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About phoenix

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  1. phoenix

    Storage Review Site Update

    Another area of interest - different variants of existing models.... a 1TB drive may undergo evolutions from 4 platters down to 3 then down to 2. Different model codes but same product name and line. Having a page that simply shows this information would be quite useful when shopping.
  2. phoenix

    Storage Review Site Update

    I'm glad to hear that the site is attempting a resurrection. I hope it's not too little too late. As another long-term reader of this site, I agree with Futureshock's conclusions. Frankly, reviewing the latest Hitachi 2TB consumer drive isn't going to bring SR back if that is what you were intending. There are too many places to go to for that information nowadays. It was more relevant when SR was the only one who even did the benchmarks, but that was ten years ago. It's the raid controller or chipset disk interface performance, the storage protocol performance, the filesystems, the entry level to mid range NAS units - that's what's missing these days, and it's spread out all over. Toms Hardware and various forums occasionally hit up the RAID controllers... but inconsistently. HardOCP forums tend to have some good storage design and filesystem and storage management community members. Smallnetbuilder does a simple but adequate job with entry level NAS. But it's all spread out, and it ought to be here.
  3. Why do you assume desktop apps are limited by I/O?
  4. Help! In versions of Windows previous to Vista, there was no funky clunky searching replacing the start menu. This made keyboard shortcuts very easy. For example if I wanted to start Internet Exploder, I only needed to hit the windows key then the "I" key on the keyboard, and boom, it was launched. I could do all sorts of these things in less than a second from developing some finger memory. Then came Vista. The windows key brings up the Start menu, but hitting I starts up some clunky search thing. After a couple of seconds I have a list of everything that began with "I" and now I have to up arrow/down arrow through it or use the mouse to pick which one I want. It's incredibly annoying. I've been using XP lately and realizing what a step backward Vista was for me in this regard. Is there a way to turn off all the Vista start menu searching crap and make it behave exactly as it did in XP? Where if I want to run an .exe I type Windows-R? Email is Window-E? Hitting any key with the start menu open highlights the first item that begins with that letter--and launches it if it's the only thing on the start menu's "home page" that begins with that letter?
  5. I think that's a somewhat fair assumption... at least, it's how I like to think of it. When provisioning ten or fifteen spindles to a system, I sometimes have trouble justifying the cost of a true SAN with the bells and whistles (high bandwidth backplane, FC switching fabric, etc.) for the performance you get versus direct-attached storage. Especially since you often can get a good percentage of the manageability benefits using host-based volume managers anyway. It's when I get past that threshold (or into clustered environments) that larger SAN/NAS solutions start to make sense (to me).
  6. phoenix

    USB 2.0 performance

    I did find it to be very chipset-dependent. My old P4 at home couldn't get more than 22MB/sec out of this drive. My Qosmio laptop running a Core 2 Duo chipset of some kind pulled 30MB/sec. The various P35 desktops and workstations around the office average about 35MB/sec. Everything is running Vista, all measurements using HD Tach. So I guess the biggest tweak (if you're not getting 30+ MB/sec with a modern fast device) is to look at the chipset platform you're on. This is a surprise to me because I assumed that USB 2.0, being such an "old" spec, would have had every ounce wrung out of it long ago.
  7. Previous posters caught some of the key issues. I'll throw in some other things you're achieving with a SAN, 1. Scalability. While you are right that it's possible to match the performance of a SAN disk-for-disk with a small number of disks, a SAN gives you shelf and frame space to scale far beyond. I've managed SANs with hundreds of disk spindles, which is something I'm not going to accomplish with Newegg parts. At the higher end, it's nice for scalability to be as simple as putting another shelf of disks onto the chassis. 2. Feature richness. If you've got the money, a SAN can be a starting point for snapshotting, realtime site-to-site replication, DR, integrated SAN/NAS-to-tape backup systems and so forth. Some of this is fluff, but sometimes it's quite useful. Then there's this whole new emerging field of built in ILM and compliance capabilities that, while I consider to be largely bureaucratic/overhead, is still a fact of life in many environments. 3. Performance. Disk for disk I'm not going to get a six-figure or seven-figure storage system so that my 5 disk RAID volume is faster. But again you do see higher ceilings. I've had requirements for sustained gigabyte-per-second-to-host throughput for extremely large data warehousing environments; this is something I can accomplish easily with multiple 4Gb fiber paths load balanced to a host, with 40 or more disks behind them. Again, more difficult to achieve with Newegg parts. 4. Support. SANs have dial-home capabilities for making service calls. 5. Integrated software stack certification. If I'm running a clustered database using some sort of raw or semi-raw clustered filesystem accessed via all nodes over multiple paths... well, EMC and its ilk have a complete, certified solution stack to handle all these piece. No mucking about with a Linux multipath package of tweaking an OS i/o scheduler or the like. I've dealt with -many- "issues" in the storage interface software subsystem in high performance database clusters to have recognized the need for solutions that have been field tested. vs. solutions that some lone consultant put together reading HOWTOs.
  8. phoenix

    USB 2.0 performance

    Ditto. I am curious too. I understand eSATA but bottom line, USB is pretty much ubiquitous. 95% of the places I might take this drive to aren't going to have any eSATA connections, so I got interested in USB performance on its own. I been able to find much in the way on tweaking... just anecdotes that the standard should support a sustained 35-40MB/sec after accounting for overhead... but I've never seen anything close to this.
  9. phoenix

    USB 2.0 performance

    What factors affect USB speed of an external hard drive? I bought a new 1TB external... it's the WD My Book Essentials 2.0 model which as far as I can tell as the recent Caviar GP 1TB drive (but not the RE model) inside it. It's great--it was cheap and had only the slightest bit of warmth after a 12 hour stress test. It's also utterly silent, I can't hear anything. I can only sustain 22-23MB/sec off of it over USB 2.0 and was wondering, with external storage being a big part of our lives and so much discussion about things like 16MB-vs-32MB cache, firmware tuning, etc etc etc., is there anything that can be done to speed up USB 2.0 transfers? Do different operating systems (Vista, XP, Linux) perform better or worse when managing transfers across USB devices? What about the PC itself, do different chipsets implement different quality USB interfaces, perhaps with lower or higher effective bandwidth from model to model? I guess the performance tweaker/nut in me is trying to get a sense of what this drive is capable of
  10. Any recommendations on a good easy to use backup software package for backing up laptops to say an external hard drive? Need something semi-business like (easy to use, reliable, updated) that can walk people though setting up a backup schedule. Some basic security features like password-protected backups would be nice to haves. Just have a lot of laptops running around with no backups... external hard drive is definitely the preferred destination for backup sets at this time. Just don't know any good XP or Vista client software that does this other than freeware stuff I've played with in the past.
  11. phoenix

    Raptor or fast 7.2k for SQL?

    I would focus your efforts on tuning the existing environment. What kind of raw I/O are you seeing? What transactions are running slow, what is the bottleneck, and why? Why is so much RAM needed for each user connection and what is it used for? What kind of DB caching are you using? How do you know disk I/O is the bottleneck, such that you would consider upgrading the disk? Etc. 2.5GB is a pretty tiny database in this day and age for the kind of hardware you've already invested to support it. I don't think throwing more hardware at the problem is the solution.
  12. phoenix


    I'm okay with web site advertising to generate some revenue. That said, whatever is being used for this site has over the last month soured me to the point that I don't care much to return. Things seem slow, unresponsive, with full page ads, popups, basically everything that makes me not want to visit a site at all. And I'm one of those types who is okay with ads and sometimes even actually clicks a few of them. It's just my two cents and I wanted to share the feedback.
  13. I've managed to exceed 1.0GB/sec using fiber channel on a couple of occasions. Four 4GbE connections streaming data off SAN 10K or 15K disk. Tested using dd if=<target> of=/dev/null in linux environments. Did some looking a year ago to see if such rates could be achieved with more workstation-oriented controllers (e.g. Areca) but didn't seem to find much of a track record.
  14. I have the same motherboard and drive. I could not even get the thing to boot in AHCI. After fiddling for a bit I realized that just running the thing in native mode, getting it up and running and doing actual work with it was more important than spending time trying to deal with drivers and other issues.
  15. I'm sure this is a very simple question; I'm mostly a unix/linux person and am a bit lost here. Trying to setup a simple office network. I have Windows Server 2003 Std Ed. R2 installed on a box. All clients are connected via switch to this box and I'm trying to do very simple file sharing. I don't need security. Everyone using this basically works in one room and the door isn't open unless someone's moving in or out So I just want to put hard drives in the box, create volumes, share 'em and map 'em to consistent drive letters on everyones' PCs. I don't want them to have to log in or authenticate against the server, these are pretty much personal laptops, there is no Active Directory. So I set things up so that everyone is in the same Workgroup and I can share folders out, however when I'm sharing a Server 2003 folder, anyone connecting to it is prompted for a password on the server. Is there a way to turn this off? If I share something from my PC to another PC, password authentication isn't mandatory but I can't figure out how to turn it off on Server 2003. My dream scenario would be to make all shares accessed via a particular NIC publically accessible. Any ideas?