Is it safe to go full SSD for critical systems?

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by SJLPHI, Oct 5, 2021.

  1. SJLPHI

    SJLPHI Notebook Evangelist

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    Hello, I've been around computers for a couple of decades and I am now finally split on a decision, am I ready to go full SSD on my machines?

    I work with data in high tech field, and it is absolutely crucial for me to be sure that even with 3 different sources of backup (my server, external HDD and critical data in USB flash drives), I have a strong preferrence to that the latest data in my local machine does not get fudged.

    In my lifetime I have seen one dead RAM, three dead SSDs (Sandisk SU800), 7 dying platter drives (2 x Seagate Barracuda + 4 x Seagate Firecuda + 1 WD black[this one was just too old and failed SMART check after 10 years of continuous run] ). The advantage I found with the platter drive is that there are plenty of warnings before the drive dies and I have the chance to replace the drive before complete failure. As for SSD, one day the on-board microprocessor decided to call it quits and gone it is with no warning whatsoever before. Of course, I can always send my failed drive away to recover the data but I prefer to never get to that point.

    All of my critical machines have at least 1 SSD as a boot drive and at least 1 HDD for data and I am considering an upgrade to a newer laptop. The newer laptop I am looking at can support one NVMe + one 2.5" SATA and while shopping I am noticing that 2TB SSD 2.5" WD Blue seems a lot more attractive in many senses than a 2.5" HDD WD Blue.

    Now, in the past I have always been on a tight budget and went for the cheapest with best specs, now I almost swear by WD drives. I am yet to see one of them dying and I hope I don't for another decade.

    The question I have for you is that would you go 100% SSD even if you are working with absolutely critical data that should not be lost. Also, what kind of "warnings signs" did you see before your SSD failed?
     
  2. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    Rarely any warning signs. It just doesn't work all of a sudden...

    Use cloud backup for 'continuous backups' of live files.

    Using HDDs with notebooks/mobile computers is foolish today.

    Buy the biggest capacity you can afford of each NVMe and the 2.5" SATA and back up to the other. You want your boot drive to be the NVMe drive, of course.

    Use/buy a NAS that you can access remotely (for another way to save files, while on the road).
     
    Mr. Fox and Falkentyne like this.
  3. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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    I'm running dual NVME drives currently and have the option to add a 2.5" if needed.

    It depends on how you want to use the drives. If you need something over 1TB it's more economical for a spinner. If you need speed then NVME is the way to go.

    I run things on my local network with redundancy built in.

    downloads >> server w/ Raid 10 vs local NVME
    server Raid 10 8TB WD Reds x 5 ~400MB/s over network w/ 5gbps USB-C adapter
    I backup things to the server periodically and between the NVME drives more frequently. ~1.5GB/s
    I have an NVME enclosure w/ a 1TB drive in it as well for backups ~800MB/s
    I have a USB drive that runs like a full on SATA over USB @ ~400MB/a

    Of course drives depend on the machine being used as well. If you have the space for multiple drives then it's ideal for keeping things on hand.

    If you have a spare PC laying around you can turn it into a NAS fairly cheap compared to buying something off the shelf for 2-3X and spend some of the savings on the new HDD's. I run my "server" on linux since Windows is just too confining when it comes to what you can make it do for you. I took the PC I built from scratch and turned it into the central hub for several devices I was able to get rid of int he process. I combined a Router/ Switch / Firewall / WIFI / DVR / NAS and some other functions into a single box this way. The drives consumed about 30% of the costs but have been humming along w/o any issues for a couple of years now 24/7. I stuck them into a Node 804 case w/ 10 fans pushing air through it and it's stable as can be (when I'm not monkeying around with the configuration).

    sudo inxi -F
    System: Host: server Kernel: 5.14.0-051400rc7-lowlatency x86_64 bits: 64 Console: tty pts/17
    Distro: Ubuntu 21.10 (Impish Indri)
    Machine: Type: Desktop Mobo: ASRock model: Z390M Pro4 serial: M80-C9015301070 UEFI-[Legacy]: American Megatrends v: P4.30
    date: 12/03/2019
    CPU: Info: 6-Core model: Intel Core i7-8700K bits: 64 type: MT MCP cache: L2: 12 MiB
    Speed: 1833 MHz min/max: 800/4700 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 1833 2: 2721 3: 2801 4: 2506 5: 2153 6: 1914 7: 1005
    8: 2627 9: 3527 10: 2921 11: 2291 12: 2030
    Graphics: Device-1: Intel CometLake-S GT2 [UHD Graphics 630] driver: i915 v: kernel
    Device-2: Conexant Systems CX23887/8 PCIe Broadcast Audio and Video Decoder with 3D Comb driver: cx23885 v: 0.0.4
    Device-3: Conexant Systems CX23887/8 PCIe Broadcast Audio and Video Decoder with 3D Comb driver: cx23885 v: 0.0.4
    Display: server: X.org 1.20.13 driver: loaded: modesetting tty: 182x55
    Message: Advanced graphics data unavailable in console for root.
    Audio: Device-1: Intel Cannon Lake PCH cAVS driver: snd_hda_intel
    Device-2: Conexant Systems CX23887/8 PCIe Broadcast Audio and Video Decoder with 3D Comb driver: cx23885
    Device-3: Conexant Systems CX23887/8 PCIe Broadcast Audio and Video Decoder with 3D Comb driver: cx23885
    Sound Server-1: ALSA v: k5.14.0-051400rc7-lowlatency running: yes
    Sound Server-2: PulseAudio v: 15.0 running: yes
    Sound Server-3: PipeWire v: 0.3.32 running: yes
    Network: Device-1: Intel Ethernet I219-V driver: e1000e
    IF: eno1 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: a2:9d:8a:e8:39:2a
    Device-2: Aquantia AQC111 NBase-T/IEEE 802.3bz Ethernet [AQtion] driver: atlantic
    IF: enp5s0 state: up speed: 2500 Mbps duplex: full mac: 24:5e:be:4d:c4:53
    Device-3: Aquantia AQC111 NBase-T/IEEE 802.3bz Ethernet [AQtion] driver: atlantic
    IF: enp6s0 state: down mac: 24:5e:be:4d:c4:54
    Device-4: Aquantia AQC111 NBase-T/IEEE 802.3bz Ethernet [AQtion] driver: atlantic
    IF: enp8s0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: a2:9d:8a:e8:39:2a
    Device-5: Aquantia AQC111 NBase-T/IEEE 802.3bz Ethernet [AQtion] driver: atlantic
    RAID: Device-1: md0 type: mdraid level: raid-10 status: active size: 18.19 TiB report: 5/5 UUUUU
    Components: Online: 1: sdd1 2: sde1 3: sdb1 4: sdc1 5: sda1
    Drives: Local Storage: total: raw: 36.62 TiB usable: 18.43 TiB used: 7.19 TiB (39.0%)
    ID-1: /dev/nvme0n1 vendor: Samsung model: MZVPW256HEGL-000H1 size: 238.47 GiB
    ID-2: /dev/sda vendor: Western Digital model: WD80EZAZ-11TDBA0 size: 7.28 TiB
    ID-3: /dev/sdb vendor: Western Digital model: WD80EZAZ-11TDBA0 size: 7.28 TiB
    ID-4: /dev/sdc vendor: Western Digital model: WD80EZAZ-11TDBA0 size: 7.28 TiB
    ID-5: /dev/sdd vendor: Western Digital model: WD80EZAZ-11TDBA0 size: 7.28 TiB
    ID-6: /dev/sde vendor: Western Digital model: WD80EZAZ-11TDBA0 size: 7.28 TiB

    Partition: ID-1: / size: 233.73 GiB used: 89.59 GiB (38.3%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/nvme0n1p1
    Sensors: System Temperatures: cpu: 31.0 C mobo: 15.0 C
    Fan Speeds (RPM): fan-1: 922 fan-2: 699 fan-4: 920 fan-5: 924 (this is a bit deceptive because I used fans that piggyback off each other to a single header)
     
  4. SJLPHI

    SJLPHI Notebook Evangelist

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    I decided to do the following:

    2TB NVMe WD Blue as a boot drive and software installation.
    2TB 5400 RPM WD (which I am going to take out from my AW 15 which already holds all of the data I want anyways) for data.

    Eventually if and when the prices for 4TB+ 2.5" SSDs are decent enough I may switch but right now. 2TB SSD + 2TB HDD is plenty.

    Right on my AW15 I have 128 GB SSD, 256GB SSD and 2TB HDD+ 2 x 512GB external USB3 SSDs. The new laptop will replacing the AW15.

    I'm also picking up a used NAS QNAP TS-219+ which I am going to outfit with 2 x 2TB HDDs. If I find the NAS utilized heavily, I will probably upgrade the HDDs. I know I can build a better NAS myself but honestly, it was a great deal at a local auction.
     
  5. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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    TS-219+ -- I've had one of these in the past and it was sturdy. It lacked enough HP though to transcode video files though.

    In the other thread I added some Raid info to consider. Knowing now that you're going to use a dual bay QNAP and not adding this to a PC makes it a bit different. In this case I would do 2 x 4TB drives @ $160 and mirror them for redundancy.

    Maybe go to 6TB drives though to consolidate the USB drives

    It sounds like a mess of storage though with all the pieces you have floating around. To make it easier I would be looking into an NVME + Enclosure to maintain the speed from the internal to the external transfers and this also allows for combining everything into a neater package of storage.

    Sounds like you're on your way to having a box of storage sitting in a drawer like I have with ~10 2.5" drives from prior laptops / projects. I think I'm up to 3 NVME drives w/ 2 internal and 1 in an enclosure and a couple of USB flash drives for liveCD images / boot drives. We're considered "data hoarders" ;)
     
  6. SJLPHI

    SJLPHI Notebook Evangelist

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    Haha, I have a lot of enclosures for the 2.5" and NVMe's. All of the spares SSDs/HDDs have been either de-comissioned into movie drive (like a failing 2.5" platter drive) or put in an enclosure as Linux stick or games.

    I think I should start selling and/or recycling some because the box with spare parts are getting a bit heavy.
     
  7. SJLPHI

    SJLPHI Notebook Evangelist

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    I should also mention the NAS does come with two 2 TB HDDs, and the whole thing cost ~45 USD. Regarding TS-219+ being too slow for transcoding video files. Are you talking about encoding or simply playing? I am only going to do the latter.
     
  8. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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    It's going to buffer constantly if the receiving device can't handle the native format. The CPU on them is crap when it comes to converting for playback. Converting to MP4 solved that issue for me. That's a bit time consuming though as well and losing some of the metadata / audio options you have in original format sucks a bit.

    $45 is a deal. I sold mine w/ a 6TB for $290. Actually it wasn't the 219 it was a TS-251. Either way unless you get into the higher end models they tend to fail at converting files in a timely manner.

    My server build though with a 8700K CPU / 16GB of RAM tends to handle conversions w/o a sweat. Though it's easier to auto convert things to MP4 to keep the fans in check while playing things. I use MCEbuddy to monitor / convert the files from the Plex recordings and sometimes movies if they're being stubborn for playback.
     
  9. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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    I've contemplated getting something like this https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082KDCLRL/?coliid=I1LW7U6NVNWD6M

    Just for S&G's though at this point. Good option for reusing drives though fr backup / recovery purposes. DAS vs NAS though... if you have a USB port on a router you in turn make it a NAS w/o the pricey chips / networking port.
     
  10. SJLPHI

    SJLPHI Notebook Evangelist

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    I have a handful of these (https://www.ebay.ca/itm/402701403508?hash=item5dc2dfc574:g:G2sAAOSw2bpgMHyL) and these (https://www.ebay.ca/itm/123675368421?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649).

    I also velcro them on top of my laptops with a USB 3 hub
     
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