Michael55

Integrated Ram Drive

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elec999,

I doubt motherboard manufacturers will do that in the near future. Even on E-ATX boards, it would be difficult to fit 16, 8 or even 4 extra DIMM slots for storage purposes, and it would add cost that (at present) would only bring worthwhile benefits to a small minority of users.

The main thing is the premium nature of motherboard space. HyperOS' solution allows those who want it to add it, and those who don't need it don't have to pay for it.

Sometime a few years don the road, when memory is a lot more dense and you don't need 16 chips to get 32GB of storage, or perhaps when MRAM has taken over, then what you suggest will probably be implemented, though it might not work the way you propose.

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ECC memory and HD3

I reported some time ago that the HD3 supports ECC memory; I have now learnt the HD3 does not need ECC memory at all, as it has that function built right into its own firmware. It can therefore use none ECC memory and still benefit from ECC without paying the extra ECC memory commands at the checkout.

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Michael55,

I apologize if I missed it, but I can't find any specification for the exact type of RAM it uses. SDRAM, DDR RAM, even RDRAM :lol: ? Have HyperOS, by chance informed you as to what types of DIMMs you are supposed to plug into it?

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Hi Gilbo

I have been trying to get them to release a FAQ for the drive, but no luck as yet.

As to the type of memory, from their own website "8 DIMM slots, each of which can take DIMMs up to 2GB in capacity". I have been told this is DDR, it can be of any speed ECC or not.

I get the idea it will run perfectly well with memory that would be considered to slow and outdated for motherboard use. Anyone know of such a producer?

In the end it’s all going to hang on the price of memory, I did some sums…..

The basic cost is £399 and it will hold up to 8 memory sticks. Therefore if you fill all of them with the same size sticks you have the following capacities and costs.

2GB = £675

4GB = £903

8GB = £1767

16GB = £5111

This based on memory prices of, 256Mb £34.50p : 512Mb £63.00p : 1Gb £171.00p : 2GB £589.00p

All you need to add to the above is a £50 dedicated hard drive for the built in backup firmware to communicate with.

To give you an idea to the cost of other solid state storage that is around.

Texas Memory Systems has a RamSan-320 model 16GB of solid state storage, this costs about £30,000.

Tigi Corp has a Tigijet model offering 2GB of storage for about £2,950.

Regards Michael

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Do you need a dedicated drive for backup, or will a suitably sized partition suffice?

Also, is it definitely 8 slots now? I thought you'd said 16 earlier... maybe I'm just going quietly insane.

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Hi Spod

From what I have been told, you will need to use the dedicated IDE link. As the HD3 is set up to auto back-up and recover from it, if the mains power should fail. It also has a standard IDE link that conects to the motherboard IDE.

The 8 slots is for the one they are working on now, if all goes well a 16 slot model will follow. The talk is the 16 slot will move from ATA100 to SATA, not to sure as to the speed.

Regards Michael

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I agree about the World Wide Web thing, but like any website it has a real physical home / office located at some point on the planet were the review will take place. A Hyper Drive III will have to be shipped to that place for them to review it. As far as I know that place for Storage Review is located in the USA and the USA from here in England is a foreign country.

That's strange. I would think that someone hoping to sell something would be more concerned about where the readers of the review are than about where the reviewers are.

Are you saying this is such a shoestring company that they can't afford international shipping? Are they going to send the review units around by bike?

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elec999,

I doubt motherboard manufacturers will do that in the near future. Even on E-ATX boards, it would be difficult to fit 16, 8 or even 4 extra DIMM slots for storage purposes, and it would add cost that (at present) would only bring worthwhile benefits to a small minority of users.

The main thing is the premium nature of motherboard space. HyperOS' solution allows those who want it to add it, and those who don't need it don't have to pay for it.

Sometime a few years don the road, when memory is a lot more dense and you don't need 16 chips to get 32GB of storage, or perhaps when MRAM has taken over, then what you suggest will probably be implemented, though it might not work the way you propose.

I see your point right now. But cant motherboard makers make a special slot for a daughter board that can attach to the motherboard for storage reasons, and possible support ide connections to it, for drive to ram mirroring. I dont know really, its just my stupid theory. And if you dont need this daughter board, you dont have to buy it. I dont think it would cost much to make, just like some board makers include the ram slots on a seperate board, they can include a seperate board like this for storage.

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IOMETER Benchmark.

Standard IDE hard disk, Hitachi Deskstar, 7200rpm, 8MB cache, ATA-133.

184 IOPS

Two IDE disks via RAID. Hitachi Deskstar, 7200rpm, 8MB cache, ATA-133.

276 IOPS

Single HyperDrive via onboard IDE controller

5486 IOPS

Single HyperDrive via the Promise TX2

8965 IOPS

Two HyperDrives in RAID via the Promise FastTrak

16890 IOPS

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Why is the Promise TX2 so much faster than the onboard IDE?

How big were the HyperDrives in question?

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I have seen a similar drive long time ago. In some Macworld around ~7-9 years old there was an add for an external fast SCSI II RAM Drive. I am not sure if I remember correctly but it think it used to cost ~3000$ including some RAM (sounds expensive but remember that computers were lot more expensive too).

I will find the add if you insist…

Anyway, my point is that idea of a RAM drives for desktop usage is neither new nor revolutionary.

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quote="cesmadj"]Anyway, my point is that idea of a RAM drives for desktop usage is neither new nor revolutionary.

True.................But you could say the same thing about hard drives!

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I see your point right now. But cant motherboard makers make a special slot for a daughter board that can attach to the motherboard for storage reasons, and possible support ide connections to it, for drive to ram mirroring.

PCI, PCI-E, PCI-X (again)?

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Standard uses for RAM drives on servers:

- Filesystem Journal

Having the FS journal on a RAM disk is a _huge_ win for journaling filesystems

- Mail spool

Having the initial mail spool (not necessarily the faild, try again spool) on a RAM disk is a big win for mail thoughput. Especially important for large mailing list servers.

Using them for relational database hot-spots is another use I've heard of, but I've never seen real numbers for it (unlike the first 2).

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Sorry the numbers stated in the first posts are far away from sounding like a serious thing from a serious company but moreover like some half-informed kid wants to build the holy grail without even knowing the basics. There are tons of cons just by reading those numbers:

- Build such a drive at first with ATA66 is plainly stupid. The arguments for the other protocols sound like an excuse and not straightforward...

- Do the 3W per Gig sum up to 3kW per TB? That would be nasty ;)

- If you pull out the plug, the disk will be erased. No matter how long it'll last, speaking of USVs - the stored info will be lost. And backing it up rebuilding it from a backup every time is a good joke one could try in a mission critcial environment. (Backup/Restore times, admin costs, and so on)

- Additionally, you'd have to backup the RAM-Disk "backup". No way around.

- If you need speed, a "normal" RAM disk would be enough even if this is unusual since extremely fast raids can be build for a tenth of the cost of such a drive.

- There are embedded OS versions available if you need shock resistance

- I don't think it is as easy as "Just install the OS on the RAM drive" at least there will be major problems, but that's out of my knowledge

Just my thoughts. The whole thing makes no sense with those specs. It'll be different if they won't charge tons of $$$ for it, but the points in here kill any pro argument ;)

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sandlotje wrote

“With 16GB of RAM, how fast would you be able to install computer programs, and pull up programs on the computer? Would it be extremely fast?â€

My own tests on a HyperDriveII (3GB/ATA33) increased overall system performance by 1.4x.

sPECtre wrote

“Michael555, when do you think that a sample could be sent to SR?â€

No idea, the decision to send out review samples is up to HyperOS. I keep asking when will I receive one and for the last 2 months have been told in 2 to 3 weeks.

pigpen wrote

“Do the 3W per Gig sum up to 3kW per TB? That would be nastyâ€

The HyperDriveIII provides 8 DIMM slots, each of which can take DIMMs up to 2GB in capacity, so max capacity is 16GB. Would be interesting if they ever produced a 1TB drive, would need a few fans to keep it cool!

But as the max planed size is 36GB for the next version power usage so far is not a problem.

“If you pull out the plug, the disk will be erased. No matter how long it'll last, speaking of USVs - the stored info will be lost. And backing it up rebuilding it from a backup every time is a good joke one could try in a mission critical environment. (Backup/Restore times, admin costs, and so onâ€)

Not so, if you pull the power plug out of the back of the pc the drive will continue to function and data on it will be safe until its own battery runs out. However it has crossed my mind that the back up hard drive would fail if the power to the pc was cut off, so transferring data to / from the HD3 and its backup drive seems impossible if the power is removed.

These problems would be eliminated / reduced if a UPS was fitted.

As always the devil will be in the detail, once HyperOS send out review samples such details will become apparent.

Just checked with HyperOS and the predicted time frame for shipments to start is late September early October.

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Done a bit of asking around and have some additional info.

The HD3 has its own built in backup power supply, this also powers its own dedicated backup hard drive in the event of a power cut. All this is run via firmware from the HD3.

This is how it works.

The power goes off.

The firmware resident in the HD3 detects this and dumps its entire contents to its dedicated back up drive. The HD3 & Backup drive are powered during this via HD3 own backup battery .

Once that dump has completed the hard drive is turned off and the HD3 goes into sleep mode waiting the return of mains power or until the backup battery expires.

When the power comes back on the HD3 checks the state of the data and if necessary loads the last data dump.

The time the HD3 can survive without main power can be significantly enhanced by powering it via a UPS device.

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This would eliminate it's use for maintream desktop pcs. I don't think the "Normal" user will buy an USV just for that.

Also, how will the drive look when it has enough power "saved" to backup 36Gb to a standard disk? And all that wouldn't kill the "extremely low temperature" argument since this power thingie produces heat?

Oh and I got the point with max. 36Gb size before, I meant overall capacity. But let's put not 1TB at all but just two of those disks in a pc: 216W. +2Backup disks. (and perhaps +2 other backup disks: the backup-backup-ones I mentioned before.)

So I have at least 4 disks and something around 250W for 72Gb?

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I'd love to use a good SSD in my system. I haven't come across one that's good enough for me.

The results seem semi-feasable though it's not good enough to convince me to go away from a mechanical solution.

I've seen faster and still wasn't to impressed for my home use.

For my servers I'd only use RAM SAN at the moment. Playtpus is faster but the RAM SAN is overall more reliable as a system.

Heck someone once told me he installed WinXP in 5min with a cheaper <$2000 RAID 5 solution. I didn't see him do it but he's credible enought that I'd believe him. If an XP install takes me 11min on that SSD why sould I buy it?

Not a bad product but I'm not convinced it's the best.

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The HD3 is just the fast and bootable SSD I am waiting for.

I am now using Windows 98 for many years, since 1999 in a ramdisk. This means the Windows and the Programs folder was inside a dos based 768Mb ramdisk. The ram for Windows was 256Mb, so a total of 1024Mb of ram on an Asus P3B-F at that time. Everything was working fine until I changed the graphics card to a Ati9700. Matrox and 3dfx drivers worked before fine in the ramdisk. The mainboard has changed several times. The Ati driver didn´t like the ramdisk, so I moved the Windows folder to a real hard disk (Seagate 15K3) and the performance was very bad compared to the ramdisk. The Programs folder is still in the ramdisk. I was not very happy with the slow performance of Windows 98 with the Windows folder on the Seagate 15K3, so I bought a Bitmicro 1Gb E-Disk (U-Scsi) and the Windows performance was better. The E-Disk has a random read/write of 25Mb/s compared to the 15K3 with only 10Mb/s, and the access time of the E-Disk is much better too. :) The ramdisk has 500Mb/s random read/write.

With an ATA100 interface, I expect from the HD3 about 80Mb/s random read/write.

The power loss backup feature of the HD3 is not important for me. I am allways booting a backup! The autoexec.bat copies a backup of the Windows folder to a via autoexec.bat formatted hard drive partition and a backup of the Programs folder is copied into the ramdisk. From power on to the desktop it takes about 2 minutes. I don´t care about fast boot time, but I like a fast Windows. A HD3 with 2 or 3Gb is ok for me and will cost approx. 1.200$, the 1Gb Bitmicro E-Disk was 2.000$.

Working with Windows installed on a mechanical hard drive is like surfing the web with a 33k modem. :(

I hope the HyperOS company does a good job on the HD3 and I expect to improve significantly my Windows 98 SSD/Ramdisk setup. As soon as I get my HD3 I will post a short practical review.

t70

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It seems to me that the main disadvantage of designing an SSD that interfaces through the disk drive controllers is the bottleneck that they inherently impose. Interfacing the RAM drive directly through the PCI bus seems to me like a much better option but it seems that there would be problems making it bootable.

I'm not an expert at networking but I presume that it must be fairly easy to boot an OS that is installed on a server's hard disk.

Why not use a separate motherboard with a large amount of RAM installed and gigabit NICs linked via X-over CAT6 as a budget 'RAM drive'. It would have a bare-bones OS installed along with a software RAM drive to create a virtual hard disk which could be accessed across the network.

Gigabit (1000Mb/s) NICs are going for £30 nowadays and would provide around 125MB/s throughput. That easily surpasses the HD3 with only 80MB/s anticipated.

I suppose one would require:

Cheap, no frills mobo - £20

~3GB cheap RAM - £200 (believe it or not, DDR266 from ebuyer)

2 X Gigabit NICs - £60

Cat6 X-over cable - £10

Crappy CPU - £30

Crappy case & PSU - £9 (yup, ebuyer, and it really is Crap ;) )

Hard disk - £20 (for storing OS and backup)

UPS - £50 (The OS could be configured to shut down if power was interrupted, and would save the contents of the RAM disk as a result)

Total: £399

So there you have it - a 3GB RAM drive for just a tad shy of £400. Of course, it would be large and power-hungry, but its size could be reduced by using a micro-ATX mobo and case/PSU combo. Power requirements could be reduced by drastically underclocking the CPU and reducing its core voltage.

But would it be bootable?? As I said, I am no expert at networking. There must be some way to boot and/or install directly to a network drive, surely. If anyone knows if this can be done, please point me in the right direction so I can find out how.

Any comments as to whether it would be feasible would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers! -Gav

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