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Re: Low power / quiet drive

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  • dystopianrebel
    I only use Hitachi microdrives, and I ve found them to be very reliable. Which brand were you using?
    Message 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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?
                >
                >
                >
                > ------------------------------------
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
              • 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 7 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
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • 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 8 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 9 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 10 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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