Hacking Fusion to work on Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Inconsequential, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #1
    I'd fall over backwards for the ability to dynamically store files as per the new iMac does.

    New photos would be stored on the SSD and older ones pushed, automatically to the HDD without any need for manual intervention! Perfect.

    Netkas et al? Thoughts?
     
  2. macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #2
    Yes, because you really want to trust your data to a hacked split volume solution that just came out.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #3
    This is part of Core Storage, it should be as easy as turning on TRIM but of course, we don't know yet.
     
  4. Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    Easy or not, your risking your data by hacking a storage file system - not something would be worth it imo.
     
  5. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #5
    According to Ars, there is likely a component that monitors what files you are using, and tells Core Storage to transfer them. I'm assuming that ships on the new iMacs, but that would have to be made to work on a Mac Pro.

    Article on Core Storage:
    http://blog.fosketts.net/2011/08/04/mac-osx-lion-corestorage-volume-manager/

    I like the term "virtualized storage".
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #6
    Who says you would be hacking the file system?

    Can't write it off without knowing :p
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    #7
    IMO I would just get a SSD + normal HD. Could a simple program/script be written to move stuff to certain HDs after being unused for a certain duration?
     
  8. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #8
    You could, but then you never know where your files are.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    AlexMaximus

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Location:
    Boondocks
    #9
    Don`t fall. It`s out now - data storage only, though...



    No hack necessary, just do this:

    http://www.barefeats.com/hard148.html#sister

    :rolleyes:
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #10
  11. macrumors 6502a

    karsten

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    #11
    just symlink everything in into the main mac file structure, then run as if you have a single drive system.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #12
    And this is a better solution than enabling fusion drive?
     
  13. macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #13
    320GB SSDs cost as mush as 120GB ones did 2 years ago. We'll have affordable 0.5TB ssd's soon probably.

    Is there really any use for this? I mean, the fusion drive system would only benefit you if you expect to store more then the SSD can allow. Move your download folder and music folder to an HDD, and you will probably be better off with just a single 256GB SSD which will act much faster then a fusion drive solution.

    Remember, the fusion drive puts data on the HDD based on it's own algorithms and what it THINKS you are going to use. In reality you are definately going to find yourself opening alot of stuff which has been moved to the HDD... and then it will be painstakingly slow...
     
  14. theSeb, Oct 25, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012

    macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #14
    Completely agreed. I have symbolic links pointing to the HDD for movies and music folders. Everything else is on the SSD. I don't see the advantage of having the operating system mucking about with where my files are.

    Edit to add: Here is some info on this Fusion drive gimmick

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5446?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

    If you're planning on using bootcamp, then prepare to be forced to install it on the HDD.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #15

    From what i read, things are transferred first to the SSD, then once full, transfers it to the HDD whilst also keeping more frequently used items on the SSD.

    All these caching things are useless for a 2TB photo storage drive, because it gets transferred from the camera, worked on, and then forgotten so it would never get SSD'd!

    Lightroom benefits most when the raw files are on an ssd.

    I don't want a manual operation because that gets tedious. Caching disks don't work, hence why i hoped this might be a better solution if easily implemented.

    I currently have a 300GB SSD that holds the OS, cache files, current & recent documents, scratch files and Lightrooms library and preview files.
    A 300GB Velociraptior is used for windows.
    A 1TB HD stores old documents, disk images, iTunes music library, etc.

    Another 2TB disk stores by raw files and all my files are directly transferred there, sent to my backup NAS and then worked on. If Fusion Drive placed the new files on the SSD then as and when transferred them back, without no input from me or change in my backup scripts, that would work a treat.
     
  16. Loa
    macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #16
    Hello,

    The fusion drive is a compromise for computers that only have space for 1 drive. With the Mac Pro, you can have 5 drives easily, and can move up from there. Why bother with a compromise solution?

    Fusion on a Mac Pro is a misunderstanding of the benefits and role of the Mac Pro.

    Loa
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #17
    What do you suggest?

    I'd like my new files to reside on an SSD and then once that SSD is full it moves older files to the HDD without ANY user input?
     
  18. Loa
    macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #18
    Hello,

    I'd suggest a different strategy. Blindly asking for the SSD to overflow to a regular HD is far from ideal. You certainly have data that is old but is frequently accessed, or even old data that is rarely accessed but is better used when on a fast SSD.

    What most people do is decide what type of data to put on the SSD. For example, mp3s for simply playing music while you work doesn't need to be on a SSD, ever. Even when it's freshly converted or downloaded, having mp3s on a SSD doesn't make sense. The same thing is true for movies: why put them on the SSD, ever?

    On the other hand, if you're a musician that composes on your Mac and uses mp3s and sound clips, then you want that audio collection to *always* be on the SSD, even when it's old and rarely used. Same thing if you use video clips to edit newer creations.

    Also, some types of frequently used files (like mp3s for listening) will only uselessly take space on the ssd part of a fusion drive.

    Deciding in advanced what needs and doesn't need to be on the SSD is much better than a brute force approach that blindly pushes some stuff off the SSD.

    Again: the fusion drive is an intesting approach when considered as a compromise. With the drive space in the Mac Pro, don't settle for a compromise approach.

    Loa
     
  19. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #19
    I'm not sure it is a compromise. Fusion isn't blindly shuffling data around. It's intentionally keeping all apps and the entire OS on the SSD. Then it's caching high use documents. That's not blind, it's definitely using an intelligent algorithm.

    It also doesn't seem like a stretch, that if Fusion is intentionally caching the OS and all apps, that it could either be internally or externally made to intentionally cache other things as well. But your assessment of Fusion as something blindly pushing bits around seems unfair considering that's exactly what makes it different than Momentous XT or Intel Smart Response. It's a software based implementation that knows what the files are.

    Because Fusion is software, I'm not even sure if there is a downside at all to having it on the Mac Pro.
     
  20. dyn
    macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #20
    Intel has something called Smart Response Technology which seems to be exactly what Apple announced. Since Apple also uses QuickSync it would not surprise me if they'd use the Intel Smart Response Technology as well. I think it does need some sort of implementation at the OS level and CoreStorage would be perfect for that. Seems to be a bit more than just split volume support in CoreStorage (not very surprising since the Fusion Drive knows what to put on the ssd and what not; a split volume alone is not that intelligent).
     
  21. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #21
    CoreStorage and Intel Smart Response are different technologies. It's like comparing a fork and a knife.

    I don't think CoreStorage is at all using Intel Smart Response. Core Storage can do everything it needs to without Smart Response. There just isn't a role for Smart Response.

    Ars has a very good article on CoreStorage. CoreStorage, as it shipped before the announcement, pretty much had everything already in place.
     
  22. Loa
    macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #22
    I was replying to Concorde's wish for a SSD that would simply dump older files on the HD.

    How can it know to keep mp3 files on the SSD for a music composer, and not keep them there at all (never) for someone who simply listens to music? Having the OS always on the SSD is good, but we don't need intelligent software for that. I'm just wondering how intelligent it can be, to respond correctly to every users' specific needs, like I mentioned in my post.

    Like I said: having it store old rarely used mp3 files on the HD would mean frustration for a music composer that bought the drive for fast access. There is a host of other situations where "intelligent" caching would have to be explicitly told what to do. No matter how smart Fusion is, it cannot beat the user separating the files he *knows* he'll need in high speed, and those he doesn't.

    Loa
     
  23. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #23
    This surely is a user case where the user would store files on his SSD.

    I need a solution where new files go on to the SSD first and then transferred to the HD when full.

    Currently, I would have to import to an SSD, work on them and then transfer them to the HDD. This is a PITA.

    I'm sure I'm not the only one who would like to enable this on something other than a Mac Pro. People with Optibays in MacBook Pros for example...
     
  24. Loa
    macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #24
    Ok. Maybe if I knew how you'd want the workflow to work exactly, I'd be able to offer ideas.

    I understand the need for a fast workspace, then slower storage. But where would the automatic overflow send the files? I have hundreds of folders on my HDs. How would the automatic process know where to send the older files (which folder on the HD)?

    Loa
     
  25. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #25

    Hence why this Fusion Drive is a good idea, because it does it for you!!

    I can tell you now, there is no solution, because I've been looking for one for the past two years.

    Currently I copy the RAW image files to the correct folder on my storage HD and then import them into LR for working on. Automatic backups to my NAS occur after that.

    To import my photos I need to do file system two actions on the lifetime of the files, and sometimes one if I do it via LR. All other solutions either don't work (Intel Smart Cache - due to the rarity of file access) or require more file operations by me (no thank you).
     

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