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Ramdisk for server

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
So I've got a minecraft server I am running on a dedicated desktop computer. Everything works fairly well, except for the hard drive side of things. For reference, a minecraft server map is made up of 4KB chunks, which are stored as individual files. The two maps are 3GB and 4GB respectively, so they're made up of hundreds of thousands of individual files. Random access times are king in this world.

MLC SSDs degrade too quickly. I've written 11TB of data to my 60GB Vertex SSD, so it's more than 60% to end of life within a couple of months. I can't buy a new SSD every 3 months, so I need a different option. I also couldn't run TRIM, and noticed the slowdown once the drive was used a bit.

SLC SSDs are too expensive. There's an intel 32GB SLC SSD for $375, which I might be able to swing, but only if it worked perfectly, which it doesn't. Feedback on the egg shows varying problems. I have Server 2008 (not R2), which doesn't support TRIM, and Intel's drive only supports TRIM for a few chipsets anyhow.

I just tried a velociraptor hdd, and it's just not fast enough. I can definitely tell the difference between it and the SSD. Random access times are key, and the VR just doesn't provide it.

7200 drives won't work, obviously.

This leaves me with about the only thing I have left: Ramdisk drives. I have 12GB of ram in the server right now, would need another 12GB to run a ramdisk and load up the maps and other server files into it.

I've never really dealt with ramdisk drives before, so I'm just wondering if you think this would be a good idea, what to watch out for, best way to set it up, etc. I know that if the server powers down with the ramdisk running, the data will be lost, so I'll have to regularly back it up to a normal drive. Other than that, what else do I need to know?

EDIT: Also, what is the best software for utilizing some of your ram for a ramdisk? Looking for cheap, but good and reliable too.
Edited by SgtSpike - 1/26/11 at 10:25pm
post #2 of 7
Sounds like a great idea to me, especially for minecraft. For information on setting one up you may want to look here, its actually a guide on using a ram disk with windows media center but the first part should pertain to setting up the ram disk in the first place.
http://www.hack7mc.com/2009/07/setti...ia-center.html
    
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post #3 of 7
I'm not too familiar with Minecraft server... but there's no option for the application to increase memory usage?


There's not too much to a RAMDisk.... OS loads, RAMDisk service loads, then load your game into RAMDisk

Buy your RAM now though... price are expected to go up in a few months.
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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Klue, thanks for the link, I'll check it out.

Duckie, will definitely buy ram today or tomorrow. $135 for 12GB? Pure insanity! I love it!

The minecraft server is kind of an interesting animal. It runs in a JVM, so I can give it lots of memory, but there is no way to force it to load the entire map into memory (well, aside from dropping it into a ramdisk). It just does it's own thing. It won't typically use more than 3GB of ram unless there is a memory leak in the existing build (which actually happens quite often). I use manual garbage collection switches on the JVM startup to mostly mitigate this problem.

I haven't yet looked at the link Klue posted, so my question might be answered there, but I am definitely looking for recommendations on the best software to use in creation of a virtual ramdisk. Disk imaging is VERY important (it'll reduce boot-up times significantly if it has to read one sequential 7GB file vs 1,500,000 individual 4KB files). Regular backups are also important, but I can do that through other methods if there isn't anything built in to the software.
post #5 of 7
Vsuite is what I use and it's the simplest (yet also most feature-complete) ramdisk software I've tried.
The walkthroughs/explanations on the site itself go through every feature and option.


SuperSpeed and Dataram also have ramdisk offerings - I've tried them and don't think they hold a candle. You can, however, use Dataram for free for up to 4GB:
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions.

Here is what I was thinking of going with.... namely because it is cheap (free until April 1st, actually), and it seems to have the features I want/need - unlimited ramdisk size and ramdisk imaging.
http://www.ramdisk.tk/

Any reason I should not go with this one, and instead go with the VSuite?
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtSpike View Post
Thanks for the suggestions.

Here is what I was thinking of going with.... namely because it is cheap (free until April 1st, actually), and it seems to have the features I want/need - unlimited ramdisk size and ramdisk imaging.
http://www.ramdisk.tk/

Any reason I should not go with this one, and instead go with the VSuite?
As of the moment of my response here, that site seems to be down so I can't really compare them. Aside from that, all I can say is that I haven't used it.

Give yours a try, and then do a Vsuite trial as well to compare.

If inexpensive is really the name of the game, then a "free" version of the Vsuite software shouldn't be hard to find.
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