Tags: ssd


  07:23:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 2301 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Operating Systems, FreeBSD

Upgraded to FreeBSD 9.2

So, the announcement of FreeBSD 9.2 came out on Monday [September 30th], which I missed because I was focused on my UNMC thing. But, once it appeared, I knew that I was going to want to upgrade to it sooner than later.

From its highlights, the main items that caught my attention were:

  1. The ZFS filesystem now supports TRIM when used on solid state drives.
  2. The ZFS filesystem now supports lz4 compression.
  3. DTrace hooks have been enabled by default in the GENERIC kernel.

But, I did start this upgrade on October 4th....where for an unknown reason, I launched the freebsd-update process on cbox, the busier of the two headless servers. I suspect I went with doing the upgrade on my headless servers, because they are entirely running on SSD and would likely see the benefit of lz4 compression. And, perhaps I did cbox, because it was the system that could most gain from lz4.

It took a couple iterations through freebsd-update, before I got an upgrade scenario that could proceed. And, it took a long time given the high load that is cbox.

That is cbox is an Atom D2700 (2.13GHz, dual core) processor. And, cacti (especially with the inefficient, processor/memory intensive percona monitoring scripts -- might help if only scrpt server support worked, and wasn't just a left over from what it was based on.) being the main source of load. That is usually in the 11.xx area, except during certain other events (like, since 3.5, when cf-agent fires...cbox is set to run at a lower frequency than my other systems.) or when the majority of logs get rotated and bzip'd. And, there's also some impact when zen connects to rsyncd each day for backuppc. But, these spikes weren't that significant. Though the high load would cause cf-agent runs to take orders of magnitude longer than other systems, including its 'twin' dbox.

Also ran into a problem (again?) where a lot of the differences that freebsd-update needed resolved were differences in revision tags....some as silly as '9.2' vs '9.1', others had new time stamps or usernames, but seldom any changes to the contents of the file. Which I then discovered a problem from having some of these files under cfengine control. cfengine would revert these files back to having '9.1' revision strings, which confused the freebsd-update. I ended up updating all the files in cfengine to have the 9.2 versioning, though I thought about just removing/replacing it with something else entirely, though wasn't sure the impact that would have on current/future freebsd-update upgrades.

Though it did seem to cause problem with the other two upgrades, where it would say that some of these files were now removed and asked if I wanted to remove these. Which doesn't make sense, since it didn't say that with the first upgrade. It was probably just angry that these files already claimed to be from FreeBSD 9.2.

It also didn't like that I use sendmail, therefore my sendmail configs are specific to my configuration, or that I use cups, so printercap is the one auto-generated by cups, etc.

But, once it got to where it would let me run my first "freebsd-update install". I ran it, rebooted, ran it again, rebooted, updated stuff (though it didn't complain as much, perhaps because some of the troublesome kernel mod ports had corrected the problem of installing into /boot/kernel, or perhaps enough stayed the same between 9.1 and 9.2, that things didn't freak out like before. And, this includes the virtualbox kernel mod, when I did the upgrade on zen, and later mew. But, I re-installed these ports and lsof. I did a quick check of other services, and then upgraded the 'zroot' zpool to have feature flags (which now means it no longer has a version, apparently instead of jumping the numbers to distinguish from Sun/Oracle it has eliminated having version numbers (for beyond 28) and having flags for the features added since. Wonder if the flags capture all has changed since 28, since I thought there have been other improvements internal that aren't described by version numbers. Namely, I seem to recall that there have been improvements in recoverability....namely it had been suggested, when I was trying to recover a corrupt 'zroot' on mew, to try finding a v5000 ZFS live CD. Which I don't think I ever found, and gave up anyways when I concluded the level of corruption was too great for any hope of recovery and that I needed to resort to a netbackup restore, before the last successful full get's expired. Though being that it was nearly 90 days old, the other two month fulls didn't exist due to system instability that eventually caused the corrupted zpool (eventually found to be a known bad revision of the Cougar Point chipset and a bad DIMM...things seem to finally be stable from using a SiI3132 SATA controller instead of the on board, and getting that bad DIMM replaced....was weird that it was a Dell Optiplex 990, purchased new over a year after the problem had been identified and a newer revision of the chipset was released. I did eventually convince Dell support to send me a new motherboard and replace the DIMM. The latter was good, since I had to use DIMMs from another Dell that had been upgraded, so I had less memory for a while. But, while at first I did use the onboard SATA again, eventually I started having problems that would result in losing a disk from the mirrored zpool, to eventually causing a reboot where they would both be present again [though gmirror would need manual intervention]....and moving back to the SiI3132 has finally gotten things stable again. Though the harddrives in mew are SATA-III, so it would've been desirable to have stayed on the SATA-III onboard ports, where it was these ports that were the main source of problems in the prior defective version. Perhaps the fact that the prior version had a heatsink and the new version didn't, wasn't because they didn't need it to try to compensate for the problems caused by over-driving the silicon for the SATA-III portion. But, an oversight with the newer revision motherboard. The problem did tend to occur in the early morning hours on the weekend, when not only is there a lot of daily disk activity, but there is also a lot of weekly disk activity, etc. Oh well.)

So, after upgrading the zpool, and reinstalling the boot block/code. I then rebooted the system again. I had already identified the zfs filesystems where I had 'compression=on', so had written a script to change all these to 'compression=lz4'. Which I now ran.

And, then I turned my attention to doing dbox.

Upgraded to FreeBSD 9.2

Full story »

Pages: 1· 2


  10:23:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1549 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Storage, Ubuntu, FreeBSD

SSD Craziness

Over the last year, I started buying SSD drives. It used to be that they seemed pretty expensive, and of questionable performance and reliability. But, all things have improved over the years. And, when 120GB drives dropped under $1/GB (initially after rebates, later before rebate [if any]). I didn't have an immediate need for an SSD drive at the time, but I envisioned replacing the drive in my (u) laptop. And, perhaps my (w) laptop....beyond that I wasn't sure.

 3/05/12 - Patriot Pyro 120GB             - $159.99-$40 rebate = 119.99
 3/20/12 - OCZ Agility 3 120GB            - $139.99-$30 rebate = 109.99
 4/27/12 - Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 120GB - $ 99.99
 5/16/12 - OCZ Solid 3 60GB               - $ 74.99-$20 rebate =  54.99
 8/10/12 - Sandisk 128GB                  - $ 79.99
11/21/12 - Kingston HyperX 2K 240GB       - $149.99
 1/18/13 - Sandisk Extreme 120GB          - $ 89.99-$15 reward =  74.99
 1/18/13 - Sandisk Extreme 120GB          - $ 89.99-$15 reward =  74.99

But, during this time...I had the lhaven misstep Where I had picked up the 60GB drive for that, but ended up using the Mushkin 120GB drive instead. The OCZ Agility 3 120GB had gone in as OS drive for my Xen Cloud Experiment. And, stayed when I went on to making it FreeBSD. Cut up initially as 64k boot, 32GB swap, 16GB L2ARC for the mirrored 1.5TB drives to help with dedup...and the rest...63GB root zpool.

Somehow the Patriot got misplaced for a while, so it got overlooked during the chaos.

After a 'break'. I picked up the Sandisk 128GB drive. Thinking that it might be a better choice to use to finally replace the (u) laptop harddrive. Though I waited until after the NN conference in October to do it, but before I went to LISA in December. Though I didn't finally upgrade the the OS to 12.04 (from 10.04) until just last week. I had thought about doing a clean install to 64-bit....since there were some issues since I upgraded the memory to 8GB. But, changing the hibernate method seemed to have solved the issue....so decided to leave it 32-bit. Though my (w) laptop is 64-bit...though it only has 4GB. Not sure if I'll upgrade it to 8GB. Or when I'll upgrade its harddrive to SSD.

Things have been kind of tight since...on the 128GB Sandisk drive. partly because swap got a bit bigger...had suspected that 8GB swap was iffy for hibernation....so had bumped that up. Plus the original harddrive was 160GB. But, the lion share of space consumption is my Windows XP VM. But, it get's the job done.

Meanwhile...around this time I got the idea that instead of making the risky upgrade of my two Ubuntu servers from 10.04 to 12.04, that I would set up two new FreeBSD servers and migrate the essential services over before deciding the future of those systems. So, I acquired a pair of Shuttle XS36V's...4GB of memory for each...and then eventually the plan was to acquire a pair of SSDs for them. Which I finally did last week as a pair of SanDisk Extreme 120GB drives. (with the help of $30 from Best Buy Reward Zone....and this purchase should get me a $5 reward zone soon.) And, these will probably get installed as FreeBSD 9.1.

Pages: 1· 2


  09:58:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1422 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Storage, Operating Systems, Ubuntu, FreeBSD, Virtualization, Other Linux

zen resurrection

This was originally going to be a very long post, but I kept putting this off ... and now I just feel that something needs to be said.

The story starts with waking up on February 15th, to find zen was dead. It had self updated overnight, and now it was unbootable, and the start repair couldn't get me back. Apparently, the problem had started long ago with all the previous times where Windows 7 would lock up...usually under intense disk activity...and the afterwards, the intel matrix raid would require re-initialization of my 1.5TB RAID 1 array.

Apparently, it was slowly corrupting my drive....because trying to restore from WindowsImageBackup was also a failure. Since this happened the day before Gallifrey One, I had to wait until I got back to do some more serious attempts to recovery, during which I ordered a full copy of Windows 7 Professional, hoping that a repair install might be an option. It isn't because the repair option can only be invoked inside a running Windows 7 system .... in need of repair. Not by booting the disk. ARGH! :##

At least I should have the data in BackupPC to restore from.....though hopefully before the bit rot of its ext4 filesystem makes it go away. Plus I had hoped to get some configuration going where I could mount the RR62x RAID 5 array, and get at the Oops!Backup store.

So, the plan now was to wait until Ubuntu 12.04LTS to land and then maybe some configuration of running Windows 7 in VirtualBox and recovering into that, etc.

Pages: 1· 2· 3


  10:06:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1662 words  
Categories: General, Hardware, Computer, Networking, BOINC, Storage, Ubuntu, Windows, Printers

lhaven misstep - nForce4 blows OCZ

So, lhaven was this computer I bought specifically for Stanford's Quake Catcher Network project. This was because when I received my sensor, I found that it only worked on Windows or Mac. Linux would require the older sensor, which they weren't selling anymore.

Things seemed to work...except that the machine would lock up now and then. Well, it is Windows...so maybe I'll just schedule it to reboot regularly.

At first that seemed to help...but gradually, I was rebooting it more and more frequently. Eventually, I was down to rebooting it 5 times a week. Sometimes it would fail to restart, other times it would still lock up between reboots.

Eventually, they came out with Linux support for the sensor and I moved the sensor over to orac. That worked great for a while...and then it got a kernel update, and then starting VirtualBox would cause the machine to reboot. And, not just when I needed up update my Quicken. Because I was also participating in LHC's Test4Theory.

So, it was time to find a new home for the sensor. After moving it back to lhaven.

I looked for various low power x86 dedicated SBC or plug computer to run it. Though these things aren't cheap, so I'd want to do more than just QCN with it.

Then it occurred me...that I was overthinking this whole mess. Why don't I just install Linux on lhaven?

I haven't been looking forward to the leap from 10.04LTS to 12.04LTS. While Orac has a GT440 in it that's not being used, not sure what I would do for box....though I've been eye'ng either a GT218 or an NVS 300. It only has an LP PCIe x1 slot.... there are other concerns.

In the Scheme of things...I had planned to upgrade the video card in zen someday...and take its GT420 and change to an LP bracket and put it in lhaven. Hadn't quite worked out what I'll do about gumby, but it has since died...and when I get around to resurrecting it, I might have a Radeon HD5450 that I'll free up (not sure if it helps with BOINC, but eventually...I want all the systems using DVI....so I can switch to my new 4-port DVI KVM. DVI to VGA through the old KVM was horrible....plus keyboard issues with the old KVM, makes me wonder if I can wait until I can fully make the switch.)

So, I had downloaded 12.04LTS beta1, but never got around to install it anywhere....and when this idea occurred, 12.04LTS beta2 was just starting to appear. Though the question was, would I go with ubuntu, or try one of the other variants. Namely, xubuntu or lubuntu.

I ended up going with xubuntu 12.04LTS beta 2. I didn't hear about lubuntu until after I had started downloading xubuntu...so I envisioned that I would resurrect gumby with lubuntu....though so far I haven't gotten around to that.

Pages: 1· 2· 3


  05:40:36 pm, by The Dreamer   , 841 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Storage

Gumby got a new drive

It isn't that new....in fact I had picked it up from a clearance table a couple months ago. But, it sure is tiny compared to what was sitting in its place before.

For sometime, the latest storage configuration was a pair 300GB firewire drives and a 1TB firewire drive connected to the box and its 160GB system drive. The 1TB drive broken into two partitions...1/3 & 2/3...the larger as MMCVideo storage and the smaller for local stuff. The 1TB replaced what was 3 300GB firewire drives, when one of the drives failed....and it was a total loss, but I had restored some 400GB from backuppc to recover.

I had kept the 2 remaining 300GB drives as a two set disk2disk backup of the system drive (with the help of Retrospect 6).

Well, the remaining two 300GB drives had started failing a few months back. One of them failed completely a couple months ago....prompting me to eventually buy a new drive.... But, the other 300GB drive continued to work more or less and I changed the backup schedule to only use that drive. It did lead to some bad crashes now and then, but apparently not enough to take it off.

This morning while I was looking at other things, including tweaking backuppc...and push some fulls now that I'm in a quiet period of system activity (gumby is now more of a TiVo Desktop machine than MMC, but its kind of a quiet period for new TV...even though I'm really behind on my watching, and could find that some recording didn't happen and then need to find somewhere to buy the show....)

But, I decided it was time to retire the other 300GB drive before something worse happened...and break out the 250GB drive I had purchased.

Full story »

Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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