Monitoring SSD longevity

Anyone who has investigated SSDs for server applications is aware that flash-based SSDs have a limited life span. NAND flash cells have a finite program/erase cycle limit, and though manufacturers use ever more sophisticated wear-level algorithms, the fact remains that the heavier your write activity to a device, the faster you will approach this limit. It would therefore be a good idea to monitor for wear indicators in much the same way that we monitor spinning disks for signs of impending failure (reallocated sectors, etc.)[Read More…]

Back to top


I put this note on my Facebook profile on New Year’s Eve 2010. It’s good to maintain perspective on all aspects of one’s life. Living as we do at “internet speed” we can easily get caught up in thinking that such-and-such isn’t fast enough or that we just can’t exist another second without $SHINYTHING. We live in an incredible time and we should appreciate it more.

By the way: this list was somewhat inspired by Louis C.K.’s appearance on Conan O’Brien’s show that went viral as the “Everything is Amazing and Nobody’s Happy” video.

[Read More…]

Back to top

Excited about Surge 2010

I’m getting excited about the speaker list at Surge 2010. Lots of top talent, and all will be talking about challenges faced, mistakes made, and lessons learned in building scalable systems. I am particularly looking forward to hearing Bryan Cantrill talk about building enterprise solutions from commodity components, which is a big part of what I do at OmniTI.

Bryan has some fascinating stories from his days at Sun Microsystems, and he’s an amazing speaker who has been described as “Tigger on speed”. I’m hoping for a reprise of his characterization of a hard drive that unexpectedly reset when a high LBA was requested.

Back to top

Headed to Velocity 2010

I’m planning to attend Velocity 2010. I’ve never been before, and I’m looking forward to learning new things and meeting new people. Devops is a popular term, and we live it at OmniTI, so I’m excited about bringing back knowledge to improve it in our operations and development teams.

Back to top

TRON Powered by Solaris?

Dennis Clarke noticed something interesting in a trailer for Disney’s upcoming TRON Legacy movie. A glimpse of an “old” computer interface shows what looks like a window running “top” and another window containing a semblance of “uname -a” from a Solaris machine.

Reminds me of spotting nmap in Matrix Reloaded.

Back to top