan. 64G would be fine but I know
                                      that 500G is probably a minimum now days.

                                      I am also interested in experiences with flash drives. I would go that route but
                                      the uncertainty of write cycle life leaves me a little concerned. I can remember
                                      way back when 10K writes was the norm life, then 100K, 1M, 10M but just what
                                      is the write life of these 8-64G USB sticks now and are some better than
                                      others? I know you can do things to extend the life but what have real
                                      experiences been? Has anyone "burned" one of these useless on an nslu2?

                                      Doug Crompton
                                      WA3DSP
                                      www.crompton.com


                                    • d0nv
                                      FYI as a data point, mine is still running on the original 512MB PNY Attache drive installed in November 2006. It served as my sole CUPS print server up until
                                      Message 18 of 25 , Jan 8, 2011
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                                        FYI as a data point, mine is still running on the original 512MB PNY Attache drive installed in November 2006. It served as my sole CUPS print server up until last year, then primarily small scale NAS duty only until the recent conversion to a dedicated 1-wire network controller.

                                        I did the .ext3flash approach to minimize wear from day 1.

                                        --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, Robert Vassar <rvassar@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > FWIW - I have been running a NSLU2 on flash thumb drives for years.
                                        > I use mine as a a kind of network watchdog & utility server. It
                                        > lives in a neglected corner running simple scripts and cron jobs,
                                        > BIND (I have a split-horizon zone), etc... The first drive, a brand
                                        > name 1Gb stick, lasted ~1 year and then failed very suddenly. It
                                        > gave no warning at all, and just suddenly stopped working. If any
                                        > errors were logged they were lost, as the device became completely
                                        > unreadable. I've been running on a cheap no name 512mb stick that I
                                        > found too small for desktop use for more than 2 years now. I do use
                                        > the "noatime" mount option and run without swap.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > My guess is a new / modern 4 - 32Gb will likely outlast any remaining
                                        > usefulness in the NSLU2.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Rob
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