My Move to Solid State
All of these numbers aside, the question you might be asking is, “Is it worth it?” For me, the answer is a definite yes. Not only is my system back to the snappiness I remember with past laptops, it also no longer seems to get bogged down during disk-heavy operations like when my backup software kicks off. That reminds me of another point—noise. With no moving parts, the SSD is basically silent. The only noise on my laptop now is from the fan. The other day I was using my laptop and noticed that the fan had gone to almost top speed. After some time, I decided to check the system temperature to see whether my laptop was really that hot. It turned out that my network backup job had kicked off and was rsyncing. This is a CPU- and disk-heavy operation, and with my old drive, I instantly would know when it kicked off, because the system would slow down, and I would hear the all-too-familiar clicking and clacking of my hard drive. Now, due to the snappiness of the desktop and silence of the SSD, I wasn't even aware the backup was happening.
Whether the performance of an SSD is worth it to you depends on a variety of things. If you are stuck with a 1.8" 4200rpm drive like I was, there aren't too many other options for you (although a 5400rpm 1.8" drive should be available for purchase soon), but if you have a larger drive with up to 7200rpm spindle speeds and SATA interfaces, you definitely will want to compare the posted speeds of comparable drives—it's possible that the current generation of SSDs won't offer you many speed benefits. There also are other factors to consider, including the potential power savings some SSDs offer. Plus, with the lack of moving parts, you not only get a quieter system, you also potentially get a more durable one. On the downside, even with write-leveling technologies, there still are a finite number of writes you can make to an SSD, although most manufacturers claim that the life of an SSD still exceeds that of traditional drives.
If you do decide to get a solid state drive, be sure to do your homework. There are a number of different laptop hard drive interfaces these days, so if you have a 1.8" drive, be sure to check whether you use a ZIF or non-ZIF connector. And, if you want to use a 1.8" SSD in your 2.5" laptop, be sure that a compatible adapter exists (I've seen some sellers include adapters as a package deal).
Kyle Rankin is a Senior Systems Administrator in the San Francisco Bay Area and the author of a number of books, including Knoppix Hacks and Ubuntu Hacks for O'Reilly Media. He is currently the president of the North Bay Linux Users' Group.
Kyle Rankin is a VP of engineering operations at Final, Inc., the author of a number of books including DevOps Troubleshooting and The Official Ubuntu Server Book, and is a columnist for Linux Journal. Follow him @kylerankin.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide