Using USB Flash drive for swap - SUN

This is a discussion on Using USB Flash drive for swap - SUN ; Just for the hell of it I attached a 50 8GB SanDisk USB flash stick to a Blade 1000 Solaris 10 Workstation. (This device is ReadyBoost compatible and supposed to me optimised for paging. SanDisk Micro Cruzer, part number SDCZ6-8192-E11 ...

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Thread: Using USB Flash drive for swap

  1. Using USB Flash drive for swap


    Just for the hell of it I attached a 50 8GB SanDisk USB flash stick
    to a Blade 1000 Solaris 10 Workstation.

    (This device is ReadyBoost compatible and supposed to me optimised for
    paging. SanDisk Micro Cruzer, part number SDCZ6-8192-E11 ).

    I guess my tinkering may have paid off. Initially the device seems to
    be *significantly* faster (3-5x) then the previous swap mechanism (a
    single slice on a 146GB 10K SCSI drive).
    Much more testing needs to be done, to accurately report the
    performance; but so far it looks promising.

    One little niggle though, is that this device does seem to struggle
    beyond 4GB. I'm still investigating this -perhaps some 32bit PC design
    hangover (?). Maybe a number of 4GB devices would be better.

    Anyone out there with similar experiences -or could shed light on to
    this 4GB barrier?







  2. Re: Using USB Flash drive for swap

    On 21 Feb, 11:05, Martin Pearce wrote:
    > Just for the hell of it I attached a 50 8GB SanDisk USB flash stick
    > to a Blade 1000 Solaris 10 Workstation.
    >
    > (This device is ReadyBoost compatible and supposed to me optimised for
    > paging. SanDisk Micro Cruzer, part number SDCZ6-8192-E11 ).
    >
    > I guess my tinkering may have paid off. Initially the device seems to
    > be *significantly* faster (3-5x) then the previous swap mechanism (a
    > single slice on a 146GB 10K SCSI drive).
    > Much more testing needs to be done, to accurately report the
    > performance; but so far it looks promising.
    >
    > One little niggle though, is that this device does seem to struggle
    > beyond 4GB. I'm still investigating this -perhaps some 32bit PC design
    > hangover (?). Maybe a number of 4GB devices would be better.
    >
    > Anyone out there with similar experiences -or could shed light on to
    > this 4GB barrier?



    Yikes!! I was not measuring the external USB device properly.

    Actual performance appears somewhat disappointing in comparison with
    the original posting.
    (maybe it's in the configuration of the device.).

    There must be some way of getting (Sparc based) USB Flash paging to
    work, as it works well on other platforms...

  3. Re: Using USB Flash drive for swap

    Well the Sun Blade 1000 is only USB 1.0 I believe.
    Maybe a newer Sun that uses USB 2.0 would give better performance for a USB
    swap device?

    Trinean



  4. Re: Using USB Flash drive for swap

    On 2008-02-22, Trinean wrote:
    > Well the Sun Blade 1000 is only USB 1.0 I believe.
    > Maybe a newer Sun that uses USB 2.0 would give better performance for a USB
    > swap device?


    Forgive my curiousity, but why on Earth would anyone want to do this?


    --
    "Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain
    and presumptuous desire for a second one."
    [email me at huge {at} huge (dot) org uk]

  5. Re: Using USB Flash drive for swap

    Huge wrote:
    > On 2008-02-22, Trinean wrote:
    >> Well the Sun Blade 1000 is only USB 1.0 I believe.
    >> Maybe a newer Sun that uses USB 2.0 would give better performance for a USB
    >> swap device?

    >
    > Forgive my curiousity, but why on Earth would anyone want to do this?


    You have to admit- it is pretty funny.

  6. Re: Using USB Flash drive for swap

    On 22 Feb, 12:43, "Trinean" wrote:
    > Well the Sun Blade 1000 is only USB 1.0 I believe.
    > Maybe a newer Sun that uses USB 2.0 would give better performance for a USB
    > swap device?
    >
    > Trinean


    The SB1000 is a fine old workhorse and I utilise a USB-2 PCI Belkin
    HUB, (and yes using the keyboard rated USB-1 ports would be a tad
    slow).

  7. Re: Using USB Flash drive for swap

    Huge wrote:
    > On 2008-02-22, Trinean wrote:
    >> Well the Sun Blade 1000 is only USB 1.0 I believe.
    >> Maybe a newer Sun that uses USB 2.0 would give better performance for a USB
    >> swap device?

    >
    > Forgive my curiousity, but why on Earth would anyone want to do this?
    >

    To post a crash dump to Sun?

    --
    Ian Collins.

  8. Re: Using USB Flash drive for swap

    [A complimentary Cc of this posting was sent to
    Martin Pearce
    ], who wrote in article :
    > > I guess my tinkering may have paid off. Initially the device seems to
    > > be *significantly* faster (3-5x) then the previous swap mechanism (a
    > > single slice on a 146GB 10K SCSI drive).


    One should reasonably expect about 50MB/sec throughput there, right?
    (If it is on par with contemporary PATA drives...)

    > Actual performance appears somewhat disappointing in comparison with
    > the original posting.
    > (maybe it's in the configuration of the device.).


    You understand that USB sticks can be as low as 2MB/sec (as my 1GB one is)?

    Yours is a little bit newer, but expecting much more than about
    6MB/sec should be accompanied by a *specific* search for high-speed models.

    Hope this helps,
    Ilya

  9. Re: Using USB Flash drive for swap

    On 26 Feb, 22:23, Ilya Zakharevich wrote:
    > [A complimentary Cc of this posting was sent to
    > Martin Pearce
    > ], who wrote in article :
    >
    > > > I guess my tinkering may have paid off. *Initially the device seems to
    > > > be *significantly* faster (3-5x) then the previous swap mechanism (a
    > > > single slice on a 146GB 10K SCSI drive).

    >
    > One should reasonably expect about 50MB/sec throughput there, right?
    > (If it is on par with contemporary PATA drives...)
    >
    > > Actual performance appears somewhat disappointing in comparison with
    > > the original posting.
    > > (maybe it's in the configuration of the device.).

    >
    > You understand that USB sticks can be as low as 2MB/sec (as my 1GB one is)?
    >
    > Yours is a little bit newer, but expecting much more than about
    > 6MB/sec should be accompanied by a *specific* search for high-speed models..
    >
    > Hope this helps,
    > Ilya


    Yes that would be consistent with my original view.

    This was a bit of an experiment, as this particular model of USB flash
    memory is advertised by SanDisk (in wintel circles) as being
    ReadyBoost compatible. This technology I understand is supposed to
    include device access-time enhancements for Paging (rather than pure
    MB/s transfer speeds).

    As this is a generic device, with no additional drivers required for
    Solaris, I was interested in seeing if the technology could be levered
    on to non-wintel platforms. I have yet to check thoroughly, but I
    think there might be some activity in the Linux arena with this kit.

    (as mentioned I'm using USB-2 on then SB1000)


    Regards Martin

  10. Re: Using USB Flash drive for swap

    Martin Pearce wrote:
    > Just for the hell of it I attached a 50 8GB SanDisk USB flash stick
    > to a Blade 1000 Solaris 10 Workstation.
    >


    Flash devices have a limited number of write / erase cycles. Smoething
    like 100000 ISTR. Let's hope you're not swapping too much as your flash
    stick may knacker up pretty quick.

    --
    Chris

  11. Re: Using USB Flash drive for swap

    Chris Lawson writes:
    >Martin Pearce wrote:
    >> Just for the hell of it I attached a 50 8GB SanDisk USB flash stick
    >> to a Blade 1000 Solaris 10 Workstation.
    >>

    >
    >Flash devices have a limited number of write / erase cycles. Smoething
    >like 100000 ISTR. Let's hope you're not swapping too much as your flash
    >stick may knacker up pretty quick.
    >


    Swapping? On a recent version of Solaris?

    -Greg
    --
    Do NOT reply via e-mail.
    Reply in the newsgroup.

  12. Re: Using USB Flash drive for swap

    Greg Andrews wrote:
    > Chris Lawson writes:
    >>Flash devices have a limited number of write / erase cycles. Smoething
    >>like 100000 ISTR. Let's hope you're not swapping too much as your flash
    >>stick may knacker up pretty quick.
    >>

    > Swapping? On a recent version of Solaris?


    Presumably paging would hurt as much. But I can't think of anything in
    recent versions of Solaris that would make it less prone to swap than
    other versions.

    --
    Darren Dunham ddunham@taos.com
    Senior Technical Consultant TAOS http://www.taos.com/
    Got some Dr Pepper? San Francisco, CA bay area
    < This line left intentionally blank to confuse you. >

  13. Re: Using USB Flash drive for swap

    ddunham@taos.com (Darren Dunham) writes:
    >Greg Andrews wrote:
    >> Chris Lawson writes:
    >>>Flash devices have a limited number of write / erase cycles. Smoething
    >>>like 100000 ISTR. Let's hope you're not swapping too much as your flash
    >>>stick may knacker up pretty quick.
    >>>

    >> Swapping? On a recent version of Solaris?

    >
    >Presumably paging would hurt as much. But I can't think of anything in
    >recent versions of Solaris that would make it less prone to swap than
    >other versions.
    >


    Well, I was using an unusual definition of "recent". I was thinking
    "2.5.1 and later", where actual swapping is very unusual. So I'm not
    sure what read/write activity would be done on the flash drive (aside
    from a system image upon a crash).

    -Greg
    --
    Do NOT reply via e-mail.
    Reply in the newsgroup.

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