Running OS on SSD

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Running OS on SSD

Unread postby Newfrequency » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:02 am

Since I have never had a board that has a SATA plug how would you go about running the OS on the SSD? Would it be better to have the OS on EMMC or what?
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Re: Running OS on SSD

Unread postby mad_ady » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:23 am

If SPI boot works as it should you would probably flash the OS directly on the SATA disk. I think a good ssd is better as an OS drive than an emmc
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Re: Running OS on SSD

Unread postby rooted » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:29 am

mad_ady wrote:If SPI boot works as it should you would probably flash the OS directly on the SATA disk. I think a good ssd is better as an OS drive than an emmc
I think so as well, but certainly nothing wrong with eMMC.
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Re: Running OS on SSD

Unread postby tkaiser » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:35 am

mad_ady wrote:I think a good ssd is better as an OS drive than an emmc


Why? Why 'good ssd' vs 'an emmc'? What are the potential benefits of using an SSD? More performance? More resilience? Lower consumption? Less expensive? How is 'good' defined?

This is the type of 'SSD' those users will buy who don't want to afford one of those insanely fast Hardkernel eMMC modules:
Image

The product can also be used with 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 SD cards (slots on the other side) but what you see above is this thing ready for some cheap eMMC to be soldered on (eMMC and SD cards are technically almost the same -- that's why this works). It works as RAID-0 to increase performance and greatly reduce reliability.

Of course http://usb.brando.com/10-x-micro-sd-to- ... 46d15.html is too expensive but similar controllers combined with 2 cheap EOLed eMMC modules is what people get when trying to be cheaper than eMMC. Performance will suck compared to Hardkernel's eMMC, consumption is magnitudes higher (it's not native but PCIe attached SATA) and reliability/resilience is much lower.

2018 will be the year when all this fake flash counterfeit crap we're dealing with now already since over a decade (USB thumb drives, CF and SD cards) will finally arrive at a product category called 'SSD' too :D
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Re: Running OS on SSD

Unread postby rooted » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:42 am

I assume a genuine SSD will have higher performance vs eMMC. I don't know since I don't currently own any.

I am an eMMC junkie though. I have one for every Odroid device I have, six or seven now.
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Re: Running OS on SSD

Unread postby tkaiser » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:58 am

rooted wrote:I assume a genuine SSD will have higher performance vs eMMC.


Hmm, we're talking here about Hardkernel eMMC (not $some eMMC or crappy eMMC)? These modules are simply great and really fast. 'Genuine' SSD just means not counterfeit. And there exists a lot of cheap, genuine and slow consumer SSDs out there :)

Users who are willing to choose a 'good' SSD will get for sure something that outperforms Hardkernel's eMMC in every area (except consumption), users who choose $some SSD over an Hardkernel eMMC will most probably choose models with low capacity and low performance (and many counterfeit products). I've now 5 SSDs on my desk waiting for ODROID N1 to arrive. Only 2 of them show 'SSD like' sequential write performance. The other 3 (cheap Samsung and Intel) drop down to even 60 MB/s with continual sequential writes if amount of data exceeds a few hundred MB.

Of course 'continual sequential writes' are a very stupid use case for any flash media (most probably a HDD is better for this use case) but it should be sufficient to outline that it's one more time 'use case first' (and skipping irrelevant benchmarks). If you're interested in highest random IO possible you have to choose an expensive SSD connected to a SATA port (USB3 won't do). If you're interested in minimum boot times use an A1 rated SD card or eMMC (you want to avoid both PCIe and SATA or any controller that has to probe busses and establish links), if you want to reduce both idle and active consumption again choose an SD card or eMMC.

This is (as usual) a trade-off. But since users think in categories and 'common knowledge' tells 'category SSD is always better than eMMC' (which couldn't be more wrong) users who want to avoid the costs of good eMMC will choose bad SSDs.
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Re: Running OS on SSD

Unread postby mad_ady » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:28 am

The thing to look out for with HK's emmcs is that performance improves with size. So an 8GB emmc will have the worst performance compared to the other sizes. Most of my emmcs are 16G and I'm happy with them.
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Re: Running OS on SSD

Unread postby rooted » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:32 am

mad_ady wrote:The thing to look out for with HK's emmcs is that performance improves with size. So an 8GB emmc will have the worst performance compared to the other sizes. Most of my emmcs are 16G and I'm happy with them.
I always felt my 32GB was faster than my 16GBs.
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Re: Running OS on SSD

Unread postby rooted » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:58 am

tkaiser wrote:Users who are willing to choose a 'good' SSD will get for sure something that outperforms Hardkernel's eMMC in every area (except consumption), users who choose $some SSD over an Hardkernel eMMC will most probably choose models with low capacity and low performance (and many counterfeit products). I've now 5 SSDs on my desk waiting for ODROID N1 to arrive. Only 2 of them show 'SSD like' sequential write performance. The other 3 (cheap Samsung and Intel) drop down to even 60 MB/s with continual sequential writes if amount of data exceeds a few hundred MB.

This is (as usual) a trade-off. But since users think in categories and 'common knowledge' tells 'category SSD is always better than eMMC' (which couldn't be more wrong) users who want to avoid the costs of good eMMC will choose bad SSDs.


I succeed to your knowledge here since I don't currently own an SSD.

tkaiser wrote:If you're interested in highest random IO possible you have to choose an expensive SSD connected to a SATA port (USB3 won't do). If you're interested in minimum boot times use an A1 rated SD card or eMMC (you want to avoid both PCIe and SATA or any controller that has to probe busses and establish links), if you want to reduce both idle and active consumption again choose an SD card or eMMC.


I care about general OS responsiveness, application launch speed, menu snappiness, file load performance, etc. Odroid eMMC are fine but I'm always interested in higher performance.

On Android random iop's rule the roost.
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Re: Running OS on SSD

Unread postby tkaiser » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:16 am

mad_ady wrote:The thing to look out for with HK's emmcs is that performance improves with size.


https://magazine.odroid.com/article/ora ... t-arrives/

An 8GB Toshiba eMMC shows higher sequential read performance than any of the Samsung modules and is almost as fast as any of the SanDisk modules (regardless of size). And this is sequential IO performance. When does this really matter? In (irrelevant) benchmarks and if you have 'streaming IO' use cases (serving eg. an uncompressed movie at a guaranteed bit rate for example -- for this use case with the N1 almost always HDDs are the better choice regardless whether connected to SATA or USB3 ports).

For an OS drive random IO is more important. The iozone numbers also presented above seem to prove you right that the 8GB eMMC modules show worst performance here too (I'm not totally convinced since tests with just 1K block size would be necessary here too). But above 16 GB there's no real performance increase any more. From a performance point of view as you said the 16GB eMMC modules show the best price/performance ratio.

A mediocre consumer SSD like an older EVO840 behind an ASM1061 SATA controller will of course show much higher performance (both sequential and random IO, 3 to 6 times faster depending on block size). But users have to pay a price -- twice, both price and consumption are higher (you don't get 'good' SSDs with 32 GB capacity or less). Some numbers: https://forum.armbian.com/topic/4845-ma ... ment=37740
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Re: Running OS on SSD

Unread postby Newfrequency » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:20 am

[quote="tkaiser"]

The picture above looks complex and would make me want to buy the emmc or ssd rather than spend so much time soldering and potentially messing up.
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Re: Running OS on SSD

Unread postby tkaiser » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:25 am

rooted wrote:On Android random iop's rule the roost.


Same with a 'Desktop Linux'. And if you look at how 'disk IO' intensive Chromium or Firefox are then it becomes obvious that high random IO write performance is the most important thing. Check this https://forum.armbian.com/topic/954-sd- ... rformance/ for the first and third link above the picture.

Even SD cards in the meantime try to become better here and that's important since prior to the new A1 specification we had only rather irrelevant 'speed classes' that dealt only with sequential write and read performance. With A1 this has now fortunately changed (just ordered a new 32GB SanDisk Extreme Plus A1 to be tested with N1 in the hope the MMC interface for SD cards is nicely tuned as on the other ODROIDs -- that's also a real difference to most other SBC: Hardkernel so far took care that the higher speed modes are possible with SD cards too while the majority of other SBC out there are limited to 4 bit / 50 MHz which leads to a sequential performance bottleneck around 23MB/s)

Back to SSDs: with a 'good SSD' attached to a SATA port you will see here improvements for sure. With $some SSD especially with low capacity it could be worse compared to a Hardkernel 16 GB eMMC.
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Re: Running OS on SSD

Unread postby tkaiser » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:31 am

Newfrequency wrote:
tkaiser wrote:
The picture above looks complex and would make me want to buy the emmc or ssd rather than spend so much time soldering and potentially messing up.


All I wanted to tell was: just buy some cheap (m)SATA SSD and chances are great you get something like this. Cheap eMMC combined with such a controller exposing the whole unreliable and slow chip combination as 'true SATA SSD'. These things exist already, simply buy on Aliexpress as cheap as possible and you get such a 'SSD'.

And again: I would assume we're seeing a massive increase in SSD counterfeit products. Back in the days '500 GB HDDs' were just 128 MB thumb drives in reality, now the same will happen with SSDs too: https://www.jitbit.com/alexblog/198-chi ... ard-drive/

Image
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Re: Running OS on SSD

Unread postby odroid » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:19 am

I love the amazing SSD picture! :o :D

BTW, reasonably fast 120GB SSD price is around $50~60 and it is more affordable than an eMMC module. :?
If you need 8~32GB, go with eMMC. Otherwise, a SATA SSD seems to be a right solution if you don't mind the physical dimensions and power consumption.
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Re: Running OS on SSD

Unread postby Snk » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:22 am

Okay, after all this beats mouth, was not answered the initial question: Is it possible to boot the system through the SATA output ??????
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Re: Running OS on SSD

Unread postby mdrjr » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:31 am

Yes, it is possible..
You can set the boot.ini to boot from a ssd instead of the eMMC/MicroSD

viewtopic.php?f=155&t=29976#p214764
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Re: Running OS on SSD

Unread postby bronco » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:08 pm

odroid wrote:Reasonably fast 120GB SSD price is around $50~60 and it is more affordable than an eMMC module. :?


SSDs with capacity between 120GB and 128GB, reasonable fast random and sequential IO (50k 4K random IOPS, sequential write +350 MB/s), reasonable TBW rating (you don't want your SSD die too fast), idle consumption at 0.5W or below: only 13 SSD left, none of them for less than $60:

https://geizhals.de/?cat=hdssd&xf=13315 ... 1%7E4836_2
Google translate: https://translate.google.com/translate? ... edit-text=

Now let's choose only SSDs with at least 5 years warranty and with less than 2W active consumption. Only 4 left, prices higher of course ('you get what you pay for' is a valid principle with genuine SSDs):

https://geizhals.de/?cat=hdssd&xf=13315 ... 1%7E4836_2
Google translate: https://translate.google.com/translate? ... edit-text=

Those 4 would IMO qualify for the 'good SSD' criteria (since performant, long living, not wasting too much energy, good warranty situation). Guess what N1 users will buy instead believing into 'every SSD is better than any other flash storage type'? I've seen already people recommending buying used SSDs on eBay...
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Re: Running OS on SSD

Unread postby Snk » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:49 pm

mdrjr wrote:Yes, it is possible..
You can set the boot.ini to boot from a ssd instead of the eMMC/MicroSD

viewtopic.php?f=155&t=29976#p214764


Yeah
You can start selling I already want to order mine.
This will be very useful! SSD with SO and mechanical HD with data.
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Re: Running OS on SSD

Unread postby elatllat » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:52 am

tkaiser wrote:... unreliable ...

Time to start selling 'nuts'
http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.p ... inus-Minus
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Re: Running OS on SSD

Unread postby tkaiser » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:52 am

rooted wrote:I assume a genuine SSD will have higher performance vs eMMC


If it's about 'OS drive performance' then... nope: https://forum.armbian.com/topic/6496-od ... ment=49404

Please be aware that I've used for this test an EVO840 which is far superiour compared to what the average N1 user will buy believing into 'any SSD is better than eMMC' and that the eMMC module has just 16GB size. A 32GB module due to more parallelisms possible would've outperformed any SSD since the bottlenecks are either USB3 or ASM1061.

(not talking about energy savings here -- super performant eMMC storage consumes NOTHING compared to a PCIe/SATA attached SSD especially when choosing cheap stuff)
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