[Dirvish] backups and system load

Keith Lofstrom keithl at kl-ic.com
Thu Sep 10 21:10:29 UTC 2009

On Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 04:06:28PM -0400, Jason Boxman wrote:
> Lately I've lost two PSUs.  Both went down while backups were running. 
> Anyone else experience that?  Nothing like some system load to take a 
> box out.

Interesting!  Tell us more about your setup.   Also, purchase a 
"Kill-A-Watt" power line monitor (about $20 from newegg) and watch
what the mains power is doing during idle and during backup.  

If the backup machine is on a UPS, you should check that, too.


1)  Rsync/dirvish does thrash the disks a lot.  Unless you do a lot
    of high power computing, games, or graphics, that is probably
    the highest activity most servers will see, and when a marginal
    machine will go.

2)  Most power supplies, out of the box, are way more powerful than
    typical systems need.  Even with the disks in full thrash mode.

3)  Most systems do not get cleaned often enough.  The accumulated
    dust interferes with cooling.  Some components overheat.

4)  Most PSU manufacturers use garbage components, which don't last
    very long.  Electrolytic capacitors dry up, too-small resistors
    cook the circuit board, etc.  I've been using Enlight and Antec
    supplies, and I stay away from "Happy Family Mixed Vegetable"
    brands with no reputation.  

I wish I could suggest a great power supply, but the models change
faster than experience accumulates.  Right now, I am experimenting 
with Antec Sonata Designer 500 cases with EarthWatt power supplies
and extra 120mm slow fans.  These cases very quiet and efficient,
and with luck the higher efficiency and multiple slow 120mm fans
means less waste heat and fewer hot spots.  I'll tell you in three
years whether they meet my expectations for durability :-)


Keith Lofstrom          keithl at keithl.com         Voice (503)-520-1993
KLIC --- Keith Lofstrom Integrated Circuits --- "Your Ideas in Silicon"
Design Contracting in Bipolar and CMOS - Analog, Digital, and Scan ICs

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