SSD and CF

Discussion in 'General' started by velez, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. velez

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    I started installing Elastix using 32GB and 64GB SSD SATA Drives. Also started doing some testing with CF memory with PATA and SATA adapters. The install takes longer since CF in PATA is slow (30mins).

    the elastix boots very fast with SSD of CF and it runs cooler, less power and noise. In a 4GB CF you have almost 2GB free.

    Also we started testing Intel ATOM Dual Core CPU motherboard ITX(330) and it works great. You need to re-compile the Ethernet card (Realtek 8168). This board together with a SSD or CF Drive is silent and very low power and very low cost solution. Add a redundant Power supply and this system should be running for years maintenance free with very few moving parts.
     
  2. Chilling_Silence

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    Ive been doing the same thing on the D945GCLF and D945GCLF2.

    Make sure you do a few bits and pieces like noatime, as well as kill the advanced asterisk logging otherwise you'll kill your CF card in no time at all ... ! ;)
     
  3. velez

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    What do you mean kill your CF card? If it means running out of space my Asterisk PBX in the office is 3 years old and it is 1.8GB. If you mean to much traffic for read and write that could be a problem. Damage to the CF by re-writing I have not found yet a limit. Only 1,000,000 hours MTBF and 10,000 insertions (remove and install the CF). If you have other info let me know.
     
  4. Chilling_Silence

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    Do CF cards not suffer from write-wearing as SSD's do .. ?
     
  5. Chilling_Silence

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_memory#Memory_wear

    However if you have the likes of asterisk logging everything it does, plus other things, no doubt even with wear leveling it'd be harder to guarantee the life of the card wouldnt it? Or is 100,000 writes so far up in the sky that even a server thrashing logfiles wont reach it?
     
  6. velez

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    The SSD SATA Ridata that I am using have a 1,000,000 erase/write life. the CF have 100,000 erase/write and with wear leveling and ECC my hope is that it would last 3 years. I have a backup of the CF in case of problem. The Digium Asterisk devices and ATCOM IP04/08 are using flash memory and anyway I follow your recommendations and a added the anotime instruction. My elastix installation is using 54% of the 4GB CF and my old asterisk@home for 3 years only used 1.8GB. My experience with regular HD in Windows and SMEserver are 3 to 4 years before a drive failure. With the low power ATOM Motherboard and SSD SATA I am reducing the power requirements which allows the pbx to work longer with UPS and less heat. From test done with the single core ATOM 270 16.GHz is capable of running 30 calls at a time and the 330 dual core should be 20 to 30% faster which is good for most of my customers.
     
  7. Chilling_Silence

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    Ive run benchmarks and agree about 30 calls is a pretty safe bet. :)
    The CF Cards I use dont have 1 million writes, far from it, but thus far have proved reliable even when *trying* to thrash them:
    http://pcengines.ch/cfwear.htm
    (Note: of course we use fresh ones in customer devices, not ones we've tested and tried to destroy ...)

    Im using both the D945GCLF and D945GCLF2 boards, so far so good, just make sure the CPU fan doesnt stop working. We had a customer shift theirs into a dusty workshop environment without telling us, then the CPU fan died and it go SUPER hot!

    We have monitoring in-place now that provides us with more information than ever required :)
     
  8. bulgarion

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    I was just planning to deploy my next Elastix installation with a CF replacing the Hard Drive.. I'd like to hear your opinion on these matters:

    1. Which size fits best? I think that for a standard PBX appliance a 2G should be enough, but perhaps could be a little undersized. A 4G shall fit better?
    2. Should I use a simple internal usb card reader and boot from there, or is it better to purchase a CF to IDE/SATA adapter?

    Thanks :)
     
  9. chocho

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  10. Chilling_Silence

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    Definitely purchase the internal CF Reader. 4GB is well worth the extra couple of dollars :)
    The problem with using an Alix board is that you're quite limited by the hardware, specifically CPU speed. It'll do a few calls, but I wouldnt want it transcoding much ...
     
  11. bulgarion

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    :p just to be 100% sure, for "internal" you mean the USB one?
     
  12. velez

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    I would go with the Intel ATOM (single or dual core). Intel product have good quality and warranty. CF I would use 8GB for any future upgrade or the use of CRM. Use a high speed CF
     
  13. Chilling_Silence

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    Why high-speed? Why not aim for one that is specifically reliable rather than faster? ;)

    For VoIP PBXs, most of the work is done in RAM or by the CPU, than loading data to / from the HDD / CF card, so speeds really only an issue on boot.
     
  14. bulgarion

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    Definitely agree. Swapped memory is not a problem if you put 2GB and more of RAM - and I would also prefer using a 4GB CF card; in a small-sized PBX there's little room for future upgrades, so I assume reduced disk space usage (..I hope!). BTW the price per GB will make the 8GB CFs cheaper in the short future...
     
  15. Chilling_Silence

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    Its not a problem even with 1GB ... Heck you could probably get away with 512MB even?

    It only starts to require more when you begin to do things like OpenFire / SugarCRM etc.
    Elastix itself doing just the job of PBX (Which is what we keep ours limited to) is quite easy on the system resources :) Voicemail / recordings use next to no space either :)

    Yeah if the price comes down a little for 8GB then we may look at using them in-future. However for now 4GB is more than ample space and its cheapest, so why bother when the additional 4GB would just be overkill ;)

    My 2c anyways
     
  16. onsite

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    Can you please provide more info on how to optimize the setup ("a few bits and pieces like noatime" ) ?
    Please, use as much detail as possible! I have an ATOM330 from my super-mini HTPC available and my testing 4GB CF (Kingston) has just arrived :)

    I use CF in my IPCop Firewall but it's a special modified image, for the system is to compact the logs in the RAM and then archive them on the CF. I think it's clever move. Something like that could be done with the Asterisk logs keeping the "advanced" in place. Unfortunatelly I don't have the knowledge to code this.

    Thanks in advance Chilling_Silence,
    George
     
  17. Chilling_Silence

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    It really depends on what you wanna do. I just disabled asterisk logging except for critical stuff, however its not difficult to create a Ramdisk, you could have it then log to that, and archive them on a nightly basis :)
     
  18. onsite

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    I'm trying to install v1.5rc1 on an Atom330 with 2GB of RAM, a CF->IDE Adapter with 4GB Compact Flash but I just can't get it to boot! Says "GRUB loading..." and then reboots the machine.
    At first try, I used default options (LVM stuff), next I tried the custom partitioning layout with standard settings (ext3 boot, ext3 root and swap) and other options like GRUB not in the MBR and LBA32 lock.
    The installation takes about 45 minutes, messages look normal.
    It's reseting constantly at boot and it drives me mad.:angry:


    May I ask for any suggestions and/or guidelines please?

    Thanks people.
    G
     
  19. donhwyo

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    Try it with a normal hard drive just to test. Also disable anything you can in the bios to rule that out.

    Don
     
  20. onsite

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    I did try with a SATA1 HDD (the 1.5 version) and it gone bad. Then I tried the good old 1.2 version with the CF setup but it did the same thing (GRUB and then reset). I have to use this setup with Sangoma A200 as it's the only low profile card I have and it's a fine one (4 FXO with ability for 8).
    The combination "Atom + A200 + version 1.2" is working right now on the bench.
    Will continue to try with another image and/or another CF adapter.

    If anyone has a custom CF image of any Elastix version, please release it. After all, this is what Open Source is all about. Maybe the Elastix team will adopt it as an alternative package.

    G
     

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