Thursday Feb 16, 2006

Economics of PC Storage part 2 - Hard Disks

I mentioned on the OpenSolaris site that commercial NAS devices charge between $1.60 to $3.00 per GigaByte without redundancy. That is 0.33 to 0.62 GigaBytes per dollar. From two web sites I got prices in January 2006 for 30 hard drives.


A more interesting way to measure Hard Disk value is GigaBytes per Dollar


Assuming that the GB per $ performance of hard drives can be represented as a quadratic we get
the red dotted line.

lm(formula = Size/Price ~ Size + I(Size\^2), data = mytable)

     Min       1Q   Median       3Q      Max
-0.36294 -0.14051  0.02323  0.13648  0.38674

              Estimate Std. Error t value Pr(>|t|)
(Intercept)  6.514e-01  1.517e-01   4.295 0.000202 \*\*\*
Size         1.173e-02  1.169e-03  10.030 1.33e-10 \*\*\*
I(Size\^2)   -2.052e-05  2.030e-06 -10.107 1.13e-10 \*\*\*
Signif. codes:  0 '\*\*\*' 0.001 '\*\*' 0.01 '\*' 0.05 '.' 0.1 ' ' 1

Residual standard error: 0.1907 on 27 degrees of freedom
Multiple R-Squared: 0.7923,     Adjusted R-squared: 0.7769
F-statistic:  51.5 on 2 and 27 DF,  p-value: 6.093e-10

Solving the quadratic we get the best price performing hard drive would  be 286GB, sadly nobody makes such a drive but by eyeballing the graph the sweet spot is between 250GB to 320GB with a price performance above 2GB per dollar. Giving us a reasonable margin to build our OpenSolaris Appliance and still beat the comercial products 0.33 to 0.62 GigaBytes per dollar.

[ T: ]

Tuesday Feb 14, 2006

The Economics of PC Storage part 1

Talking to folks about building a new home computer after the initial tricky but quickly resolved problem of which CPU do you want to use. Comes storage, I'm talking internal hard drives. There is so much choice in the marketplace at the moment. Do you choose PATA (new name for ATA) or SATA? What about MTBF, power consumption, noise etc. What size is best 80GB up to 500GB all seem plausible sizes but where is the sweet spot?

So my goal is have fun putting together an OpenSolaris  high performance low cost NAS appliance and finding way to measure to see if it really is high performance and low cost.

Economics of PC Storage part 2 - Hard Disks

[ T: ]

Wednesday Jan 25, 2006

OpenSolaris Appliances

Well the OpenSolaris Appliances community is beginning to take shape. Now the fun part is deciding what it is :) A few wish lists are starting to appear in blogs and on the discussion pages. We have ideas around Qube or Media PC replacement. To Me the media PC is not that interesting without first creating the “Qube” with 2005 technology.

My requirements for OpenSolaris Appliances 1.0

  • NAS server SMB and NFS

  • High performance and low cost

My requirements for OpenSolaris Appliances 2.0

  • NAS server SMB, CIFS, NFS

  • DHCP Server

  • Firewall

  • Name Server DNS and LDAP

  • Print Server

Nice to have in OpenSolaris Appliances 2.0

  • Web Server

  • Mail server

  • Simple & easy management

  • Easy interoperability with other home network devices

So for Me the problem I want to solve first is sharing and securing of several hundred GB of data, this is the key area where I think OpenSolaris can outperform all other appliances. Once We have that done then all the other features should just be software upgrades.

[ T: ]

Thursday Dec 15, 2005

Ruby on Rails and OpenSolaris

I've been meaning to look at Ruby / Ruby on Rails for some time now, well ever since I heard there was a DTrace provider for it. After seeing that RoR version 1.0 had been released that made now a good time to take a look.

What is RoR 1.0
  • Ruby 1.8.2 an interpreted language - a 3.6M tarball  compile yourself
  • RubyGems 0.8.11 - ruby package manager (written in Ruby) - 160K tarball
  • Rails - web application development framework  (written in Ruby picked up from and installed on your machine)
The default behavior of ruby and gem is to install the binaries, libs and man pages in /usr/local so you will need to have write permission there.

I followed the install instructions it all went very smoothly all the gnu tools required ship with Solaris 10 and OpenSolaris in /usr/sfw/bin (make sure it's in your PATH)

Now it's time to see what RoR can do!

[ T: ]

Friday Sep 02, 2005

How long does it take to install and compile OpenSolaris?

I've been planning to install OpenSolaris for a few months and now I've finally done it. I've got a reasonably new laptop for this install, 512M Memory Intel(r) Pentium(r) 4 CPU 2.80GHz with a 30G hard disk and DSL. The most time consuming part is downloading the DVD image of Nevada. This took me about 5 hours. The next step was to do an interactive install, answering the questions correctly & knowing what you want as far as disk partitioning could be made easier. Downloading the compiler & apply patches took about 30 minutes, finally downloading the tools and source then compiling the source, 15 minutes for the downloading and then about 15 minutes reading and following the directions in the release notes then 2 hours to compile. So the answer to the original question is about 8 hours of total time with about 1 hour of interactive time.

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