Build servers offline due to failed SSD

Balthasar Indermuehle balt at
Sun Mar 14 11:11:16 UTC 2021

I used to run mac servers in what now can only be described as the days of
yore... when a 32GB RAM bank cost a lot more than a (spinning) disk - and
those were expensive then too. SSDs were not here yet. I haven't checked
pricing lately, but I'd think you could put 256GB of RAM into a server for
probably about the same as a 1TB SSD, and that would offer plenty of build
space when used as a RAM drive. And that space will not degrade over time
(unlike the SSD). In terms of longevity, for a machine with such a
singularly targeted use case, I'd seriously consider taking the expense
now, and have a server that lives for another decade.

Dr Balthasar Indermühle
Inside Systems Pty Ltd
5007/101 Bathurst Street
Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
t: +61 (0)405 988 500

On Sun, 14 Mar 2021 at 21:04, Ryan Schmidt <ryandesign at> wrote:

> There was some additional downtime in the last few days but the
> buildmaster now has a permanent home on a new SSD and is faster than ever.
> Builds that could not be scheduled during recent downtime have been
> rescheduled and are in progress.
> On Mar 14, 2021, at 04:02, Vincent Habchi wrote:
> > Wouldn’t it make sense to use some sort of RAM caching to speed up
> builds instead of SSD? What’s the point of using a permanent storage device
> for something that is bound to be erased in a very short time?
> RAM would be faster than SSD but also a lot more expensive. Certainly I
> know or can figure out how to create a RAM disk, and certainly we could
> tell MacPorts to store the build directory there. But if we ran out of
> space on the RAM disk during a build, the build would fail. Some builds
> need a lot of disk space -- I've seen ports that use 20GB of disk space to
> build. Instead of buying 20GB or more of additional RAM per VM, I've chosen
> to buy 90GB of SSD per VM.
> If you're suggesting that we should just set aside 1-2GB of RAM for build
> files and use the SSD if we need more space than that, then I don't know
> how to set that up.
> Note that macOS already caches disk files in RAM if there is any free RAM.
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