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My Win2k8 adventure...looking for some incite from YOUR experiences

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    My Win2k8 adventure...looking for some incite from YOUR experiences

    So, installed, things are nice.

    This OS is much better about caching things then Win2k3 was.

    Point in case:
    Win2k3, HS NEVER lagged, because the OS drive was ALWAYS spinning. Maybe it was something I did, maybe it was the OS. I think more the OS. The reason is, I have just about finished putting all the SAME programs on Win2k8, as I had on Win2k3. BUT, Win2k8 is spinning down the drive.

    What does this mean? It means that sometimes, when I access a webpage, or have HS turn on a light, the drive must spin up BEFORE the commands are executed. Fun.

    I like that it is better about spinning down my RAID array. However, not the OS drive.

    Win2k3 had my array and the OS drive running. The supplemental storage drives (holds movies for streaming) spun down. Win2k8 spins EVERYTHING down.

    So, my solution will be to setup an event that will cause a read of some .ini file...every say 10 minutes. I can "further" reduce power use and excess spinning during down times. I.e. when we are not home or when we are sleeping. I know this is not perfect, but it is easy.

    The other solutions are more work / $$. I can get a SSD, Might use a bit more power OVERALL, but I'm guessing that it will be less as the OS driver will stay spun down much longer.
    Say $100-200 for 40GB. Install time is next to nothing. SATA is easy to plug in, and the OS will just show it as a new drive.

    One other possibility is to install a ram drive.
    Choices are:
    -use an i-Drive from Gigabyte ebay for $100-300
    -install ramdrive software (anywhere from free to $1000+, depending on features. Most are about $10-40)

    hardware:
    power concerns and cost. At that price, I might as well get a SSD. HS doesn't write to the drive THAT much that I need to care (look at the HomeTroller...they use a SSD!).

    Software:
    Nice, BUT Win2k8 uses EVERY possible bit of ram for caching everything it can think of. I'm sure it is caching some stuff, JUST in case. So, will this affect my performance of the server?

    My mobo can take 4 sticks, 1GB each. Currently I have 2 1GB sticks and 2 512meg sticks. Maybe I dump the two 512meg sticks and get 1 GB sticks. Then I keep the same performance and gain a ram drive. THEN HS has instant access to everything, and the drives can all stay "sleeping".

    Features of software are a bit of a concern. If I am already spending some cash on new RAM, I would personally try to keep the cost of the software down. Do I want it to automatically save a drive image and reload upon boot? Timed backups of the image (in case of power failure)? Do I use the free version and just roll my own features?

    *Backup, I can use any drive imaging software
    *Restore, the same software just images back on the drive after boot
    *As for worry if I loose power...the server just needs to be stable enough to shutdown properly. It is running on a battery, and at the speed of ram, I can just dump a new incremental image of the drive using software I already own, WITHOUT hurting the performance of HS.
    So, what kind of memory does my server take? How much does it cost?
    According to my last receipt, It's PC-3200 ram.
    http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?inv...0C3-DT&cat=RAM
    So about $73 each stick. (I know there are other brands cheaper, but I try to stick to the name-brand only stuff ... Kingston, Corsair, etc. I've had VERY good luck with these).

    Wow, that was a lot...anyone have thoughts? Comments? Questions?

    --Dan
    Tasker, to a person who does Homeautomation...is like walking up to a Crack Treatment facility with a truck full of 3lb bags of crack. Then for each person that walks in and out smack them in the face with an open bag.

    #2
    A while back purchased a "woot" special - 8.9" netbook PC. I installed a 64Gb SSD and upped the memory to 2 gig. The reponse times from the SSD were so so. I then created a Ram drive from one of the 2 gigs. It does work OK. The battery lasts for a while now while I see that my regular notebook depletes battery much faster with the running HD and keeping the CPU cool.

    With the "effectiveness" of W2008 caching not sure if a ram drive would buy you anything in speed?

    I haven't seen too much of a difference between streaming video/audio from the 2003 WS and the BSD storage server.

    I have seen differences between the two when moving thousands of files between the storage boxes and desktops. I do manually "build" and set a static size on the "cache" and typically use the secondary partition for said cache drive leaving the OS root drive on its own for W2003 servers. My personal static "cache" is twice the amount of ram; so 4 gigs is 8 gigs of cache. Memory speed / HD RW speed makes a difference. Using 300 versus 150 SATA speed makes a difference in addition to using PCIE versus legacy PCI (but still remember the old ISA bus). I've rebuilt HS boxes (old ones) - while still working on new ones with providing more CPU cooling, upping memory and newer faster small SATA drives in RAID1 configs.

    I have recently noticed (a side tangent note) that MS has updated IE8 a bit. I was constantly doing a reg IE Proxy tweak (once a week or so) because the browser was taking longer to shut down. The new updates have fixed this problem. Its kind of odd that it was documented but never directly addressed by MS and the patches don't specifically document fix. It seems there's a lot of "precaching" of web sites going on in IE now more than ever. Safe site searching etc. With an always internet connected server this too might cause some bottlenecks in thruput.....another (tangent) great day for golf (its going to be 80 here).....tee time set for noon today....
    Last edited by Pete; April 1, 2010, 10:14 AM.
    - Pete

    Auto mator
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      #3
      Originally posted by Pete View Post

      With the "effectiveness" of W2008 caching not sure if a ram drive would buy you anything in speed?
      Pete,

      The only speed I'm trying to gain, is get rid of the annoying drive spin-up.

      I know I rambled a bit, so it may not have been clear. BUT, the issue is, Win2k8 is so good at what it does, even the OS drive spins down. THEN HS wakes it up and HS laggs until the drive finishes spinning up. Then it "feels" as fast or faster then before.

      So, quickly options are:
      -do something to keep the drive spinning (simple event will do that). It's the cheapest, easiest, higher power use.
      -use a SSD drive
      -use a ram drive

      I like the ram drive idea the best but will cost ~$100 (75 for ram, 20 for software...less for software if I am willing to roll some of my own features and accept some more risk). SSD will eventually die...$100-200. Adding a read to the drive, add wear and tear on the server's hard drive + higher in power. By how much? I don't know. Probably only 4-5W? How much is that in actual hard cash? How long does THAT take to equal what I would spend on buying more ram? Plus, there is risk in the ram drive idea. I loose the drive if the OS ever locks up. If I use the i-Drive, that doesn't happen, but now we are talking the same cost, or more then a SSD.

      It IS adding more wear and tear on the drive. BUT have you EVER had a server last THAT long, that you wore out the hard drives? I've not. I generally end up upgrading for size before I kill the drives.

      I guess the whole point of this thread is that 99% of the time I can come to a single solution that, at least to me, I can justify that it is right. This time I only see that there are 3 solutions, none are really jumping out as "THE" answer. Just that if I am willing to accept the risk, the RAM drive idea is a neat way to go, and probably will be the lowest power option.

      --Dan
      Tasker, to a person who does Homeautomation...is like walking up to a Crack Treatment facility with a truck full of 3lb bags of crack. Then for each person that walks in and out smack them in the face with an open bag.

      Comment


        #4
        Maybe I will do the ram thing. I didn't think, but a side benefit of this is, if I take the 1GB ram from the server, to be replaced by 2 GB of ram, the 1 GB of ram can go into what used to be my gaming machine (circa 2005-2006 time frame).

        It is a 3GHz Athelon. Back then, it was the FASTEST processor that AMD made, before switching to multicore and all the other crazy stuff they are doing now. It's BLAZING fast.

        It IS a power pig though...so much so that crunching a BUNCH of DVDs, a case cooling fan died once. It made so much heat, that the ATX connector started to deform. I found that the PC was getting intermittant...it would act strange. Well, the deformation in the connector made a temperature dependent connection for one of the 5V lines. After correcting that it was fine but sat, as I don't really play any "uber" games any more. Starcraft is PROBABLY the newest game that I have played in the last 5 years. So, it sat. After a while, I took the ram out to put into the server.

        I don't know what I would do with it, but I'd have another machine...and a beast of a machine. Maybe I could turn that into my Tversity server...? It's probably fast enough to transcode.

        --Dan
        Tasker, to a person who does Homeautomation...is like walking up to a Crack Treatment facility with a truck full of 3lb bags of crack. Then for each person that walks in and out smack them in the face with an open bag.

        Comment


          #5
          T-Time changed to 1:16 PM -

          turned an old Dell dual CPU server into the TVersity server, only transcoding audio at this time - will give video a try. With the HS server(s) am doing the energy thing; using a multiple fans, bigger (louder too) CPU fan. The new PS I purchased has two fans, I put an exhaust fan next to the CPU plus the CPU fan. I noticed a drop of about 10C with this setup. I also removed conductive CPU paste and replaced it with a "better" conductive paste.

          Learned easy way to apply paste. I use my wife's kitchen plastic wrap and use a grain of compound the size of a rice granule. Too much has a bad effect as too little.

          Never was much into gaming per say but did "tax" CPU processors doing some resource intensive "stuff" a few years back. I've flip / flopped between AMD and Intel for a few years. Lately its Intel but for the network terminals becoming firewalls its overclocked AMD mobile processors - even took the metal covers off the AMD CPUs (an endeavor in itself) of them to cool them a bit more. BTW as I type looking at my desktop dual core temp and its sitting at 104F. Its sitting in a bad location under my desk with the back of it about 3 inches from the back of the desk. Its also a smaller case with no breathing room - guess I am pushing this box a bit with no really proactive cooling going on.

          I too am rambling a bit here....

          BTW on the drive spinning I proactively shut down any of the energy saving's features so that the drives do not spin down. Are there controls built into 2008 for that? On the BSD server I get specific drive alerts relating to RAID array with Smartdisk functions. I had one of four starting to go last year and the alerts worked well for me. Its not really an energy saver for me as my concerns are more related to performance.
          - Pete

          Auto mator
          Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb- Mono 6.12.X - HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets
          Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.12.X
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          X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation-Tasmota-Espurna. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant

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            #6
            For the drive spin down, there are the normal Vista-Win7 ish power selection. I'll see if under the server manager, there is something to do a drive by drive. In the mean time, I can just test with the active event reading an ini. My concern with that is Win2k8 will "know" I'm reading the same thing and just cache it.

            I suppose I could do random...but how long until that all gets cached as well.

            Oh well, I can try and see.

            --Dan
            Tasker, to a person who does Homeautomation...is like walking up to a Crack Treatment facility with a truck full of 3lb bags of crack. Then for each person that walks in and out smack them in the face with an open bag.

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              #7
              Instead of reading an ini, try writing the current time to an ini, it'll always be different.
              Mike

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                #8
                Mike,

                Good idea!

                --Dan
                Tasker, to a person who does Homeautomation...is like walking up to a Crack Treatment facility with a truck full of 3lb bags of crack. Then for each person that walks in and out smack them in the face with an open bag.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Why do you need to read or write an ini to keep the HDD spinning? Isn't HS's logging enough to do so or are the HS log writes cached and flushed to disk periodically?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I see that you are testing the use of said 2008 Server for both HS and storage?
                    - Pete

                    Auto mator
                    Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb- Mono 6.12.X - HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets
                    Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.12.X
                    HS4 Pro - V4.1.17.0 - Ubuntu 20.01/VB W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb - Mono
                    6.12.0.122
                    HS4 Lite -

                    X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation-Tasmota-Espurna. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by dschoppe View Post
                      Why do you need to read or write an ini to keep the HDD spinning? Isn't HS's logging enough to do so or are the HS log writes cached and flushed to disk periodically?
                      Doesn't seem to be at this point. I checked the log this morning (after the spin-up) it looked like HS was writing to the log...but there are times where there is nothing being written to the log, so the drive has MANY times where it can sleep.

                      --Dan
                      Tasker, to a person who does Homeautomation...is like walking up to a Crack Treatment facility with a truck full of 3lb bags of crack. Then for each person that walks in and out smack them in the face with an open bag.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Pete View Post
                        I see that you are testing the use of said 2008 Server for both HS and storage?
                        Yep. I have one machine to "rule them all".

                        I thought about doing a distributed thing, but looking at how much power I'd waste, this was easier. It also seems to work well, so long as no one program can kill the others (i.e. can't run Tversity on my server!).

                        I also will say, that unless you have a "server" grade motherboard with enough speed on it's internal busses, you can't really do this and be happy, IF there are times when you are moving a LOT of data. My motherboard is limited to 66M/s due to being PCI, BUT it has 2 separate busses. I just ensure my RAID array is on a separate bus then HS. Then all is well. I was able to push close to 55M/s-SUSTAINED to the server, with HS not having any lag (assuming that the drive HS is on is spinning!).

                        The only strangeness so far is the GUI acts really slow. After poking around, that seems to actually be on purpose. Most articles and "tweaking sites" (site like this: http://www.win2008workstation.com/) show many many steps on how to restore a lot of that. I'm leaving MOST of it untweaked, except the audio stuff. So, WHEN i get the right media stuff re-installed, I can use my speaker app again (right now it crashes...I'm guessing due to missing components).

                        --Dan
                        Tasker, to a person who does Homeautomation...is like walking up to a Crack Treatment facility with a truck full of 3lb bags of crack. Then for each person that walks in and out smack them in the face with an open bag.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Smart OS...it seems to cache the writes to the file. I set an event that writes the time to a file every 5 min. The hard drive still spins down.

                          Oh well...next...

                          --Dan
                          Tasker, to a person who does Homeautomation...is like walking up to a Crack Treatment facility with a truck full of 3lb bags of crack. Then for each person that walks in and out smack them in the face with an open bag.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The site / info you mentioned relating to 2008 workstation is similiar to what I have done with the 2003WS. IE: I have one laptop and workstation set up with WS2003.

                            So relating to the "spin down" and HS running on 2008. Do you personally like the feature or does it cause a disadvantage relating to timing of events? You've proven that it still writes the time every 5 minutes. What about TTS? Is there a lag in response or is it the same? When you are on another computer with the web browser open to HS are you seeing good responses to manually run events?
                            - Pete

                            Auto mator
                            Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb- Mono 6.12.X - HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets
                            Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.12.X
                            HS4 Pro - V4.1.17.0 - Ubuntu 20.01/VB W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb - Mono
                            6.12.0.122
                            HS4 Lite -

                            X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation-Tasmota-Espurna. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant

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                              #15
                              Are you using W2k8, or W2k8 R2? (big difference, w2k8 are based on the vista core, while r2 are based on w7)

                              Im running R2, both as a HyperV server, and Storage 3TB (Raid5) array.
                              HS is installed on the system volume (2x in raid1) I cant say that i have noticed the drives spinning down.

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