[Beowulf] Re: Botting from flash ( was Re: Re: real hard drive failures)

Maurice Hilarius maurice at harddata.com
Thu Feb 3 19:05:19 EST 2005


>From: Mark Hahn <hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca>
>Subject: Re: [Beowulf] Re: real hard drive failures
>...
>
>on that note, though - does anyone have comments about booting 
>machines from flash?
>  
>
Compact Flash (CF) IS an ATA device, and requires no specific drivers 
other than standard kernel ATA driver.
CF slot reader/writers are now under $25, and as a matter of fact we 
offer this as an option on both our tower workstations on in our rack 
chassis.
Recent prices on CF are at $50 or less for 512MB, so a "CD sized" boot 
image flash device is now trivial.

If you look inside a Force10 network switch you will see the OS and 
firmware are loaded on a flash card.

You can even buy CF packaged in a device that is a 40 pin female 
"dongle" that plugs directly to the motherboard HD IDE slot.
These go for around $100 for 512MB

Other flash types, like SD, XD, Memory stick, &c do not have the AT 
interface built in, so a chip and driver are needed to use them, pretty 
well ruling them out as useful for boot devices, unless you write the 
driver into BIOS, on, for example, LinuxBIOS.


With our best regards,

Maurice W. Hilarius        Telephone: 01-780-456-9771
Hard Data Ltd.  FAX:       01-780-456-9772
11060 - 166 Avenue         email:maurice at harddata.com
Edmonton, AB, Canada       http://www.harddata.com/
   T5X 1Y3


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