I’m amazed by the fact how less IT consultants know how computers actually work. They don’t know how to get the maximum out of it while nowadays with current tools it’s easier than ever before. What is the most slow component in your computer? This is with servers, like in my last project, as with your computers at home the case.
The component which causes to be slower than you would like is the harddrive. Why does it take that long before Windows or applications start? Why doesn’t respond my system? And go on.
In this project some other consultants had tried to tune up the performance to solve this issue. The case is that the customer has a database of 886 MB in size. They process a lot of records in this database.
An average harddrive of a personal computer will achieve around 80 MB/s reading speed and 75 MB/s as writing speed. This is with bigger files while with smaller files this can drop to even 1 MB/s reading/writing speed. Harddrives in servers and somewhat more expensive PCs can be used in RAID and this will result in twice the performance. I don’t want to get into detail because it’s not relevant for this article. The previous consultant with the best results had put 4 SSDs in RAID to achieve the for him maximum possible performance. They achieved 221 MB/s writing speed while sometimes it dropped to 60 MB/s with small files. The customer asked me to have a good solution as the proposed solutions were all to slow.
To start I have to say my solution has a reading speed of 2430 MB/s and a writing speed of 2438 MB/s which is almost 11 times faster. But I don’t stop there. The slowest value I could measure with trying to overload the system was a reading speed of 845 MB/s and writing speed 718 MB/s. The lowest speed was even 12 times faster compared to the other consultants their solutions. The solution was in my humble opinion really easy and simple to implement.
Because the database of the customer was only 886 MB and had a growthrate of 10% a month I choose for reserve 2 GB for my solution. I reintroduced an old mechanism in this solution with this customer. It’s called a RAMDisk. You claim a piece of RAM memory, which is blazing fast, from your computer which can by use of special software be accessed like it’s a harddrive.
Really strange all the other consultants couldn’t figure out this good and simple solution. Good part of the story is that my invoice was nice because of this knowledge and I had the pleasure of winning. The best solutions are always the simple ones.
The performance is now at a level where the customer is really statisfied. The waitingtimes are really shortend. Before they had to wait 7 minutes while now this job takes 2-3 seconds. Calculate the savings in a year in time…
PS all measurements of performance where done with CrystalDiskMark 3.0 x64.
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Big companies don’t need to be hammered on the importance of making good backups. They arrange this well. Sometimes it is not done perfectly regarding scheduling or security but at least the backup is running every day.
In little companies I see lack of good backups. They never check if the backup actually runs or is usable. Cutting costs on good maintenance is the issue.
I want to focus today on the normal computer home user. 10 years ago a home user had nothing important to do with backups. Occasionally a document and that was it.
Nowadays it’s different. Most families have at least 2 computers or notebooks in their home while this number is higher when they have more children in their family.
They all have their own passwords, documents, etc… but what do they backup at the moment?
In real life I see that they DON’T backup. They backup NOTHING. That surprised me a lot. People have the idea that harddrive will never fail and always will work. They don’t think about the possibility they can stop working in a second.
The photo and video files they have are GBs on data. I even know some families where they already have TBs on data. I have at the moment 5 TB on video (FullHD videocamera) and photo files. A good friend of me even has 16 TB on data and he told me recently it’s almost full. How are you suppost to backup this? What can you do as home user or little company?
The most easy solution is buying an external harddrive. A 2 TB external USB harddrive costs around 100 euro. Not expensive if you ask me. Harddrives have weakspots. If you really have important data I would recommend you buy 2. Maybe for your situation 2 x 1 TB is a safer option than buying one 2 TB. Be aware that 2 x 1 TB will cost more than one 2 TB.
If you buy an extra large internal harddrive you can also consider mirroring. When one harddrive fails the other takes over the operation. Disadvantage is that notebooks in most case don’t give you the possibility to add an additional harddrive, this solution can only be applied on normal desktop computers.
You can consider to buy a NAS (Network Attached Storage) solution. With a NAS you can connect harddrives to your network. Most of the NAS solutions offer RAID, RAID is necessary to do mirroring, like mentioned earlier. A NAS solution can be bought for 100 euro.
You can archive photos on a DVD. A single layer DVD can hold 4.5GB which are a lot of photos, a dual layer can hold even 9GB. Video files archiving is more complex. Especially if you use a videocamera which records in FullHD. You will notice the many GBs are used for recordings. You will have to archive those files on a harddrive. You can consider a Bluray writer (25/50 GB), but the GB cost is expensive.
If you really want to archive everything good you have to think about a tapestreamer. Be aware with large capacities they are expensive.
Take care of archiving you most important documents, photos and video file. Edit and publish on DVD your most important videos as soon as possible. Making a copie of a DVD is easily and fast done.
Microsoft Office 2010 is available. MSDN and Technet users were able to use Office 2010 since a while.
The first technical preview and beta had already stole my heart. How fast Office 2010 was working. Still I wanted to inform you briefly about some problems I experienced, which all early adopters have.
You can install fffice 2010 as 64-bit version. Nice idea, I thought. Works really fast. It didn’t take long for me to discover that a lot of applications weren’t working with the 64-bit version of Office 2010 because… they still are 32 bit. It should be supported via WOW64 but it sometimes doesn’t work at all. Microsoft also states this when you are installing the 64-bit version, you can also read this in 32 or 64 bits version office 2010 .
Windows Mobile Device Center for example, the new version of ActiveSync, is behaving strange. Several people already reported that their Windows Mobile phone lost all their contacts while syncing with Office 2010 64 bit. Microsoft Phone is the utility to have for having a backup. Always nice… to have a backup nearby.
I installed the 32 bit version when I read also the Sharepoint lists are not available in 64 bit.
The final conclusion is that 2010 is a really good version. Like I started, the betas impressed me, they work really good.