Backblaze 的 2019 年度硬碟報告

Backblaze 丟出去年的報告了:「Backblaze Hard Drive Stats for 2019」。

WD/HGST 的還是最耐用,再來是 Toshiba 的,最後是 Seagate 的。

不過有一些硬碟沒有列到表上,像是「Seagate 16 TB Drives」這組因為 2019Q4 才剛裝上去,所以才 1440 drive days,因此還沒到門檻所以沒放進報告,但就 Backblaze 測試起來看起來是個好的開始:

In Q4 2019 we started qualifying Seagate 16 TB drives, model: ST16000NM001G. As of the end of Q4 we had 40 (forty) drives in operation, with a total of 1,440 drive days—well below our 5,000 drive day threshold for Q4, so they didn’t make the 2019 chart. There have been 0 (zero) failures through Q4, making the AFR 0%, a good start for any drive. Assuming they continue to pass our drive qualification process, they will be used in the 12 TB migration project and to add capacity as needed in 2020.

再來是把 2017/2018/2019 擺在一起看:

馬上可以看到的是 AFR 上升了不少,一個是因為 8TB 系列的硬碟進入中年期,另外是 Seagate 12TB 硬碟的問題:

The total AFR for 2019 rose significantly in 2019. About 75% of the different drive models experienced a rise in AFR from 2018 to 2019. There are two primary drivers behind this rise. First, the 8 TB drives as a group seem to be having a mid-life crisis as they get older, with each model exhibiting their highest failure rates recorded. While none of the rates is cause for worry, they contribute roughly one fourth (1/4) of the drive days to the total, so any rise in their failure rate will affect the total. The second factor is the Seagate 12 TB drives, this issue is being aggressively addressed by the 12 TB migration project reported on previously.

所以大原則還是跟以前差不多,沒有時間特別研究的話就先往 WD/HGST 這邊找...

EBS io1 推出可以同時掛到多台的選項

EBS 的 io1 推出了可以同時掛到 16 台 EC2 instance 的選項:「New – Multi-Attach for Provisioned IOPS (io1) Amazon EBS Volumes」。

先看支援的區域,傳統主力區域 (us-east-1 與 eu-west-1) 都支援了,而亞洲區這邊反倒是南韓先支援了:

Multi-Attach for Provisioned IOPS (io1) volumes on Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) is available today at no extra charge to customers in the US East (N. Virginia & Ohio), US West (Oregon), EU (Ireland), and Asia Pacific (Seoul) regions.

其中常用的目的是 HA:

Multi-Attach capability makes it easier to achieve higher availability for applications that provide write ordering to maintain storage consistency.

Heartbeat 類的應用應該可以用上這個東西,不過本來就可以透過 command line API 做到 detach & attach,用這個只是少了一個動作...

第二個想到的是,在實體機房的環境下,有些 filesystem (在「Shared-disk file systems」裡面可以翻到一些) 可以同時掛同一個 block storage (通常是透過 SAN),現在在 AWS 上面也可以這樣搞了。

不過 io1 記得不便宜啊...

FBI 手上的 GrayKey 可以解 iPhone 11 Pro Max

在「FBI Successfully Unlocks iPhone 11 Pro in Ohio, Casting Doubt on Claims it Needs Apple's Help in Florida Mass Shooter Case」這邊看到的消息,看起來 FBI 手上的 GrayKey 可以解開 iPhone 11 Pro Max 了...

先前 GrayKey 只有舊型的可以解,像是之前揭露的 iPhone 5 或是 iPhone 7,現在看起來找到新的漏洞可以打穿新的版本,所以升級了:

Forbes has previously revealed a GrayKey brochure that showed it worked on older devices, and the two iPhones acquired by the FBI in the most recent Pensacola case are an ‌iPhone‌ 5 and an ‌iPhone‌ 7, which strongly suggests that investigators are already capable of unlocking them.


t3 也可以上 Dedicated Single-Tenant Hardware 了

AWS 宣佈 t3 系列的機器也可以上 Dedicated Single-Tenant Hardware 了,也就是實體的機器不與其他人共用:「New – T3 Instances on Dedicated Single-Tenant Hardware」。

會需要避免共用實體機器,其中一種常見的是需求是 compliance,主要是在處理資料 (尤其是敏感資料) 時要求實體隔離,以降低 side-channel attack 或是類似攻擊的風險:

Our customers use Dedicated Instances to further their compliance goals (PCI, SOX, FISMA, and so forth), and also use them to run software that is subject to license or tenancy restrictions.

另外一種情境是 AWS 的美國政府區,直接與一般商業區的系統切開,不過這也得有經濟規模才有辦法這樣玩...

Raspberry Pi 4 的散熱問題

找被動散熱資料的時候翻到的,Raspberry Pi 4 有新的韌體可以刷,而新的韌體會降低一些功率消耗,也讓溫度降一些:「Thermal testing Raspberry Pi 4」。

會找被動散熱是因為手上的 Raspberry Pi (一代) 已經壞了兩顆風扇了,大概每年要換一次,風扇的成本是不高,但換起來總是頗麻煩...

而新的 Raspberry Pi 4 在拿到後,發現整包附的是散熱片 + 風扇組合,跑起來也還不錯,但長遠來看還是希望找個被動散熱方案...

目前看到幾個測試,一個是搜尋到在 Reddit 上的「Raspberry Pi 4 heatsink testing」這篇 (或是作者自己的 blog 上:「Raspberry Pi 4 heatsink testing」),裡面提到散熱片夠大,或是用銅製散熱片,在全速跑的時候不會降速:

另外在「Raspberry Pi 4 ICE Tower CPU Cooling Fan Tested」這邊也有看到不開風扇情況下,用散熱塔也行:



OpenVZ 裡的 Docker

前幾天在公司弄 GitLabGitLab CI,前者光跑起來都還沒動他就先吃 1.5GB 左右的記憶體,動兩下就 2.5GB 了。後者的 CI 隨著使用的情況而改變,不過最少丟個 1GB 差不多...

公司用的機器當然是還好,先簡單弄一台 t3a.medium (4GB) 跑 GitLab 主體,然後另外一台 t3a.small (2GB) 跑 CI 的 Runner,真的有需要的時候可以再往上拉...

不過自己也要弄的時候就會考慮到成本問題,畢竟也只有自己一個人用,如果在 Vultr 上面租類似的機器就要 USD$30/month,其他的 KVM VPS 也都差不多價錢。

OpenVZ 的 VPS 主機一向都比 KVM 的 VPS 便宜不少,但有不少限制。其中一個限制就是沒辦法跑 Docker,這樣就沒辦法把 GitLab CI 的 Runner 跑上去了 (有其他模式可以跑,但我這邊偏好用 Docker)。

查了一下資料 (因為記得 OpenVZ 有計畫要支援 Docker),發現 OpenVZ 7 已經支援 Docker 了,而且在官方文件上面也都已經有說明了:「10.3. Setting Up Docker in Virtuozzo Containers」、「Docker inside CT vz7」。

然後順著找一下,發現市場上也已經有 OpenVZ 7 的 VPS,而且會宣傳支援 Docker,試著租一個月也確認可以跑,這樣代表之後又有更多選項啦...

Amazon EC2 可以掛多個 Elastic Inference 了

看到 Jeff Barr 的 tweet:

所以是一台 Amazon EC2 的主機可以掛多個 Elastic Inference (GPU) 了,這主要應該還是對現有的使用者有幫助。還沒有使用的應該會往新的 AWS Inferentia 測試?(參考「AWS 開始推自己的 Machine Learning Chip」)

Backblaze 採購硬碟的策略

在「How Backblaze Buys Hard Drives」這篇裡面提到了 Backblaze 採購硬碟的策略,可以看到完全都是偏成本走向,所以裡面的策略一般個人用不太到,一般企業也不應該照抄,但拿來看看還蠻有趣的...


Power draw is a very important metric for us and the high speed enterprise drives are expensive in terms of power cost. We now total around 1.5 megawatts in power consumption in our centers, and I can tell you that every watt matters for reducing costs.

另外也提到了 SMR 硬碟的特性,在單位成本雖然有比較高的容量,但導致架構面需要配合 (cache),而也會有工程端的成本提昇,所以不是很愛:

SMR would give us a 10-15% capacity-to-dollar boost, but it also requires host-level management of sequential data writing. Additionally, the new archive type of drives require a flash-based caching layer. Both of these requirements would mean significant increases in engineering resources to support and thereby even more investment. So all-in-all, SMR isn’t cost-effective in our system.

成本面上,他們觀察到的現象是每季會降 5%~10%:

Ideally, I can achieve a 5-10% cost reduction per terabyte per quarter, which is a number based on historical price trends and our performance for the past 10 years.

另外提到了用 SAS controller 可以接多個 SATA 硬碟的事情 (雖然還是成本考量),但這塊也蠻有趣的:

Longer term, one thing we’re looking toward is phasing out SATA controller/port multiplier combo. This might be more technical than some of our readers want to go, but: SAS controllers are a more commonly used method in dense storage servers. Using SATA drives with SAS controllers can provide as much as a 2x improvement in system throughput vs SATA, which is important to me, even though serial ATA (SATA) port multipliers are slightly less expensive. When we started our Storage Pod construction, using SATA controller/port multiplier combo was a great way to keep costs down. But since then, the cost for using SAS controllers and backplanes has come down significantly.

iOS 上的 Yubico Authenticator App 正式支援 NFC

Yubico 宣佈 iOS 版的 app (Yubico Authenticator) 正式支援 NFC 了:「Yubico Authenticator App for iOS Now Supports NFC」,先前在九月時的說明告知了 iOS 13 的 API 允許透過 NFC 讀與寫 (先前只能讀):「iOS 上的 Yubikey」。

作業系統的要求就如前面提到的需要 iOS 13+,而硬體上需要 iPhone 7 之後的機種,之後看看市場上的反應...

AWS 開始推自己的 Machine Learning Chip

除了常見的 GPU 類,以及之前公佈過的 FPGA 外,這次 AWS 推出的是自己做的晶片 AWS Inferentia,以及對應到 EC2 上的機種 inf1:「Amazon EC2 Update – Inf1 Instances with AWS Inferentia Chips for High Performance Cost-Effective Inferencing」。


Each AWS Inferentia chip supports up to 128 TOPS (trillions of operations per second) of performance at low power to enable multiple chips per EC2 instance. AWS Inferentia supports FP16, BF16, and INT8 data types. Furthermore, Inferentia can take a 32-bit trained model and run it at the speed of a 16-bit model using BFloat16.


AWS Inferentia comes with the AWS Neuron software development kit (SDK) that enables complex neural net models, created and trained in popular frameworks to be executed using AWS Inferentia based EC2 Inf1 instances. Neuron consists of a compiler, run-time, and profiling tools and is pre-integrated into popular machine learning frameworks including TensorFlow, Pytorch, and MXNet to deliver optimal performance of EC2 Inf1 instances.

現在看起來類似於 Google 弄的 TPU,專為 machine learning 搞出來的 ASIC,等一陣子應該就會有兩者的比較了...