Niall’s virtual diary archives – Monday 30th June 2014

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Monday 30th June 2014: 11.54pm. Link shared:

Just spent a surprisingly long evening adding another 16Gb of RAM and a 512Gb SSD to the cloud node (the dayjob's code gets soak tested every night, but one of the tests OOMs before it's done; also said soak tests murder a poor old spinning disc drive, too many things going on not helped by a lack of RAM for read caching). It was long because I had huge trouble upgrading the BIOS despite it being one of those fancy Supermicro server motherboards that lets you virtualise its screen and keyboard so you can boot into DOS or whatever over the network - a huge time saver of having to get out monitors etc. And the reason the BIOS upgrade was hard was because I firstly had to make a bootable DOS flash stick, then get the utility to actually flash the BIOS which it didn't want to do, and then the actual flash took a very long time, so much I nearly pulled the power during it, lucky I didn't. I also had to upgrade the onboard embedded computer which makes this all-network magic possible over a protocol called IPMI as the previous version was riddled with insecurity.

After all that was done, which took hours longer than expected, I copied over the spinning disc to the new SSD - which is one of those insanely cheap Crucial MX100 things new on the market - and did some benchmarking. And sure, it isn't as fast as the relatively old Samsung 830 SSD which is the main drive for the cloud node, but it is still vastly quicker than a spinning disc, and seems to cope okay with lots of parallel reads and writes so tonight's soak tests ought to go much smoother, and then I can get a Windows VM in there too so I can soak test on Windows as well. The jury is obviously out for me on whether Crucial's SSDs are any good, I normally never touch any SSD except those by Intel's own design (not rebrands) or Samsung's, with the Samsung 830 by all reports being insanely overengineered (see where a 256Gb 830 managed to exceed where it thought itself would die 7.5x times, writing some 6.2 Petabytes in 28,000 bit rewrites - and they're only rated for 5,000 - before finally croaking). Obviously nothing irretrievable is intended to ever touch that drive.

All good, more or less. The RSI is improved since I had a deep tissue sports massage last week, first thing that has had any effect but by god that fellow can inflict pain. I'll keep at it weekly though till it's fixed. Weird how typing RSI is actually a sports injury eh? :)

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