IBM U.2 flash core module 19.2tb $905

Branko

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Mar 21, 2022
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I'd buy one if it would be EU seller, since its not, enjoy you lucky Americans

(edit: I guess its normal SSD, if there's some trouble with using these at homelab
feel free to comment)
 
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redeamon

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Jun 10, 2018
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Unless you have a flashsystem from IBM- don't bother. They run extremely hot (at least 15w+ idle up to 35w during sustained writes), have onboard hardware compression/encryption that changes the namespace size on the fly (which throws off every filesystem leading to corruption), no firmware updates obviously, and terrible throughput (less than 1gb/s if you're lucky) outside of the IBM ecosystem. Finally they have a custom NVMe spec, so expect lots of errors and disabled features- trim? maybe.

If anyone can manage to get them to work 'reasonably' well it might be a decent deal for specific scenarios - i.e., cold storage backup.. but we have no idea what the retention time is on these. My guess? Not long as the system they come out of has huge batteries. IBM is weird.
 
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foureight84

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Jun 26, 2018
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Unless you have a flashsystem from IBM- don't bother. They run extremely hot (at least 15w+ idle up to 35w during sustained writes), have onboard hardware compression that changes the namespace size on the fly (which throws off every os leading to corruption), no firmware updates obviously, and terrible throughput (less than 1gb/s if you're lucky) outside of the IBM ecosystem. Finally they have a custom NVMe spec, so expect lots of errors and tons of disabled features- trim? maybe.

If anyone can manage to get them to work 'reasonably' well it might be a decent deal for specific scenarios - i.e., flash cold storage backup.. but we have no idea what the retention time is on these. My guess? Not long as the system they come out of has huge batteries. IBM is weird.
Too bad there isn't an offer button. Mass low-ball offer $100.
 
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tozmo

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Feb 1, 2017
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ha, great to see this thread. Yeah I had to bite on one a few weeks ago and its exactly as @redeamon
says. pretty cool looking to see 40TB but no go on any real usage, and super hot. some boards show it as 4x NVMe drives, really odd stuff
So is it just sitting in your system showing 40TB and not being used beyond that?
 
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Fritz

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To me that's a lot of money to be doing nothing but wasting electricity.
 
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Branko

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Mar 21, 2022
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ha, great to see this thread. Yeah I had to bite on one a few weeks ago and its exactly as @redeamon
says. pretty cool looking to see 40TB but no go on any real usage, and super hot. some boards show it as 4x NVMe drives, really odd stuff

What do you mean by bold part? Can you format/use it?
 
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fanyc

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Sep 27, 2019
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The point is, is there a way to make it work on windows? The seller is reporting it does not work on windows (device cannot start error) and I would expect it to work only in its own IBM system, but the seller also reports that it does work on Linux and even on Mac OS. Ill share the screenshots below: 微信图片_20220922175906.jpg
 
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redeamon

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Jun 10, 2018
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The point is, is there a way to make it work on windows? The seller is reporting it does not work on windows (device cannot start error) and I would expect it to work only in its own IBM system, but the seller also reports that it does work on Linux and even on Mac OS. Ill share the screenshots below:
re: windows- As far as I know, no. Maybe with some hacking of the windows nvme driver it's possible but that's beyond my ability.

Does it 'work' in linux/mac, yes you can boot up with it, format it (sorta), etc., but is it usable? not really.

Why is not usable? As you can see in the screenshots the drive presents itself as a 40TB drive but the drive is a 19.2TB drive. What happens when you write more than 19.2TB of incompressible data? You corrupt the filesystem and get massive hardware errors from both the drive and filesystem. These drives are designed to have continuous communication between the o/s and firmware of the drive. You may think that by restricting the namespace or filesystem size you might be able to skirt around the issue but my partner found it still corrupts data.


See page 19.

As far as I know, there's no way to disable the hardware compression/encryption and turn the drive into a normal nvme device. Most standard nvme commands/features don't work. Namespace? Only 1 allowed. Power level settings? Don't work.

So you're stuck with a drive that has poor i/o (it's really bad since it's trying to compress everything and is designed to run in parallel with other drives), has poor throughput (1gb/s if you're lucky) that sub performs a typical SAS3 drive but uses a NVMe connector.

We had one a while back and that's what my partner concluded. Maybe I'll grab one and play around with it, but in my opinion it's over priced for what it is- a $900 headache mystery box that barely outperforms 2x 10tb spinners with questionable reliability.

On the positive side- you can make toast on these
 
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jtaj

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Jul 13, 2021
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Why is not usable? As you can see in the screenshots the drive presents itself as a 40TB drive but the drive is a 19.2TB drive. What happens when you write more than 19.2TB of incompressible data? You corrupt the filesystem and get massive hardware errors from both the drive and filesystem. These drives are designed to have continuous communication between the o/s and firmware of the drive. You may think that by restricting the namespace or filesystem size you might be able to skirt around the issue but my partner found it still corrupts data.
if one was to use it strictly for 19.2TB and under, and not worry about heat/speed, these would be amazing deal wouldn't it? 15TB class SAS runs between 1.3k to 1.7k and slower throughput, these are $900.

unless im misunderstanding the whole thing pls correct me if im wrong
 
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Glock24

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May 13, 2019
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if one was to use it strictly for 19.2TB and under, and not worry about heat/speed, these would be amazing deal wouldn't it? 15TB class SAS runs between 1.3k to 1.7k and slower throughput, these are $900.

unless im misunderstanding the whole thing pls correct me if im wrong
Take a look at post #11

You get data corruption even if you use less than the physical capacity of the drive.
 
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Sorin Bidian

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Jan 13, 2016
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I also have one. Make a lot a tests. Work until don't. Run very hot. From what I remember I make more than 1 name space but after some time crash and lost all data (only test data) that was on it. Don't waste time with it until you don't have IBM flashcore systems.
 
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xzec

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Nov 2, 2022
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Also purchased one. Spent hours trying to get it working with a PCIe to NVME add in card as well as an external U.2 NVME reader. Drive will show up in multiple places, will allow you to zero out a portion of the drive... thats it... Nothing else beyond that. Tested in multiple OS' with multiple programs/commands. I returned it. If only there was a way to make it work, It would be such a good deal!
 
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