Hard drive died – replace with HDD, SSD, CF, USB, or other?



  • All,
    My HDD just died in the first day my first pfSense appliance was running… It was an old notebook HDD I had laying around (worked fine until pfSense?).

    Should I replace this with a HDD, SSD, CF, USB drive, or other?

    I have room for a 2.5" drive. I have SATA headers, can free up a USB3 header, no IDE/PATA headers.
    I'm running it on an AIMB-270 motherboard with an i3 mobile processor.
    I would like to install some packages such as snort, clam, and pfblocker.
    TIA,
    Ari



  • With those package requirements, HD or SSD.



  • @cmb:

    With those package requirements, HD or SSD.

    OK, thanks.

    1. Have the reported SSD-killing problems been fixed in more recent pfSense releases?
    2. In general, which will last longer with pfSense, SSD or HDD?

    Thanks again,
    Ari


  • Netgate Administrator

    @adoucette:

    In general, which will last longer with pfSense, SSD or HDD?

    Impossible to say. There are people running pfSense on ancient HDs. There are people running a full install on flash media with no problems (but I wouldn't recommend it!). IMHO the issue with SSDs has been blown massively out of proportion. A specific example being that a number of users used a particular small SSD, 8GB, as it was cheap and seemed ideal for pfSense. This drive had bad firmware and failed very early. Nothing to do with pfSense but that wasn't obvious at the time.

    If you use a recent SSD with half decent wear levelling you shouldn't have any problems. pfSense 2.0.X doesn't support TRIM though. However you would only use an SSD to save power and speed access times, do you need either of those things? Since you don't mention Squid for web caching (though you'll need it for ClamAV) I would suggest perhaps you don't, in which case get a cheaper spinning drive.

    Have a look at this thread: http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,62648.0.html

    Steve



  • @stephenw10:

    Have a look at this thread: http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,62648.0.html

    Thanks - I had already seen that thread - good info for getting trim support for SSD in pfSense
    The post mostly recommends more expensive SSDs…

    @stephenw10:

    get a cheaper spinning drive

    Roger that, I just ordered it



  • @adoucette:

    1. Have the reported SSD-killing problems been fixed in more recent pfSense releases?

    No such problems ever existed, that was just a FUD-filled thread. For a good while, SSDs in general were significantly less reliable than a HD, especially where people were buying the cheapest thing out there.



  • @cmb:

    @adoucette:

    1. Have the reported SSD-killing problems been fixed in more recent pfSense releases?

    No such problems ever existed, that was just a FUD-filled thread. For a good while, SSDs in general were significantly less reliable than a HD, especially where people were buying the cheapest thing out there.

    Agree, also as far I know pfsense barely use the HDD for writes, So there could not be a problem.  It's just bad luck or Crappy SSD.



  • My SSD is happy with a default install and no tweaks. I did get a decent quality 64 GB one though. I figure the power savings will pay for the extra cost by the time it dies.



  • @stan-qaz:

    My SSD is happy with a default install and no tweaks. I did get a decent quality 64 GB one though. I figure the power savings will pay for the extra cost by the time it dies.

    well, that is 5 to 10 euro a year perhaps? so it will take you about 6 years to have the price of ssd back.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Indeed. The fact that you will save money in power bills is not a good a reason to buy an SSD. You can use that saving to offset the additional cost though if you have some other reason for using an SSD.
    Personally I put an SSD, a relatively cheap OCZ model, in my Linux laptop a couple of years ago and was so blown away by the performance boost I've never looked back.  :) I'm using CF cards for pfSense though.

    Steve



  • With our power rates payback is about 5 years for the SSD's direct power use, if power prices don't go up. Savings in air conditioning will be about double that, in Arizona we spend a lot keeping cool. So figure breaking even in a couple years.

    Add in all the other goodies you get with an SSD and I figure it was a good deal for me since it was a "free" upgrade at worst. Besides all my other boxes that get used regularly have had SSDs added as their primary/only drives and the pfSense box was the last spinning drive I had for other than bulk data storage.

    My pfSense setup is pretty basic, no packages or fancy filtering so load on whatever drive is in there is low so there is little gain from the traditional benefits of an SSD. Speed? Who cares if it boots faster, that is likely to be a twice a year event when I shutdown everything here for a dust blowing session or if I need to reboot after an upgrade. Noise? Never heard much noise from the old pfSense box and drive, an IDE one dating back to maybe 1999 in a 2001 Dell GX100.

    I had to put some type of drive in the refurbished system I got for my new pfSense install, it had to be SATA and I didn't have any likely candidates in my parts bin so I had to buy something making the power use payback about the only real factor in the SSD/Rust decision for me.


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