On track once more


Heroku Rails The website

On-track-once-more After having my HTPC running this website for couple of years it was time for a hardware upgrade. I'd just upgraded my main computer and was faced with two choices: either buy a new set of hardware or scrap the HTPC in favor of just using the main computer. I decided to go with the second choice since I always use the HTPC and my main computer mutually exclusive and then I only had one set of hardware and software to maintain.
One problem was what to to with the website. I could ether move it to my main computer and have it running 24/7 to my wife's big despair) or find some kind of online hosting solution.

After looking at solutions such as Google App Engine (no support for Rails 3 yet) and VPS (expensive) I finally found Heroku.

Heroku is super easy to get started with and offers awesome support for Rails 3. So after a bit of adjustments like porting from the current mySQL database to PostgrSQL I got the website up and running by just typing

$ git push heroku master

No more spinning



No-more-spinning One of my christmas presents this year was a gift certificate for one of our local computer stores. So I decided to upgrade my relatively new computer with a SSD drive. As always, finding new hardware is a bit like going through a jungle, with all the new standards and metrics of performance. So after a bit of researching I found a nice Corsair Force 3 240 GB.

So let's see here, the SSD supports Sata III with up to 550 MB/s read performance. Wow! But wait! My motherboard, which is only one and a half years old and was one of the more expensive ones with a promise to be somewhat future proof, does only support Sata II with a maximum speed of 285 MB/s. Damn you technology evolution! Oh well, I guess when the day comes for my motherboard to be upgraded to Sata III, at least my SSD disk won't be outdated just yet.

At first I actually thought about buying two disks, one 60 GB and one 128 GB, and installing Arch Linux on the small one and Windows 7 on the larger one. However, for a couple of hundreds more I were able to get ~50 GB more space and also be able to choose the exact distribution of the space used by Windows and Linux. It felt like a natural choise.

I created a 170 GB partion for Windows 7, which I thought would be enought for the operating system and all the programs and games I usally use. The rest, 53 GB, was dedicated to Arch Linux and this should also be more than enought based om my previous experiences. So now my old magnetic hard drive, together with a couple of equals, serve as data storage device for large files such as pictures and videos.

Finaly I ran some benchmark tests, using CrystalDiskMark, to justify spending a decent amount of money and going through the hassle of migrating system disk. These are the results:

Magnetic hard drive

4000 MB [C: 83.6% (100.0/119.7 GB)] (x5)

Sequential Read : 55.062 MB/s
Sequential Write : 61.470 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 25.938 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 29.118 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 0.405 MB/s [98.9 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 0.863 MB/s [210.7 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 0.572 MB/s [139.5 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 0.774 MB/s [189.0 IOPS]

Solid state disk

4000 MB [C: 12.4% (21.3/170.9 GB)] (x5)

Sequential Read : 172.293 MB/s
Sequential Write : 205.633 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 167.758 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 206.796 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 19.969 MB/s [4875.1 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 61.136 MB/s [14925.9 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 17.147 MB/s [4186.2 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 73.291 MB/s [7893.3 IOPS]

Clearly you can conclude that both read and write times has been improved significantly, especially when it comes ot random acces of small files where the new SSD is around 60 times faster than the old magnetic one.

So in summary, it was surely worth upgrading and you can really feel the performance boost in both applications and the overall performance of the operating system.