[Ardour-Users] building a new machine for Ardour

Wilson, Jed S jed at wilson.org
Wed Dec 10 14:33:34 PST 2008

Regarding Swap:  Depending on the amount of RAM available and how the
intended application functions, you may not even need it.  I've run Ubuntu
Studio on a Dell laptop w/ 2GB RAM an no swap quite handily - runs very
well [but, disclaimer, I've not done any substantial Ardour
"testing/benchmarking" with it - save recording 2 channels live w/ Edirol
FA-66 works fine].

Regarding RAID:  Carefully consider whether to use hardware-based RAID or
linux software raid.  Linux software RAID is very low latency, and could
prove better than HW raid in some circumstances.  Main thing to take into
account: how well is the hardware RAID in question supported by linux? 
Also very important:  how easy (hard) is it to recover from a drive
failure for linux software RAID relative to the hardware RAID in question.
 November 2008 Linux Journal has a good article on Software Raid
(available online for subscribers

Regarding System vs. Data drives:  use two smaller fast drives for a RAID1
mirrored set.  For data/music drive set - use bigger drives for the mirror
set.  Best performance would RAID 1-0, but also most costly as you need to
start with at least 4 drives and you only get half the usable space.  Just
thinking out loud... fairly obvious, but if you want your main recording
to go to the data set, still could use the extra space on system drives
for temp space, backup, or overflow recording, depending on your
preference (i.e., your mileage may vary)

Disaster Recovery:  Plan for and TEST your own Disaster Recovery Plan
(DRP).  I'm as much a "open the box and play with it as much and as soon
as possible" as the next person (I think I am, anyway :) ).  However, from
my work in IT I know taking the time to do DRPs is invaluable - not the
ones written to simply satisfy a management checkmark, but ones that
really help you recover if there's a problem.  Know how you're going to
backup and restore your system partition as well as data.

My two bits,

> On Mon, Dec 08, 2008 at 10:39:29PM +0000, david headon wrote:
>> should i be using three drives (one for system, one for swap, and one
for storage)?
> disclaimer: I'm not a "hardware guy".  But I don't see how a dedicated
swap drive would make any sense unless your usage patterns were such
that you regularly need truly massive amounts of swap, so huge that it's
impractical to just buy enough RAM instead.
> --
> Paul Winkler
> http://www.slinkp.com
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> Ardour-Users mailing list
> ardour-users at lists.ardour.org
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