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Raspberry Pi filesystem reliability with writes? And using an RPI for hosting?

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cdev:
I have been wondering what the best Raspberry Pi filesystem (Ext4 has been very reliable for me - although I have heard many good things about XFS.. but on the RPI, I dont know much about their pros and cons..)

I am lostly asking this question about hardware.. because flash cards have not been super reliable for me when I am using an RPI a lot. I am afraid to compile software on a machine that uses flash memory.. which I hate because I want to compile stuff on the machine its going to run on..

When lots of writes are happening, flash memory or an SSD may not be the best at all..

So to compile, just to have the disk to thrash and not worry, (Ive not tried cross compiling software yet)  I have been using external USB drives.. They seem okay for reliability. But its slow, of course, too. Would like to cross compile - everybody tells me thats the best way to do that. 

I'd love to be able to use an RPI4 with a physical spinning hard drive and have a known good setup for hosting web sites.

I suppose one could just use two external disks and software RAID. SATA drive performance is certainly good enough for almost all applications..

I wonder what the most demanding uses people have used the Raspberry Pi for server wise are so far?

They have lots more power now than the machines I started out doing web stuff on, thats for sure. Much Faster networking too.

I wonder how hosting a database on them would perform, probably no different than using other current platforms like amd64. Except ARM64 uses much less power..


If somebody puts  lot of energy into building a web site with say a gigabyte or more of content and hundreds of users, it sure would suck for it to be lost due to flash card unreliability due to lots of writes.. . I guess you just need to schedule frequent backups to other storage .  And verify that it is easy to recover from your backups too. The default settings of lots of software -logging especially I could see killing a flash card.. So best to use a mechanical disk. a 3.5 mechanical disk. or maybe two in a RAID configuration would probably be optimal.. Set to backup itself to a remote disk..

Small 2.5 hard drives in my experience are less reliable than full size ones. You can use extermal 3.5 disks connected via USB3 of course and that would likely be the best for performance too. , but of course they likely require a larger power supply. Then they can be very reliable. If they dont face any hard knocks or similar And are kept reasonably cool. (Optimal temps for hard drives may even be a bit warmer than average ambient temps in data centers, just not too hot)

I wonder if any real world Raspberry Pi users are using them for hosting any "busy" web sites, and if so, how its working out for them?

DiTBho:

--- Quote from: cdev on February 16, 2022, 10:05:07 pm ---Small 2.5 hard drives in my experience are less reliable than full size ones

--- End quote ---

I bought qty=12 Hitachi 2.5" HDD in 2007. All still 100% working.
qty=20 IBM-travel-star 2.5" HDD. All dead.

So it depends on the brand, I think  :-//

As far as I know, WD-redline, no matter if 2.5" or 3.5", is currently the best.
Barracuda 3.5" were a great deal four years ago, when they had the 250 and 500GB line. Now it's crap.


However, *my opinion*, SD-cards should only be used in read mode. To boot the kernel and for nothing more.

cdev:
Thanks for that info!  What model was the reliable small drive?

Also, by Hitachi do you mean "HGST" ? (has good reputation as far as I can tell, now) But going back around a decade I had a "momentus" 2.5 IBM/Hitachi I think drive die a shameful death in a Mac. )

It turned out to be some BIOS error - their fault, they offered to replace it.. not a good situation I had lost important data on it.

Now I am backing up my drives as none of them last forever..

Generally most hard drives now seem much more reliable and quieter, too, than they were for me in the past.

Whatever happened to Maxtor? I still have some old Maxtor drives. The manufacturer doesn't seem to be making drives any more, or am I wrong?

ve7xen:
The most reliable approach is going to be operating completely read-only at runtime. NanoBSD offers quite a nice set of tooling for building such a system, but I'm not sure about support for it on RPi. Running it on an industrial microSD should be extremely reliable and I wouldn't really worry about storage failure, assuming the SD peripheral/driver on them is actually itself reliable. Especially considering how janky and lashed together a RPi 'server' is going to be. I'm not aware of anything quite as slick on Linux, though of course it's possible to set everything up that way there too with a bit of effort.

I don't know why you'd use an RPi as a server for anything with many users / public access when cloud providers offer free virtual machines and for-pay web hosting is pennies per month.

If it's for local use as a NAS or whatever, I'd just treat it the same way I would a 'normal' home server. Boot from a good-quality SSD and attach rust as required. Though by the time you buy all the stuff (PCIe SATA card, PCIe RPi adapter, enclosure, PSU, etc.) you need to wedge an RPi into this role, I doubt it's cheaper, and is considerably less capable than buying a quality miniPC on CraigsList and installing FreeNAS on it.

cdev:

--- Quote from: DiTBho on February 16, 2022, 10:25:40 pm ---
--- Quote from: cdev on February 16, 2022, 10:05:07 pm ---Small 2.5 hard drives in my experience are less reliable than full size ones

--- End quote ---

I bought qty=12 Hitachi 2.5" HDD in 2007. All still 100% working.
qty=20 IBM-travel-star 2.5" HDD. All dead.

So it depends on the brand, I think  :-//

As far as I know, WD-redline, no matter if 2.5" or 3.5", is currently the best.
Barracuda 3.5" were a great deal four years ago, when they had the 250 and 500GB line. Now it's crap.


However, *my opinion*, SD-cards should only be used in read mode. To boot the kernel and for nothing more.

--- End quote ---

When you shut down and save your work for the day, you just save it to a regular hard drive?

Where I live, once in a great while there are short power utages, ususally its back up fairly quickly.. A raspberry pi can run off of batteries all of the time, and doing that with 2.5 hard drives is also not difficult. Thats a big advantage when I think about it.

I often wonder if we, as a society culd switch to a more DC using lifestyle using DC in the home for almost everything, I bet we could. There is a huge risk that we are all living with of solar storms risk to the electric grid. A solar storm like the one in 1859 could wipe out power all around the world. It might even take months or years to bring it back up.  The disruption might even cause nuclear melt downs due to a problem called "loss of the ultimate heatsink" So maybe we as a society should just decide to switch to DC and then do it.  Or maybe we could set up some hybrid that would be optimized for resilience.

Its the AC to AC transformers that are the point of failure in solar storms, because of how the power distribution system is unbalanced by the DC pulse that comes from the Sun. It takes a few minutes to get here and right now they are counting on getting a few minutes warning from two spacecraft we have out there orbiting at the Lagrangian points monitoring the Sun for huge solar flares heading towards Earth. But thats a hell of a way to do something that's SO important.. There is, the best we can tell a one in eight chance or higher of a coronal mass ejection per decade..  The area that I live, the East Coast of the US is particularly prone to power system disruption due to an electromagnetic pulse of this kind, and we also have our share of Mark 1 design nuclear power plants, like the ones at Fukushima.. The rock under me is "igneous rock" which means its high in obsidian and does not conduct well, at all. There is no good grounding.  So they are known to be highly vulnerable to this potential disaster of they lose steady cooling power..

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