Laptops as routers

cpghost at cpghost at
Sun Oct 31 16:55:27 PST 2004

On Sun, Oct 31, 2004 at 01:54:33PM -0800, Luke wrote:
> To go off on a bit of a tangent here, I find the idea of replacing hard 
> drives with flash memory intriguing.  When I first heard someone talk 
> about doing this several years ago, the idea was quickly shot down by 
> people saying that flash memory has a very short lifetime when you write 
> to it.  Even a system as minimal as a firewall will require frequent write 
> operations if it does any logging at all.
> Has this limitation been overcome in recent years?
> Google isn't turning up any recent articles on this subject for me.

No, the limited write cycles problem is still there, but not as bad as
you might imagine.

In most cases, all you need to do is to put /var and /tmp on a memory
filesystem, and archive only compressed logs either to flash or to 
a remote server every now and then, thus greatly reducing the write
access cycles to your flash card.

But this is not always a useful solution (e.g. if you want to run an
MTA like postfix which accesses the filesystem that holds the mail
queues quite frequently). Sometimes, a 2.5" harddisk (I don't know about
microdisks' durability) is your only recourse.


Cordula's Web.

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