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#1 (permalink)  
Old 05-24-2011, 08:09 AM
Exclamation Not recommended: Astaro on consumer class grade SSD

Although Astaro does not recommend to use SSDs to install ASG on it, I tried it as some consumer class SSDs were named on the inofficial Hardware list in this forum. Our Astaro installation for about 50 users on a 10 Mbit/s symmetric Internet connection worked flawlessly for years running on a single 60 GByte Hitachi harddisk. Now I replaced that harddisk with a 60 GByte OCZ Vertex2 SSD, without changing anything else. We don't use the http proxy (Web Security) on Astaro and neither Mail security or Web Application Security.

The result was, the system failed within one week. The kernel reported I/O errors on the SSD device and switched the filesystems to readonly mode. After system restart, no operating system was found, the SSD was dead. On a test system that SSD was readable again, but I didn't made any further tests on it and replaced it with a 80 GByte intel 320 SSD of similar price (130€), which means same architecture with MLC flash, although enhanced with capacitor to prevent data loss on power failure.

That system failed again after just one week with the very same symptoms, but this time the intel 320 SSD was really dead. It reported only a size of 8 MByte even on another test hardware!

The conclusion is, that the I/O load created by the logging within Astaro, with many parallel and distributed small write accesses is overloading any cheap solid state storage device. It might be the missing TRIM command which consumer class SSDs are expecting from the operating system, but I'm not sure on that.

I don't know if more expensive pro or enterprise grade SSDs of about 400€ for 60 GByte would survive longer.

Don't use consumer grade SSDs for Astaro!
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Last edited by isenberg; 05-24-2011 at 08:13 AM.
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#2 (permalink)  
Old 05-24-2011, 09:40 AM
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This was forseeable ;o)

There is not only logging, there is also a lot of I/O from Reporting databases and Webcaching. I´m also not sure, if Astaro Kernel has TRIM Support for SSD´s.

Depending on SSD Disk type with a huge cache an good controller this also may last longer than a week, but never will reach life expectation of a normal harddrive.
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#3 (permalink)  
Old 05-24-2011, 11:03 AM
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Hi,
I have built a mobile version using a OCZ Vertex 2 60gb SSD. I don't usually have it online for more that a day or two while testing. It is running v8.2b.

I will leave it running for a week or so to see what happens. Logging is not much because there is only one MAC attached that I occasionally go and do some websurfing with to generate some stats.
I will setup a VPN to my main ASG so that I only have one mail portal and let mail run on the MAC.

Ian
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#4 (permalink)  
Old 05-27-2011, 02:04 PM
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Hi All-

I have been using an Mtron 60 gb hard drive on my ASG for a couple of years. The difference being the mtron is SLC. I am not sure but I dont think SLC requires the use of trim. Check this link:

Solid-state drive - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Single-level cell (SLC) vs multi-level cell (MLC)

"Lower priced drives usually use multi-level cell (MLC) flash memory, which is slower and less reliable than single-level cell (SLC) flash memory.[28][29] This can be mitigated or even reversed by the internal design structure of the SSD, such as interleaving, changes to writing algorithms,[29] and higher over-provisioning (more excess capacity) with which the wear-leveling algorithms can work.[30][31][32]"

It is my understanding where SSD is used in commercial application SLC is recommended. While they are more expensive they seem to work very well. At the time I upgraded to SSD, considerable research was done prior to purchasing the drive. The ASG running the SSD is on 24x7x365. I hope the enclosed information helps.

Thanks,
Jim
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#5 (permalink)  
Old 05-27-2011, 05:21 PM
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I had two OCZ Vertex 2 EX 60GB, both failed (2nd. was a replacement for the first) within two weeks! This was with my home PC, though. Then I gave up and replaced it with a Crucial C300 which seems to last longer and is faster as well.

But I also have an OCZ Agility 30GB (Indilix controller) in my home ASG - running flawlessly since I have it (~6 months).
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#6 (permalink)  
Old 05-30-2011, 11:28 AM
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Hi,
my unit was up from the 24th May to 29th May without any issues. It wasn't used very heavily, 1 user only.
I am currently working interstate and didn't want to leave the unit running where it was located.

I wil fire it up again when I return home. Hopefully the smaller and lighter case will have arrived for it and I can use it for the purpose it was built, a travelling firewall.

Ian
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ASG Home User licence - v9.3** - VM guest on esxi 5.5 host, Astaro AP50 and AP10 (courtesy of Astaro).
ASG Home user licence - v9.3** - Intel DBS1200KPR (e3 1265l v2) AP30 (courtsey of Astaro) 8gb, SSD (100/10 2 user 5-6 devices)
SUM4 Home User licence - v4.*** on esxi 5.5 host
Work essentials licence - v9.3xx - intel D with 2gb.
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#7 (permalink)  
Old 05-30-2011, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isenberg View Post
Although Astaro does not recommend to use SSDs to install ASG on it, I tried it as some consumer class SSDs were named on the inofficial Hardware list in this forum. Our Astaro installation for about 50 users on a 10 Mbit/s symmetric Internet connection worked flawlessly for years running on a single 60 GByte Hitachi harddisk. Now I replaced that harddisk with a 60 GByte OCZ Vertex2 SSD, without changing anything else. We don't use the http proxy (Web Security) on Astaro and neither Mail security or Web Application Security.

The result was, the system failed within one week. The kernel reported I/O errors on the SSD device and switched the filesystems to readonly mode. After system restart, no operating system was found, the SSD was dead. On a test system that SSD was readable again, but I didn't made any further tests on it and replaced it with a 80 GByte intel 320 SSD of similar price (130€), which means same architecture with MLC flash, although enhanced with capacitor to prevent data loss on power failure.

That system failed again after just one week with the very same symptoms, but this time the intel 320 SSD was really dead. It reported only a size of 8 MByte even on another test hardware!

The conclusion is, that the I/O load created by the logging within Astaro, with many parallel and distributed small write accesses is overloading any cheap solid state storage device. It might be the missing TRIM command which consumer class SSDs are expecting from the operating system, but I'm not sure on that.

I don't know if more expensive pro or enterprise grade SSDs of about 400€ for 60 GByte would survive longer.

Don't use consumer grade SSDs for Astaro!

AFAIK the current Astaro kernel does not support trim.
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#8 (permalink)  
Old 05-30-2011, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William View Post
AFAIK the current Astaro kernel does not support trim.
Which is not that important if you choose an SSD with efficient automatic garbage collection, like Crucial, Toshiba or OCZ with latest Firmware (There may be more!).
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#9 (permalink)  
Old 05-30-2011, 11:27 PM
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garbage collection only works when disk is idle. I can watch my disks getting polled more than once a minute..not enough time for garbage collection to be effective.
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#10 (permalink)  
Old 05-30-2011, 11:31 PM
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also unless you are doing huge amounts of logging an ssd is really not needed either.
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