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Comment: Re:Shyeah, right. (Score 1) 88

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48464367) Attached to: Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?
The orbital mechanics can get a bit tricky; but interplanetary distances open the possibility of reviving good, old-fashioned, delay-line memory...

Just think of how much data you could keep in-flight if you just replaced Pluto with a nice orbital mirror and told your vendor "GIVE ME AN XFP MODULE OF TERRIBLE POWER."

For real archiving, of course, you'll need to look at siting your mirror outside the solar system for a longer round trip.

Comment: Re:Shyeah, right. (Score 1) 88

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48464335) Attached to: Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?
I have to imagine that some sort of materials engineering geekery involving carbon allotropes and platinum group metals could be even more durable, while also having better data density and looking like they were pulled right out of some sci-fi memory core; but it's pretty hard to argue with a storage medium you can make from mud that gets more durable when the assholes one ziggurat over decide to burn your civilization down...

Comment: Re:Question (Score 1) 291

by m.dillon (#48463859) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

Hybrid drives do not use their meager flash to cache writes. The flash would wear out in an instant if they did that. It's strictly useful only for boot data and that is pretty much it, if a few seconds matters to you and you don't want to buy a separate SSD. For any real workload, the hybrid drive is a joke.

-Matt

Comment: Re:Question (Score 1) 291

by m.dillon (#48463803) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

Never buy hybrid drives, period. You are just multplying the complexity of the firmware (resulting in more bugs, as Seagate's earlier attempts at Hybrid drives revealed), and decreasing the determinism of the failure cases. And there's no point. A hybrid drive has a *tiny* amount of flash on it. It's good for booting and perhaps holding a program or two, and that is pretty much it. For someone who does so little on their computer that it would actually fit on the flash portion of a hybrid, a hard drive will be almost as fast. For someone who uses the computer more significantly, the hybrid flash is too small to matter.

My recommendation is to use only a SSD for workstations and desktops as long as you don't need terrabytes of storage. For your server, if you can't afford a large enough SSD, then a SSD+HDD combination (or SSD + HDD/RAID) works very well. In this situation you put the boot and swap space and the SSD, plus you cache HDD data on your SSD.

This is pretty much what we do on our systems now. The workstations and desktops are SSD-only, the servers are SSD + HDD(s).

The nice thing about this is that with, say, a 256G SSD on the server caching roughly ~200GB worth of HDD data, the HDD's do not require a lot of performance. We can just use 2.5" 2TB green drives. Plus we can use large swap-backed ram disks and so on and so forth. Makes the servers scream.

-Matt

Comment: Re:us vs. them (Score 1) 113

by Tom (#48463341) Attached to: Kim Dotcom Regrets Not Taking Copyright Law and MPAA "More Seriously"

That's the whole point. Kim Dotcom is able to reach the masses that don't even know about slashdot.

Yes, that exactly is the problem. Every aspiring dicator learns in propaganda 101 to control the story. Having someone like Kimble be the "face" of file sharing is a smart move. He's an asshole, a criminal, he's rich out of touch with reality. He's not the guy that John and Jane feel close to. He's just another "celebrity" scandal.

A popular, public figurehead that takes on the Copyright MAFIAA openly and that can't be "crushed like a bug"

Oh, please. Kimble will sell out his friends to cut a deal. That's not an assumption - he's done it before. He will not fight this fight for you. He'll bail out at the first good opportunity.

Comment: Re:LOL (Score 1) 291

by m.dillon (#48463145) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

A 7200 rpm HDD can do 200-400 IOPS or so, semi-random accesses (normal database access patterns). A 15K HDD can do ~400-600 or so. Short-stroking a normal drive also gains you at least 100 IOPS (so, say 300-500 IOPS on a short-stroked 7200 rpm HDD). That's off the top of my head.

A SATA SSD, of course, can do 60000-100000 IOPS or so and a PCI-e SSD can do even more.

-Matt

Comment: Re:Reliability (Score 1) 291

by m.dillon (#48463105) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

Depends on the application. For a workstation or build box, we configure swap on the SSD.

The point is not that the build box needs to swap, not with 32G or more ram, but that having swap in the mix allows you to make full use of your cpu resources because you can scale the build up to the point where the 'peaks' of the build tend to eat just a tad more ram resources than you have ram for (and thus page), which is fine because the rest of the build winds up being able to better-utilize the ram and cpu that is there. So putting swap on a SSD actually works out quite nicely on a build box.

Similarly, for a workstation, the machine simply does not page enough that one has to worry about paging wearing out the SSD. You put swap on your SSD for another reason entirely... to allow the machine to hold onto huge amounts of data in virtual memory from open applications, and to allow the machine to get rid of idle memory (page it out) to make more memory available for active operations, without you as the user of the workstation noticing when it actually pages something in or out.

A good example of this is when doing mass photo-editing on hundreds of gigabytes of data. If the bulk storage is not a SSD, or perhaps if it is accessed over a network that can cause problems. But if the program caches pictures ahead and behind and 'sees' a large amount of memory is available, having swap on the SSD can improve performance and latency massively.

And, of course, being able to cache HDD or networked data on your SSD is just as important, so it depends how the cache mechanism works in the OS.

So generally speaking, there are actually not very many situations where you WOULDN'T want to put your swap on the SSD. On machines with large ram configurations, the name of the game is to make the most of the resources you have and not so much to overload the machine to the point where it is paging heavily 24x7. On machines with less ram, the name of the game is to reduce latency for the workload, which means allowing the OS to page so available ram can self-tune to the workload.

-Matt

Comment: Re:Wrong risk ... (Score 1) 113

by Tom (#48462965) Attached to: Kim Dotcom Regrets Not Taking Copyright Law and MPAA "More Seriously"

I've yet to see any other rich people show an interest in Kimbles fate. They're not stupid, and if they care at all they've had someone check this guy and tell them he's just a slimeball whose time is up. In fact, he should've been caught years ago, he avoided prison time more than once by changing country.

That's not how rich people work. They don't have to flee their countries, it would be too uncomfortable.

Comment: Re:Wrong risk ... (Score 1) 113

by Tom (#48462947) Attached to: Kim Dotcom Regrets Not Taking Copyright Law and MPAA "More Seriously"

So, as soon as you start to realize they skirted around the laws for something expedient, the amount of distrust around all of the rest of it goes up quite a bit.

Yeah, you'd almost think it was intentionally blundered so it would make for a great show while at the end none of the actors are harmed too much.

Comment: Inevitable (Score 1) 291

by m.dillon (#48462755) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

Happening a little sooner than I thought, but the trend has clearly been going in this direction for a long time now. Just one year ago I stopped buying 3.5" HDDs a year ago in favor of a combination of (short stroked) 2.5" drives and SSDs. I already use only SSDs in all the workstations and laptops, the HDDs are only used by the servers now.

Now it is looking like I will probably not buy any more HDDs at all, ever again, even for the servers. That is going to do wonders for hardware life and maintenance costs.

It's a bit strange having a pile of brand-new perfectly working 1TB and 2TB 3.5" HDDs still in their static bags, unopened, in my spare drawer that I will likely never use again.

I wonder how long it will take case makers to start giving us 2.5"-only hot swap options without all the 3.5" crap taking up room. Of course, there are some already... I mean for it to become the predominant case style.

-Matt

Comment: Re:Hotel minibar (Score 1) 73

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48461441) Attached to: A Toolbox That Helps Keep You From Losing Tools (Video)
The designated-place concept is borrowed from aviation(though usually it's just cutouts/silouettes, no sensors) where 'losing a tool' is a minor problem; but 'leaving a tool inside the engine' is a potentially lethal problem.

It requires a certain amount of fiddliness; but it is undoubtedly better organized than a simple 'in box/not in box' arrangement.

When all else fails, read the instructions.

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